Fun and Interaction at the Quezon City Experience

Quezon City Memorial Circle facing Commonwealth Avenue- Quezon City , Philippines

Vice Mayor Maria Josefina ” Joy” Belmonte- Alimurung together with QC Experience officers

Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” G. Belmonte  lead the opening of QCX (Quezon City Experience), the first interactive socio-cultural, event place,  green building and LEED compliant museum in the country.

function area had a capacity of between 120 to 150 people

The museum occupies around 2 hectares of the  Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC).  Ground breaking started late 2008 and construction slowly progresses until late last year . It took around 7 years to finish the entire complex which can rival some of the most modern museums , socio-cultural , event venue of the city and even in country.

L-R Mr. Dhoic dela Cruz ( Head -Quezon City tour guide ) Mr. Roel Reulla , Ms. Gina Cristobal , Ms. Elena Estabillo , Mr. Benedick M. Lapuz Mr. Franco Macaraeg , Mr. Dionito Rubio , Mr. Alemar Andrade

The museum had capable and very knowledgeable tour guides which were from different social studies and history teachers of public high school within the city.

audio visual room

audio-visual room had a capacity of between 70 to 80 people which can host film showing, audio visual presentation , company seminar , product launching among others. It had modern theater seats which are colored red.

lecture/ seminar room

Seminar or lecture room had a sitting capacity of between 60 to 70 people . It is ideal for small company talk, lecture or business meeting.  These areas can be rented out at a determine rates still to be set by the Quezon City government .

modern paintings hang near the entrance of the gallery

The museum had a soft opening last May 2015 and there are some groups which were given a sneak preview of the place like Museum Foundation of the Philippines  which conducted their tour  last November 7 .

It had 15 galleries which are divided into thematic exhibits that features the socio-economic , historical , business, interactive area.

Gallery 1- Pylon

Gallery 1-showed a 3-D almost life-like statutes of the 3 mourning angels – Luzon , Visayas and Mindanao .

Gallery 2- Quezon on a Hill

Gallery 2 -showed President Manuel L. Quezon was walking on top of a hill somewhere in Diliman together with his colleagues. It also shows a different video and photo clips from the different eras and Quezon revolutionary vision will not only prove itself as a landscape of unlimited potential .

Gallery 3- Malacañang Palace

Gallery 3 showed a replica room of Malacañang Palace during the time of President Manuel L. Quezon

Gallery 4-Second World War

Although much of city was spared during the second world war  , Government employees living within the city needed to walk 15 kilometers from their homes in Quezon City to their offices in Manila and back because of shortage in gasoline. There are life-like statues of soldiers and their victims.

Gallery 5- Miniature Scale Models of Popular Landmarks

Welcome or Mabuhay rotunda is one of the landmarks of the city.

Gallery 6- Housing Projects 

Gallery 6 showcase the different housing projects from the commonwealth era to the present administration . The total land area available to the government for these projects according to Architect Juan C. Arellano’s master plan was at 164 hectares.

Gallery 7 -Jeepney Ride and Routes

A big jeepney pay tribute to the present ” King ” of Philippine road .

Gallery 8- Education

Along with the city’s development as a metropolis came its growth as a cradle of learning. The city is home to 98 public schools, 175 private secondary schools, 81 colleges , and 9 universities .

Gallery 9- Street Scenes

Typical street scene in the country .Street foods , local enterprises and ambulant business.

Gallery 10 – Business and Technology

Several big time local enterprises made the city as vibrant and providing income for the locals and as iconic symbol .  Business districts or Technology Centers such as East Wood , Eaton Centris, Ayala Techno Hub are places known for their Business Processing Outsourcing offices . Food Giant –Jollibee had their first branch in Cubao .

Kamuning , Atlas Publishing and Monte de Piedad

Historical Kamuning Bakery – the oldest -still existing bakeshop now bakery and restaurant . This exhibit  area shows old photos of the places and a bread cutting machine that was used by the bakery several decades ago.

