Quezon City, already recognized as the richest city in the country for the past three years, has more than its treasury to boast when it comes to it being a rich city. Significant historical sites and landmarks, information technology zones, preserved natural sheds and developed parks, advanced communication forefronts, education and research institutions, and a wide variety of leisure spots are among its “must see” attractions.
Quezon Memorial Circle
Bearing the City’s landmark is the towering Quezon Memorial Shrine. Standing at a height of 66 meters, it represents the great years of the dreamer and founder of Quezon City, the late President Manuel Quezon. On top of the three artistically conjoined edifices of the pylon are angels that represent Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. At the heart of the pylon, below and surrounded by the three towers, directly beneath the sun, illuminated fascinatingly amidst the elegant dusk of the shrine’s interior, is the granite-finished memorial chamber of the late commonwealth president.
To enjoy an aerial view of the City’s diversified terrain and greeneries, an elevator leads the way up the pylon. Most part of the shrine’s base is a museum of Quezon’s memorabilia, some of his personal things and other relics of the early 20th century Philippines. Outside the shrine is a spacious elliptical park of various amenities such as basketball and volleyball courts, playgrounds, skating rink, bike lanes, built-in chess tables, indoor and outdoor conference halls, gardens and herbariums, stone-foot massage area, and an amphitheater; while the 2.2 kilometer-outer elliptical boundary walk serves as a challenging track for joggers and bikers. (“Quezon City” by Cultural and Tourism Affairs Office, QC Hall)
Bazaars, affordable food stops, restaurants and souvenir shops, offering products from RTW’s, street and fine-dining food to therapeutic chimes, ornamental plants, home fountains, and lovebirds of varying species are around the place. Perfect for recreational as well as educational day out of the entire family and friends, the Quezon Memorial Circle serves as a haven for people from different walks of life.
University of the Philippines-Diliman
Distinguished as the country’s premier state university, University of the Philippines Diliman (UP) carves the hallways of scholarship and academic excellence in the Philippines. It continues to produce the finest and brightest minds in the country since its establishment in 1908. Its 493-acre Diliman campus houses Filipino intellectuals, theorists, researchers, and national artists, among others. In fact, a number of Philippine presidents and innumerable political, economic and social leaders are products of UP.
Corollary with UP’s stature as an internationally competitive academic institution is its rich artistic and social value. Strategically built during the moving of UP’s pilot campus, from Padre Faura, Manila to Diliman in February 12, 1949, are the first buildings of UP Diliman. Quezon Hall, where the president of the UP System holds office together with other top administrative officers of the university, and where the infamous “Oblation” proudly looms as one approaches the long stretch of the University Avenue, represents the seat of power.
Face to face, with virtually identical architecture, are the four academic buildings that represent hallmarks of academic excellence and scholarship. These buildings are Palma Hall (College of Social Sciences and Philosophy) in front of Melchor Hall (College of Engineering) and the Benitez Hall (College of Education) face to face with Malcolm Hall (College of Law). At the heart of the campus is the Gonzales Hall (Main Library) signifying knowledge as an essential component and core value of the University.
UP itself has become a treasure chest for art enthusiasts as its buildings and structures are made by national artists and arts gurus. One would be the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, which contains in its uniquely round shape life size paintings of the stations of the cross done by no less than national artist (Malang or Malay-for confirmation). Sculptures of heroes and personalities of Philippines history carved in rough stones are from the intricate hands of (Abueva-for confirmation). The “Oblation” is crafted by the master Guillermo Tolentino in bronze signifying the boldness of student activism and search for knowledge.
Its Sunken Garden has been a commonplace for every visitor mainly because of its overwhelming size and invigorating activities of people around. The abundance of canopies of acacia trees in several roads especially around the academic oval are added attractions to the UP community and the visitors, providing shade and fresh air amidst city congestion
Sanctuario de San Pedro Bautista
Located at the heart of Frisco is the second oldest church still surviving in the Philippines-San Pedro Bautista Church in honor of the founder of the church whose relic peacefully lies beneath the cathedral. It houses 16th century religious icons from Spain and other memoirs of the ancient Philippines. It has also preserved the century-old meditation cave, sacristy, patio, and convent. (QC Visitor’s Guide, QC Tourism Council and Cultural and Tourism Affairs Office) Blocks composing the thick and preserved walls of the church reflect the type of architectural and interior design predominant in 1590 when the church was built.
