Quezon City is a highly urbanized area where its people and infrastructure define modern city living in the Philippines. However, there is another side to the city that doesn’t involve the mundanity of the daily grind. Spread across the city are historical landmarks that commemorate important people and events that have helped shape the Philippines into the country it is today. Many of these landmarks are located near hotels in Quezon City, so history buffs who are staying in the city for a few days can visit them with ease.
If you’re into Philippine history and have a couple of hours to spare to explore Quezon City, here are 4 historical landmarks in the city you should definitely visit.
Quezon Memorial Circle
The Quezon Memorial Circle is one of the most recognizable historical landmarks in the city. This national park adds a touch of green to the city’s urbanized landscape, providing families, sports enthusiasts, and passersby a place to enjoy the outdoors. What makes the Quezon Memorial Circle a historical landmark, however, is the towering memorial shrine dedicated to the legacy of the former Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon.
The site was designed by Architect Federico Illustre and was completed in 1978. It features three towers to represent the Philippines’ three major islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Sitting atop each tower is an angel holding a sampaguita wreath, each of which was sculpted by Italian artist Francesco Riccardo Monti. Moreover, the pylons stand 66 meters high, which is a significant number as it signifies the age when Manuel L. Quezon died.
Apart from the monument, the Quezon Memorial Circle also houses two museums: the Quezon Heritage House and the Presidential Car Museum. In the Quezon Heritage House, visitors can get a glimpse of the former’s president private life while touring the home. The Presidential Car Museum, on the other hand, houses the largest collection of historic state cars in the country—displaying 12 presidential cars and the profiles of each user.
Bantayog ng Mga Bayani
The Bantayog ng Mga Bayani was inaugurated on November 30, 1992. It’s located near Quezon Avenue and EDSA, and it was built to commemorate the martyrs and heroes who sacrificed their lives during Martial Law.
Martial Law is by far one of the darkest periods in Philippine history. When the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, placed the country under Martial Law on September 21, 1972, and it marked the beginning of the 14-year fight against the injustices done during the regime. Many Filipinos fought for the freedom of the Philippines during this period, and many of them lost their lives. The Bantayog ng Mga Bayani aims to honor the memory of these heroes and memorialize the Filipino’s fighting spirit during that dark time.
This historic landmark features three points of interest: the Wall of Remembrance, the Bantayog Museum, and the Inang Bayan Monument. The Wall of Remembrance is a black granite wall that features 65 names of Filipinos who offered their lives for their countrymen’s freedom and the prevalence of justice, and truth. The Bantayog Museum houses photographs, archives, and other artifacts that document the atrocities of the Martial Law regime to give people a better understanding of what happened during this period. The Inang Bayan Monument is an 11-meter-high sculpture by Eduardo Castrillo. It depicts a woman cradling a man, and it represents the Philippines and the fallen martyrs of Martial Law.
The EDSA Shrine is a small church located on Ortigas Avenue in Quezon City. Although this church is flocked by devout Catholics every Sunday, it’s a landmark that holds great significance in Philippine history. The EDSA shrine was the site of two peaceful demonstrations. The first was People Power Revolution (a.k.a. EDSA I) in 1986, which ended President Marcos’ dictatorship, and the second was EDSA II, which toppled President Estrada’s administration in 2001.
The most prominent feature of the EDSA Shrine is the large bronze statue of the Virgin Mary, which was sculpted by Virginia Ty-Navarro. Inside the shrine, chapel walls feature murals depicting the four-day peaceful revolution of EDSA I. The mural was done by 15 artists Angono, Rizal, and was led by Nemi Miranda.
Tandang Sora Shrine
Melchora Aquino de Ramos, better known as “Tandang Sora”, was a revolutionary heroine during the Philippines’ Spanish occupation period. She was known to provide food, shelter, and medical care to the wounded Katipuneros in the war, as well as offered prayers and encouragement to the revolutionaries. She also allowed the Katipuneros to use her home to hold secret meetings, which garnered her the title “Mother of the Katipunan.” Though she was 84 years old when the Philippine revolution began, her old age did not stop her to fight for the freedom of the Filipinos. The Tandang Sora Shrine was built to commemorate the heroism Melchora Aquino de Ramos displayed during the revolution.
The Tandang Sora Shrine was designed by Toym Imao. The sculpture features Tandang Sora tending to the injured Katipuneros. Surrounding this monument are six panels that depict the life of Tandang Sora. The shrine is also the site where her remains are kept.
When people think about Quezon City, the first things they imagine are the numerous office buildings, malls, and establishments that line the city streets. The MRT, EDSA Carousel, and flyovers also come to mind. However, when you look past the city’s urbanity, you’ll see that Quezon City is a place where historic events and national heroes are immortalized as well.