The City of Malabon is well-known for its fishing industry, its famous pancit (Malabon and luglug), its kakanin (puto sulot, sapin-sapin, and so forth), as well as its historical significance for housing numerous landmarks that played key roles in our history.
One of these landmarks is The Diocesan Shrine & Parish of Immaculate Conception in Malabon, where the magnificent image of La Immaculada Concepcion de Malabon can be venerated. The church is located in Barangay Concepcion, directly across from the barangay hall. It is one of Malabon’s three best known churches, which dates back to the Spanish period.
According to the historical marker installed by the National Historical Institute, the church was founded in 1607 by the Augustinian Priests as a Visita in Hacienda Tambobong (now Malabon City), under the patronage of La Purisima. The first chapel was erected with stone and bricks in 1866, but it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1880. The structure we see now was established in 1886 and was occupied by the Philippine Independent Church on November 26, 1902, when the Aglipayan sect took over the visita and turned it into a Aglipayan center. The Catholic Church filed a case, and four years later, on November 24, 1906, it was returned to the Roman Catholic Church in accordance with the order of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
In September 1907, the visita of Concepcion became a full-fledged parish.
Numerous miracles were attributed to the miraculous image of La Inmaculada Concepcion de Malabon. Most notable one was in 1880, when a wealthy Chinese businessman accidentally fell into the Malabon River. With only driftwood as a lifeline, he awaited rescue. He prayed to the Virgin and promised to assist in the construction of her chapel if he lived. He was ready to let go when a boat arrived just in time to pull him out of the waters. True to his word, he gave the Church a marble font in 1886, inscribed with the name of his wife, Doña Atanacia Quepangco.
Due to the miracles that are attributed to the Virgin, Pope John Paul II approved the canonical coronation of the old image of La Immaculada Conception of Malabon on September 16, 1986. Ynang, as her devotees affectionately refer to her, received the honor of Canonical Coronation from Jaime Cardinal Sin, Manila Archbishop on December 7, 1986.
And recently, following the petition of its parish priest, Rev. Fr. Joey C. Enriquez, the parish was elevated to the status of a Diocesan Shrine on December 8, 2021.
Despite its old age, the interior of the diocesan shrine looks remarkably modern—freshly painted, with its many ceilings showcasing murals depicting the fourteen stations of the cross. Its sides feature large buttresses, installed to prevent the prior earthquake incident.
A structure rich in history and miracles, the Diocesan Shrine & Parish of Immaculate Conception (Malabon) is surely a delight for history buffs and devouts alike. If you’re planning to visit for a mass, make sure to visit their Facebook page for details and schedules! (PIA-NCR)