Artex Compound

Posted on December 8, 2012


Dec. 3, 2012 – Artex Compound

The Venice of Manila, maybe a little less romantic.


“…one of the most interesting and dramatic places in Malabon and has become a sort of a tourist attraction especially among photography aficionados.

Artex a.k.a. Yupangco Cotton Mills, Inc. was a long-time producer of fine textiles. During its heyday, this factory was considered the largest and most cutting-edge of its kind in Asia.

Artex Compound actually referred to the company’s housing project next to the factory for some of its workers. The company stopped operation in 1989 following a labor strike. To protest non-payment of their salaries and benefits, the workers held out and stayed in these houses since.

Because Artex is located in Panghulo, one of the lowest-lying barangays in Malabon, exacerbated by the reclamation of many “dead” fishponds by real estate developers, the compound has become a catch basin and is now submerged in water all year round.

Today, many locals call the entire complex (not just the housing part) Artex Compound.

Riding the banca (native boat) is the only means of transportation within the compound.”

According to ate our boat-rower, Artex kids as young as three or four can already row a boat skillfully (better than me, I suppose – I can’t evendisplace a boat).

When it rains, the water level can go up to 10 feet – maybe even more. A water pump had once been used to suck the water out, but there’s just too much to suck out. Some of the residents don’t even want the water out – they have learned to use Artex’s popularity for profit.

Tip: it’s best to hop on a boat with another person to save money. And don’t even expect the water to be clean :))

It’s fun to shoot kids!

Wow that sounds so wrong. Haha. My Photojourn prof always insists that we put people in our pictures. That was kind of my mistake in the dumpsite shoot. So here, people.