I lived in Quezon City for four years, but in all those years I stayed on the east side of EDSA, and I didn’t get the chance to explore what was then called Project 1. Every Filipino knows that Quezon City was named after Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippine Commonwealth from 1935 to 1944. At that time, the Philippines was under American rule. President Quezon’s vision was to build a capital city that would not easily fall prey to a naval attack and hence it needed to be separate from Old Manila. He created People’s Homesite Corporation which bought 1,529 hectares from the Tuason family in 1938 and developed Barrio Obrero. Barrio Obrero was going to be called the City of Balintawak, which was later changed by legislators to Quezon City to honor President Quezon. President Quezon’s idea was to create a city for the working classes (thus the Spanish word “obrero”), especially those that worked for the government.
The original Quezon City is divided into “projects.” 200 sq m lots were sold to government workers at prices they could afford. The first group of residents of Project 1 occupied the area in 1949. President Quezon wanted to create a garden city. Not surprisingly, the streets in Project 1 were named after flowers, except Sct Chuatoco, which lies on the border with Diliman District. Here are the street names in Project 1: Everlasting, Waling Waling, Begonia, Azucena, Campupot, Dahlia, Florfina, Gladiola, Ilang ilang (now Champaca) portion of Jasmin, Lilac, Madre Silva, Katuray, Hyacinth, Pasonaria, Narcisus, Quince, Tulip, Umbel, Zinnia, Violeta, Magnolia, and Gumamela.
When Manuel Roxas, first Philippine President after the country gained independence from the United States in 1946, died, Project 1 was renamed as Roxas District.
I took these pictures hours after I passed out. Thankfully I was with friends. They told me they knew something was wrong during lunch time, as my lips turned pale and my face bloodless. Thanks to the guava leaves. For some reason, the ancient Tagalog remedy worked for me.
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