I used to live in Quezon City and it is less busy than Makati and Manila downtown, but through the years it has developed a lot. I know it's weird to recommend malls as a tourist destination, but the malls is where you see the people going to and it is nice to "people-watch" and also to look at the good bargains.
Nice malls in the Quezon City area include, but not limited to:
Gateway Aurora Boulevard - Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Farmer's Plaza EDSA - Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
AliMall P. Tuazon Boulevard - Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Plaza Fair - Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Fairmart - Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Eastwood CyberOne Mall - Eastwood Avenue, Eastwood City, C-5, Libis, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Eastwood CityWalk 2 - Eastwood Avenue, Eastwood City, C-5, Libis, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Ever Gotesco Commonwealth- Commonwealth Avenue, Commonwealth, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Isetann Cubao- Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Robinsons Galleria-Ortigas Avenue corner EDSA, Ortigas Center, Quezon City, Metro Manila
But now, I think one should also grab a cab and head off to the NEW (opened 2006) SM Mall of Asia which is located at Bay City, Pasay City, Philippines with a land area of 19.5 hectares and a floor area of 386,224 m². It is the largest mall in the Philippines and the 3rd largest shopping mall in the world! With over 600 shops and 150 dining establishments, you'll have a lot of fun!
And visiting these malls can be very tiring, so you can head of to nice parks in Quezon City like the Quezon City Memorial Circle where you can also find restaurants. And there is also the nearby Wildlife Park. Or, head off and see my old school, the University of the Philippines which has nice green grounds and where the cream of the crop study. You got to be proud of your school, hehehe...
Considered the premier teaching institution of the Philippines, THIS IS MY Alma Mater – the University of the Philippines. Students from all islands of the Philippines take the national exams, hoping to become a scholar in this beautiful university set in Diliman, Quezon City.
Just walking around the campus is nice as you will see the everyday lives of the students hoping for a brighter future. There is the Sunken Garden which is a “crater-like” depressed garden right in the middle of the campus, lined by giant trees. Reserve military corps practice their marching on the grounds on weekends, and you might even catch a concert or two….There is always something going on around the UP Campus which also has theaters where you can watch very well directed theater masterpieces.
The University also has a great library collection (I am not sure if you ask for a day-pass if you want to go in and look at some books- policies might have changed since I was there). There are several sport venues open to the public like the Track and Field Oval, tennis courts, the gymnasium, duckpin bowling and billiards and of course, an Olympic-size swimming pool where I used to do my laps.
Very nice peaceful campus and worth an hour or two to relax in….and of course, don’t forget to take a picture at the OBLATION which is the emblem of U.P. The original I think has been replaced by the current statue (original at Fine Arts Building probably) --- it is a man with outstretched hand and I used to copy this pose a lot, hehehe….
I am familiar with this 217ft tall tower right which is surrounded by an “Elliptical Road” in front of the Quezon City Hall --- I even got to climb up it when it was still allowed when I was a kid. But now, you can only appreciate the height of this tower from outside.
It was built starting in the 1950’s as a memorial to the late President Manuel Quezon, and his remains and that of his wife do rest under the tower. I think the design is very nice, and it’s amazing it is still standing even after some earthquakes. There are three vertical pylons representing Luzon, Visayas and Minadanao and they are guarded by three mourning angels holding the national flower, Sampaguita, whose wreaths were actually sculpted by Italian sculptor Monti….the Italians really have their art and skill around the world!
What I used to do as a kid was fly kites here which was designed as a Philippine Flag and I tried to center it at the middle of the three pylons, hehehe...the winds were strong and my kite would be 300 plus feet up in the air…On weekends, the park has exercise classes (Sunday morning) and it is very nice to jog around the elliptical road….while the jeepneys and buses are honking…
There are restaurants now in the middle of the complex (I believe I ate at famous Max’s Fried Chicken when I visited last, but it may have changed, 2006).
