I took a quick walk around the QC memorial circle the other day. There was some kind of event going on in the main plaza for the Department of Agriculture; Secretary Pinol was there giving a speech. I walked a couple of rounds around the park so I could meet my daily steps target. The sun was coming down and I’m not the best photographer but I thought it looked good on the Quezon Memorial Shrine so I took the above shot.
I have fond memories of the QCMC. When we were young our extended family used to have Saturday picnics there. We’d roll up this colorful rattan mat and get into our uncle’s car and hang out there playing around and riding bikes and eating sandwiches. I also have this vague recollection of my dad bringing me up the tower that is the Quezon Memorial Shrine. (I don’t know how that works. Are there stairs inside? Seems tiring to climb.) I don’t think I’ve ever been in the museum at the base of the shrine though, I should try it some day.
These days I still pass by the QCMC every so often. (A single pass around the park adds a good 1500-2000 steps to my daily walks). There’s a lot more stuff there now than when I was a kid – there’s playground sets for kids, some kind of exercise machines, there’s now restaurants inside, and a whole lot of small vendor stalls. I remember a while back I saw like a zipline and some kind of small duck boat thing, not sure if they’re still there, I don’t recall seeing them during my last visit. There’s a peace bell from the UN that was inaugurated in 1995. And a lot more weird statues than there used to be. (I regret not taking a picture of this weird gold statue I saw with three boys doing something I have no idea what.)
The park doesn’t feel super well-maintained; the asphalt roads have definitely seen better days. But somehow I still like it, there’s this kind of homely atmosphere, and even on weekday afternoons there’s a lot of people hanging out in the park. For me, the QCMC is more “iconic” than say, Rizal Park in Manila, maybe because I’ve lived in QC all my life.
In a few years, there will be an MRT station inside the Circle. I hope it leads to more economic activity in the park in general and doesn’t lead to any sort of degradation. I hope to be visiting the park for years and decades to come.