The 1.5 kilometer Anonas Street and its extension traverses the areas of the Quirino, Sikatuna and Teachers’ Village of Quezon City. These districts were developed in the 1950s, as part of the government’s People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation (PHHC) that develops housing communities for government employees, as well as residents of Manila who were displaced after the Battle of Manila (February 3 to March 3, 1945), during World War II (1939-1945). Anonas Street is the main route that connects these districts, and it is named after the tree Anonas (Custard Aplle, Annona reticulata); just as most of the roads of the Homesite’s Project 3 (Quirino District). Despite Project 2 and 3 being completed in 1952, it would take 10 years for Anonas Street, and the bisecting main road of Kamias Street, to be fully cemented.
The south end of Anonas Street is the Quirino District’s Project 3, which is named after President Elpidio Rivera Quirino (1890-1956), who had enacted the Homesite program and opened Projects 1 to 4 in 1950. The first main landmark of Project 3 is the Saint Joseph Archdiocesan Shrine (est. 1951), which is located close to the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Anonas Street. The parish started as the Saint Joseph Chapel inside the Quirino Elementary School, in 1951; but it was moved to its present site the very next year, and proclaimed as a parish. The current architecture of the church was completed in 1978, with stunning murals by Loreto T. Racuya (born 1940).
Near the Saint Joseph Parish is the Project 3 Heritage Tree, which stands in the middle of Narra (Pterocarpus indicus) Street. The more than 100 year old Sampaloc Tree (Tamarindus indica) is believed to “resist” being toppled during the building of the road, as the workers would get sick as they would approach the tree to cut it. So the workers decided that there was an elemento (nature spirit) residing inside the tree, and built the road around it. In 2019, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DENR) declared the sampaloc an “official” heritage tree, along with its own plaque.
Further away is Langka (Jack fruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus) Street, with several furniture making shops. These furniture businesses, along with antique stores, arose in the 1950s and 1960s to repair or replace heirlooms that were damaged during the war. North of Langka Street is Barangay Botocan, which was named after the transmission towers of the Botocan Hydroelectric Power Plant (BHEPP) that once stood there, since the BHEPP was constructed in 1930 in the Province of Laguna. What is left of the Botocan transmission towers is the Manila Electric Company stockyard (MERALCO), on Maliksi Street.
Back at Anonas Street, The 70’s Bistro has been a long standing institution that promoted live Filipino alternative, folk, rock, and world music since 1992. Located between Marang (Johey Oak, Artocarpus odoratissimus) and Naranghita (Dalanghita, Citrus reticulate), The 70’s Bistro has out lived many of its rival music venues. Another nearby entertainment venue that is trying to build a strong reputation is the Balete At Kamias (est. 2012).
Further northward of Anonas Street are the 1952 Quirino Elementary School and Don Quintín Paredes High School, between the corners of Durian (Durio zibethinus) and Lanzones (Lansium domesticum) streets. The Quirino Elementary School was obviously named after President Elpidio Rivera Quirino, and was established in 1951 as the first educational institution in Project 3. The Don Quintín Paredes High School was established in 1976, and was named after Senator Quintín Babila Paredes Sr. (1884-1973). However, the Don Quintín Paredes High School was first called the Durian Elementary School upon its founding, but was later changed to the Flora Ylagan High School, after Dr. Flora Amoranto Ylagan (1893-1969), the co-founder of the National Teachers College in 1928. Other nearby schools are the Project 3 Elementary School (est. 1953), Quirino High School (est. 1955), and the Saint Joseph Catholic School (est. 1985); which are all located along Molave (Chaste Tree, Vitex parviflora) Street.
Moving north and crossing Kamias (Cucumber tree, Averrhoa bilimbi) Street, the Anonas Street Extension is marked by a small park in the center of the road, with two sculptures at the front of the park. This park marks the Sikatuna Village, which was established in 1957 as the East Malaya Avenue Subdivision, before changing the name to the Sikatuna Village in 1964.
The area was named after the ancient chieftain of Bohol, Datu Sikatuna (Katunao) who was noted for making peace with the Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi (1502-1572), through a blood compact (sanduguan) in 1565. The original 1974 concrete sculpture of the chieftain was damaged over the years, and was replaced in 2019; while the original was placed hidden at the back of the park.
In 1974, a monument to Datu Sikatuna was put up at the entrance of the park; however the statute was left to ruin and later overshadowed by the installation of the 4.5 meter anti-abortion “Shrine of the Unborn Child” by Dr. Antonio Raymundo, in 1999. The sculpture is an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding a fetus, while faces of unborn children appear with roses from her flowing robes. The was first unveiled in all white, but the image was to stark and was repainted in an adobe red. Then monument was also redone in 2016, with the fetus redone, to be featured emerging from a rose at the lap of the Virgin Mary. Then in 2019, the statue was painted in “live colors,” to coincide with the presentation of the new Sikatuna sculpture.
Dr. Antonino ‘Ton’ S. Raymundo is a noted sculptor of religious images, who first practiced as an anesthesiologist in the Philippines and Hamburg, West Germany. Raymundo first took a workshop in ceramics in Germany, which would inspire him to pursue a life in the arts. Returning to the Philippines, Raymundo would join several group exhibitions and win several local competitions, before launching his first solo show in 1988. For his continuous participation with the Manila art scene, Raymundo would eventually become a core Tuesday Group of Artists, a board member of the Visual Arts Cooperative of the Philippines, the treasurer of the Society of Philippine Sculptors, and president of the Philippine Association of Figure Artists. Raymundo has been commissioned by several religious organizations for public sculptures, all around the country, leading to his recognition by his alma mater as one of the 2001 Bedan of the Century.
