The Quezon City barangays of Kamuning, Laging Handa, Paligsahan, Obrero, Roxas, and Sacred Heart started as a housing project of President Manuel Luis Molina Quezón (1878-1944) in the 1930s, to build a new capital city of the Philippines, called Balíntawak City (now Quezon City). Quezon’s People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation (PHHC) first purchased 1,529 hectares of Diliman Estate, from the Tuason clan, through the matriarch Doña Maria Teresa Eriberta De La Paz Tuason (1867-1951), as mitigated by her nephew Angel “Bobby” M. Tuason Valdez (1899-1948); and developed the Homesite’s Project 1 called Barrio Obrero (Worker’s Village), in 1939, as a housing area for blue collared workers.
However, Quezon’s housing projects were not the first development in the new city, as Catholic orders were establishing their convents and seminaries in the nearby areas. Among the first to be constructed were the 1926 Discalced Carmelites’ Carmel of Thérèse of Lisieux along Gilmore Avenue, the 1931 Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres Novitiate and Provincial House (now Saint Paul University Quezon City, or SPUQC) on the Marikina-Infanta Highway (now Aurora Boulevard), the 1932 Franciscan Sororum Franscicalium Immaculada Conceptione De Mater Dei’s (Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, SFIC) St. Joseph’s Academy and Convent (now St. Joseph’s College of Quezon City, or SJCQC), and the 1933 Society of the Divine Word’s (SDV) Christ the King Mission Seminary along the España Extension (now E. Rodriguez Sr. Boulevard). This area was first part of the Municipal of San Juan del Monte, and would be later known as the posh residential “Hacienda Magdalena” (now New Manila) of Doña Magdalena Hashim Ysmael-Hemady (1877-1955). President Quezon would move into the New Manila district, on Gilmore Avenue, to be close to the nearby Santol Sanitarium (now the Quezon Institute), to treat his tuberculosis.
The Homesite Project 1 has three major roads constructed in 1940: Kamuning Road, Sampaloc Avenue, and South Market Street. Kamuning Road is named after the Orange Jasmine Tree (Murraya Paniculata), The street spans 1.4 kilometers from its eastern intersection with Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA for short), to its terminus in the west. The Kamuning Road also used to have a cinema, the Mylen theater, which is now People of Grace Christian School in front of the Kamuning Police Station.
Kamuning Road’s western terminus connects with Sampaloc Avenue, which was named after the Tamarind Trees (Tamarindus indica) that grew abundantly along the sides of the street. Sampaloc Avenue stretched for 1.7 kilometers from the España Boulevard Extension in the south to the Eugenio Lopez Sr. Street in the north. In 1966, the road was named Tomas Morato Avenue, after the first mayor of Quezon City, Mayor Tomás Eduardo Bernabéu Morató (1887-1965).
The 1.9 kilometer South Market Street spans from Sampaloc Avenue in the east, and stretches to the Quezon Boulevard Extension (now Quezon Avenue). Later, the road was renamed after the newspaper publisher, Don Alejandro Roces, Sr. (1875-1943), who was integral to the development of the Homesite program.
Most of the main roads of the barangays of Laging Handa, Paligsahan, Obrero, Roxas, and Sacred Heart are named after the 24 members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), who perished in a plane crash in 1963. The 20 boys and their 4 supervisors when on board an A. de Havilland DH.106 Comet, of United Arab Airlines Flight 869, to participate in the August 11th World Scout Jamboree, in Marathon, Greece. During the flight, the plane experienced turbulence and crashed into the Indian Ocean on July 28, killing everyone on board. This was the worse scouting tragedy to date, and sent shock waves throughout the world. In 1964, the streets of Project 1 were named after the BSP contingent; and Barrio Roxas was divided into two, with the eastern side named Laging Handa (Always Ready), after the BSP motto. In 1965, a monument to the BSP was erected in the center rotunda of Sampaloc Avenue, Timog Avenue (South) and West Avenue; which was sculpted by Florante “Boy” Beltran Caedo (1939-2004). And in 2008, an obelisk was added atop the Scout Memorial, with a statue of Mayor Morato at the top.