Marca Piña had their factory plant located in 23 P. Dela Cruz St., San Bartolome,Novaliches, Quezon City, 1123.

Piñakamasarap Corporation began humbly in the late 1940’s in the Philippines. It started with less than 10 people in a backyard factory, which was then known as National Soy Factory. Today, Marca Piña Soy Sauce, Marca Piña Vinegar and Marca Piña Patis are sold in over 20 countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, Australia and England.

Website: http://www.pinakamasarap.com/

Destileria Limtuaco with old wine barrel

The distillery earned the distinction  “The Oldest Distillery in the Philippines”.

Website: http://www.limtuaco.com/

Gallery 11- Entertainment

Quezon City is known as the “City of Stars ” or ” Entertainment City ” Almost all the major television stations and film outfits are located within her boundaries. A visitor can interact and even watch period classical movies complete with set .

make-up area

A visitor can have this “feeling” on how one can be an instant celebrity . I am sure that young and old would have fun and unlike other museums.  one can interact with the tour guides and exhibits . There is never a dull moment . There are also comfortable chairs and tables to sit and relax whenever one gets tired .

Gallery 12 – Issues

Made by young artists and fine arts students . The gallery shows the artist interpretations of some of the social issues that plague the city . One of them is the poverty, environmental degradation, lack of basic health care and crowded schools .

Gallery 13-Visions

There is another room which lies at the core of the museum, the gallery projects the  sensurround ” Visions of the Quezon City Future ” Merging global cutting edge technology and Filipino creative minds.

Gallery 14- Barangays of Quezon City

These gallery shows almost all the barangays and their brief history . Highlighted in a wall are the trivias express in graphics designs and videos .  There are 6 districts of the city and the walls illustrate the toponym of each of the 142 barangays .

Gallery 15- Outdoor Sculptures

One will be amaze with all the artworks both inside and outside of the building complex . There are also paintings made by young artists .

Vice Mayor Maria Josefina ” Joy” G. Belmonte -Alimurung

There is a section which promote local handicrafts made by the indigent communities of the city .  One can help these communities is by purchasing their products . as the tagline goes . When you buy these products , You help people, learn more , create more and earn more.

Sikap Buhay Entrepreneur and Coop Office – 988-4242 local 8731

email: skapuhay@quezoncity.gov.ph

Website: http://quezoncitycouncil.ph/vicemayor.php

Operation:

The Quezon City Experience or simply called QCX is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00am to 4:00pm .

Entrance Fees: TBA- To Be Announce -Soon

 Note : I was invited by Ms. Tetta Arroyo – Tirona a few days ago . The author would like to extend his heart felt ” Thanks” to all the staffs and to the office of Vice-Mayor Maria Josefina ” Joy ” G. Belmonte- Alimurung for the accommodation extended. – Photos are all from the author

Historical Kamuning Bakery : President Corazon Aquino among its customers

43 Judge Jimenez Street corner K-1 street, Kamuning , Quezon City -Philippines

facade of the bakery with wheat logo

We usually passed along Judge Jimenez street whenever we went to Fairview and whenever i go to Tomas Morato street in Quezon City . We used to order a couple of bread and sometimes we would also crave for their egg pies , cheese cakes, yema rolls and Pan de Rizal. The bakery had around 300 kinds of bread, cakes, pastries .

interior of the bakery

There is an air- conditioned portion where the bakery can accommodate up to 30 people at any given time. 

family photo taken during the 1950’s with a delivery trunk

History :
Kamuning Bakery was founded around November 1939 a few months after the birth of Quezon City. The community bakery had witness almost all facet of the city.
The bakery is likewise intimately connected with the founding and growth of the city named after President Manuel L. Quezon.

