|Milestones in History|
The history of Quezon City weaves so interestingly with the nation’s own. Many events that have shaped the history of the Philippines transpired within the City’s territory.
August 23, 1896. Driven by passion to attain liberty, the Katipuneros responded to the call of the Great Plebian, Andres Bonifacio, to take arms and struggle for the country’s freedom from Spanish colonial rule. As a sign of breakage from the chains of Spanish government, they undauntedly tore their cedula at the house of Melchora Aquino, an event known today as the Cry of Pugad Lawin.
August 25, 1896. Most fighting in the course of the Freedom Trail began. From Balara and Krus na Ligas to Santolan (area near Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame today) sparked the bloody revolution, which eventually led to the declaration of Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.
December 10, 1898. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the Spanish ceded power to the Americans. Filipinos still actively fought for independence. This gave rise to the Philippine-American War of 1899, during which, General Licerio Geronimo defeated General Henry Lawton (Battle of Paye) in an area near the Marikina River known today as Barangay Bagong Silangan, a part of Quezon City.
1938. President Manuel L. Quezon dreamt of a city that would become the future capital of the country, replacing Manila, and home to middle workers. He created People's Homesite Corporation and purchased 1, 529 hectares from the vast Diliman estate of the Tuason family.
1939. The bill creating Quezon City was authored by Assemblyman Ramon P. Mitra (Mountain Province, 2nd District), with the name of the city as Balintawak. Assemblymen Narciso Ramos (Pangasinan, 5th District) and Eugenio Peres (Pangasinan, 2nd District) filed an amendment changing the name Balintawak to Quezon. The bill lapsed into law as Commonwealth Act 502, on October 12, 1939. Quezon City was established, with the Commonwealth President acting as chief executive. A number of barrios that used to belong to Rizal, Caloocan, San Juan, Marikina, Pasig, and Mandaluyong were carved out and joined into the newly created city, which became the biggest local government unit in Metro Manila.
November 10, 1939. Quezon appointed Tomas Morato as Mayor. Under his supervision, the first network of roads was paved along Kamuning and Sampaloc Road (now Tomas Morato Avenue). Housing projects dubbed as Barrio Obreros and Barrio Obreros II, which means Workers’ Village, were also built as part of the low-cost government housing program. To make transportation easy for the new residents, President Quezon made arrangements with the Luzon Bus Line to start a regular transport service between the housing project and downtown Manila at a bus fare of P 0.05.
1940. Quezon City’s earliest developments were guided by at least two masterplans, one was the Frost Plan in 1940 and the 1949 Master Plan of the City Planning Commission whicho produced the documents in accordance with the vision of President Quezon. President Quirino approved the implementation of the 1949 plan. The “Frost plan,” which aimed to develop Quezon City as the Washington DC of the country, reflects a big quadrangle in the heart of the City, from which four avenues radiate toward the outskirts, with rotundas placed on the four corners, the largest being the 26-hectare elliptical center, now known as the Quezon Memorial Circle.
1942. When the Second World War broke out, the Japanese occupation government dissolved Quezon City. It was divided into two districts—Diliman and San Francisco del Monte—which were then placed under the new political entity called the Greater Manila Area headed by Oscar Castelo as Acting Mayor and Dr. Florencio Cruz as district chief. Right after the war, President Osmeña appointed former chief of police Sabino De Leon as Acting Mayor of the revived Quezon City.
December 24, 1946. President Roxas appointed Engr. Ponciano Bernardo as Acting Mayor. He was responsible for putting up the old Quezon City Hall in the present compound of Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School. Among his other accomplishments include the Bernardo Park, the Quezon City Public Library and the Quezon City High School, the first public high school in the locality. It was also during Bernardo’s term that Quezon City became the national capital of the Philippines, as approved by then President Quirino.
