Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City – Barangay Holy Spirit

1982 Barangay Holy Spirit
1982 Barangay Holy Spirit

Hidden on the hillside slopes of the northwestern side of Commonwealth Avenue, is Barangay Holy Spirit. The entrance to this community can be identified by two commercial landmarks along Commonwealth Avenue: the Shopwise Commercial Center and the Ever Gotesco Mall. Although the community was formally established as a barangay (the smallest local government unit) in 1982, the history of the area extends back to the Spanish occupation of the Philippines (1564-1898), when the area was still part of the Balara District of Marikina. The area was first developed in the 1950s, with the area was absorbed by the ever growing Quezon City.

02 HBI-SDRC Holland HouseIn the 1960s, an extension of the housing projects for veterans of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was established in the area, which was to be known as Veterans Village. At the mean time, the Don Mariano Marcos Avenue (now Commonwealth Avenue) was being built to link the far north district of Novaliches with the rest of the city, creating opportunity for further development in the area.

ELP JR House, Faustino Street
ELP JR House, Faustino Street

In the mid-20th century, Don Antonio de Zuzuarregui Sr. had bought tracks of land in the area, after World War II. With his death in 1953, the whole property became idle, as he did not leave a will. His children (both recognized and illegitimate) and siblings squabbled over the land, and other properties. By the 1970s, a compromise was made, and the land and was divided and developed into two distinct residential subdivisions: Don Antonio Heights (after Antonio Jr., the son) and Don Enrique Heights (after Enrique the brother). Many of the streets in the neighborhood are names after family members of the De Zuzuarregui clan. The clan also own a school called the Don Antonio Zuzuarregui Sr. Memorial Academy (founded in 1978 as Joseph Marello Academy), in Antipolo City.

1981-2002 Our Lady of Remedies Chapel, Don Enrique Subdivision
1981-2002 Our Lady of Remedies Chapel, Don Enrique Subdivision

As the two subdivisions grew in population, the Roman Catholic residents began to demand their own places of worship. And in 1981, the Our Lady of Remedies Chapel was erected at the Don Enrique Heights Subdivision, which was later reconstructed to its present edifice in 2002.

1996-2006 Parish of Saint Benedict, Don Antonio Subdivision
1996-2006 Parish of Saint Benedict, Don Antonio Subdivision

In 1996, the Our Lady of Fatima Sub-Parish was constructed in the Don Antonio Heights Subdivision. And along with its reconstruction in 2006, the chapel was elevated to a parish, and renamed the St. Benedict Parish.

1970s BF Homes (Banco Filipino)
1970s BF Homes (Banco Filipino)

Another developer in the area was Tomas Aguirre’s Banco Filipino, which built the residential subdivision, BF Homes, in the late 1970s.

1978 School of the Holy Spirit of Quezon City
1978 School of the Holy Spirit of Quezon City

In 1979, the School of the Holy Spirit of Quezon City (SHSQC) opened within the BF Homes subdivision, as a private all-girls’ Catholic school, and is runs by the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit.  The SHSQC allowed residents to avail of quality education, without having to travel far. The establishment of the SHSQC would eventually lead to the area being called Barangay Holy Spirit.

1980 Holy Spirit Parish
1980 Holy Spirit Parish

In need of a local parish, residents of BF Homes requested the parent organization of the SHSQC, the Society of the Divine Word, to open a church in their community.  Hence in 1980, the Holy Spirit Parish was established, also within the BF Homes locale.

Paraluman
Paraluman

Trivia:

Intersecting the main road of Holy Spirit Drive is the street called Paraluman. The street is named after the 1940s film actress Sigrid Sophia Agatha von Giese (1923-2009), whose screen name was Paraluman (muse). A four time FAMAS award winner, Paraluman continued doing films until the late 1980s.

1994 FEU Diliman (1970s FEU Institute of Technology)
1994 FEU Diliman (1970s FEU Institute of Technology)

By the 1980s, more residential subdivisions were being developed further inward. Among these were the Mapayapa villages, Silverland Village, Ferndale Homes, and Fern Village. To answer the need for a closer college offer to residents, the Far Eastern University (FEU) opened the FEU-FERN College, in 1994. The name “Fern” or “Ferndale” came from the Ferndale Homes subdivision, which was developed by the Ayala Property Management Corporation; which wanted to capture the idyllic setting of Ferndale City, Cailofrnia.

Barangay Holy Spirit, Security & Safety Division
Barangay Holy Spirit, Security & Safety Division

With the middle and upper class families moving in, the older and poorer communities were also exploding in population and congestion, leading to a rise in crime by the 1990s to early 2000s. Local officials were at wits end, trying to stave off the gang wars and robberies. Finally, the local barangay officials stopped focusing on the catching the criminals, and started implementing programs for the benefit of the marginalized communities, such as local health and daycare centers, sporting events, and alternative business workshops; which eventually led to a decline in the local crime rate.

2005 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chapel
2005 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chapel

With so many people moving in to Barangay Holy Spirit, the local parish could not accommodate all the faithful. Soon more places of worship began appearing, with the Puno United Methodist Church along Holy Spirit Drive (1987), Jesus Lord of Divine Mercy Church on Mabolo Street (1992), Radiant Life City Church on Tulip Street (1997), Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chapel (2005),the Parish of Saint Benedict in Don Antonio Heights (2006), Sitio Mabilog Bible Christian Church, and the Family Christian Fellowship to name a few.

Mapayapa Village
Mapayapa Village

Now-a-days, Barangay Holy Spirit is a bustling community with many small shopping and dining establishments to satisfy its ever growing population. There is also a thriving Korean community, as there a many noticeable Korean groceries and restaurants within the vicinity. With such a booming population and business hub, Baranagay Holy Spirit is slowly trying to be a more self-sufficient community, rather than having most of its residents braving the insane traffic to get to other places of work in the metropolis.

1982 Barangay Holy Spirit

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