Pan de Rizal

One of the family old-time recipe was the Pan de Rizal a small round shaped bread which was a luxury during  the time of Rizal. According to the descendants , It was Rizal’s favorite bread, it was the one given to him by his sister when he was imprisoned in Fort Santiago. The bread was baked by their great- grandmother .  The bread is common in almost every neighborhood bakeries and was called by many names. The shelf -life is longer than the ordinary bread and can last between 5 to 7 days without any refrigeration .

Kamuning shrub with white flowers

The area used to be planted with a lot of Kamuning shrubs ( Murraya paniculata) which are commonly found in within the locality hence the name. is used both in traditional medicine as an analgesic and for wood (for tool handles).

In the West, Murraya paniculata is cultured as an ornamental tree or hedge because of its hardiness, wide range of soil tolerance.

blueberry cheesecake

We have ordered some of their home-made cakes and , this is is quite cheap at Php 65.00 per slice ! It is moist and by the time we wanted to order for take-out , it was gone !

The original owners of the bakery were Mr. Marcelo and Ms. Leticia Bonifacio, who at the time were already operating a successful bakeshop in Manila called Los Baños Bakery. The family are descendants of Lucia-Rizal-Herbosa – sister of Dr. Jose P. Rizal . 

Kamuning bakery has been pugon-baking  traditional pan de-suelo from the old family recipe of founder’s fore-bearers. Traditional old-fashioned baking with 75-year-old pugon or wood-fire brick .

  Biscocho -one of the bakery’s best sellers

This second bakery was one of the first structures in Kamuning, along with a barber shop, grocery, schools and a church. The bakery is pretty advance during their date, While most of the bakeries and business establishments only used ordinary lettering as their business logo, Kamuning Bakery used wheat as its logo to symbolized its primary ingredient in their breads.

cheesecake

Japanese Occupation

Operations were rudely interrupted during the Japanese Occupation of the 1940s. Imported flour was expensive and difficult to find. In February 1945 came the Battle of Manila, with the capital city bombed by the Americans and sacked by the Japanese. The southern districts of Intramuros, Ermita and Malate went up in flames. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed, among them Leticia’s father, Miguel Bonifacio, and her husband Marcelo Javier. Some of the ingredients were very hard find , some had to be substituted with other locally available ingredients.

pan de suelo

Pan de Suelo is comparable to French baguette with their crunchy texture on the outside and soft in the inside, It is perfect combination to any  pork and bean , sausages , ham or any leftover adobo or asado . It is also best for coffee or chocolate. The bakery plans to serve coffee which came from coffee plantations and farmers cooperative .

cookies with glazed fruits -Php 30.00 per pack

Widowed, Leticia, who was actually a lawyer, continued to run the business with her uncle Ambrosio Ison. Her bakers remained loyal to her. Helping out was Leticia’s 5-year-old son, Teddy Javier, who would sell pan de sal to customers, three pieces of which then cost five centavos.

pan de sal

It used to be a sleepy neighborhood with very few residents up until the late 1950’s when people began to settle the place. It was in the early 1980’s when two ( 2) television stations which are located near the bakery and its stars began patronizing the bakery.

egg pies

Mr. Teddy grew attached to the business, all the way to adolescence, college life, adulthood and employment as an ABS-CBN salesman. Eventually he resigned and took over management of the bakery. Business picked up when they were able to deliver bread to New Frontier, South Supermarket and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in Manila.

celebrities and famous personalities are hung in a portion of a wall

Celebrities and Presidents :

One of the bakery’s bestsellers is the Pan de Suelo, a favorite of President Corazon Aquino. “This kind of bread requires a special skill to bake,” . “It is cooked on the oven’s floor and the heat is circulated equally to ensure it is cooked perfectly.” Their bread is baked in a wood-fired oven, which gives the products a distinct flavor. Not all wood can be use baking breads , One of the best woods are from mangrove trees , hardwood varieties like narra, kamagong and yakal .

