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History of Quezon City Metro Manila Philippines

History of Quezon City Metro Manila

Envisioned to be the new capital of the Philippines, Quezon City is the first modern city in the Philippines built from scratch. What makes up today’s largest city in Metro Manila are parcels of land carved out from different Spanish-era pueblos.

The oldest settlement in what would become Quezon City is San Francisco del Monte, founded in 1590 by the Franciscans as a quasi-town. It was originally part of Santa Ana de Sapa, before being under San Juan del Monte when the latter separated from the former. The approximate areas that cover the old quasi-town of San Francisco del Monte are del Monte, San Antonio, Veterans Village, Bungad, Damayan, Mariblo, Paltok

Novaliches is another old town engulfed by Quezon City. It was originally part of Polo, Bulacan (present-day Valenzuela City) before it became independent in 1856. In 1859, Novaliches was placed under the jurisdiction of the Province of Manila from Bulacan. In 1901, Novaliches was merged with Caloocan, then in 1939, half of the former town of Novaliches was incorporated to Quezon City. The former Augustinian Hacienda Tala which approximately covers Pasong Putik, Greater Lagro, Kaligayahan, San Agustin, Nagkaisang Nayon, Novaliches Proper, Santa Monica, Gulod, San Bartolome, Santa Lucia, Bagbag, Sauyo, North Fairview and Talipapa, and the former Jesuit Hacienda Piedad which approximately covers Fairview, Commonwealth, Pasong Tamo, Tandang Sora, Sangandaan, Baesa, Bahay Toro, Ramon Magsaysay Alicia and Santo Cristo made up Novaliches.

In the 1920’s, real estate started to spread east of Manila. The lands of San Juan del Monte started to be subdivided and marketed to the Manila elite that wanted to escape the congestion of the old city, while still being accessible to the commercial districts. Some of the most prominent residential developments in San Juan that became part of Quezon City were the Magdalena Estate or New Manila of Doña Magdalena Hemady, and the Cubao Estate. The centerpiece of what would become Quezon City was the Hacienda Diliman in San Juan del Monte. Hacienda Diliman was an estate originally owned by the Real Mesa de Santa Misericordia, together with Hacienda Santa Mesa, before both were acquired by the Tuason Family. At the heart of Hacienda Diliman was the planned Capitol and government complex along North, East, West and Timog Avenues. Portions of Hacienda Diliman were intended for low cost housing, first of which was Barrio Obrero in Kaminung. This was followed by the Project Ares. 

The former barrios of Caloocan were also annexed to Quezon City. 

• Balintawak (approximate areas are Balong Bato, Apolonio Samson, Balingasa, Pag-ibig sa Ngayon, Damar, San Jose)

• La Loma ( approximate areas are Maharlika, N. S. Amoranto, Paang Bundok, Salvacion, San Isidro Labrador, Sta. Teresita, Lourdes)

• Masambong ( approximate areas are Manresa, St. Peter, Siena, Masambong, Talayan, Santo Domingo)

• Santol (approximate areas are Tatalon, Doña Josefa, Don Manuel, Doña Aurora, San Isidro, Sto. Niño, Santol, Doña Imelda) 

Along with the proposal to move of the government center was the proposal to move the University of the Philippines from Ermita to a more spacious grounds. For this purpose, portions of Hacienda Mariquina, also owned by the Tuason Family was appropriated and annexed to Hacienda Diliman. It should be noted that what we presently call UP Diliman, was actually Marikina, not Diliman. The other territories of Marikina now part of Quezon City are Balara, Pansol, Culiat, the whole of UP Area, Loyola heights down to Bagumbayan. 

A portion of San Mateo, the former Jesuit Hacienda Payatas was also acquired and annexed to Quezon City for the Philippine Army. These areas are now approximately Batasan Hills, Holy Spirit, Payatas & Bagong Silangan

Originally, portions of Hacienda Mandaluyong of the Ortigas Family, which sits on San Felipe Neri, San Juan del Monte and Pasig was included in Quezon City. The revised plan of 1949 excluded Wackwack, but retained the areas now of Ugong Norte, Camp Aguinaldo, White Plains, Saint Ignatius and Crame.



Text by Lorenzo Bukas

Map by Bernie Arellano

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