Quezon Memorial Circle

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Quezon Memorial Circle
IUCN category II (national park)
Quezon Memorial Circle 04.jpg
Quezon Memorial Shrine
Map showing the location of Quezon Memorial Circle
Map showing the location of Quezon Memorial Circle
Location Quezon City, Philippines
Coordinates 14°39′04″N 121°02′57″E / 14.6511°N 121.04928°E / 14.6511; 121.04928Coordinates: 14°39′04″N 121°02′57″E / 14.6511°N 121.04928°E / 14.6511; 121.04928
Area 22.70 ha (56 acres)
Created 1978

The Quezon Memorial Circle is a national park and a national shrine located in Quezon City, which became the capital of the Philippines from 1948 to 1976.

The park is located inside a large traffic circle in the shape of an ellipse and bounded by the Elliptical Road. Its main feature is a tall mausoleum containing the remains of Manuel L. Quezon, the second official President of the Philippines and the first of an internationally recognized independent Philippines, and his wife, First Lady Aurora Quezon.

This location will be the street alignment for the approved MRT-7 named Quezon Memorial MRT Station and the station will be underground.

“Circle” as locals call it, has been undergoing significant changes in order to lure in more tourists both local and foreign. Due to these beautification efforts of the local government the number of visitors is continuously increasing.[1]


The site was originally intended as the grounds of the National Capitol to be built in Quezon City to house the Congress of the Philippines. The location was also part of a larger National Government Center located around Elliptical Road and the Quezon City Quadrangle (made up of the North, South, East, and West Triangles). The NGC was meant to house the three branches of the Philippine government (legislative, executive, and judicial). While the cornerstone for the structure was laid on November 15, 1940, only the foundations were in place when construction was interrupted by the beginning of the Second World War in the Philippines.[2] After World War II, President Sergio Osmeña issued an executive order stipulating the creation of a Quezon Memorial Committee to raise funds by public subscription to erect a memorial to his predecessor, President Manuel L. Quezon. A national contest for the Quezon Memorial Project was held 1951. Filipino architect Federico S. Ilustre's design won the contest.[3] Aside from the monument itself, a complex of three buildings, including a presidential library, a museum, & a theater, were also planned to be erected.

Quezon Memorial Shrine[edit]

The Quezon Memorial Shrine is an art deco-themed monument was designed by Federico Ilustre and was built during the 1950s and serves as the centerpiece of the Quezon Memorial Circle. The sixty-six meter shrine which represented Quezon's age when he died from tuberculosis stands on a thirty-six hectare elliptical lot. It houses an observation deck that can accommodate sixty people at the top through a spiral staircase which gives the visitors a panoramic view of the city.[4]

At the top of the pylons are three mourning angels holding sampaguita (the national flower) wreaths sculpted by the Italian sculptor Francesco Monti. The regional identity of each female angels figure could be discerned in the traditional costume they were clothed with.[5] The winged figures atop the three pylons represented Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The three pylons would in turn circumscribe a drum-like two-story structure 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 oculus, in turn reminiscent of Grant's Tomb.

Sarcophagus housing the remains of President Quezon. The remains were first interred at the Manila North Cemetery before being transferred in the memorial.[6]

Construction and completion[edit]

Construction of the Quezon Memorial was begun in 1952 but proceeded slowly, in part due to the cost of importing Carrara marble, brought in blocks and then carved and shaped on-site. There were also problems associated with the theft of the marble blocks and the management of memorial funds. The monument was finally completed in 1978, the centennial of Quezon's birth. His remains were reinterred in the memorial on August 19, 1979. It was during that time that by virtue of a presidential decree, President Ferdinand E. Marcos mandated the site as a National Shrine. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines manages and has authority over the monument itself, while the Quezon City government administers the park.

The planned auxiliary structures (presidential library, museum, and theater) were never built. Two smaller museums, one containing the presidential memorabilia of Quezon, and the other containing items on the history of Quezon City, were installed within the monument itself. In the 1980s, missing, lost, or incomplete bas reliefs for the outside of the memorial were installed. A development plan was also drawn up and partially implemented, including the building of recreation and dining structures.

On April 28, 2005, the remains of Mrs. Aurora Quezon, widow of the president, were solemnly re-interred in the memorial as well.[7]


Quezon Memorial Circle
A glimpse inside the Quezon Monument Museum. 
Interior of the Quezon Monument Museum. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Quick Tour in Quezon City Memorial Circle
  2. ^ Manila Bulletin - War aborts Capitol Building; 61st Anniversary of Quezon City.(Opinion/Editorial) by Isabelo T. Crisostomo
  3. ^ "Federico S. Ilustre". Arkitekturang Filipino Online. Art Studies Foundation, Inc., National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and United Architects of the Philippines. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Lico, Gerard (2008). Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Philippines. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press. p. 398. ISBN 978-971-542-579-7. 
  5. ^ al.], Chris Rowthorn ; Greg Bloom ; Michael Day ... [et (2006). Philippines (9th ed.). Paris: Lonely planet. p. 85. ISBN 9781741042894. 
  6. ^ editor, William Pencak, (2009). Encyclopedia of the veteran in America. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. p. 82. ISBN 9780313087592. 
  7. ^ "Quezon, wife 'reunited' after 27 years". The Manila Bulletin. 29 April 2005.