If you want to go for a nice walk in a nice park in the middle of the city, then head off to the Wild Life Park where Filipino families gather for a picnic, especially during the weekends. You will also see a lot of couples, most of them walking hand-in-hand and embracing under the trees (maybe hiding, hehehe, “secret lovers”)…
But, this park has a nice lake in the middle and it is also known to have a mini-zoo with a crocodile, pythons, parrots, monkeys (be careful my sister’s finger got bitten once!), peacocks, deer and of course, the famous Philippine Monkey Eating Eagle!!!! That’s why I go to this park – I am just amazed looking at this magnificent bird with its huge beak which it uses in the wild to open up the monkey! Yikes!
Even before the Makati area became the more cosmopolitan shopping and theater distrcit, we were already fond of going to Cubao in the 1970’s. At Christmas time, the COD store would have a parade of mannequins on its roof and children would be in awe of the these mannequins on a “track” and the highlight would be Santa and his reindeers. I think there were also dwarves – but that might just be my hyperactive imagination when I was a child, hehehe…
Now Cubao has been modernized, and it still has the huge Araneta Coliseum where in the 1970’s, the dolphin “Flipper” went and I remember being there to see that ONE dolphin. I think we also watched Ann Margaret sing there – and this 50,000 capacity “Coliseum” has seen great performers and you just might catch a show when you're there.
The Ali Mall was of course named after Muhammad Ali, after the success of Thrilla in Manila. And other stores have stood their ground like Farmer’s Plaza, Shoemart (SM) and Rustan’s. There are now newer malls like Gateway Mall and Shopwise Supercenter….and these are places where you can just watch how everyday Filipinos enjoy shopping and just walking around the malls with friends and family. %c
Araneta Coliseum (a.k.a. Big Dome) is a venue for musical concerts, basketball playoffs, international beauty pageants, and religious meetings. It has a 20,000 seating capacity and has been newly-renovated to include several restaurants and coffee shops all catering to international palate (Singaporean, Japanese, Italian, Chinese to name a few). The Coliseum is also attached to a 4-storey mall and cineplex called Gateway.
Once you enter the Dome, take note of the standing billboards that show the many events that took place here. It's like a walk down memory lane, from the mid 60s up to the present time.
Back in my gradeschool years, we use to watch Holiday on Ice and Circus shows here.
Im sorry. I mean, are you religious? Then Quezon City offers numbers of Churches to give your weary soul a much needed rest.
Dont fail to visit the following places
1. Sto Domingo Church, Quezon Ave cor Banawe.
2. Iglesia ni Kristo along Commonwealth Ave.
3. Christ the King Church on E Rodriguez, New Manila
4. Saint Peter Church along Commonwealth.
I promise, even if you are not interested in the Hereafter, the Architectures of these buildings will be enough overwhelm you.
It's been years since I was at La Mesa Dam. We used to pass by the place when we went to my friend's house at Lagro, Novaliches. I remember my friend's stories about their picking live tilapias on the road. Yes,there were tilapias jumping on the road whenever the water at the dam overflowed. It is so different now. Somehow,the road looks so narrow, being sandwiched by the high perimeter fence of the water reservoir and the equally high perimeter fence of La Mesa Ecopark.
What used to be the virgin forest beside the road has been converted into an Ecopark...thanks to the ABS-CBN Foundation's Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch) Project. ABS-CBN Foundation collaborated with Metropolitan Waterworks & Sewerage System (MWSS, the government agency that owned La Mesa Watershed) and the Quezon City government to stop illegal settling, poaching and logging through a proactive Bantay Kalikasan Project that aims to rehabilitate, reforest, preserve and protect the area. The Adopt/Protect-A-Tree/Hectare Program was so successful that out of the 1,500 hectares that needed reforestation,only about 158 hectares remain to be planted. To sustain this noble Project,the La Mesa Ecopark was opened to the public, providing children and adults with experiential learning about environmental and biodiversity conservation.
If you'd like to breathe in fresh air and commune with nature, visit La Mesa Ecopark...good for family bonding and team building activities
The La Mesa Nature Reserve /Watershed is a protected area and has been restored and reforested by the Bantay Kalikasan and its partners. Eco trail and Camping are available at for the visitors to enjoy this place. The ecotrail allows you to explore the area by trekking at a leisurely pace throug a 2.5 km man-made trail which takes you through the grasslad, the forest and the lake. The trekking schedules are at 8 am, 9am and 10 am and lasts for about 2 hours. There's a minimum of 5 paying trekkers to do the trail. A forester is assigned to every group to take you around. The fee is 150 pesos for each adult and 100 pesos for person below 15 years old. Children under 7 are free of charge.
