We just finished exploring in Indonesia and now our armchair travels will take us to the Philippines. As you see we can explore most any part of the world and it is great fun to do. So get comfortable, strap on your armchair safety belt and off we go. Our first stop here is Quezon City, which is located 10 miles north of the capital city of Manila. This city is five times as large as Manila in area and counts as the country’s biggest city. It is surrounded by rolling hills and there is a lot to see and do.
Built in honor of the former mayor of Quezon City, Norberto S. Amoranto, Amoranto Stadium is a great place for sports and leisure. It includes a track and field oval, a volleyball court, a tennis court and a swimming pool.
In the 1960s Araneta Coliseum was the world’s largest covered dome, towering 220 feet with a seating capacity of 36,000. The coliseum stages various shows and was the place that captured the Phillipines’ first post-war world boxing title by the legendary Gabriel “Flash” Elorde. This is also the place where the world famous classic “Fight of a Lifetime” happened between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frasier in 1976. It has hosted many beauty pageants and basketball tournaments both national and international and musical concerts as well as different athletic events.
The grateful Filipino people built the Our Lady of EDSA Shrine in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary for her protection and guidance during the people power EDSA revolution.
Visit the once main shopping district Arneta Center, where you can still find many commercial establishments such as theaters, banks, boutiques, department stores, restaurants and much more. Here you’ll find the famous Ali Mall Department Store, Farmer’s Plaza, SM Department Store and Rustan’s Superstore (the ruling name in the commerce and trade industry of the Philippines.
The only museum in the country dedicated to the collection, preservation, display and interpretation of modern Philippine art is the Ateneo de Manila University Art Gallery. The gallery has more than 500 works of art, among them paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, photos and posters. The collection traces its roots to the late Fernando Zobel de Ayala, who was a painter, art, scholar and teacher at the university and donated more than 200 artworks. The gallery has found its home on the ground floor of the Rizal Library.
If you love to swim The Balara Plant, which filters water from La Mesa Dam and supplies about 600,000 gallons of clean and potable water to the Metro Manila area offers a number of public swimming pools.
Balara Filters Park takes up 60 hectares. Here you can enjoy vintage structures and statuary like an Italian-style Chapel, the Escoda Hall, a white and red pavilion that dominates the swimming pool complex, “Bernadine”, a white statue of a nude water bearer on a fountain in the rotunda and many more. There is also the A. Gideon Playground, Baby Terrace named after First Daughter Zenaida Quezon, a 3,000 sq, m. elevated picnic ground with a 200 m circumference oval and the Windmill Park.
The Brass Memorial is a 45-foot high handcrafted brass monument, the artwork of noted sculptor Ed Castrillo in figurative expressionist style. This towering structure depicts a symbolic interplay of three figures familiar to those, who were around during the martial law years – the martyred hero, the Philippine flag and Inang Bayan.
If you enjoy exciting nightlife, entertainment and great dining take the trendy Eastwood City Walk. Eastwood is home to many bars and restaurants, there’s a lush streetscape and plenty of parking. This is also the place to be seen, socialize and just enjoy yourself.
If you’re looking for rest and relaxation take a stroll in Fernwood Gardens. This lush tropical garden is enclosed by a 40 foot high translucent sky dome. This is a rainforest-like garden with lagoons, waterfalls, a fountain, a gazebo, a chapel and lots of exotic birds and fish. It is a well-known venue for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
GMA Channel 7 building is at the corner of EDSA and Timog. It is known as the station “Where You Belong” and “Kapuso”. It is home to quality entertainment, news and information and public service programs. It is the country’s first recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award.
Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park has become a tourist destination due to its magnificent landscape. It includes the memorial of Melchora Aquino, better known as Tandang Sora, one of the heroes of the Philippine Revolution and, officially, the Heroine of Quezon City. Another breathtaking sculpture monument is Malakas and Maganda, the Philippines’ own version of Adam and Eve.
Iglesia ni Kristo is a majestic structure of impressive Gothic-Moorish architecture. It is located on a 4,000 sq. compound along Don Mariano Avenue. This compound includes the church’s Central Temple, a museum and a gallery, that exhibits the Iglesias’ beginnings, culture, rituals and practice. There is also a tabernacle, a theological school for future ministers and the administration office of the congregation.
Mabuhay Rotunda was originally called the Welcome Rotunda. This towering structure was built in 1948 and designed by City Architect Luciano V. Aquino. In 1995 the 43 year old “Welcome” was renamed “Mabuhay” to symbolize the city’s greetings to all who come to Quezon City.
Take the time to enjoy Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, Quezon City’s zoological and botanical garden located near the Quezon Memorial Circle. This is just the place for nature lovers. This 80 hectare complex of wooded areas is full of wildlife and is great for picnics and for strolling. The park has a children’s playground and a man-made lagoon for boating. There is plenty of the country’s flora and fauna including the famous monkey-eating eagle.
Quezon City Hall is an imposing 14-story building where the new Philippine Constitution was signed in 1971. This is the center of city government activities, in front of which is a man-made lagoon and a mini park where garden and orchid shows are held.
Quezon Memorial Circle/Shrine is a 66-meter shrine that is a fitting tribute to the founder of Quezon City and one of the country’s greatest statesmen President Manuel Luis Quezon. His tomb holds the remains of this great man in a bronze casket and marble niche inside the shrine. This monument was built at the center of a 27-hectare rotunda park which has become a recreation area for local residents. There are also two museums – one displaying priceless Quezonian items and the other memorabilia of Quezon City mayors.
Santo Domingo Church was built by the Dominicans in 1588. This church is home to the four century-old image of Nuestra Senora del Santissimo Rosario or Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. This image is always paraded in the elaborate October procession known as “La Naval de Manila” and has been gifted with wonderful gowns and jewels because she is believed to have saved Manila from the Dutch invasion in the 17th century and to have protected the city ever since.
The University of the Philippines Diliman is state-owned and was established in June 1908. It is considered to be one of the finest centers of learning in the Far East. It stretches over a 450-hectare area and the campus is covered with tall ancient trees and verdant fields.