Close to the corner of Kamuning Road and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA for short) is the Bernardo Park, which is named after Ponciano A. Bernardo (1905-1949), the 2nd mayor of Quezon City. Mayor Bernardo had the park built as part of the second city hall, also built in the area.
Beside the park is the Quezon City Library and Information Center Cubao Branch, which is part of the Lions Clubs International Quezon City chapter, which was completed in 1948, at the same time as the park. In front of the library is the Quezon City Jail, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Kamuning Police Station 10 of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), and the Junior Chamber International (JCI or Jaycees, est. in the Philippines in 1947) building.
A few meters from Bernardo Park is the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Elementary School, which was established in 1964 as K-D Elementary School. The school was renamed in 1966, in honor of the propagandist, Marcelo Hilario del Pilar y Gatmaitán (1850-1896), who wrote against the injustices of the Spanish colonial government (1565-1898).
There are other public schools in the area, such as Kamuning Elementary School, on Eagle Scout Antonio Rios Torillo Street; which was completed in 1939 as part of the opening of Barrio Obrero. On the corner of Teodoro E. Gener and Vice-Mayor Luis Sianghio streets is the Tomas Morato Elementary School, which opened in 1941 K-C Annex of the Kamuning Elementary School. Behind the Kamuning Elementary School at the corner of First Class Scout Victór Oteyza de Guia, Jr. and First Class Scout Rogelio Celis Ybardolaza streets is the 1947 Quezon City High School; which is the first secondary public school in Quezon City. And along Roces Avenue is the Don Alejandro Roces Sr. Science-Technology High School (DARRSTHS), which opened in 1951 after Don Alejandro donated the land to build the school as the Don Alejandro Roces Sr. Annex. Another specialized public school is the Eugenio Lopez Jr. Center for Media Arts Senior High School on Scout Torillo Street; which was developed by the family of media mogul Eugenio “Geny” Moreno López Jr. (1928-1999) to render professional classes on journalism, production, and film.
The General Roxas Elementary School (est. 1949) on Jasmin Street and the Manuel Roxas High School (est. as the Quezon City High School Annex, 1957) on Senior Scout Pathfinder Henry Cabrera Chuatoco Street are part of the Roxas District; which is named after President Manuel Acuña Roxas (1892-1948), who had continued Quezon’s Homesite program and expanded the area of Project 1. With the sudden death of Roxas, the presidency was taken over by his then-vice president, Elpidio Rivera Quirino (1890-1956), who would continue Quezon and Roxas’ housing legacies, by building the Homesite Projects 2, Project 3, and Project 4.
There are several Christian and secular private schools in the area. For the Christian schools, there is the Kamuning Bible Christian Fellowship’s Kinder Care (est. 1975) on 11th Jamboree Street, the Evangelical Asia Graduate School of Theology (est. 1984) and the Asian Theological Seminary on Senior Scout Pathfinder Paulo Cabrera Madriñán Street, the People of Grace Fellowship’s People of Grace Christian School (est. 1984) on Kamuning Road, the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei’s Parents for Education Foundation(PAREF) Rosefield School (est. 1990) on First Class Scout Felix Palma Fuentebella, Jr. and the Northfield School for Boys (est. 1994) on the corner of First Class Scout Pedro Hermano Gandia, Jr. and Eagle Scout Antonio Rios Torillo streets, the Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon Community’s Cradle of Joy Catholic Progressive School (est. 1997) 11th Jamboree Street, and the Bread of Life Ministries International’s Meridian International Learning Experience (est. 2002) on Mother Ignacia Avenue. The only non-Christian religious school in the area is the Buddhist Soka Garden Learning School on Life Scout José Antonio Chuidian Delgado, Jr. Street.