If the eco trail is not enough for you to enjoy nature, camping is available at the reserve and is open 24 hours when there are campers around. You will have to bring your own tent though. the campsite is located right next to the lake which guarantees a cool and quiet evening under the stars. Security is round-the-clock and forest rangers are available to assist you from pitching your tent to lighting a bonfire. There are portable toilets in the area for the guests to use. a minimum of 10 paying campers is required to do this activity. campers are advised to be in the area before 3 pm and allot 1 hour to set up camp and undergo orientation while daylight is available. The fees are 150 pesos for students below 15 years old and persons over 15 are charged 200 each. There's an additional 100 pesos for each person charged for each additional night of stay. Reservation should be done at least 5 days prior to stay.
Visit my blog at http://pinas-et-al.blogspot.com/2006/05/trip-to-la-mesa-ecopark.html.
The Ecopark at La Mesa Dam in Fairview has been adopted by ABS-CBN Foundation and was lately given a new facelift. Now open to trhe publc, it offers a lot of family-oriented activities. -- Boating Lagoon, Bicycle rides, Swimming Pool, Fitness Trek, Fishing Pond, Camping Ground, Open Amphitheater.
Undeniably, the most complete family-oriented Nature Park in Metro Manila.
Park Entrance: P30/head
At the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife at weekends, the Malagos Garden's Interactive Bird Show from Davao City runs throughout Dec. to Jan. And back again in the summer months of March to June. The show features trained birds, mostly pet birds turned over to the Malagos Foundation, the NGO show operator. The show is generally entertaining but with a great emphasis of environment awareness and preservation all throughout the show.
My kids loved the ostriches, parrots, cuckatoos, hornbills and the eagles!
The show lasts for an hour at P200 per. Stdents at discounted rate.
Would you like to see yourself on TV? Or Perhaps, you'd like your relatives abroad to know you're vacationing in the Philippines with the stars. Try to avail of the Studio Tours, exclusively designed for TFC Kapamilya Circle members/subscribers, providing them with a one-of-a-kind experience to watch ABS-CBN programs and visit the studios where these programs are shot.
For requests to watch live shows in ABS-CBN, you must register and book on-line at their web site at
For further assistance you may contact them at 1-800-FIL-CHNL (345-2465)
For more info/requirements, go to this link:
I was able to watch a musical (April 2006) called Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah in PETA Theater. Here is a picture of me with Wilma, one of the anti-heroines and an international model in real life.
The theater is small and can accommodate around 150 people.
Being the tallest structure in Quezon City, Quezon Memorial Circle is a landmark that cannot be missed. The memorial shoots up to 66 meters in the sky and is a tribute to the 1st Commonwealth President of the Philippines, Manuel Luis Quezon.
At the base of the monument, there's a small museum that houses pictures during his presidency, gifts from foreign dignitaries , and other personal mementos. His remains was also laid to rest here in a bronze casket and marble niche.
If history is not your cup of tea, try people watching as you sip your coconut juice under any of the acacia trees that lined the 27 hectare rotunda park. During weekends, local people hear mass, do their aerobics, learn how to dance, play in the swings and skating rink, enjoy a picnic, and dine in the restaurants.
Nearby, you can visit the Parks and Wildlife.
Located in the roundabout of Tomas Morato and Timog, night owls can choose from a wide array of restaurants. Vegetarian meals and Vietnamese noodles (Pho Hoa), pizza and calzone (Don Henrico's, Shakey, California Pizza Kitchen), dimsum (Wan Chai), crabs (Red Crabs), latte (Starbucks), steak (Mario's, Melo's), paella, hamburger etc.
Get into the groove at Ratsky's, Virgin Cafe and other acoustic bars along that strip.
1315 E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City, 1100, Philippines
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
This place is much smaller than the promotional photo would suggest. Calling this a hotel would be...more
49 Annapolis Street, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples