Trips to Quiapo would not be complete without visiting first Sta. Cruz district, especially the church. And aside from that, the old buildings around the area allow your mind to slip into the past and imagine what the place looked like before. And the Carriedo Fountain just outside Sta. Cruz church is another structure that would give you that Spanish feel of the place. Appreciation of the fountain is good at the onset. But in digging in further, it seems that Carriedo Foundation has a ‘long’ past as well. A short online note reveals that it was not originally located there.
* cherubs with their jars; notice the trident on the left, that is actually held by a cherub too (it looks like a fusion of Christianity and Roman/Greek mythology)
* a closer look at that cherub with a jar
The construction of the fountain began when a long-lost will of Francisco Carriedo y Pedero, giving a certain amount for the construction of the water systems for Manila. (Thinking about it now, it’s a wonder how we have progressed so slowly – the water is still a problem in Metro Manila as it was back then). A certain Fr. Felix Huertas pushed for the utilization of the money allotted in the will of Carriedo. But before that, the money was not immediately used. The Municipal Government ruled that the money be used first in the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade. Fortunately, the investment of the money turned out good that the original money plus the income from the Galleon Trade were collectively used for the construction of the water systems including the fountain.
* the old building of Monte de Piedad; found at the plaza where Carriedo Fountain is situated
* a zoomed-in image of the façade of the building housing the Bank of Philippine Islands near Carriedo Fountain
* another zoomed-in image, this time of a statue most likely of a revered Manileño
The fountain was originally installed at a place called Rotonda de Sampaloc (at the Nagtahan intersection). The administration of the water systems in Manila evolved into what is now called Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System or MWSS and when its main office were transferred to Quezon City, the Carriedo fountain was brought along too.
Efforts by then Mayor Alfredo Lim to bring back the fountain to Manila were successful with one condition: a replica was to be left to MWSS. National Artist Napoleon Abueva was then commissioned to do the replica. Now there are calls for the fountain to be installed back to its original place but that’s another story. For now, while it still stands there in Sta. Cruz, I urge you to visit this artifact from the past.