Algoreth’s “Etimologias Filipinas” says that Malabon. once a quaint town, was named “Tambobong” more than four hundred years ago.
Tambobong was said to have been one of the tribal domain of Rajah Soliman, cousin of Rajah Matanda of the nearby Manila area.
The former name originated from the numerous tambo trees growing in the area. While the name that endured describes the abundant tender and edible shoots of the bamboo: “labong”, which was one of the original ingredients of Malabon’s signature dish: the Pancit “Malabon”. In the Spanish Era, the riverside town became the convenient vacation spot for the friars and government officials of the Intramuros. They were known to call the place Malabon. It was “mala” because of the mud that dirtied and ruined their expensive leather shoes and exquisite, long robes imported from Europe; and it was “bon/buen” for its restorative, fresh air and excellent cuisine.
Historians listed various years for the town’s foundation; being 1571, 1600, 1607 and 1670. Records show that March 21, 1599, Tambobong came under the administration of the Augustinian Friars as a bisita or parish along with the town of Navotas. However, after 260 years and within several years span, the twin towns were separated and rejoined and later rendered autonomous for posterity.
During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Tambobong benefited from its robust economic activities due to its proximity to the Walled City of Intramuros and the Galleon Trade in the Manila Bay Area.
In 1768, “Casa Regal de Tambobong”, a tribunal building was established indicating the town’s voice in legal and political affairs of the times.
Tambobong’s further industrialization was manifested by the 1851 establishment in Hulo of a huge tobacco factory called “La Princesa” owned by the King of Spain.
1888 was highlighted by the first Trambia de Bapor that plied Malabon’s River system which was an efficient entry to the northern provinces.
After the American Revolution of 1896-1898, Twentieth Century Malabon became a town of the Rizal Province through the Philippine Commission Act No. 137. It was reunited with the town of Navotas through Philippine Commission Act No. 942. Six years later, in January 6, 1906, Malabon and Navotas were reestablished as two distinct towns.
• May 21, 1599
Malabon was founded by the Augustinians as a visita of Tondo (It was then known as Tambobong).
• January 6, 1906
Navotas was separated from Malabon, through the initiatives of the principales of San Jose and Bangkulasi, due to the difficulty of transacting business and attending religious festivities in the mother town.
• November 7, 1975
Malabon became part of Metro Manila through Presidential Decree No. 824.
• December 8, 1999
House Bill No. 8868 entitled “An Act Converting the Municipality of Malabon into a Highly Urbanized City to be known as the City of Malabon” was approved on its Third Reading by the House of Representatives.
• February 8, 2001
House Bill No. 8868 was then approved by the Senate during its regular session.
• March 5, 2001
President of the Republic of the Philippines signed it into Law (Republic Act No. 9019).
• April 21, 2001
Republic Act 9019 was ratified after the Plebiscite.