a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Urban Adventure : Where to Go in Quezon City

On  a recent media familiarization tour with Microtel Philippines, I was able to revisit and discover new destinations in Quezon City. I'm sharing with you the places we visited, plus a few more recommendations for you fellow nature lovers and foodies! :) (I know this is not the ultimate list, please do let me know if there are other places worth checking out. ;))

Quezon Memorial Park/Quezon Memorial Circle (Diliman)
Managed by the local government of Quezon city,  it  is dedicated in honor of the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Manuel Quezon. Filled with tall trees, it is a good spot to run, bike or have a picnic. There is also sufficient parking space if bringing your own vehicle.   There are numerous picnic tables while others prefer to sit on the grassy area near its key feature, a  66 meter monument. At night, it lights up with a different combination of colors, making it even more visible from major roads near  the park. 
one of the numerous walkways inside Quezon Memorial Park
At the monument's base is a museum featuring memorabilia of the former president  and a mausoleum holding his remains and of his wife, Aurora. After going around, you can go shopping at the  souvenir center,get some refreshments from one of the  stalls selling coconuts and have a meal in one of the restaurants in the park. Entrance is free except if going to the amusement park. There is also a minimal parking fee (100 Pesos for buses, 20 Pesos for cars). Check out park fees here.
the 66 meter monument changing into  a combination of red and blue
Other parks in Quezon city include,Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife (you can drop by here when you go to Quezon Memorial Circle) and La Mesa Eco Park, which offers a lot of activities for the family and also has bike & trail running routes. 
Directions how to get here | Additional info on this website.)

Related read :  Makati Park & Garden and a boat ride on Pasig River

Quezon Heritage House (inside Quezon Memorial Circle) 
This is the  reconstructed vacation house of the late President Manuel L. Quezon, transferred from its original location in Gilmore St., New Manila. The project was a result of an agreement between the local government of Quezon city and the Quezon heirs, who donated some of the furniture on display here. 

Quezon City Experience (Diliman) 
Also within the vicinity of Quezon Memorial Park is Quezon City Experience or QCX, an interactive social museum featuring the history and culture of the city and its vision. All visits come with a free guided tour, taking at least an hour to complete its 16 galleries. (My favorite was the gallery featuring the city's urban legends :)) 

Operating Hours : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM except Mondays
Fees : 
Students with ID – P80
Quezon City resident – P100 (must present valid ID with address)
Non-Quezon City resident – P150
Group of 50 – 20% discount
Group of 50 students – 30% discount
Senior citizens/Persons with disability/Solo parent – 20% discount
Family of 5 members – 20% discount

Free admission for children 6 years and below
See full feature on Rappler (click here)

UP Diliman Campus 
The state university has a lot of open spaces lined with huge trees that are accessible to the public. It is a very good spot to run, do a photowalk,bike or just relish the sight of greenery everywhere.  Sunken Garden is a huge grassy area where you can play team sports such as frisbee, rugby and football (I used to join an open group playing football here on weekends.) Also another beautiful spot in the campus is the Lagoon, an area filled with big trees and a swamp filled with lotus plants, creating a mysterious vibe. While I can imagine it as a good place for some quiet time, friends who studied here informed me that the place is more popularly known as a spot for lovers. 
The Lagoon in UP Diliman campus
Tip : Comfort rooms maybe a little challenging to find so better if you take your bathroom break before coming here. In case you can't hold it in, try the comfort room at Bahay ng Alumni along R. Magsaysay Ave. (You can also find Chocolate Kiss cafe here) or the restroom at the Church of the Holy Sacrifice. 

On Sundays, outsiders can also rent Japanese bikes through UP Bike Share, a student initiative promoting biking and environmental awareness, ran by the club with the same name. There are no fixed fees to rent out the bikes, any amount is accepted. To get more details, get in touch with them on Facebook, UP Bike Share.
Group shot in front of the Oblation with  Mike Laperal (UP Bike Share president)
& Elmo Mojares (Business Development officer)
Mystery Manila (Libis)
Test your problem solving skills  by working with your teammates in this themed escape room game.  If you are able to escape within 30 minutes, a token is given to each member of the team and your team name will be written on their wall of fame, along those who have completed it within significantly fast times. 
Group shot after we successfully got out of the escape room :)  (Photo from Marky of nomadicexperiences.com)
Rates :  starts at 400-550 PHP depending on number of players (Manila branches)
500-650 PHP (Boracay branch)
Number of Players Required : minimum of 2, maximum of 6 players
To book or get more information, check out their website, http://www.mysterymanila.com/
Facebook Page : Mystery Manila

Quezon City Food Trip?
Visit Maginhawa, a street known for its small restaurants and cafe. Over the years, nearby streets have also opened up, giving visitors more options.  Check out this guide from Travel Up.


If you're looking for a place that serves international food prepared the authentic way, I recommend Millie's All Day Dining located inside Microtel UP Ayala Techno Hub. :) 
Grilled pork chop with sauteed potatoes at Millie's All-day Dining 
Where to Stay in Quezon City?  
If you plan on spending the night in Quezon City, consider Microtel by Wyndham, a chain of hotels offering the same great quality in each location.  In the Philippines, it currently has 13 branches with two hotels in Quezon City,  Microtel UP Technohub, along Commonwealth Avenue and Microtel Acropolis, along E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue. Other than the assurance of offering quality service and accommodation at reasonable rates, it's their chiropractor approved mattresses that's so good to sleep in and makes you feel so refreshed after that I'm crazy about!  Also a big plus for me, being always thirsty, are the water dispensers where you can get as much drinking water as you need with no extra charge. 

Microtel UP Technohub - recommended for staycationers or those attending a function in Quezon City. It is also being booked for wedding shoots for its nice garden and pool area. 
Microtel UP Technohub's very spacious pool area, a very good place to hang out early in the morning or later in the evening. The pool is actually square shape and probably about 10 meters long. (Photo from Microtel PH website)
Address : UP-Ayala Land Technohub, Commonwealth Avenue, 
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines  
Rates : Starts at 3,200+ PHP per  night depending on room type and when you book.  Discounted rates offered in Agoda. Click here.
Website : Microtel UP Technohub

Microtel Acropolis - Located just across Eastwood city, it is recommended for business travelers or those from out of town, running errands in the city.  I love their buffet breakfast,  offered by its partner restaurant, Silver Tie Cafe and Bistro, and is included in your overnight stay. 
Double queen room at Microtel Acropolis (Photo from Microtel PH website)
Address : E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Brgy. Bagumbayan, Quezon City
Rates : starts at 3,300+ PHP per  night depending on room type and when you book
Website : Microtel Acropolis
Other Microtel by Wyndham branches  : Baguio, Batangas, Boracay, Cabanatuan, Eagle Ridge Cavite, Davao, General Santos city, Mall of Asia (Manila), Palawan, South Forbes (Laguna) & Tarlac

For  bookings and more information, visit their website, Microtel Philippines.

Related Posts : 
Hassle Free Stays at Microtel by Pinoy Adventurista
Weekend Ideas in Quezon City by Outrigger PH

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