Quezon City (: Lungsod Quezon) is the largest city in the Philippines and is one of the constituent cities of Metro Manila. Commonly called QC or Kyusi, it has a population of 2.68 million people. It has become the hub of information technology and its entertainment industry in the Philippines. The city was named after former Philippine president Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina. Quezon City was the country's capital from 1946 until 1972, when the seat of government was returned to neighboring Manila. Quezon City consists of five districts.
Quezon City is a city of contrasts, mixing old and new, rich and poor, and traditional and modern. Administratively, the city is divided into 127 barangays that are generally used in addresses and for official purposes; in addition, there are also a number of traditional areas, like Cubao, Diliman, New Manila, etc., that have since been subdivided but are still commonly used in addresses and when giving directions. For the purposes of this guide, these can be broadly grouped into seven districts.
Originally created to become the future capital of the Philippines, Quezon City houses various government agencies whose buildings were constructed under the original masterplan laid out by the American architect and urban planner William Parsons. Quezon City is the largest city in terms of population, resulting from its gradual expansion and rural-urban migration; the 2015 census gives a population of over 2.9 million. The city is home to every person from all walks of life, from the richest to the poorest, and the contrasts are almost ubiquitous to this city.
Quezon City has no single place considered the city center; it is a multipolar city, with central business districts and commercial centers scattered at different points. Quezon City sprawls out at almost every direction, and this is manifested by the low-density developments that border each business and commercial center, and the scarcity of high-density homes for poorer residents have led to its notorious overcrowding illustrated by slums forming overnight, even after demolitions or fires break them down. The major business districts are grand old Cubao, glitzy North EDSA at the North Triangle neighborhood, with its large malls, and the classy Libis or Eastwood area at the southeast (a little version of Singapore's Orchard Road, but with its Hollywood-esque twist: the Philippines' Walk of Fame). If you are seeking the city's nighlife, the Scout Area provides all you need to hang out through the night.
HistoryQuezon City was originally conceived as the future capital of the Philippines under the Philippine Commonwealth government, as Manila is becoming overpopulated. Most of the city has been planned by the urban planner, William E. Parsons. Most areas that are now Quezon City are acquired from various municipalities in Rizal. Many government buildings were built to house the agencies as they move from Manila. Only parts of the plan have came to fruition when the Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1941, when World War II erupted. After World War II, Quezon City further expanded by ceding parts of Caloocan to form the Novaliches district, resulting to the geographic division of the municipality.
The city has a tropical climate; daytime temperatures fall between 30s (86–102 °F), and has two seasons: dry and wet. Because of its location near the forested and rainy Sierra Madre, the dry season is rather cut short by the southwest monsoon. Average annual humidity is high, making the heat very unbearable, so dry season heat can take toll on your body; you will sweat easily on a short stay outside and do frequent changes in clothing.
By planeNinoy Aquino International Airport is to the south, straddling Pasay and Parañaque. From there, travelers generally take a taxi or bus.
- Taxi: All three terminals have taxi stands, served by yellow airport taxis, which charge double as the white ordinary taxis, which can only be used on trips to the airport and can only be hailed outside. It is also possible to just use the ride-hail service Grab from the airport.
- Bus: For comfort, there are premium point-to-point buses provided by UBE Express, which alights at Cubao. Cheaper, but can be slower due to Manila's perennial congestion are city buses with more frequent stops, which terminate near Terminal 2.
Cubao has most of the terminals for provincial buses coming from both north and south; see district page for complete listings.
For trips from the north, the big players are Five Star, Victory Liner's twin, the Partas, Viron and Dominion trio with trips to destinations in Ilocos Region, and Genesis to Central Luzon.
From the south, the big names are DLTB and Philtranco. DLTB has excellent coverage of CALABARZON, Bicol, but does not serve Mindoro, and has limited service to Eastern Visayas. Philtranco, the long-haul brother of Jam, has trips to Mindoro (San Jose), Eastern Visays (Tacloban, Ormoc, and Maasin), and Mindanao (Davao and Cagayan de Oro).
Only for trips from the north, it is possible to get down at Balintawak or North Avenue. From the south, it is only possible to get down near Robinsons Galleria.
City busA huge majority of Metro Manila's bus routes lead to Quezon City; general info is at Metro Manila#Get around
Several options are available covering various distances and some areas are accessible only by certain means of transportation.
By jeepney or busJeepney is the cheapest mode of transportation and most major roads and destinations are covered by multiple jeepney routes. Public buses, operated by private bus companies, are also available on main routes and could be more convenient and roughly the same price as jeepneys.
