Learn about Philippine history via public commute.
There are a lot of hidden gems in and around the metro that you can go to if you want to brush up on Philippine history. What’s good is that these places are easy to get to. You don’t even need a car because you can commute to them.
Check out our list below.
Philippine history in the heart of QC
Quezon City’s main park is in the middle of a traffic circle called the Elliptical Road. It holds Manuel L. Quezon’s mausoleum. The QC Circle also holds the former president’s house from Gilmore. It’s now serving as a small museum. The inauguration of the Presidential Car Museum was in 2018, and now it’s open to the public.
It’s quite easy to get to QC Circle. There are FXs, vans, and buses that pass by the Elliptical Road daily. To get to the circle itself, you can ride a bus going to Commonwealth or Fairview. You can alight at either Quezon City Hall or at COA. There are underpasses at either location which will take you to the Circle.
Remember the Japanese occupation
The UP Los BaÃ±os campus used to be an internment camp and the headquarters of the Japanese army. Several buildings inside the sprawling expanse of the campus used to be prison camps. Some of these buildings are still standing, and people say they’re haunted.
To get to UP Los BaÃ±os, you can take a bus going to Sta. Cruz, Laguna from either Cubao or Buendia. Tell the conductor that you’ll be getting down at Junction. There is a terminal in front of Pavillion Mall with jeepneys that take people to the campus gate. The buildings are only a short walk from there.
Philippine history repository
Everything you could ever want to know about Philippine history is in the National Museum. It holds several rooms dedicated to archaeology, architectural arts, fine arts, and geology. Field trips are still made to this museum that lies in the heart of Manila.
Going to the National Museum is a great way to learn about our country. You can see displays on Philippine botany and zoology there. It also holds the National Herbarium and a room about underwater cultural heritage.
Commuting to the National Museum is super easy. From EDSA, ride the MRT to Taft Avenue. Switch to the LRT and get off at UN Ave. The museum is a few minutes away, and you can walk from the train station.
Gomburza’s final resting place
Paco Park was formerly known as Cementerio General de Dilao, and it used to be a cemetery. Now, it is a recreational garden where people can hold weddings and other outdoor events.
Paco Park is historical because it used to house Dr. Jose Rizal’s remains. But he was exhumed and moved to Luneta. To this day, this park still holds the remains of Frs. Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora. These martyred priests participated in the Cavite mutiny.
To get to Paco Park from Taft Avenue, ride a jeepney going to Pandacan. From there, you can ride a pedicab going to Paco Park. An alternative to that is to ride the LRT to UN Station and then to Padre Faura Street. Walk to San Marcelino Street, and Paco Park will be right across.
Holding down the ‘Fort’
Fort Santiago is the most popular of all the places listed here. The Spaniards held Rizal here before his execution. There are museums inside Fort Santiago that hold memorabilia of the Japanese occupation.
One museum holds everything Jose Rizal, including a replica of his house in Laguna. The moats and parapets are still standing to this day, and on a quiet day, you can almost hear the prisoners’ screams.
Fort Santiago is inside Intramuros, and to get there, you can take LRT 1 to Central Station. There is an underpass beside Manila City Hall. Use that to get to Intramuros on the other side. Ask the uniformed guardia sibil how to get to Plaza Moriones, where the entrance to the fort is.
Share your knowledge
These places hold so much of the Philippines’ history. By visiting them, you contribute to their maintenance. Plus, you’ll be learning so much about the past that you can teach future generations about it.
Featured Image Daniella Sison