For the secular private schools, there are the Piagetian Guided Educational Center (est. 1983) on Senior Scout Pathfinder Filamér Santos Reyes Street, the CIIT Philippines – College of Arts and Technology (est. 2007 as the Cosmopoint International Institute of Technology) on Kamuning Road, the TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) credited Academy of Elegance, Performing and Social Arts on Kamuning Road, the Children’s Little University at the corner of Samar Avenue and Eugenio Lopez Drive, the Kinderfield Learning Center on First Class Scout Pedro Hermano Gandia, Jr. Street, the Teaching Children Through Personalized Interventions (TCPI) on First Class Scout Felix Palma Fuentebella, Jr. Street, and the THERASERVE Children’s Assessment, Early Intervention and Therapy Center on K-2nd Street.
The only Catholic school in the area is Saint Mary’s College of Quezon City, at the corner of Mother Ignacia Avenue and Senior Scout Pathfinder Filamér Santos Reyes Street. Established in 1950, the school traces its roots to the boarding girls school Beaterio dela Compania de Jesus (est. 1725) of the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM, La Cofradía de Hermanas de Religiosa de la Virgen María), in Intramuros, Manila. The RVM was founded in 1684, by the Filipina-Chinese Ignacia del Espíritu Santo Juco (1663-1748), who is best known as Mother Ignacia; hence the name of the road the school is located.
Aside from Christian schools, there are also many Christian institutions in the area. The oldest of these is the Kamuning First Methodist Church, which was founded on Kamuning Road in 1941, as the Kamuning Fellowship, and First Methodist Church of Kamuning in 1943. There are also the Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ Center for Evangelism and Discipleship (est. 1965) on Air Scout Observer Gabriél Nicolás Borromeo Street, the Alliance of Bible Christian Communities (est. 1972) on Star Scout Romeo Rafaél Rallos Street, the Ang Lingkod Ng Panginoon (est. 1975) on Star Scout Ascario Ampíl Tuason, Jr. Street, the Ligaya ng Panginoon’s Christ’s Youth in Action Foundation (est. 1975) on Roces Avenue, the Norwegian Mission Alliance Philippines (est. 1976) on Mother Ignacia Avenue, the Metro Manila Church of Christ (est. 1970s, Metro Manila Church of Christ) on Samar Avenue, the Bread of Life Ministries International (est. 1983) on Mother Ignacia Avenue, the Higher Rock Christian Church (est. 1996) on Timog Avenue, the Christian Stewardship Association (est. 2000) on Senior Scout Pathfinder Paulo Cabrera Madriñán Street, the Christlife Assemblies on First Class Scout Rogelio Celis Ybardolaza Street, the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints on Panay Avenue, the Church of World Messianity Philippines (est. 1935, in Japan) on Scout Borromeo Street, the His Life City Church Quezon City on Panay Avenue, the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on K-5th Street, the Catholic Missionary Sisters of Sacro Costato and of the Sorrowful Mother Retreat House on First Class Scout José Fermín Gonzales Magbanua Street, the Servant of the Word on First Class Scout Benecio Suarez Tobias Street, the Trinity Lutheran Church at the Kamuning Road and EDSA, the Triumphant Generation Church on Senior Scout Pathfinder Henry Cabrera Chuatoco Street, and the Word of Grace Christian Fellowship at the corner of 11th Jamboree and Scout Rallos streets.
Aside from Christian institutions, there are also religious/spiritual organizations of other faiths, such as the Brahma Kumaris Lotus Center (est. 1985) at the corner of Teodoro E. Gener Street and Kamuning Road, the Islamic Botanical Mosque Jamah Association on Cadena De Amor Street, and the Hare Krishna’s International Sri Krishna Mandir Philippines on First Class Scout Roberto Corpus Castór Street.
The Kamuning First Methodist Church was established two years after the completion of Barrio Obrero in 1939. For the Catholic residents, first went to the Society of the Divine Word’s (SDV) Christ the King Mission Seminary along the España Extension. The first mass was held on Christmas day 1940 on K-A Street (now Vice-Mayor Luis Sianghio Street), by Fr. Koodring of the SDV. And in 1941, the SVD priests opened a chapel on a lot between now-Scouts Ybardolaza, Fernandez and Fuentebella streets, and named the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, designed by Arch. Arturo M. Mañalac (1915-1990).