1948. After the war, Republic Act No. 333 was signed by Elpidio Quirino on July 17, 1948, declaring Quezon City to be the republic's capital, and specifying the city's area to be 156.60 sq. km. Baesa, Talipapa, San Bartolome, Pasong Tamo, Novaliches Poblacion, Banlat, Kabuyao, Pugad Lawin, Bagbag, Pasong Putik of the old Novaliches municipality (then part of Caloocan) were ceded to Quezon City. The rest of the old Novaliches municipality was left with Caloocan, thus becoming North Caloocan. On June 16, 1950, the City Charter was revised by Republic Act No. 537, changing the city's boundaries to an area of 153.59 sq. km. Exactly six years after on June 16, 1956, more revisions to the city's land area were made by Republic Act No. 1575.
October 22, 1949. Quezon City was inaugurated as the “National Capital of the Philippines” and the capital building’s cornerstone was laid at the Constitutional Hill. During the term of the eight-month Mayor Nicanor Roxas, the Roxas Homesite by the Philippine Homesite and Housing Corporation (PHHC, the precursor of the National Housing Authority), consisting of 1,104 housing units on an area of 40 hectares, began construction.
January 6, 1950. The expanse of Quezon City reached 15,359 hectares. Succeeding Mayor Ignacio Santos Diaz, known as “The Builder,” constructed some 29 buildings, significantly improving education and other basic social services. During his administration, the expanse of Quezon City reached 15,359 hectares. The number of councilors was likewise increased to eight.
June 16, 1950. The Quezon City Charter was revised by Republic Act No. 537, which extended its boundaries to its 15,359 hectares or five times bigger than Manila. It lost its title as capital city of the Philippines to Manila by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 940 on June 24, 1976.
February 4, 1954. Mayor Norberto Amoranto was initially appointed on this date by the late President Magsaysay. He later on became the first elected Quezon City Mayor and seating as such until March 31, 1976. He completed the present 14-storey Quezon City Hall at Diliman. Among his other accomplishments were the codification, for the first time, of all city ordinances on taxes; and public works construction such as school buildings, health centers, roads and bridges.
April 31, 1976. Breaking into the political arena then dominated by men, Mayor Adelina Rodriguez was appointed into office on this date and was elected in 1980. Women assumed a more active role in politics when she founded the QC Council for Women. Among her programs are the QC Kabuhayan Center, completion of the QC Public Library Main Building and satellite libraries, and the restoration of the Quezon Memorial Circle Museum.
February 1986. Protests, fueled by a resistance and opposition to years of governance under a dictatorship heightened from February 22–25, 1986. Majority of the demonstrations took place at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, known more commonly by its acronym EDSA, in Quezon City, and involved over two million Filipino civilians as well as several political, military, and religious figures. This was known as the People Power Revolution of 1986.
April 20, 1986. Brigido Simon was designated as officer-in-charge of Quezon City and on November 30, 1987 was elected as mayor, the youngest to hold office at 37. He was known for his youthful idealism and economic development strategies. He propounded the 20-million Manresa Housing Redevelopment Program and the Payatas Estate Housing Program for the landless in Quezon City.
July 1, 1992. Ismael Mathay assumed the position of mayor. He established the Quezon City Polytechnic Institute, which then centered on vocational training of the youth. Yakap Daycare Centers that initially took care of the Quezon City Hall employees’ children, traces its roots to his administration. It was also under his watch that Quezon City was declared “Mother-Baby Friendly City.”
July 1, 2001. Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. was elected mayor. He was reelected to his third term in 2007, his administration becoming known for its effective fiscal management, massive infrastructure development and innovative social, health and education programs. During his term, Quezon City became the country’s richest city for several consecutive years and began ranking among Asia’s best.
May 11, 2010. By a landslide win, Herbert Bautista became the mayor of Quezon City. One of the youngest politicians in the country, Bautista served as the vice-mayor of Ismael Mathay (one term) and Feliciano Belmonte Jr. For his first term as mayor, he outlined an ambitious plan for his key programs in the areas of social housing, environmental management, and disaster risk reduction.