‘Visit Quezon Memorial Circle’
Columnist Neal Cruz (Inquirer, 6/20/12) asked: “What are they doing to the QC Park?” Our response is: We are continuously improving the place as a people’s park and a fitting place for the shrine of a Philippine president.
Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) is visited by an average 8,000 people daily and 12,000 on weekends. Over a million came last December. Green space occupies 15.65 hectares of the park. From any perspective, the dense presence of trees is easily seen.
President Aquino himself chose to hold his post-inaugural party at QMC after taking his oath as the 15th President of the Philippines. Since 2009, QMC has been a choice convergence point for international marathons, highlighting largest green spaces in Metro Manila. Moreover, for the second year in a row, QMC will showcase outdoor art and photography exhibits by the French Embassy and the Niepce Museum in France. It is also a favorite of biking enthusiasts, including national cycling events and the annual Tour of the Fireflies.
The entranceways, from Commonwealth and Quezon Avenues, are now more open and welcoming of the public with no more disorganized clumps of trees and makeshift barriers. The Quezon City government also built two underground pedestrian passageways from Philcoa and Quezon City Hall, for greater public accessibility.
The central plaza and the promenades are where the old structures used to be, but with turf grass instead of the asphalt there before. The city government revived the old rusting fountain into a center of attraction, with dancing waters and light bands. The pylon itself gains special visibility at night with rays of colorful lights.
The city government also introduced very well used public facilities, the Seminar Hall, Century Hall, People’s Hall, covered courts and stage. Altogether, these occupy only 3,061 square meters of the 25-hectare QMC. Under construction is the Quezon City Museum, with a 1.5-hectare footprint and a much needed cultural and historical facility of the city. Designed to be compliant with international standards of the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” Green Building Rating System, this building will be completed in 2013.
The current parking areas are smaller than those under the Mañosa master plan made about 20 years ago. The vending structures have also been reduced by more than 100. Only during weekends is an additional vending area provided for.
From the time the city government took over on July 1, 2008, up to May 31, 2012, the QMC management has remitted to the city coffers the amount of P115,743,943.86, which goes entirely into the General Fund where it is subject to government accounting and audit rules.
In his column, Neal Cruz said: “Visit the park now…” We strongly encourage the public to do so and enjoy themselves, as millions of people have.
—TADEO M. PALMA,
secretary to the Mayor and