Exploring Quezon City

I have never thought of Quezon City as a tourism destination. It is mostly known as a shopping and dining capital, not to mention the location of most government agencies and educational institutions.

  
Then, not too long ago, I read a newspaper piece quoting a Quezon City government official announcing that the city was targeting to become the “main tourist destination” in Metro Manila.  So, of course, I couldn’t help but take a closer look at the resources Quezon City has that would entice tourists to come and visit it. And true enough, when viewed from a sightseer’s perspective, Quezon City does have a lot of interesting places and fun-filled activities that would surely delight any out-of-towner.
Quezon City has history, art, health and wellness spaces, as well as areas to commune with nature—or with other people if you wish, in hip, modern gathering places. Great thing that I was invited to participate in a Blogventure where we can take a tour to discover what Quezon City had to offer.

  
For our first stop we went to The Sanctuario de San Pedro Bautista (69 San Pedro Bautista Street, San Francisco del Monte) which was founded in 1599 by Fray Pedro Bautista, superior of all Franciscans in the Philippines, as a retreat house and novitiate in what was then a secluded part of town

      
The first church and convent was built as a chapel cum resting house in 1590. Then into wooden structure in 1593, then rebuilt into adobe in 1599. The Chapel was destroyed during Limahong-led uprising in 1639 and completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1645.

    
In 1699 the church and convent made of stone  was restructured. This was dedicated to the newly beatified Blessed Pedro Bautista and his companion martyrs.  This church has now become the sanctuary with the Baroque altar still preserved religious significance. 

   

The shrine belongs to the Diocese of Cubao under the Vicariate of Saint Pedro Bautista. It is also under the administration of the Franciscans or the Order of Friars Minor (OFM), from the Franciscan Province of Saint Pedro Bautista

  

  

The church additions was built in the Spanish Mission architecture. In the facade are four niches with statues of the four writers of the Gospel – Saint Mark, Saint Luke, Saint Matthewand Saint John.

    

The church is also connected to the church convent. On the second floor are the residence rooms of the priests stationed at the parish. There are a few gardens located in the convent area. The church convent has a courtyard located at the back of the sanctuary that would remind people of the age of the church.

 
This is one of the oldest still-surviving church in the country. The original wood and nipa structure was is dedicated to Our Lady of Montecelli. This became the Provincial House of the Franciscan Order in the Philippines after the destruction of the San Francisco Church in Intramuros during the 1945 Battle of Manila.

  
 Large stones were used to build the area with a garden in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. A statue of St. Francis with his arms crossed on his chest in prayer stands in the middle of the garden.

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