Quezon City: Where The Heart Is

By Anna Galathea

Named after one of the renowned greatest leaders in Philippine history, Quezon City is a reflection of a colorful past and a contemporary present.

Born from the heart of a visionary leader, Quezon City was a product of former Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon’s dream of a city where Filipinos can live with dignity; and that will become the future capital of the Philippines to replace the City of Manila. And so for three decades (1948-1976), Quezon City was the country’s capital and where the national seat of government was located.

It is the largest city in Metro Manila and the largest city in the Philippines. It is also the most populous city in the country. At present, it has become the hub of information technology and the entertainment industry in the Philippines. The good news is, Quezon City has one of the lowest poverty levels in the Philippines. It is considered as a premier city because of its progress and performance, having a close to 60,000 business establishments. It is bordered by Manila to the southwest, by Caloocan and Valenzuela City to the west and northwest.

BRIEF HISTORY

Before it became a city, there were small individual towns present here such as San Francisco Del Monte, Novaliches, and Balintawak. In 1938, President Quezon bought 1,529 hectares of land from the vast Dilliman estate of the Tuason family. This piece of land was formerly called as “Barrio Obrero” or “Workers’ Village.” The following year, the National Assembly of the Philippine Commonwealth enacted the Commonwealth Act 502, known as the Charter of Quezon City. It was originally proposed to carry the name of “Balintawak City,” but some assembly men pushed to have the city named after the incumbent president. By October 12, 1939, President Quezon signed the Bill into law, thus the birth of the new city. The progress of the city was interrupted when World War II in 1941 took place. On July 17, 1948, Quezon City officially became the capital of the Philippines and seat of government.

In 1975, former President Ferdinand Marcos enacted a law establishing Metro Manila. Quezon City became one of Metro Manila’s 17 cities and municipalities. The next year, Manila was restored to being the country’s capital by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 940 on June 24, 1976.

By the 1950s, revisions on the city’s land area were made. From President Quezon’s purchase of 15.29 km2 (6 sq mi) land in 1938, it has kept increasing and now, Quezon City is 161.12 km2 (62 sq mi).

ATTRACTIONS AND LANDMARKS

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Photo by Judgefloro

The Quezon Heritage House – this reconstructed house of the late President and founding father, Manuel L. Quezon is a part of the city’s cultural and historical treasure. It was formerly located at Gilmore Street in New Manila but was moved and is now at the Quezon Memorial Circle. It carries loving memories for the former President’s family where good times were shared; it was a place of refuge for a brave leader who laid the foundations of establishing an independent nation; its living room is the cradle of the Philippine National Red Cross where Doña Aurora Quezon established the institute right at this room. This house is a heritage for the Filipinos which reflects the birth of the country’s premier city more than 70 years ago.

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Photo by Mikelaagan

Quezon Memorial Circle – has a shrine where lies the remains of President Quezon and his wife, the First lady Doña Aurora Quezon on a mausoleum. This place is a national park and shrine bounded by the Elliptical Road. The shrine was modeled after Napoleon Bonaparte’s catafalque in Les Invalides, France; and was the brainchild of Ferderico Ilustre, an architect who bested other finalists who competed to create the monument’s final design. The monument’s three vertical pylons symbolize the Philippine’s three largest islands: Luzon. Visayas, and Mindanao. These pylons measure 66 m in height, based on President Quezon’s age when he died on August 1, 1944. The three angels holding sampaguita wreaths on top of the pylons were created by Italian sculptor Monti. The QC circle brings a refreshing solitude for visitors with its greenery and peaceful ambiance.

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Photo by Ninjakeg

La Mesa Eco Park – located at the outskirts of Quezon City, this 33-hectare ecological park provides a haven for nature-loving visitors with its greenery, lagoon, and other activities which people can enjoy. La Mesa Eco Park is part of the 2,700 hectares of the La Mesa Watershed, a water reservoir more than 70 feet deep and is the principal source of Metro Manila’s drinking water. This park is a favourite spot for horseback riding, hiking, mountain-biking, zip-lining, rapelling, and fishing. The lagoon offers paddle boat-riding similar to Baguio’s Burnham Park. A large salt- water pool invites swimmers for a refreshing dip as it uses salt granules instead of chlorine making its water safer and less toxic. Other attractions at the Eco Park are the Eco-Trail which gives a glimpse of the dynamics of a forest ecosystem; the Ecomuseum which is about environmental education and biodiversity education; the Pilot Organic Farm; and an Orchidarium with rare species of orchids.

