• Ernest Valencia

The North Life

Updated: Apr 26

In Metro Manila society, people can use geography as part of their social profile – North and South. If you are from the North, you are from Quezon City. Quezon City people are known to be very patient since they have to go through so much heavy flow of traffic day in and day out.

Before, when there was so much attraction in the South, Northerners would brave the traffic just to experience some South action. It has since evolved into Northerners staying in the North because they have now their very own set of attraction. As a matter of fact, Southerners are opting to travel all the way to the North so they can have a unique experience.

Quezon City is named after the Commonwealth president, Manuel L. Quezon, and is one of the biggest cities in Metro Manila, having assigned 165.33 square kilometers of land. Trivia: In 2019, the city would be eighty years old already from its incorporation as a city in 1939. If you live in Quezon City, you wouldn’t want to leave the city anymore as everything is already there.

Academic Institutions

There are literally a hundred of options for education in Quezon City ranging from pre-school to post-graduate studies. Most notable would be the University of the Philippines, one of the biggest state universities in Quezon City. Being a university that is popular for being producing great minds that are shaping the nation in various fields, students who want to take their careers to the next level aspire to study here.

Alternatively, another popular educational institution located in Katipunan Avenue is the Jesuit school, The Ateneo. Equally, the school produces popular personalities in the political, academic fields and even show business. This is also the institution where the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal earned his secondary education.

Places of Worship

Quezon City is also considered as a melting pot of people with various religious beliefs. Aside from the countless Catholic churches, mosques and temples all around the city, there are also some landmark places of worship in Quezon City such as Iglesia ni Cristo’s main church along Commonwealth Avenue, which they call Central. There is also the Church of the Latter Day Saints, where one of its bigger churches is located along Temple Drive in Greenmeadows.

Getting Around

There are several ways of getting around, in and out of Quezon City. Aside from the popular public utility vehicles such as tricycles, jeepneys and buses, there is also a network of railways that allow people to get to their destinations faster. A recent addition to this roster are the P2P (point-to-point) buses that take you from a point in Quezon City (Fairview, SM North, Trinoma, UP Town Center) to a single point outside of Quezon City (Clark, Ortigas, Makati, Manila, Alabang, Arca). This mode of transport is more comfortable than the train and faster than the regular bus.

QC Malls

A city is not complete without its favorite go-to malls. If you live in the UP-Katipunan area, there is UP Town Center – a newly developed mall and allows mall-goers to bring their pets (dogs and cats). Since this is a new mall, the design is inspired by a marriage of modern architecture and nature. So you will see patches of greens and natural sunlight getting through the whole complex. On weekdays, it is a nice quiet haven for students and people working in the area. On weekends, it is a place to bring the whole family and enjoy tastefully produced bazaars.

If you live somewhere in the CaMaNaVa (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) area, or even in the further North such as Bulacan and Pampanga, you would opt to go to SM North EDSA or TriNoMa and a recent addition – Ayala Vertis North. These malls are within walking distance from each other. SM North and TriNoMa house the North Avenue station of line 3 or Metro Railway Transport (MRT3).

Residents in the Cubao area as well as nearby districts have the complex of Araneta Center to enjoy. One of the more popular malls here is Gateway Mall, named after its definition, since it is a gateway to other destinations. There is a bus station here that goes to numerous destinations from the farthest North like Cagayan and Ilocos to the farthest South like the Bicol region.

Another attraction in this area is the Cubao Expo where a lot of artists go and the younger crowd hang out. Also in this area is Art In Island, a museum where you can have your pictures taken with 3D art.

Going further nearing San Juan is Robinson’s Magnolia in New Manila. People like going to this mall because of the good mix of stores as well as the spacious walking spaces that give the feeling of comfort and room to breathe. Again, named after the establishment that was there prior to the mall, is the famous Magnolia House. Before it was a mall, it was a factory of a dairy and ice cream manufacturer called Magnolia. There was a store outside the factory where people can order their favorite Magnolia product, and this store was kept open even after the factory was torn down.

There are much more malls but these are the ones that are frequented because of its accessibility from different areas.

Food Tripping

Quezon City’s popularity in the last few years may be attributed to the opening of hole in the wall restaurants along a street in UP Village called Maginhawa. This is where a lot of people go after work and on weekends mainly because they get to taste unique food offerings at reasonable prices. From burgers to ramen to dessert bars, you will find it all along this strip.

On the other hand, when you hear people say “Scout Area”, that is also a place where you can find great eats. You can find authentic Japanese and Korean restaurants, wine-all-you-can bars and music joints in the area. The strip Tomas Morato is the major street that seems to be more alive at night.

There is also the Banawe area where there are a lot of authentic Chinese restaurants.

Another thing that Banawe is famous (or infamous) for are the number of stores that sell car parts at lower than market price. If you have a car and are out to pimp it on a budget, then this is the place for you.

Speaking of budget, if you are a techie and know how to assemble a value for money desktop computer, you will surely know Gilmore. This is a street in New Manila where you can find any computer part and assemble a super computer on your own; or you can simply buy laptops and other gadgets at bargain prices.

Parks and Rec

Aside from Art in Island, there are other entertainment destinations in Quezon City. In Commonwealth Avenue approaching Fairview, there is La Mesa Ecopark where a dam is located. Most people go there to have picnics or simply to jog in the morning. If you want a more concreted area, you can also opt for Quezon City Circle. It may seem like a small circle from the outside, but once you go inside, you will find that there are parks to enjoy, restaurants to create moments in and a whole lot to walk on.

By and large, Quezon City is a world on its own delivering so many things to people of different interests. You can be living in Quezon City your whole life and never run out of things to discover and enjoy.

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