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Santa Cruz is a district in the northern part of the City of Manila on the right bank of the Pasig River near its mouth, bordered by the districts of Tondo, Binondo, Quiapo, and Sampaloc, and Grace Park (Caloocan City) and La Loma (Quezon City).



Prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors to the Philippine Islands, the district of Santa Cruz was partly a marshland, patches of greeneries, orchards and partly rice fields. A Spanish expedition in 1581 claimed the territory and awarded to the Society of Jesus whose members are known as 'Jesuits'.

The Jesuits built the first Roman Catholic church in the area where the present Santa Cruz Parish stands in 1619. The Jesuits enshrined the image of the Our Lady of The Pillar in 1643 to serve the pre-dominantly Chinese residents in the area. The image drew a lot of devotees and a popular cult grew around it.

During World War II, the Japanese occupational forces, caught unaware of the fast approaching liberation in 1945 by the combined American and Filipino soldiers from the north, abandoned the northern banks of the Pasig River including Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz and much of the northern portions of Manila were spared from the artillery bombardment and many pre-World War II buildings and houses still stand in Santa Cruz.

Get in[edit]

Map of Manila/Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is connected to LRT lines 1 and 2 and the PNR. Fare: ₱12-15.

Jeepneys ply Rizal ("Abenida"), Recto and Abad Santos avenues, and routes link the district with the rest of the city as well as Pasay, Parañaque, and Caloocan.


  • 1 Manila Chinese Cemetery. The second oldest cemetery in Manila after La Loma Cemetery and was designated as the resting place for the Chinese citizens who were denied burial in Catholic cemeteries during the Spanish colonial period. Manila Chinese Cemetery (Q6749679) on Wikidata Manila Chinese Cemetery on Wikipedia
  • 2 Manila North Cemetery, Blumentritt Road. Manila's largest cemetery. Notable people buried includes Philippine presidents Sergio Osmeña, Manuel Roxas, and Ramon Magsaysay, and actor Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ). Other landmarks inside is the Mausoleum of the Veterans of the Revolution, dedicated to Filipino revolutionaries who were killed during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American war, and the Bautista-Nakpil pylon, an Art Deco grave marker designed by the architect Juan Nakpil Manila North Cemetery (Q685133) on Wikidata Manila North Cemetery on Wikipedia
  • 3 Santa Cruz Church, Bustos Street (Around Plaza Santa Cruz). One of the well known landmarks of Santa Cruz district, named after the Holy Cross, the church was built and administered by the Jesuits up to 1768. Santa Cruz Church (Q16507813) on Wikidata Santa Cruz Church (Manila) on Wikipedia
  • 4 Don Roman Santos Building, Plaza Sta. Cruz. Historical landmark, as of September 2023 it is Temporarily closed. Don Roman Santos Building on Wikipedia
  • 5 Philippine Kiu Siao Grand Taoist Temple 菲律賓九霄大道觀, #1481 Severino Reyes Street.



  • 1 SM City San Lazaro, Lacson Avenue (nearby train stations: LRT-1 Tayuman and Blumentritt, and PNR Blumentritt. Jeepney route: PITX/Baclaran-Blumentritt), +63 2 8516 9239. 10AM-9PM daily. Redeveloped from the San Lazaro Racecourse which has moved to Cavite, it is the only large mall in the district, with more than 300 shops, boutiques and outlets. Has a food court, 6 cinemas, and a department store. SM City San Lazaro (Q7391483) on Wikidata SM City San Lazaro on Wikipedia -
  • 2 Blumentritt Street market, Blumentritt Street. Open 24 hours. Just below the LRT. this street is full of small stalls selling all kinds of cheap products. Some products include: shoes, baking materials, beauty products and clothing. Although patrolled by police, it is still full of pickpockets.


