When people think about an urban area in the Philippines, they immediately think about Manila, its capital city. Sure, Manila is the center of the Philippines’ historical and cultural heritage, but there are a lot of other urban areas that are worth visiting outside of this city.
On top of this list is the uniquely beautiful Quezon City Philippines. This city, the largest in land area and population in the Philippines’ capital region has its own charm. It is also widely known as the Philippines’ “City of Stars,” because the country’s biggest television networks are found here. With its fair share of historic, commercial and gastronomic sites, Quezon City has a lot of things to offer for anyone who seeks to discover it.
When to Go to Quezon City
If you don’t want to experience the scorching heat in the Philippines during the summer months, then the best time to go to Quezon City is during the months of December to February. The weather is generally cool with only a little chance of rain. December, in particular, is a good time to visit, as it is Christmas time, the most festive season in the Philippines. It is also during this month that Quezon City celebrates its founding anniversary, so expect a lot of fun activities to mark this occasion.
What to See in Quezon City
• Quezon City Memorial Circle – This complex located inside a circumferential road is the main landmark of the city. The centerpiece of this plaza is a 66-meter artsy tower built atop the mausoleum of Manuel L. Quezon, the second Philippine president from which the city got its name. Go here for a jog or a leisurely stroll in the late afternoon, when the sunset is breathtakingly beautiful. The place also has some public exercise machines you can use for free, and some good restaurants serving quality food.
• La Mesa Ecopark – Can you imagine city with a forest in its midst? That’s Quezon City. This 2,700 nature reserve is the perfect spot if you want to feel close to nature while still in the middle of the city. It has tall trees, a massive watershed, a butterfly garden and an orchidarium. You might also want to try cycling around the area, or if you just want to sit down and breathe in the fresh air, this place is a good picnic spot too.
• People Power Monument – This imposing landmark depicting the Virgin Mary as the Queen of Peace is an important one for Filipinos, as it marks where they protested and eventually overthrew the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. You can say a prayer at the quiet chapel located at the base of the statue.
What to Do in Quezon City
• Watch a concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum – This is considered to be the premier concert destination in Quezon City, built as far back as the 1960s. Since its construction, this impressive multipurpose indoor coliseum has hosted concerts of international artists like Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift. This place also serves as a venue for basketball game, so you can catch one if you’re a fan.
• Chill out at Cubao Expo – Formerly a shoe place, this area has been turned into to a destination for the hip and the artsy. You can find vinyl records, paintings, old books and antique furniture around the multicolored buildings of Cubao Expo. At night, the place is alive with live bands and people who just want to drink and chill out.
• Shop ‘til you drop – Some of the biggest shopping malls in the Philippine capital can be found in Quezon City. Head to SM North EDSA and Trinoma for all the things you need: from branded clothes to simple souvenirs to take home with you.
What to Eat in Quezon City
• Pan de Sal at Kamuning Bakery – This one is from the oldest bakery in Quezon City. It’s a humble bread that Filipinos love eating for breakfast, made special by the technique they use of baking it in the old-style fireplace.
• Lechon at La Loma – You can’t leave Quezon City without having a taste of lechon or roasted suckling pig. The street of La Loma is lined with some of the most well-known lechon places in the country, so you definitely have to experience the crunchy skin and tasty meat of this dish.
Whether you’re looking for history, nature or some delicious food, Quezon City has it all for you. From nature to commercial center, this city is truly one-of-a-kind.
Feature image credit: Jun Acullador