The megacity that Pinoys call Metro Manila is actually made up of 16 cities and 1 municipality, and the largest of these cities in terms of both population and land area is Quezon City. More than 3 million Filipinos reside in its massive 166.20 square kilometer land area. Currently, this city is also experiencing a boom in developments, so there are now a lot of new destinations to explore here, in addition to old favorites that have attracted visitors for generations. In this short guide, we’ll take a closer look into some of the best things to see and do in Metro Manila’s very own “City of Stars.”
Explore Cubao Expo
Cubao Expo or simply Cubao X is the antidote to the gigantic malls that have become ubiquitous throughout the city. With a row of indie shops, bars, and cafés, it’s a haven for art lovers, foodies, and youth rebelling against mainstream fads. Here is where you can find vintage curiosities displayed side-by-side with contemporary artworks. Along with thrift shops and galleries, you can also find restaurants, fashion boutiques, and even a barbershop catering to the dapper crowd.
Shop at the Farmer’s Market
Choosing a hotel near Araneta Coliseum is a smart decision if you want to be in the thick of the action in Quezon City. While you’re in this area, make sure to walk over to the Farmer’s Market and sample the freshest produce and seafood the country has to offer. In fact, if you’re craving sashimi, you can get the freshest and most affordable “uni,” salmon, and tuna in this market. And yes, they have fresh lobsters as well!
Commune With Nature at the La Mesa Nature Reserve and Eco Park
If you need a breather from the urban jungle, head over to the La Mesa Watershed. Guests can enjoy the 33-hectare public park known as the La Mesa Eco Park, which is on the southern edge of the reserve. Activities available in the park include fishing, horseback riding, swimming, and picnics. For the more adventurous nature-lover, the La Mesa Nature Reserve also has amenities for mountain biking, trekking, tree walking, and trail running. Take note that a guide is required if you want to partake in such activities since the reserve has a total area of 2,659 hectares.
Bar Hop at Eastwood City
Eastwood City is a 17-hectare commercial and residential development built to accommodate part of the country’s massive BPO (Business Process Outsource) sector. From the Cyberpark to the Eastwood Mall, everything is within walking distance. Amidst the high-rise condominiums and office buildings, there are an incredible number of bars that are open until the wee hours of the morning. That’s because they cater to office workers with graveyard shifts needing some place to unwind before going home in the morning.
Play Detective at Mystery Manila
Want to try your hand at live escape games? Mystery Manila is the first establishment of its kind in the Philippines to cater to fans of live-action escape room games, offering thrilling and brain-teasing mysteries that can be solved in 60 minutes or less. The branch in Quezon City is located in Eastwood City and regularly offers mystery games with intriguing names like Tragedy on the Train, School of Sorcery, Dark Dimension, and Excalibur Expedition. Each game is designed for at least 2 players, and a maximum of 6 per group is allowed. That said, you are allowed to play solo, although you still have to pay the full price for 2 players.
Level-Up Your Instagram Game at Art in Island in Cubao
Have fun taking creative photos at the city’s only 3D art museum, Art in Island. With a total area of 3,800 square meters, it’s one of the biggest 3D museums in Asia. In fact, the 200+ artworks here make it the largest in terms of the number of paintings being exhibited. To preserve the beautiful masterpieces, visitors are not allowed to wear their shoes inside. Food is also prohibited, but you don’t have to worry about getting hungry, as there is a restaurant inside the museum.
Visit the Quezon Heritage House at the Quezon Memorial Circle
Pay homage to the city’s founder and the country’s second president, Manuel L. Quezon, by visiting the Quezon Memorial Circle and the Quezon Heritage House located within the grounds. The elliptical park includes small and well-tended gardens, as well as historical monuments commemorating the city’s past. What’s more, different museums are located in the park, including the Quezon City Experience, the Museo ni Manuel L. Quezon, the Presidential Car Museum, and the reconstructed Quezon Heritage House. Besides giving visitors a glimpse of how the Quezons lived, the heritage house is also a stunning example of Philippine colonial architecture.
There is so much to explore and do in Quezon City. As such, you need to include this city in your itinerary when you come to the Philippines. If it’s more fun you seek, Quezon City will surely deliver.