Known as the "University Belt” of Metropolitan Manila, Sampaloc is a parish-district north of the Pasig River. Many of the streets are named after pen names and characters from the novels of the Philippine National Hero, José Rizal.
Things to do
Lacson Avenue is the main artery running through Sampaloc and where the University of Santo Tomas and the Dominican School of Manila can be found. It’s ignited by the colour and fragrance of the Dangwa Flower Market, where street vendors and small boutiques sell wholesale to florists across Manila.
One of the most impressive architectural landmarks in Sampaloc is the Main Building of the University of Santo Tomas, designed by Friar Roque Ruaño as the first earthquake-resistant building in the Philippines. Its grandiose Renaissance Revival architecture is complemented by statues that reflect the intellectual and spiritual aspirations of the university.
The centre of religious life at the University of Santo Tomas is the Santissimo Rosario Parish. It enshrines the image of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila, which was saved from the bombings that destroyed the Old Santo Domingo Church in Manila’s historic Intramuros district.
Don’t miss a visit to the most famous church in Sampaloc, the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, named after the Italian pilgrimage site. The current church was built in the mid-20th century after the original church, was destroyed during the Battle of Manila.
Sampaloc is a major hub for bus companies travelling across Luzon and is served by the Laong Laan and España train stations. Public buses and jeepneys are the main forms of transport, yet most sights are within easy walking distance of one another.