Sto. Domingo Church
Transferred from Intramuros, Manila to its present location in Quezon Avenue, the Sto. Domingo Church was built by Dominicans on 1588 and until now continues to be a site for religious activity. It is home to the four-century old image of Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary), patroness of Quezon City. (Ibid) In this church once lied the remains of Martial Law martyr Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1984.
Other historical sites and shrines are the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, People Power Monument, EDSA Shrine, Tandang Sora Shrine, General Geronimo Park and the Cry of Pugad Lawin Shrine.
QC as ICT Capital of the Philippines
“Within the City are located at least eight Philippine Export Zone Authority-accredited special economic zones dedicated to information technology, which offer ready-to use facilities for IT-based businesses. The City is also home to more than 60 business processing outsourcing companies and more than 3,000 companies engaged in ICT-related businesses. Many companies, both local and international, are discovering that Quezon City is a cost-effective business location.” (Quezon City, Philippines Brochure)
La Mesa Eco-Park
Supplying water to Metro Manila households and industries is the 700-hectare lake adjacent to the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges bounded by Caloocan, Quezon City and Rizal Province. The site has been transformed from a mere filtration plant to a 2,700-hectare watershed. Aside from the reservoir, among its other attractions are the salt-water swimming pool, boating and fishing lagoon, conference pavilions perfect for camps and outdoor conferences, playgrounds, and a wide forest park. Truly, a natural hideaway within the City.
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center
“Quezon City’s zoological and botanical garden is situated near the Quezon Memorial Circle. A haven for nature lovers, this 80-hectare complex of wooded areas is conducive for picnicking and promenading. The park is equipped with children’s playground, a 25-hectare man-made lagoon, fishing village, tea house and amphitheater, the Our Lady of Peace Grotto, an Animal Resource Center, Gazebo and Craft Village.” (Op. Cit. QC, Philippines Visitor’s Guide)
Broadcast and Communication
Major TV stations and broadcasting networks converge here. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation in Mother Ignacia Street; PTV 4 of the national government at Visayas Avenue; ABC 5 at San Bartolome; GMA 7 at Timog Corner EDSA; RPN 9 and IBC 13 at Broadcast City Capitol Hills are all concentrated in Quezon City. Radio Veritas, the oldest running radio station first to go on air internationally had its beginnings in Quezon City. Some 10 other radio stations and 5 print media offices are found in Quezon City.
As a center of learning, Quezon City also houses some of the country’s best universities and educational institutions. One would be UP Diliman, a state university presented earlier. Another is the Ateneo de Manila University, which was originally located at Intramuros, Manila and is run by the Jesuits. One of the best schools in the country, Ateneo has produced popular and significant people in Philippine society. Miriam College, formerly known as MaryKnoll College, has catered to education of the women and advocated empowerment.
Other educational institutions include: Philippine Science High School, Quezon City Science High School, Philippine School of Business and the Arts, National College of Business Administration, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Far Eastern University-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, New Era University, Fatima University, and St. Joseph’s College.
Leisure and Entertainment
Malls and department stores populate the City as well. The newest ,which takes pride for its state of the art cinemas is Gateway Mall. It interconnects LRT Line 2, MRT Line 3 and Farmer’s Mall, making it more convenient for passengers and commuters to go from one place to another. Also within the Araneta business district are Ali Mall, the Araneta Coliseum, SM Cubao, among others.
SM and Robinson’s Malls still continue to give nothing but all of the things that anybody might need: from clothing, food, books, house needs, to computers and appliances, arcade shops, cinemas, spas, and salons. Everything is just what they have.
Eastwood has established a “city” in Quezon City. Conceived as the complete and modern business and leisure community, it has captivated spectators with its magnificent sites such as the Eastwood City Walk, the varied choices of bars and restaurants, shops and cinema house, not to mention its magnificent lightings. The busy nightlife of call center people spices up the Eastwood City experience as the industry is much alive in the area.
Emerging as wellness capital of the Philippines, 18 public and 46 private hospitals are eyed in keeping the citizenry healthy. “Several of these are internationally recognized specialty medical institutions with state-of-the-art facilities and managed by well-trained professionals.” (Quezon City Philippines Brochure) Among the major hospitals are the Lung Center of the Philippines, Heart Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and the National Children’s Hospital.
“Complementing these institutions are many facilities offering paramedical services, health and fitness services, alternative medicine centers, spas and beauty enhancement treatments, which put QC well into the center of the health and wellness tourism industry.”.
More than descriptive paragraphs, the best way to get to know the richness Quezon City has to offer is to explore the City. Take a visit to its “Must See’s”. Experience the wonders never before imagined in an urban world but in a Simply Better community.