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Photo by Ramon F. Velasquez

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife – is a favourite spot for kids because of its zoo, botanical garden, and a man-made lagoon for boating and fishing activities. This park houses different species of trees and animals which also include the country’s national bird, the monkey-eating eagle. Aside from the mini zoo, the park has a wildlife rescue center that adopts and takes care of animals that have been abandoned, confiscated or donated. The park also houses a vast playground, cottages, picnic groves, a tea house, a grotto, a rock garden and a 2.5 hectare man-made lagoon. This is a favourite spot for families, animal-lovers, and visitors wanting solitude.

Quezon-City4University of the Philippines Dilliman – the national university. It is not only an educational institution, but is also a center of research. It is also the alma mater of prominent figures in politics, business, education, law, hospitality, etc. It was recognized as one of the top 500 universities in the world.

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Photo by Zuanzuanfuwa

Eastwood City – is a 17-hectare enclosure composed of commercial and residential development in Bagumbayan, Quezon City. Visitors dubbed it a city within a city. It was developed by Megaworld Corporation and was launched in 1997. It has luxury condominium towers, and fancy spots for shopping and dining activities. Currently, it hosts the Walk of Fame Philippines or Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which is the Philippine version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame; the Eastwood Mall; the Eastwood City Cyberpark which is an approved IT center by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and houses call centers, research and development companies, and other export-oriented companies. Major tenants with residing offices here are IBM, Accenture, Dell, Citibank, etc. Eastwood City is a haven for shopping, dining, and entertainment. This is a bustling place for city lovers to live in, work, and enjoy night life.

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www.fernwoodgarden.com

Fernwood Gardens – an all-time favourite garden wedding venue with 40-60 feet high translucent sky domes. It has four majestic rainforest-type gardens with air-conditioning and has their own special features like landscaped trees, lagoons, waterfalls, exotic birds and fishes, and a glass dance floor with lights underneath. A horse and carriage is also available for a grand entrance. It has its own church inside, the St. Francis of Assisi Nature Chapel where wedding rites can be held. Other features include a splendid white gazebo inspired by Castle Versailles of France, and stone wall entrance with pillars and carvings reminiscent of the 17th century Chateau de Brecy’s majestic gate in Normandy.

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Photo by Ramon F. Velasquez

Smart Araneta Coliseum – or also renowned as The Big Dome, is an internationally recognized indoor multi-purpose sports arena located in Cubao, Quezon City. By 1960-1963, it was honored as the largest covered coliseum in the world. At present, it remains one of the largest clear span domes in the world and the largest indoor facility in Asia with a dome diameter of 108 meters (until it was outstaged by Japan in 2001). It occupies a total land area of almost 40,000 square meters and has a floor area of 23,000 square metres. The Big Dome is home for the Philippine Basketball Association championship games, boxing games, local and international concerts, circuses, religios gatherings, beauty pageants.

Tandang Sora Birth Site – this is the home of one of the Philippine national heroes, Melchora Aquino, or “Tandang Sora” as she is known. This became a place of refuge for wounded Katipuneros (revolutionists) where Tandang Sora took care of them and gave them food and shelter. She died on March 12, 1919 at the age of 107.

Museo ng Buhay Pilipino (Museum of Philippine Life) – being the first lifestyle museum in the Philippines, this museum depicts the nineteenth century lifestyle of the lowland Christian Filipinos which includes the Tagalogs, Ilocanos, Pampangueños, Cebuanos, Ilonggos, Warays, and Bicolanos. It is full of tools, furniture, traditional dresses, and artifacts that give visitors a feel of what life was like for our ancestors. This museum defines and preserves the traditional heritage of the so-called “Lowland Christian groups.” It is located in the Central Bank Mint Building, East Avenue, Q.C. (across the Philippine Heart Center).

OTHER PLACES TO GO TO AT QC

Shopping:

Gateway Mall
Ali Mall
Famers Plaza
SM City North
EDSA Trinoma

Dine:


PenPen (near Tomas Morato strip) – serving Filipino comfort food

Hossein’s Persian Kebab – Level M3 Trinoma Mall – serving authentic Indian, Arabian, Malaysian, and Persian cuisine. Halal certified.