The two other Catholic churches in the area are the Holy Family Parish and the Saint Paul: The Apostle Parish Church. The Holy Family Parish started as a makeshift chapel inside the General Roxas Elementary School, and was later established as a parish on the nearby Lilac Street, in 1953. The Saint Paul: The Apostle Parish Church started with local residents holding masses in the chapel of the St. Mary’s College; and when a chapel was moved and declared as parish in 1978, the administrations of the sacraments was managed by the SDV priests, then the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC, Missionarii Sacratissimi Cordis) from the nearby MSC Provincial Superior House (est. 1917), on Gilmore Avenue, in New Manila. The current church was completed in 1986.
The most eye-catching Catholic institutional structures in the area is the Dominican Sisters of the Regina Rosarii provincial house, located along Assistant Scoutmaster Librado L. S. Fernandez Street. Atop the provincial house is a 6 meter (20 ft.) tall statue of Regina Rosarii (Our Lady: Queen of the Rosary) by Jose “Joe” Barcena Jr. Established in 2005 by Sister Mary Epifania F. Brasil, who broke off from the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary, and founded the new Dominican order in nearby Scout Santiago Street, before moving to its new home in the same year. In 2009, they established the Regina RICA Institute for Contemplation, in the Municipality of Tanay; with a 21.6 meter (71 feet) stature of Regina Rosarii in the property.
Although the Project 1 area is primarily a residential neighborhood, many business establishments have cropped up. Tomas Morato Avenue, along with Timog and Quezon avenues, have become the business and entertainment district of Quezon City. The oldest surviving business establishment is the Kamuning Bakery, which was opened in 1939 at the corner Judge Damian L. Jiménez and K-1st streets. Don Alejandro Roces invited the husband and wife, Miguel and Jovita Bonifacio, owners of Los Baños Bakery in Manila, to set up shop in Quezon City. So in 1939, their daughter, Atty. Leticia “Letty” Bonifacio Javier and her husband, Marcelo Javier Sr., opened the Kamuning Bakery. In 2013, the Kamuning Bakery was purchased by the journalist and businessman, Wilson Lee Flores, who continues to promote the heritage of the establishment. The Kamuning Bakery has been celebrating World Pandesal Day since 2015, by giving free pandesal bread every October 16.
Tomas Morato Avenue, and its outlying streets, is the current foodie capital of Quezon City, with new restaurants opening up every year. Some of the restaurants with the oldest histories can be found on the said road, such as the Alba Restaurante Español at the corner of Rover Scout Roberto del Prado Lozano Street, and was established in Manila as the Alba Cocina Española, on 1954, by the Spaniard Anastacio B. de Alba (1927-2016). Another Spanish found restaurant is the Dulcinea Restaurant at the corner of First Class Scout Antonio Mariano Limbaga Street, which was opened in Manila in 1963 as the Dulcinea Pasterleria y salon de Te, by Santos Ruano. On Roces Avenue is Lydia’s Lechon that started as a small lechon stand in Pasay City by Mrs. Lydia and Benigno de Roca in 1965, which they would start into a restaurant business by 1986 in Manila. Next is the Mario’s Restaurant at the corner of First Class Scout Pedro Hermano Gandia, Jr. Street, which opened in Baguio City in 1971 by Mario and Nenuca Benitez, before the launched the Quezon City branch in 1974. And at the corner of Scoutmaster Bonifacio Vitan Lazcano, M.D. Street is the Alfredo’s Steak House, which started by Alfredo Araneta in 1968, before transferring it to its present location in 1973.
The oldest of all restaurants in the area is the Max’s Restaurant along Star Scout Ascario Ampíl Tuason, Jr. Street. Opening in 1945 as Max’s Bar and Café at the ground floor of his home, founder Maximo F. Gimenez (born 1901) started his restaurant when he would regularly invite for meals the American GIs for the nearby JUSMAG camp (Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group). When the GIs insisted of paying for their meals, Gimenez decided to open the restaurant. The Max’s restaurant started to franchise its business in 1988, with its classic fried chicken recipe, which was conceived by Gimenez’s niece, Ruby S. Trota; thus using the tagline of “The House that Fried Chicken Built.”