Mr. Wilson Lee-Flores

According to the present owner , Real estate and columnist  Mr. Wilson Lee- Flores accounts” Culinary Heritage Advocate ” Dr. Doreen Gamboa Fernandez wrote a lengthy article about the historical pastries and products that the bakeshop offers.

President Manuel L. Quezon would also visit the bakeshop when he would come to the city.
Celebrities like Ms. Coney Reyes, Mr. Richard Gomez , Mr. Rogelio dela Rosa , Mr. Aga Muhlach , Mr. Mikael Daez ,Ms. Jessica Soho , Ms. Gloria Romero, Felice Prudente Santa Maria , Mr. Butch Dalisay, Ms. Julie Yap-Daza, Don Alejandro Roces, Nick Joaquin among others……….

group photo with freelance writers and bloggers

The host is very engaging and there are plans to have a small restaurant within the premises which will serve pasta, coffee and hot chocolates.  When our group asked Mr. Wilson Lee -Flores on what type of bread can best described him, He said ” Pan de Suelo ” tough outside but soft inside ! 

Reference: Palayok : Philippine Food Through Time : On Site , In the Pot

Address: No. 43 Judge Jimenez Street corner K-1st Street, Kamuning, Quezon City.

Tels: 9292216, 7945045, 09175202756, 09985544220, 09228321888, 09178481818.

Store Hours extended to 11 pm daily & to 9 pm on Sundays.

Please join their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kamuningbakery1939

3rd Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines 2012 Show

Hardin ng mga Bulaklak , Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City , Metro Manila- Philippines.

Ms. Becky Buenaventura , Mr. David Du – External Vice President , Mrs. Leticia P. Ligon in orange kimona  (President ), Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe in pink  Chinese style Filipiniana  ( Treasurer ) ,  Ombudsman Conchita Carpio- Morales ( six from left ) one of the  guests of honor, Mrs. Rosie Lovely – Romulo -wife of  former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Mr. Bernabe

It was a cloudy and rainy afternoon when i got a chance to get invited to the exclusive opening of the  Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines Show  May 4, 2012 Friday held at the Hardin ng Bulaklak simply called HB garden or Flower garden . I was warmly met by the club’s President Mrs. Leticia P. Ligon and she also gave me a copy of their the souvenir program . This year’s theme ” It’s More Fun in Bonsai and Suiseki In Zen Gardening ” .  Connotes the fun and relaxation  in bonsai cultivation .

Ms. Victoria Camille Tulad a reporter from GMA Channel 7 and QTV channel 11 interviewed Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe and Mrs. Leticia P. Ligon

This year’s show person is Mr. Victorio De Rona Jr. He is fondly called VIC by plant and bonsai lovers .  The group was formed sometime in 2009 and their first show was also held at the Quezon Memorial Circle. The author was fortunate to be invited in their 3 in 1 show  last June 25 , 2010.   The sudden heavy downpour of the afternoon rain did not dampen the mood of the visitors and invited guests .  ” They call it a blessing from the Almighty ” .

a ceremonial  gong beater dress in bagobo costume

The special guests of honor included Quezon City Mayor Herbert ” Bistek ” Bautista ,  Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte , ambassadors wives , diplomatic consulate , and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio -Morales whom is said to be a plant and a bonsai lover .

Mayor Herbert ” Bistek ” Bautista of Quezon City

In an opening speech prepared by the youthful Mayor Herbert Bautista ,  He warmly welcome everyone who attended the event and the need of urban green spaces such as Quezon Memorial Circle .

Mr. Herbert Bautista admiring the different kinds of natural stones on display

        I was shock also to hear from his speech that the old house of former President  Manuel L. Quezon in New Manila will be dismantled and will be re-located within the QMC to be renamed Manuel L. Quezon presidential museum . According to Mr. Bautista , The house and lot is being sold by the immediate family member who needed medical assistance .  President Manuel L. Quezon stayed in that house for several months .

