The current location of the soon-to-be-known Quezon Memorial Circle was originally planned to have been an area in Quezon City where the National Capitol was supposed to be built. In 1940, when the foundation for the construction was laid, the foundation was the only part of the construction that was positioned because the building was disrupted by the start of the Second World War in the Philippines.
Right after World War II, an executive order about the creation of a Quezon Memorial Committee was made and announced by President Sergio Osmena. His intent was to raise funds through the use of public subscription to promote a memorial for his predecessor, President Manuel Luis Quezon. From all the designs submitted, the one created by Federico Ilustre was chosen (“Quezon Memorial,” n.d.).
The memorial would consist of three perpendicular pylons representing the three main geographic divisions of the country: Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. It would be 66 meters (217 feet) tall, which was Quezon’s age when he died.
The pylons would be surmounted by three mourning angels holding sampaguita (the national flower) garlands sculpted by the Italian sculptor Monti. The three pylons would, in turn, circumscribe a drum-shaped two-story construction containing a gallery from which visitors could look down at Quezon’s catafalque, modeled after Napoleon Bonaparte’s in the Invalides. The gallery and the catafalque below are lit by an eye, reminiscent of Grant’s Tomb.
Location: The Quezon Memorial Circle is a national park and shrine located in Quezon City, the former capital of the Philippines (1948–1976). The park is an oval bounded by the Elliptical Road. Its main feature is a mausoleum containing the remains of Manuel L. Quezon, the second President of the Philippines, and his wife, First Lady Aurora Quezon.
Existing Structures and Facilities: The central location and promenades are where the old constructions used to be, including the old rusting fountain with dancing waters and light sets that turned into a center of attraction. The Circle of Joy (amusement park), restaurants, sports facilities, and Quezon Memorial are also present.
The Quezon City government built two underground pedestrian passageways from PHILCOA and Quezon City Hall for greater public accessibility. Two smaller museums were built: one containing the presidential memorabilia of Quezon, and the other containing items on the history of Quezon City, which were installed within the memorial itself.
Human and Culture:
- Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) is visited by an average of 8,000 people daily and 12,000 on weekends.
- In fact, it is a favorite park to visit during these particular occasions as it offers a lot of things for each member of the family.
- There is a distinct dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November.
- The normal annual rainfall amount is 2,431.9mm, with the maximum average monthly amount of rain being experienced in August with 517.11mm and the minimum in February with 7.4mm.
- The entrances from Commonwealth and Quezon Avenues are now more open and welcoming to the public, with no more disorganized bunches of trees and makeshift barriers.
- Two newly created subways in the East and South make it easy for visitors to navigate inside the park.
Natural Physical Features:
SLOPE AND TOPOGRAPHY:
- The area is mostly rolling, with jumping ridges and lowlands.
- Steep parts are apparent in the eastern portion of the city, which run parallel to the Marikina River and the Valley Fault Zone.
- The city’s slope is generally manageable, ranging from less than 8% to 15%.
A study by the Bureau of Soils showed that the prevailing soil type in Quezon City is commonly called adobe and is mainly characterized as hard and compact.
- Quezon City Hall
- Lung Center
- Lungsod ng Kabataan
- Department of Agriculture
- Bureau of Agricultural Extension
- Philippine Tobacco Authority
- Department of Agrarian Reform
- Philippine Coconut Authority
- National Housing Authority
Interview December 12, 2012 (Around 2:30-3:00 pm)
Interview with Sir Mel (visitor)
Vik: Good afternoon, sir. Pwede po ba kayong mainterview?
Sir Mel: Sure, sure.
Vik: Okay. Um. Bakit po kayo nagawi dito?
Sir Mel: Ano lang naman. Family bonding kami.
Vik: So, madalas-dalas na rin po kayong pumupunta dito?
Sir Mel: Hindi naman. Kapag may oras lang kaming pamilya.
Vik: Okay. Ano naman po yung mga facilities dito na nagustuhan ninyo po?
Sir Mel: Gusto namin yung go-kart. Nageenjoy yung mga bata. Tapos kapag gabi naman, pinapanood namin yung fountain. Pati rin pala yung amusement park.
Vik: Ahhh. Eh ano naman po ‘yung mga hindi ninyo gusto dito sa QMC?
Sir Mel: Okay naman siya e. Makalat lang kung minsan. Di kasi nagtatapon sa tamang lugar mga tao. HAHAHA. Pero okay naman siya.
Vik: Last inquiry po. Sa tingin ninyo, ano po yung maaaring irecommend ninyo dito sa QMC?
