Quezon Heritage House

I will begin this post with a Rey quiz about Manuel Quezon. A Rey quiz has seven items to represent Rey Evangelista’s jersey number.

  1. At what age did Manuel Quezon die?
  2. Where is the final resting place of Manuel Quezon’s remains?
  3. Manuel Quezon and his wife Aurora were relatives. What were they before they became husband and wife?
  4. Manuel Quezon loved to smoke. How many sticks of cigarette could he smoke in one day?
  5. What was the brand of cigarette that Manuel Quezon smoked?
  6. What are the three significant items that can be found on the reverse side of the new P20 bill?
  7. Manuel Quezon uttered the following, “come, listen to this scoundrel! Que demonio! How   typical of America to writhe in anguish at the fate of a distant cousin, Europe, while a daughter, the Philippines, is being raped in the back room!” Who is the scoundrel/demonio he was referring to?

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the answers.

I revisited Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) on Saturday because I wanted to set foot on Quezon Heritage House. It was closed when I went to QMC a couple of months ago.

The tour of Quezon Heritage House was an intimate experience because of two reasons: first, the tour involved only three people, the tall and dark guide named Michael or Mark, Pats and I, second, and more importantly, the tour was a glimpse on the private space and life of Manuel Quezon and his family. Each room is pregnant with interesting stories, some of which might have affected the course of Philippine history, but all of them have repercussions on the family life of Quezon.

The marker of Quezon Heritage House. It was a place of refuge and comfort for the family because they used this house during Quezon’s bout with tuberculosis. The family gathered in the house every weekend and did what other normal families usually do, far from the glitz and glamour.

The marker of Quezon Heritage House. It was a place of refuge and comfort for the family because they used this house during Quezon’s bout with tuberculosis. The family gathered in the house every weekend and did what other normal families usually do, far from the glitz and glamour.

The façade of Quezon Heritage House. Sixty percent of the house is from the original house that used to be located in Gilmore, San Juan. The flowers that line the front are symbolic. The green and red flower is called Don Manuel while the tall green and white flower is called Doña Aurora. The Don Manuel flowers surround the Doña Aurora flowers so show that Don Manuel is the protector of his wife.

The façade of Quezon Heritage House. Sixty percent of the current heritage house is from the original house that was located in Gilmore, San Juan. The flowers that line the front are symbolic. The green and red flower is called Don Manuel while the tall green and white flower is called Doña Aurora. The Don Manuel flowers surround the Doña Aurora flowers to show that Don Manuel is the protector of his wife.

View of the beautiful stairs from the second floor

View of the beautiful stairs from the second floor

This door leads to a simple sitting area and living quarters of the Quezons

This door leads to a simple sitting area and the living quarters of the Quezons

Doña Aurora’s room is dominated by a narra bed. The photos on the bedside table were taken during the inauguration of the Quezon Heritage House, a little over a year ago.

Doña Aurora’s room is dominated by a narra bed. The photos on the bedside table were taken during the inauguration of the Quezon Heritage House, a little over a year ago.

The narra bed of President Quezon is called an Atay bed named after its maker (I forgot the first name). An Atay bed has a trademark squash on each corner of the bed. President Quezon and his wife had separate beds because they did not want Doña Aurora to catch TB. The rooms of the couple are separated by a comfort room and a nurse’s room.

The narra bed of President Quezon is called an Atay bed named after its maker (I forgot the first name). An Atay bed has a trademark squash on each corner of the bed. The words on the bedcover are “His Excellency Pres. Manuel L. Quezon”. President Quezon and his wife had separate beds because they did not want Doña Aurora to catch TB. The rooms of the couple are separated by a comfort room and a nurse’s room.

Some of the personal effects of President Quezon. The guide said that Quezon was not very tall at 5’2” that is why his boots are not huge.

Some of the personal effects of President Quezon. The guide said that Quezon was not very tall at 5’2” that is why his boots are not huge.

This is found right in front of President Quezon’s room

This is found to the right of President Quezon’s room

Mah Jong table found in the center of the second floor. Mr. Quezon would have been a great mah jong opponent for my brother and I who started playing mah jong before we could multiply numbers.

Mah Jong table found in the center of the second floor. Mr. Quezon would have been a great mah jong opponent for my brother and I who started playing before we could multiply numbers.

A very old fire escape located near the kitchen

A very old fire escape located near the kitchen

The tour guide made us guess what this object is, and I said a vanity with missing mirror. He said it is the popular guess, but it is incorrect. It is an indoor plant box that was given to Doña Aurora as a birthday gift.

The tour guide made us guess what this object is, and I said a vanity with missing mirror. He said it is the popular guess, but it is incorrect. It is actually an indoor plant box that was given to Doña Aurora as a birthday gift.

Ilong, Ilong, Ilong was a game played by President Quezon and his children. The tour guide briefly demonstrated how it was done. It seems like an interesting game.

Ilong, Ilong, Ilong (Nose, Nose, Nose) was a game played by President Quezon and his children. The tour guide briefly demonstrated how it was done. It seems like an interesting game.