The Barangay Botocan, the eastern side of Langka Street, and the western side of Anonas Extension is part of the Homesite’s Project 2 and 5, with the other barangays of Claro, East Kamias, Quirino 2-A, Quirino 3-A, and West Kamias. The most significant landmark in these areas is the Holy Family Parish, which was established in 1980, at the corners of K-7th, K-I, and K-8th streets.
The next major road that the Anonas Extension intersects is the 1.7 kilometer V. Luna Avenue, which was named after Colonel Victoriano Luna (died 1942), how had instituted the 1st Philippine Army General Hospital in Camp Murphy (now Camp Aguinaldo), in 1937. The hospital was renamed the Victoriano Luna General Hospital, and moved to its current location in 1950, just 650 meters from the Anonas Extension intersection.
The major landmark of Sikatuna Village is the Parish of The Lord of Divine Mercy, at the corner of Madasalin and Maamo Street. The church started as a chapel in 1980, and was served by priests from the Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Claretian Missionaries), whose convent was opened in the nearby Teachers Village in 1967. The new church structure was completed in 1993 and declared as a parish on the same year, and on 1996 the Bahay Magmamahal (House of Love) multi-purpose hall was opened in 1996.
The community left of the Anonas Extension is the Teacher’s Village, which was established in 1975, when the National Housing Authority awarded parcels of land to Metro Manila teachers. The roads in the barangays Teachers Village, Sikatuna Village, Pinyahan, Central, and UP Village are named after Filipino positive traits; such as Maalahanin (thoughtful), Maalindog (charming), Maamo (friendly), Maaralin (studious), Maayusin (resourceful), Mabait (kind), Mabilis (quick), Madasalin (prayerful), Magiliw (adorable), Maginhawa (blissful), Maginoo (respectful), Magiting (brave), Mahabagin (compassionate), Mahinhin (modest), Mahiyain (bashful), Mahusay (capable), Maimpok (frugal), Makadios (God fearing), Makatarungan (just), Makisig (gallant), Malakas (strong), Malambing (caring), Malaya (free), Malihim (prudent), Maliksi (spry), Malingap (caring), Malinis (clean), Malumanay (gentle), Malusog (healthy), Manigo (refined), Maningning (bright or cheerful), Mapagmahal (loving), Mapang-akit (attractive), Mapagkawanggawa (industrious), Mapangkumbaba (humble), Maparaan (creative), Mapayapa (peaceful), Marilag (beautiful), Marunong (intelligent), Masambahin (faithful), Masaya (happy), Masigasig (persistent), Masigla (joyful), Masikap (diligent), Masinsinan (truthful), Masunurin (obedient), Matahimik (quiet), Matalino (wise), Matapang (courageous), Matapat (honest), Matatag (stalwart), Matimpiin (cautious), Matimtiman (patient), Matino (trustworthy), Matipid (thrifty), Matipuno (authoritative), Matiwasay (welcoming), Matiyaga (persevering), Matulungin (helpful), Maunawain (understanding), Maunlad (successful), Mayaman (wealthy), and Mayumi (tender). The main artery of Teachers Village is Maginhawa Street, which has become a hub for foodies and drinkers, with many specialty restaurants opening up throughout the 2.3 kilometer strip.
At the end of Mayumi Street is the Quezon City Police District headquarters, Camp Tomas Karingal. The police camp was constructed in 1974 as Camp Datuin and the base of the north police district of Philippine Constabulary Metropolitan Command (MetroCom). The original camp may have been named after the World War II hero, Bernabe M. Datuin of the Counter Intelligence Corps, and died either in Corregidor or Bataan in 1942. Before this, the MetroCom was based at PC-INP (Philippine Constabulary & Integrated National Police) Camp Rafael Cramé along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA for short). The camp changed named in 1987 after its former commander, Major General Tomas Bingo Karingal (1915-1984), who was assassinated nearby.
Aside from the many business and food establishments in Teachers Village, the biggest landmark in area is the Claretian Missionaries’ Claret School of Quezon City (CSQC) at the corner of Maginhawa and Mayumi streets, which they opened in 1967 along with their convent. Behind the school is the Claretian Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish (IHMP) on Mayumi and Mahinhin streets, which was established as a parish in 1969 and the current structure completed in 1977. The church is noted to be designed by National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Valencia Locsin (1928-1994); with artworks by National Artist for Sculpture, Napoleón Isabelo “Billy” Veloso Abueva (1930-2018), and the Spanish Claretian priest, Fr. Segundo Gutiérrez y Domínguez (1932-2012).
Another school along Maginhawa street is the all-girls primary Holy Family School of Quezon City, which was opened in 1966 by the Siervas de San José (SSJ). The SSJ was founded by Saint Bonifacia Rodríguez y Castro (1837-1905) in Spain, and were established in the Philippines in 1932.
There is much to explore on the historical significance of landmarks in the Quirino, Sikatuna and Teachers Village districts; including the area was part Spanish era (1565-1898) Krus na Ligas community. This subtle yet deep history is best symbolized by the unassuming Yesteryear Music Gallery on Magiting Street. Opened in 1995 by former banker, Nestor R. Vera Cruz (born 1935), the Yesteryear Music Gallery showcases his vast assemblage of Filipino music albums, vintage photographs, and a collection or artworks by Philippine classical masters, such as Anastacio Tanchauco Caedo (1907-1990), Francesco Riccardo Clementi Monti (1888-1958), Graciano T. Nepomuceno (1881-1974), Isabelo L. Tampinco (1850-1933), and Guillermo Estrella Tolentino (1890 -1976). These hidden treasures Mr. Vera-Cruz’s humble place reflects the whole district wealth of stories that are waiting to be discovered.