There are other many of the old restaurants in the area started in the area; and by the 2000s the new entrepreneurs started repurposing the old post-war homes into business establishments. However, the first to repurpose a house is the Annabel’s Restaurant on the corner of Scout Delgado, which opened in the 1980s. By the 2000s, the first to do this was the fashion designer, Toby Albrando, who renovated a 1950s home on Kamuning Road into the Seventy Seven Bar & Café, which opened in 2004, along with Albrando’s boutique. Another repurposed home is the Kaida Art Contemporary Gallery, which opened on Senior Scout Pathfinder Paulo Cabrera Madriñán Street in 2006. And in 2017, the Roice’s Restaurant + G (now Delgado 112) opened in what was my ancestral home, on Scout Delgado Street.
Aside from restaurants, there are many commercial establishments and business offices throughout the area. From fashion boutiques to knick-knack stores, groceries to drug store, there are many things to purchase on a simple stroll along Tomas Morato Avenue. One interesting shop is the Popular Bookstore which opened in 2001, but has its roots in Manila when Joaquin Sr. and Flordeliza Po opened his first shop along Doroteo Jose Street in Manila, in 1946.
However, one of the oldest stores in the area is connected with Project 1’s post-war reconstruction. The Kamuning Swap Meet is started with the many garage sales for residents to barter or sell old family heirlooms to add more money to their budgets, or to replace the ones that were damaged by the war or by time. By the 1970s, several thrift stores opened along the road, and would hold monthly swap meets. This would lead to the establishment of the Kamuning Swap Meet, with several stores within the building. Aside from the Swap Meet at the corner of K-D Street and Kamuning Road, there are also some antique shops along Tomas Morato Avenue.
Another business that deals with heirlooms and antiques is Alfred Motor Works at the corner of 11th Jamboree and Kamuning Road, which specializes in the restoration of classic cars. Established by Alfred Perez in 1993, the biggest project that company has had was to restore the 16 vehicles of the thirteen presidents for the Presidential Automobile Museum, which opened in the Quezon Memorial Circle in 2017.
Barrio Kamuning was part of Barrio Obrero, but decided to change the name by 1941 because they were not laborers, but government employees. To develop their community, the residents first set out to erect their parish, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, in which the first mass was held in a makeshift chapel, on an empty lot along the now- Vice-Mayor Luis Sianghio Street, before moving the church to its present site. On the location of the first mass, the residents would build what is now the Kamuning Public Market. These days, the Kamuning Public Market is not just known for the typical wet and dry goods, but also offers many stalls that sell native products and fabrics, as well as several tailoring shops to have clothes made from the textiles purchased at the market.
The next major landmark on Kamuning Road is the Jesus C. Delgado Memorial Hospital (JCDMH), which established as a small clinic by Dr. Jesus Concepción Delgado Jr. in 1948. Dr. Delgado came from a prominent political clan, but decided to pursue the field of medicine, as inspired by his father, a doctor turned diplomat, Dr. José María Salcedo Delgado (1887-1978). Dr. Delgado specialized pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology; and when the Delgado Clinic expanded into a hospital, it was renamed the Delgado Maternity and Children’s Hospital, then later changed again to its present name after the death of the founder in 1988. Other medical facilities in the area are the Capitol Medical Center (opened 1970) on Quezon Avenue and Scout Magbanua Street, and the Kamuning Health Center at the corner of Teodoro E. Gener Street and Vice-Mayor Luis Sianghio Street.