Sir Mel: Bukod siguro sa maraming basurahan? Tsaka medyo maraming bakanteng lote. Sana madevelop pa nila yun.
Vik: Okay po. Ayos na po yun. Thank you po!
December 12, 2012 (Around 4:00-5:00 pm)
Interview with Manong Sonny (caretaker):
Dyeb: Magandang umaga. Pwede po mag-interview po knockout?
Manong: O sige.
Dyeb: Andami pong tao ngayon, no? Tuwing kailan po ba dito, as in yung sobrang daming tao?
Manong: Ay, syempre kapag bakasyon. Araw-araw di mabilang ang tao dito. Pero kung ngayon, tuwing Linggo madalas marami.
Dyeb: Ano-ano naman po ‘yung mga klase ng taoist na pumupunta dito?
Manong: Ano, pamipamilya. Yung iba, nagdadate. Yung iba, nagkokodakan. Marami ring tambay lang, tsaka yung mga nagjojogging.
Dyeb: Ahhh. Fatah Revolutionary Council naman po ‘yung ayaw niyo dito sa QMC?
Manong: Mahirap maglinis. Ang laki kasi nito e. Tapos patapos na yung araw, marami talagang basura.
Dyeb: Ay, oonga po, at last. Ano naman po yung pinakagusto niyo dito?
Manong: Um, pwede kahit sino dito. Libre. ‘Stab masa! Tsaka marami kang makikita dito at mga pwedeng gawin at kainan!
Dyeb: Okay po. Thank you!
- Private vehicles were all over the tracks where people could freely walk and play. These vehicles utilize the spaces that should be, in the first place, maximized by the people using the area. Therefore, it leads to the current problem of congestion of cars along those ways, for there are no sufficient parking spaces designated for visitors.
- Litter and garbage were all over the place. These degrade the beauty and purpose of the area, which can, therefore, connote its lack of a proper refuse disposal system as well as care.
- Present pavements were just too narrow for walkers to use properly.
- There were fountains that were not being maximized and are really a bare sight to look at. Most likely, these fountains can only become a breeding ground for disease-carrying insects if not attended to properly.
- QMC lacks reminders or guidelines that address the purpose of educating people on what they need to do. Vacant spaces which primarily served as “playing fields” for football, archery, and other leisure athletics were seemed to be neglected and now had grown tall shrubs despite the fact that some participants may really still use the area for their practices.
- Furthermore, there are also too many tiangge or bazaars that cause pollution and do not truly live up to the purpose of the recreational area. In fact, these stalls or establishments were all mixed up, which can cause confusion to those visitors who are not familiar with the area but would like to buy food or souvenirs.
CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS: PROPOSED PLAN FOR BEAUTIFICATION
- A new master plan for the zoning of the Quezon Memorial Circle will be implemented, including the memorial and museum area, vegetation and fauna area, picnic area, physical fitness area, amusement area, grant area, and parking area.
- Picnic/Family Area – A green area will be developed with a grassy area and shady trees for family picnics. Each tree will have an individual sign with its scientific and common names and other related information in English and Filipino for educational purposes. This area would be ideal for people to relax and spend quality time together.
- Monument and Museum – Being the focal point of the park, the Quezon Monument will be refurbished, secured, and protected from vandals by means of a green buffer zone. It will be enhanced with blossoming and scented plants for morning appreciation and with colored lights in dramatic hues for the evening effect.
- Flora and Fauna – There will be an area for domesticated animals that are easy to maintain, such as birds and butterflies, amidst a garden of scented and multi-colored flowering plants. Along the footpath, the scientific and common names of the animal and flower species in English and Filipino will be indicated for educational purposes.
- The Quezon Memorial Circle will be redeveloped using green technology. It will be provided with solar panels for renewable energy, a greywater system for water recycling, waste management, energy-efficient and energy-saving lighting, and bathroom fixtures. All materials to be used will be durable, long-lasting under heavy use, and easy to maintain.
- Cleanliness, sanitation, and hygiene will be a top concern. Trash receptacles (biodegradable and non-biodegradable) will be spread throughout the park. Restrooms will be abundant and regularly and properly maintained. There will also be some pay comfort rooms with bathroom amenities.
- Directional and informative signage in both Filipino and English languages will be abundant, clear, and illuminated at night. Filipino poems will also be visible in strategic locations for the appreciation of the Filipino language and literature.
- Park visitors will be given a sense of security by police visibility and roaming guards. Closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) will be installed at strategic locations.