It was about lunchtime when we left the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center and headed for the Quezon Memorial Park for lunch. We had a good lunch at Serye Café, one of the four restaurants located within the park before we started walking around.
Quezon Memorial Park
Quezon Memorial Park is among the largest of the several Quezon City parks together with the La Mesa Dam EcoPark and the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center. Surrounding the park is the Elliptical Road and the six national roads that converge on it.
The park is planted with several forest trees which provides abundant shades to the people who spent long hours on weekdays and on weekends. Among the parks regular habitués are fitness buffs that do their jogging, brisk walking and strolling and biking on trails meant for those activities.
Some years ago we planted a number of the kamuning shrubs near the Peace Bell. On our recent visit, we saw some teens practicing self-defense before the kamuning shrubs that we’ve planted. The shrubs have grown. It has made me happy to see our little contribution to the park and to nature is being taken cared well by the park’s adminstration.
However, the credit for the park’s development must be given to Mommy Rosario “Charito” Planas, former Vice-Mayor of Quezon City and president of the Quezon City Parks Development Foundation. She has granted us that space inside the park for our tree planting activity back then.
One of the nice things about the park is for having an Herbal Garden and Livelihood Center. Small entrepreneurs and cooperatives are entitled to a “bahay kubo”-like stall where they sell and promote their merchandise.
One of the stalls that caught my attention is Café Amadeo. They serve brewed coffee of which the beans were harvested from Amadeo, Cavite. This coffee shop helps coffee farmers in Amadeo, Cavite in promoting their products and town as well.
There are several interesting spots inside the park such as playgrounds, bicycle rentals, Chess Plaza, Remote Control Car Racetrack, Rock Climbing Facility, Butterfly Garden and the World Peace Bell. However, the most interesting of all would be the Quezon Memorial Shrine.
Quezon Memorial Shrine
The center of the park is dominated by the stately shrine dedicated to the first president of the Commonwealth and father of Quezon City –Manuel Luis Quezon.
The shrine is a Quezon City landmark. Those approaching the Elliptical road from Quezon Avenue would see three fawn-colored marble pylons that seeming to soar continuously skywards. From a closer view, one would notice that the pylons are surmounted by huge seated angels whose wings are pointed upward.
From inside the park, the monument is massive with wide staircase to the base of the pylons. It measures 66 meters from the base to the top, representing Quezon’s age when he died. The three winged-angels symbolize the country’s major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The three-sided base symbolizes birth, life, and death.
It was President Sergio Osmeña who created the Quezon Memorial Committee whose first act was to initiate a nationwide contest for architects and artists to submit for a monument and resting place for the late president Quezon.
The contest was won by Federico Ilustre who designed one of the most beautiful monuments in the Philippines.
The Quezon Memorial Museum
The central podium at the base of the monument houses the mausoleum and memorabilia of President Quezon. A narrow doorway leads to the president’s tomb. Former first lady Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon’s tomb is also in the rotunda.
A museum showcases interesting collection of photographs, plaques, personal effects and formal clothes of the late president. Also on display is the stately desk and table use the Quezon during his term in office.
The museum is air-conditioned. There is no entrance fee but donations are welcome.