With the many businesses, food and entertainment establishments in the area, as well as the proximity to shopping centers and the Quezon City Hall, there are many hotels in the district to cater to any type of visitor. These hospitality establishments are the B Hotel on Star Scout Romeo Rafaél Rallos Street, the Casa Pura at the corner Scout Rallos and Star Scout Wilfredo Mendoza Santiago streets, the Cocoon Botique Hotel at the corner of Scout Rallos and First Class Scout Benecio Suarez Tobias streets, the Go Hotels at the corner of Senior Scout Pathfinder Paulo Cabrera Madriñán Street and Tomas Morato Avenue, the Hive Hotel and Convention Place at the corner of Scout Madriñan and Star Scout Ascario Ampíl Tuason, Jr. streets, the Hop Inn Hotel on Air Scout Observer Gabriél Nicolás Borromeo Street, the Hotel Rembrandt at the corner of Tomas Morato Avenue and Senior Scout Pathfinder Patricio Dulay Bayoran, Jr. Street, the Icon Hotel and Imperial Palace Suites at the opposing corners of Timog and Tomas Morato avenues, the Kamuning Hostel on K-1st Street, the La Breza and Sequoia Hotel on Mother Ignacia Avenue, the Luxent, Red Planet, and Sir Williams Hotel on Timog Avenue, the Torre Venezia Suites on Scout Santiago Street and Timog Avenue, and the OYO 508 Vista Wil Tower on Eugenio Lopez Drive. However the most interesting of all these lodgings is the Camelot Hotel at middle of Mother Ignacia Avenue, Scout Bayoran and Scout Tuazon streets. Based on its name, the Camelot Hotel is designed to resemble a medieval castle, and with an Arthurian theme inside.
For public athletics, there is the Amoranto Sports Complex, located between Scout Chuatoco and Roces Avenue. Completed in 1966, the sports facility started with an eight lane track and field oval with bleachers and a gymnasium, but latter development saw the adding of a tennis court, a cycling track, a boxing and weightlifting gym, six badminton courts, facilities for martial arts, and a swimming pool. The 5.8 hectares (14 acres) complex was first named the Quezon City Sports Complex, but was renamed after the longest serving Quezon City mayor, Norberto Salandanan Amoranto (1907-1979), who served from 1954 to 1976. The Barangay was also renamed Paligsahan (Tagalog for “competition”), in honor of having the many sports events hosted in the complex, such as the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in 2005. The venue can hold as much as 15,000 people, and has also been the site for many concerts, festivals, and political rallies. Within the complex is the Quezon City Performing Arts Development Foundation, Inc. (QCPADFI), which gives free training in the performing arts for young people from indigent communities. Other sports facilities in the area are the Bernardo Park skating rink, swimming pool and basketball court, under the Quezon City Youth and Sports Development Office; the Power Up badminton courts , the Planet Infinity crossfit training center, and the Elorde Boxing Gym on Mother Ignacia Avenue; and the Best Center basketball courts Scout at the corner of Senior Scout Pathfinder Filamér Santos Reyes and Rover Scout Roberto del Prado Lozano streets.
At the very end of Tomas Morato Avenue, and occupying the triangular property between Eugenio Lopez Jr. Drive, Mother Ignacia Avenue and Sergeant Esguerra Avenue, the tower of the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center stands not just as a landmark to the media giant, but also to the history of area and the Philippines. The streets surrounding the ABS-CBN complex were named after the former media chairman, Eugenio “Geny” Moreno López Jr. (1928-1999), who had invested heavily in developing the area; and the former Bohol Avenue was renamed after Sergeant Octavio Esguerra, the lone casualty in siege of the ABS-CBN facilities, where government forces took back the station after it was taken over by rogue military forces, during the August 28-29 1987 coup d’etat against the administration of Pres. María Corazón “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino (1933-2009).