Blissful Belly – Xavierville Avenue – continental and vegetarian food

Daily Veggie n’ Café – Banawe cor. Calamba street – Chinese vegetarian food

Kong Tiak – Santa Mesa Heights – Chinese restaurant

Yoh-Gurt Froz – Tomas Morato – best frozen yogurt in the country

Banapple – Katipunan Avenue – restaurant cum bakeshop serving one of the best cakes and pies in town

Manang’s Clubhouse – Loyola Heights – open- air homestyle Filipino cooking

There are many more dining spots in Quezon City, they offer a wide variety of local and international cuisines that aim to satisfy hungry palletes.

Accomodation:

Danarra Hotel
ACL Suites
Dangay Suites
Gran Prix Econotel Cubao
Stonehouse Hotel
Fernandina Garden Suites
Casa Pura
Crowne Plaza Galleria
Robbinsdale Residences
And many more…

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Aerial view of Quezon City with Welcome Rotonda in the foreground Photo by Patrickroque01

QUICK FACTS

Land area

With a land area of 161.126 sq. km. or 16,112.8 hectares,). Quezon City is more than four times the size of Manila, nearly six times the expanse of Makati, and more than 14 times bigger than Mandaluyong. It is almost one-fourth the expanse of Metro Manila.

Geography

Quezon City is located near the center of Metro Manila, towards its northeastern portion. It is bordered by Manila to the southwest, by Caloocan City and Valenzuela City to the west and northwest. Towards the south, lies San Juan and Mandaluyong City, while Marikina City and Pasig City borders Quezon City to the southeast. Towards the north, across Marilao River, lies San Jose del Monte City in the province of Bulacan, and towards the east, lies Rodriguez and San Mateo, both in the province of Rizal.

Located at the heart of Metro Manila, Quezon City is also its strategic convergence point for the metropolitan road and transportation networks, making the City an ideal distribution hub. It is easily accessible from the major highways, thoroughfares and mass rail transit systems of the metropolis.

Population

2012 estimate is 3,179,536 people, with a 2.92% annual growth rate. It is the most populated city of the Philippines. The city is a melting pot of cultures with hundreds of constituents from other parts of the country migrating to it every year. Population density is 19,933 persons per kilometer.

Other Demographics

  • Ratio is female 51 (1.63M): male 49 (1.55M)
  • Number of households: 706,564
  • Generally young population, with 38% less than 21 years old
  • 99% are Catholics

Language

The national language is Filipino, but English is widely spoken. English is the primary language of trade, government, media and education, as is the case in the entire Philippines.

Education

98.32% literacy rate
School-age population
(3-21 years) of 1,211,914

Pre-school age population
(3 to 5 years) of 269,610

Elementary-age population
(6 to 11 years) of 577,002

High school-age population
(12 to 15 years) of 241,363

College level-age population
(16 to 21 years) of 393,549

Public school enrollment
264,535 elementary pupils
151,569 high school students
99 public elementary schools
274 private elementary schools
48 public high schools
175 private high schools
90 colleges and universities
272 City-government owned daycare centers

Businesses

62,679 businesses registered (2012)

Financial services

666 branches of commercial and universal banks
150 branches of savings, thrift, rural and other banks
258 lending investors
101 savings and loan associations
147 foreign exchange dealers

Communications and Media

573,866 installed phone lines
357,416 (62% subscription rate of installed lines)
Also in wide use, cellular phones, as well as pre-paid and post-paid land-based (uninstalled) phones

No. of Media companies
23 radio stations
11 broadcast (multimedia) companies
4 newspaper publishing companies
6 cable TV stations

Quezon-City-1aInformation Technology (IT)

30 Information Technology Parks, occupying
113.89 hectares
160 software design companies
100 call centers. outsourcing services companies
84 telecommunications services providers
75 computer programming firms

Health and Wellness

15 government hospitals and 32 private hospitals. with 8,303 total bed capacity
271 general medical clinics
211 optical clinics
154 dental clinics
141 x-ray and diagnostic clinics
96 dermatological clinics
36 therapeutic clinics
33 veterinary clinics
24 psycological clinics
19 maternity clinics
9 ambulatory surgical clinics

Parks and Developed Open Spaces
231 community parks
32 neighborhood parks
8 major/special parks
6 historical parks
9 street parks

Major Parks:
• Quezon Memorial Circle (25 hectares)
• Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center (80 hectares)
• Special Parks:
• La Mesa Eco Park (33 hectares)
• UP Arboretum (16 hectares)

 

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