By taxiMetered taxis are probably the most comfortable option - just be wary of large taxi fares during rush hours and drivers being picky on their passengers (they try to avoid destinations in crowded areas).
By tricycleSmaller lanes and roads in residential areas are plied with bicycles fitted with side cars, termed padyak or traysikel.
By trainFinally, two lines of the metro system (LRT Line 2 and MRT Line 3) run through some main points along the city. While their area coverage is limited - this is the best option for avoiding road traffic especially during rush hour (the metro system is bound to get crowded as well though).
By carQuezon City has wide avenues, with widest being Commonwealth Avenue, but driving is not advised for the faint of heart; the city has a high rate of road accidents, and driving habits tend to be aggressive, with worse offenders being bus or jeepney drivers, who drive at the klaxon to pick more passengers.
While alternative routes are set up on areas of the city, many of them still have problems with parked vehicles or other road obstructions, that are still prevalent despite crackdown by local authorities.
Quezon Memorial CircleA national park and shrine bounded by the Elliptical Road. At its center is a mausoleum containing the remains of Manuel L. Quezon, the second President of the Philippines. The park surrounding the shrine is one of the few green lungs in the city, and is a haven for joggers and bikers alike. There are also eating establishments within the park, for those who'd rather sit and people watch. A railway station is being planned for the park, but until then the best option for a tourist is to take a cab.
- Mabuhay Rotonda - Known as "Welcome Rotonda" before the name was changed during the 1990s. Built in 1948 during the term of Mayor Ponciano Bernardo. Quezon City had been declared the capital of the Philippines on July 17, 1948 and so the monument was build to welcome people to the capital, hence “Welcome Rotonda”.
- Tandang Sora Birth Site - The place where the house of Melchora Aquino stood. It was in this site that she took care of the wounded Katipuneros and provided them food and shelter. Known as "Tandang Sora" she was officially adopted "Heroine of Quezon City" by a City Council Resolution. She died at the age of 107 on March 12, 1919.
Nature and wildlife
- Santo Domingo Church - home to the statue of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, said to be more than 400 years old.
- San Pedro Bautista - one of the oldest churches in the country, housing the bones of the patron saint. There is also a catacomb in the basement of the church where the friars of the past were buried.
- Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish Church - A quiet church near former President Cory Aquino and current President Noynoy Aquino in Brgy. West Triangle, Quezon City
- Capitol City Baptist Church - in West Avenue
- Museo ng Buhay Pilipino (Museum of Philippine Life) - houses furnishings, tools, and implements used by Filipinos in the past.
Other places of interest
- Tomas Morato and Timog Avenue Tourist Belt Area - where restaurants, bars, clubs, and other retail and entertainment establishments are found
- Goethe Institute Art Gallery - this is a gallery displaying early to mid-19th century Philippine art works
- La Loma Cockpit - one of the biggest cockpit arena in the country where cock fighting or sabong is held during Sundays and holidays. This supposed sport results in a cruel forced fight to the death between 2 male 'cocks' which have blades strapped to their legs. This is a large form of careless gambling that occurs within the area.
- Ma Mon Luk - along Quezon Avenue and established in the 1920s, this restaurant is famous for its noodles and siopao (Chinese: 燒包; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: sio-pau)
- Araneta Center - A mixed use residential and commercial complex housing several malls and budget accommodations. An ideal transport base as it's LRT-2 and MRT-3 stations connects 2 major lines which is a north to south line and an east to west line. Also houses several city and provincial bus terminals for travel within the metro or to other provinces. It is also home to the "Big Dome" which is the biggest arena in the country.
- University of the Philippines Diliman - a coeducational and public research university and among the top 500 universities in the world
- Ateneo de Manila University - a private teaching and research university run by Jesuits and among the top 500 universities in the world
- Football for Peace Int'l-Phil. 2010 C.E. - a foundation-like group founded in North Fairview. It offers paid and free lessons on football (soccer) to children depending on financial capacity. Practice sessions held every Saturday in North Fairview Ph8 clubhouse playground at 7-10AM; in Quezon Memorial Circle Football Field every Saturday at 3-6PM. Football and other activities for children like arts, music, languages and other lessons. +63 927-400-8939.
Dining options vary upon each area or district of this large city. In the Diliman/Katipunan area, where some of the best universities in the country are located, dining options are largely geared towards the student population (though this does not say anything about the range or quality of available options posh dining is equally possible). The Tomas Morato area is a known nightlife area and serve good options for both dining and drinking, especially afterwork. When all else fails, people flock to the nearest mall (within just this city, there are several) survey the dining options there (from posh and chic restaurants to fast food dining in food courts).
