There is something for everyone at the Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC). This is what I realized when I have finally gotten around to taking a closer look at this 25-hectare park situated at the heart of Quezon City, Philippines, and the city’s most distinguishable landmark.
I have been a Quezon City resident for more than a decade and I haven’t really been inside ‘Circle’ as the place is popularly called until two weeks ago. I initially got interested in finally checking out Quezon Memorial Circle after all these years because it was one of the locations used in my favorite teleserye (Philippine soap/drama series).
My first attempt was more than a year ago I think, but there were a lot of people at that time, also the places I wanted to see were being renovated then, the Circle of Fun and Circle of Joy, so I gave up. I also attended an event in QMC after that but I didn’t manage to go around the place, just at the area of the park where the event was being held.
Recently, I have taken to jogging, running and walking, to keep myself fit and one of the places I found out where I can do this is at the Quezon Memorial Circle. In between brisk walking and slow jogs, I took pictures and checked out various points of interest there:
° The Quezon Memorial Shrine. The area around the shrine is a favorite jogging/running path. I even saw some practicing martial arts on the shrine’s grounds. There is a museum inside the shrine for Commonwealth of the Philippines President (1935-1944) Manuel L. Quezon, after whom the city was named, but it was closed for renovation when I checked it out. I’ll write about the shrine, which is also Quezon’s final resting place, in details when the museum opens and I can take a closer look at it too.
º Gardens. I prefer calling them parks within the park. There are picnic tables in some areas. People also play badminton, chess, exercise or jog in and around these areas.
º Playground, amusement parks and a zip line. There are a lot of interesting things for kids at Circle of Joy but I suggest, though, to bring the kids in there not too early as the park employees are still cleaning the place, early morning. When I went there at around 7AM, there were quite a bit of garbage still from the night before! The Circle of Fun, on the other hand, opens in the afternoon.
º Biking. The area around Circle of Joy is also designated as a biking area. You can rent bikes and go at the path around the playground.
º Zumba/aero sports venues. On the Saturday I was there the first time, there were a lot of people participating in the zumba session near the shrine. There were other places in the park doing so. One was at the fountain area, and also in this covered court.
º Tiangges (bazaars). The first time I was there, which was a Saturday, the stalls were full of stuffs, mostly clothes. I went around and to my delight, found a stall that sells ceramics and I was not able to resist buying a bowl for my collection! There was also a food tiangge that Saturday. When I returned on a weekday, the stalls were all empty.
º Places to eat, buy food and have coffee. Aside from the big restaurants near the entrance, in front of the city hall, there are also other places inside Quezon Memorial Circle where you can buy food and have coffee.
º The peace bell.
º Urban farming. I was delighted to see the house made of native materials in this area, with a banggera (a part of old/traditional Philippine houses where one can wash plates, glasses, etc.) in the back.
º Plant shops/nurseries for those who likes to garden. I bought some of my sunflowers from one of the stalls at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
º The Quezon Heritage House. This one I have toured on a separate date. When the museum was closed, and the guards were unable to tell me when it will open, they directed me to this house. I’ll write about it next.
The fee for vehicles going inside the park is below. There are parking spaces inside as well. There are also pedestrian underpasses now, which make QMC more accessible.
So, after several trips, Quezon Memorial Circle is not just a place I passed by on my way to other Quezon City destinations! I also discovered that the best time to go there if you are not into jogging/running/doing zumba, and would just like to walk around and relax a bit, do something different aside from walking inside the malls, is around 9AM to lunchtime on weekdays. The place is pretty quiet and lovely, especially in summer. Inside the park, you forget about the thousands of vehicles that pass around it, non-stop, everyday!