These laminated posters hang in the kitchen in the second floor. Cocido is the favorite dish of President Quezon.

These laminated posters hang in the kitchen on the second floor. Cocido is the favorite dish of President Quezon.

stairs115

The top view of the spiral staircase that leads to the ground floor and the same staircase as seen from the ground floor. I may be wrong, but if I recall correctly the staircase is 115 years old.

The top view of the spiral staircase that leads to the ground floor, and the same staircase as seen from the ground floor. I may be wrong, but if I recall correctly the staircase is 115 years old.

The luggage of Manuel L Quezon and his only surviving child, Maria Zeneida “Nini” Quezon

The luggage that belonged to Manuel L. Quezon (left) and Maria Zeneida “Nini” Quezon (right). Nini is the only surviving child of the Quezons. She is 93 years old.

Signed Senate journals that are found beside Nini’s luggage. Manuel L. Quezon was the first Senate President of the Philippines before he became president.

Signed Senate journals that are found beside Nini’s luggage. Manuel L. Quezon was the first Senate President of the Philippines before he became president.

Doña Aurora’s conference room is located across the Senate journals. She used this for her Red Cross meetings and other advocacies.

Doña Aurora’s conference room is located across the Senate journals. She used this for her Red Cross meetings and other advocacies.

The sitting room on the ground floor. The chairs are replica and the religious images are representations of the carved narra images of Jesus and Mary. Nini decided to keep them as the only material remembrance of her parents.

The sitting room on the ground floor. The chairs are replica and the religious images are representations of the carved narra images of Jesus and Mary. Nini decided to keep carved images as the only material remembrance of her parents.

Doña Aurora’s ledger. All amounts are in US dollars because the exchange rate at this time was Php1 = US $1. Those were the days.

Doña Aurora’s ledger. All amounts are in US dollars because the exchange rate at this time was Php1 = US $1. Those were the days.

The Quezons in their younger years

The Quezons in their younger years

Doña Aurora’s second room is located on the ground floor.

Doña Aurora’s second room is on the ground floor.

The rosary pillow holds the rosary beads that were found near the body of Doña Aurora after they were ambushed by what the authorities believe to be members of the Hukablahap. Hukbalahap was a guerilla movement that persevered even after World War II.

The rosary pillow holds the rosary beads that were found near the body of Doña Aurora after they were ambushed by what the authorities believe to be members of the Hukablahap. Hukbalahap was a guerilla movement that started during Japanese Occupation and persisted even after World War II.

Also found inside the second room of Doña Aurora.

Also found inside the second room of Doña Aurora.

This cabinet was a birthday gift for then-Senate President Quezon from the other senators

This cabinet was a birthday gift for then-Senate President Quezon from the other senators

The dedication engraved on the top portion of the cabinet. The tour guide made me translate it. ☺

The dedication engraved on the top portion of the cabinet. The tour guide made me translate it as he did all the other guests. He was surprised I was able to do it. ☺ Only the third person to do it.

This guest room is across Doña Aurora’s room. The baby on the photo is the first grandchild of the Quezons.

This guest room is across Doña Aurora’s room. The baby on the photo is the first grandchild of the Quezons.

The report card of Ma. Aurora and her supposed-to-be wedding dress. She died in the ambush that took her mother’s life.

Also found in the guest room are the report card of Ma. Aurora and her supposed-to-be wedding dress. She died in the ambush that also took her mother’s life.

The back door of the Quezon house has iron-wrought leaves.

The back door of the Quezon house has iron-wrought leaves.

This pool has koi fish. ☺ This pool is located at the back of the house.

This pool has koi fish. ☺ This pool is located at the back of the house. The tour guide said that the original pool did not have tiles because tiles are slippery, instead it had a concrete finish.

Caryatids found in the social hall beside the pool. The Greek goddesses are actually supporting columns. Their male counterparts did not make it to the relocated house.

Caryatids found in the social hall beside the pool. The Greek goddesses are actually supporting columns. Their male counterparts did not make it to the relocated house.

Answers to the Rey quiz:

  1. 65
  2. Quezon Memorial Circle
  3. They were first cousins. Their mothers were sisters.
  4. 60 sticks or 3 packs
  5. Chesterfield
  6. Banaue Rice Terraces, Palm civet and Cordilleras weave design
  7. Franklin D. Roosevelt

How did you fare? 🙂

For more information about Manuel L. Quezon, please read Museo ni Manuel Quezon (Quezon Memorial Shrine).

Where: Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

When: The Quezon Heritage House is open for public viewing Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 4pm.

How much: FREE!

How: From any MRT station, ride a train bound to Quezon Avenue. From the train station, go to Eton Centris where an area is allocated for jeepneys (the most common mode of transportation in the Philippines). Ride a jeepney bound to UP, Philcoa, Fairview or Commonwealth. The trip will take around ten minutes. Alight the vehicle near Quezon City Hall. Use the Belmonte Underpass to get to the QMC or wait for the guard to signal the pedestrians to cross from the side of city hall to the Circle.

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