- PenPen, 105-C Scout Castor St. South Triangle, near the Tomas Morato strip. Serving Filipino comfort food everyday. It offers Filipino favorites with an added twist, due to the use of gourmet ingredients such as red wine in callos (a savory stew of ox tripe and leg flavored with spicy chorizo de bilbao and traditionally served with olives) and gourmet daing (dried fish) in pasta to name a few. Its best-seller is the crispy liempo (pork belly) with vinegar dip. Other notable favorites include spicy bicol express (savory and delicious dish made with succulent pork and coconut cream), creamy kalabasa soup (squash soup), mini cordon-bleu (chicken nuggets prepared like cordon bleu)and tinapa (smoked fish) flakes pasta. The prices are affordable and the servings filling.
Hossein's Persian Kebabphone: +63 2-901-5613address: R-3005 Level M3, Trinoma Mall Edsa, North AvenueServes authentic Indian, Arabian, Malaysian and Persian cuisine. Halal certified.
- Blissful Belly 2nd Floor Llanar Bldg. 77 Xavierville Avenue, Quezon City. Phone: 426 6363. Continental restaurant and café. Very vegan/vegetarian friendly. Cakes, bread and juices are also available.
Daily Veggie n’ Caféphone: +63 2 711 8209address: 540 Banawe cor. Calamba StFriendly Chinese restaurant for the travelling vegan or vegetarian.
- Greens Café and Restaurant 92 Scout Castor. +63 415 4796 / 376 2781. Continental restaurant with many vegetarian and vegan friendly options including cake.
Kong Tiakphone: +63 2 732 1917, +63 917 6087362address: 27 Macopa St., Santa Mesa HeightsChinese restaurant with a variety of options to choose from.
- Yoh-Gurt Froz Thompson Square, Tomas Morato.
- Baywick Station at 1C Buick St. Fairview, Quezon City... Near FEU Hospital Fairview. They serve unli-GOTO with tokwa't baboy for , sizzling meals with unli-rice starting at , silog meals with unli-rice as low as . +63 431-8001...
phone: +63 2 9943717 or +63 2 5774224 or +63 2 4021587address: 99-A Dangay St., Project 7They offer air-conditioned suites equipped with kitchenette, air-conditioning, and Internet access. Other amenities can be requested, such as a DVD and audio player, hair dryer, stove, and cutlery. Some of its amenities include housekeeping services, laundry and dry cleaning, and complimentary parking (limited slots only).
Women should be careful, or preferable, wear modestly when outside, as Quezon City has a troubling rate of street harassment, most commonly cat-calling and wolf-whistling, usually by bystanders. Women travellers should travel in groups, especially at night.
Quezon City has its share of rough areas, and the problems do perfectly rhyme: slums, fires, trash, thugs and drugs. Commonwealth and Payatas are the seediest of the city's barangays, but there is more of it; parts of the Scout Area are best avoided. Fortunately, most slums are outside the tourist track, so they are best avoided for a good reason.
Beware also of scams on taxis and tricycles, most commonly where the driver pretends to know you. There are numerous case of locals falling victim to these scams, usually becoming victims of robbery, or brought to illicit locations, if not being ripped off on the fare. Women should take caution when calling a ride, especially at night and when alone.
Within Metro ManilaVisiting Manila may come to your mind after staying in Quezon City. Other options within the metro are:
- Makati – Philippines' financial capital, with towering skyscrapers, the glitzy Ayala Center, and high society, contrasting with the hassles of crowded residential districts.
- Marikina - The "Shoe Capital of the Philippines", not complete without visiting its Shoe Museum or strolling the Riverbanks.
- San Juan – Shop till you drop at the Greenhills Shopping Center, or if you're lucky to visit on June, join the Wattah-wattah Festival, part of the Feast of St. John the Baptist celebrations with water fights resembling Songkran celebrations, and get wet.
Northern LuzonQuezon City is a hub for buses to northern Luzon.
- Alaminos – The Hundred Islands with its pristine beaches.
- Baguio – The "Summer Capital of the Philippines", with cool climate, pine trees, and mountains.
- Banaue – World-famous rice terraces and Ifugao culture
- San Fernando – Taste of Kapampangan cuisine and the spirit of Filipino Christmas.
- Vigan – Heritage city with a well-preserved downtown