Located at the Pinaglabanan Shrine grounds, the Museo El Deposito showcases the history of the 1882 Carriedo Waterworks along with original artifacts such as an original Carriedo waterwork hydrant, audio-visual room, virtual-reality room, and a miniature version of the unseen ground level of the old waterworks.
The second floor of the museum houses three galleries. The first covers the life before the waterworks and El Deposito, the walls explaining how Filipinos fetched water back then. It also introduces Fransisco Carriedo, a Spanish Captain General of Manila who lead the creation of waterworks.
In the second area, you’ll see a lighted two-layer scale model of Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine. It helps the visitors see through unseen structures underneath. The El Deposito has 25 underground chambers, which have been explored numerous times. The NHCP aims to open these tunnels and turn it into a tourist spot where people can explore the area.
The third gallery is where things get exciting. Museum visitors may use the virtual-reality exhibit room where they can watch the historical recreation of the Battle of San Juan Del Monte.
Not only did the El Deposito serve as the main water source during the Spanish-era Manila, but it was also used as a hospital for tuberculosis patients during World War II; a firing range; and an armory during the American and Japanese occupations. It was declared as a national shrine in honor of the fallen Filipinos who fought bravely during the Battle of San Juan del Monte.
Back then, the water in the El Deposito comes from Wawa Dam which is located at Montalban Rizal. The Wawa Dam opened in 1908 and served as an alternative to the Carriedo water system, a water provider here in Manila.
The current state of Wawa Dam
Due to the deterioration of the structure and the declining quality of water, the government abandoned Wawa Dam in 1968 in favor of Angat, Ipo, and La Mesa Dams as the official water service providers of Manila.
That’s why the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) launched its latest exhibit at the El Deposito located in San Juan City last Saturday, August 24, 2019. With the collaborative efforts of NHCP, Rangefinder Filipinas, a traditional photography organization, and the local government unit of Montalban Rizal, they’ve introduced “Traversing The Current” to the public.
The photo exhibit is meant to showcase the current state of Wawa Dam, specifically the lives of the people living in the community that witnessed the dam’s transformation throughout the years. The exhibit features a collection of traditional photographs of landscapes and the Dumagat Indigenous group still living in Sitio Wawa who saw the dam’s bustling days and its eventual closure as a water system in Manila.
The photo exhibit runs from August 24, 2019 until September 24, 2019. Museo El Deposito is located at 29, 1500 Pinaglabanan, San Juan, 1500 Metro Manila.