The ABS-CBN media network takes its name from the two media corporations that merged in 1957, Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) and Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN). The first Philippine television station was launched by the American, James Lindenberg (1921-2009), as the Bolinao Electronics Corporation (BEC), in 1946. In 1952, Lindenberg would partner with Judge Antonio Rivera Quirino Sr. (1906-1992), and rename the company as the Alto Broadcasting System (ABS), and launch DZAQ-TV in 1953. The brothers, Eugenio Hofileña López Sr. (1901-1975) and then-Philippine Vice President Fernando Hofileña Lopez Sr. (1904-1993), would launch the Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN) in 1956; and later purchase the ABS corporation from Quirino and Lindenberg in 1957. In 1968, Lopez would open the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in its current site, which would be followed by the Eugenio Lopez Junior Communications Center in 2000. The first buildings in the ABS-CBN compound were designed by Arch. Carlos Corcuera Arguelles (1917-2008), who had also designed the Chronicle Broadcasting Network Studios along Dewey Boulevard (now Roxas Blvd.) in 1952.
Down Lopez Drive is the ABS-CBN’s Pinoy Big Brother house (PBB), which is the site of the Reality-TV that has been airing since 2005. Based on the Dutch Big Brother franchise, the PBB house has become a popular tourist spot for fans to have their photographs taken.
A little more than a kilometer to the south is the chief rival of the ABS-CBN corporation, the GMA Network Center, located at the corner of Timog and Epifanio de los Santos avenues. The GMA Network corporation started in 1950 as the DZBB radio station. Founded by the American, Robert “Uncle Bob” La Rue Stewart (1918-2006), the business would expand to RBS TV Channel 7 in 1961. And 1974, the company would rebrand itself as the GMA Radio-Television Arts, with GMA meaning “Greater Manila Area” and later “Global Media Arts.” And in 2000, the media company moved into its new home, GMA Network Center, which was designed by Architect Roger Villarosa. And at the driveway of the GMA Network Center is the sculpture “Beyond Broadcasting” by Eduardo Castrillo.
The next major landmark in the area is the headquarters of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), which was completed on Scout Rallos Street in 2005, and designed by Architect Teofilo I. Vázquez. The UAP is the duly government recognized professional organization for architects, with a mandate to upholding standards of practice in line with working with the government in developing regulations, as well as issuances of architectural licenses. The UAP’s origin starts with the first professional organization for architects and engineers, the Academia de Arquitectura y Aguimensura de Filipinos (AAAF), which lasted from 1902 to 1911. With the 1921 passing of the Engineering and Architect’s Law, in which Maestros de Obras (Master Builders) had to register as architects, and new organization was needed to help in professionalizing the practice. So in 1933, the Philippine Architects Society was formed, and later renamed as the Philippine Institute of Architects (PIA). After the war, two more architectural organizations were established: the League of Philippine Architects (LPA) in 1950 and the Association of Philippine Government Architects (APGA) in 1958. With the founding of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in 1973, representatives of the PIA, LPA and APGA were part of the structuring of the National Building Code as well as the examination and licensure of new architects. And in 1975, the APGA, LPA and PIA were merged as the United Architects of the Philippines.
As of the writing of this article, the latest landmarks in the area are the two sculptures of traditional Filipino games, located along Tomas Morato Avenue. Unveiled in 2017 by the Marikina artist, Jonas Roces, the two sculptures are part of a 5-piece series, which are all in display in the Quezon Memorial Circle. At the intersection of Roces and Morato avenues is the “Agawan Buko” (Snatch the Coconut) which shows two boys in chase, trying to pull a coconut from the lead player’s hands. Located at the corner of Scout Fernandez Street and Morato Avenue, the “Luksong-Baka” (Jump the Bull) shows two boys playing “leap-frog”. Usually unnoticed by passersby, the two sculptures are the best representations of the history of the area that was once known as the Philippine Homesite Project 1. Beyond the buildings, churches, schools, restaurants and shops, the district is still primarily a residential area, with stories of families told since the 1930s. The statues of the children at play look back at a more carefree time, as the children from the neighborhood would run up and down the streets, engaged in various games.
Now-a-days, the Project 1 district is always in a flux, as old residents move out and new families come in, and businesses close and open every year; and this goes with the very spirit of the neighborhood. Starting with few stores, such as the Kamuning Bakery in 1939, to the boom after the war, Project 1 will continue to evolve and add more stories to the history of Quezon City and the country.