L-R Professor Serapion Metilla, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio- Morales and Ms. Becky Buenaventura lightning the candle ceremony

According to the event organizers,  They had to keep a low key  on their guest of honor , since there are several threats in her life.

L-R Mr. David O. Du, Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe , Ombudsman Conchita Carpio- Morales , Mrs. Leticia P. Ligon and Ms. Becky Buenaventura appreciate the different suiseki on display

The author being well- entrenched in the horticultural community kept mum on this issue and decided to have a news black -out on the information .  I guess being an Ombudsman  does have a pit falls in going to a public events  like a bonsai  show  . It was for her safety and security that the organizers decided not to announce her as  guest of honor in their  publicity .

Professor Serapion Metilla showing his exhibit

The show attracted about 70 commercial plant stall holders selling a variety of bonsai, potteries and gardening equipments .

exhibit booth landscape by Architect Bimbo Vergara

The talented landscaper exhibitor  included Mr. Constancio Basis , Mr. Vicente Ferrer, Mr. Benedict Dela Cruz , Mr. Noel Vincent ” Botchie ” Canicula, Mr. Sonny Luna, Mr. Cliff Coloma, Mr. Jesz ” Bimbo ” Vergara , Mr. Jonathan Commendador and Mr. Jhun Llaga .

This suiseki is one of the most photographed exhibit

The natural stone above is one of  the most photographed item on exhibit , some think this is a phallic object .

a miniature bonsai

There will be daily seminar-workshops throughout the duration of the show. On May 5, 3 p.m., Professor Li Tiong Hong will conduct a bonsai workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Then from 3 to 5 p.m. he will demonstrate Bonsai Branching Techniques.
Pemphis  acidula or locally called Bantigue won the top prize

A century-old Batigue bonsai emerged as overall winner or ” Best in Show” at the  Bonsai and Suiseki  Alliance Show and Competition .  The owner not only earned the top prizes and  but also accolades from bonsai collectors and hobbyists .

Dr. Ronnie Ramos of Cabanatuan Bonsai Society received the award for ” Best in Show ” award from Mrs. Leticia P. Ligon – President of BSAPI 

The bantigue tree , nurtured by Dr. Ronnie Ramos of Cabanatuan Bonsai Society in Nueva Ecija, impressed the judges with its shape, dramatic effect and presentation, including the pot used. The judges included  well-known international bonsai masters from Taiwan and Indonesia.

miniature village with small trees and plants

The other winners were: garden bonsai, Michael Santiago; penjing, Tonette Gedang; tropical bonsai, Dorie Bernabe; small bonsai, Sonny Luna; best fruiting, Dr. Alexander Rodriguez; forest, Ana de Rona; literati, Ligon; exposed roots, Charlie Miranda; windswept, Benedicta Galgana; cascade, Juan Lim; and rockgrown, Erwin Fabros.

Seminars and Workshop

Other speakers in succeeding days include  Mr. Al Villareal on Basic Bonsai; Mr. Vic de Rona on Zen Garden; Professor  Serapion Metilla on Indoor and Vertical Landscaping; DENR representative on PAWD CITES Regulations; Fernando Aurigue on Use of Gamma Rays in Plant Variety Development; Professor Serapion Metilla on Innovative Bonsai; and Mr.  Elmer Villareal on Guide on Selection and Appreciation of Suiseki. There will also be an on -the spot painting contest on May 6, 2012.

table arrangement courtesy of  Chef Velmor – Purple Dish Catering

representatives from QC parks , event organizers ,  Allied Botanical Corporation (one of the major advertiser in the souvenir program)

The author would like to thank  all the organizers , caterer ( Purple Dish Catering and Chef Velmor ) for the sumptuous meal ,  wonderful and relaxing time visiting the  bonsai and suseki alliance  opening . Until the next show !

Sources:

Souvenir Program , 2012 The Bonsai & Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines Incorporated

Office of the Ombudsman  : http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph/index.php

Purple Dish Catering : http://www.purpledishcatering.com/

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