  • SM City San Lazaro - Has a lot restaurants and fast-food chains to choose from. Some include: Yellow Cab Pizza, Sbarro Pizza, Jollibee, McDonald's, KFC, Karate Kid, and Congo Grille.
  • Blumentritt Street Market - Also sells street food. Please choose the food which you think is clean. Unlike other countries in Asia, street food in the Philippines is not closely monitored by any government agency.
  • 1 Lola Ely's Tapsilog Atbp., #318 Bambang Street corner Felix Huertas Street. 9AM-midnight. One of Manila's best tapsilogan eatery.
  • 2 Chades Tapsilog, #315 Remigio Street, +63 28 736 2276. 7:20AM–1AM. One of Manila's best tapsilogan eatery. Also has branch in Alvarez Street.
  • 3 The Thai Plate - Fugoso St, #1585 Fugoso Street corner Rizal Avenue, +63 927 497 8569. 10:30AM–7:30PM. Thai restaurant.
  • 4 Bakers' Fair - Oroquieta, #1016-1020 Oroquieta Road, +63 2567 1234. 6AM–9PM. One of the oldest and best bakeshop in the Philippines.
  • 5 Ambos Mundos Restaurant, #750 F. Torres Street, +63 926 627 8954. 7:30AM–6PM. Chinese food restaurant, one of Manila's popular Chinese restaurants.
  • 6 Delicious Restaurant, #580 F. Torres Street corner Gonzalo Puyat Street, +63 28 733 0401. 10AM–9:30PM. One of the best restaurants in Manila.



  • 1 Swiss-Belhotel Blulane, 609 Tomas Mapua St, +63 2 8777 2258. Features a Cantonese restaurant and breakfast buffet for a surcharge; otherwise, there's a complimentary basic breakfast. Wifi and a/c and TVs in the rooms of this highrise. ₱1874.
  • 2 Manila Grand Opera Hotel, 925 Rizal Avenue corner Doroteo Jose Sts. Sta. Cruz (beside Doroteo Jose Light Rail Transit Terminal, Rizal Avenue; a few kilometers away from domestic and international airports, the city’s business and commercial centers and tour destinations), +63 2 3140090. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. The Manila Grand Opera Hotel, the only elegant hotel in downtown Manila, stands at the former site of the Manila Grand Opera House known for many years as the “theater with a history”. ₱2000.
  • 3 Winford Resort and Casino Manila, #1800 Consuelo Street (at the back of SM City San Lazro).
  • 4 RedDoorz@Good 101 Quiricada Manila, #1625 Quiricada Street, +63 249 8745. Check-in: 2PM. RedDoorz on Wikipedia
  • 5 RedDoorz near Bambang Station, #1705 Bambang Street corner Felix Huertas Street. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.
  • 6 Fersal Hotel Manila, #1455 Alfonso Mendoza Street, +63287427292. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.
  • 7 RedDoorz @ Jardin LRT Tayuman Manila, #1830 Rizal Avenue (near Tayuma-LRT Station). Check-in: 2PM. RedDoorz on Wikipedia
  • 8 OYO 797 Brickwood Suites, #1820 Oroquieta Road (near SM City San Lazaro), +63 2 8271 1818. Check-in: 2PM.
  • 9 Vista Hotel & Restaurant, #1531 Recto Avenue, +63 936 889 1289. Check-in: 2PM.

Go next[edit]

  • Alabang - 40 minutes away from Blumentritt via PNR. Fare costs around ₱20.
  • Quezon City - 20 minutes away from Blumentritt via Line 1. Hop down at Roosevelt Station. Fare costs around ₱15. 30 minutes away from Blumentritt via jeepney. From Rizal Avenue, take a jeepney bound for "Munoz Frisco" and ask driver to drop you off at Frisco. Fare costs around ₱11.
  • Tondo - 10-30 minutes away from Blumentritt. From Rizal Avenue, take a jeepney bound for "Divisoria", hop-off at Tutuban Mall.
Routes through Quiapo (by car)
Tondo  N  S  San MiguelSampaloc
ErmitaQuiapo  S  N  TondoCaloocan
Tondo  S  N  Binondo

Routes through Quiapo (by rapid transit)
PasayQuiapo  S  N  TondoCaloocan
Divisoria  N  S  SampalocMakati

This district travel guide to Santa Cruz is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.