Sunday, June 26, 2011

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

Historical significance

The current location of the presently known Quezon Memorial Circle was originally planned to have been an area in Quezon City, where the National Capitol was supposed to be built.  In 1940 when the cornerstone for the structure was laid, the foundation was the only part of the structure positioned because the construction was disrupted by the start of the Second World War in the Philippines.  Right after World War II, an executive order about the agreement of the creation of a Quezon Memorial Committee was made and announced by President Sergio OsmeƱa. His purpose was to raise funds through the use of public subscription in order to elevate a monument for his predecessor, President Manuel Luis Quezon. From all the designs submitted, the one created by Federico Ilustre was chosen (“Quezon Memorial,” n.d.).

The gigantic Quezon Memorial Shrine, which upholds the City’s landmark, has the height of 66 meters (217 ft) that symbolizes Quezon’s age when he died. It reflects his great years as the dreamer and founder of Quezon City (Local Government of Quezon City, 2008). The monument has three vertical pylons that represent the three geographic divisions of the Philippines: the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao (“Quezon Memorial,” n.d.) and is surmounted by three mourning angels holding sampaguita (the national flower) wreaths that were made by the Italian sculptor, Monti.

The granite-finished memorial chamber of the late Commonwealth president is found at the heart of the pylon that is being surrounded by the three pylons. The pylon is a drum-like two-story structure that contains a gallery in which the visitors could look down at Quezon's catafalque. It was modelled after Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb in the Invalides and the gallery and the catafalque below are lit by an oculus just like in Grant's Tomb (“Quezon Memorial,” n.d.).

The huge mausoleum located at the center of the Circle houses the remains of Manuel L. Quezon, the Philippines’ second president, and his wife, first Lady Aurora Quezon, thus it was named, Quezon Memorial Circle or QMC (Pelayo, 2011).

 The construction of the Quezon Memorial begun in the year 1950, but was only completed in 1978 (the centennial of Quezon’s birth) because of the expenses in importing Carrara marble that were brought in blocks and were carved and shaped on-site (“Quezon Memorial,” n.d.). Complaints regarding theft of the marble blocks and the management of memorial funds also emerged during the process. A year after the building of the structure, Manuel L. Quezon’s remains were reinterred in the memorial on August 19, 1979. It happened during the presidential decree of President Ferdinand Marcos mandating the site as a National Shrine. On April 28, 2005, the remains of Mrs. Aurora Quezon, the widow of the president, were solemnly entombed in the memorial along with her husband (“Quezon Memorial,” n.d.).

Other structures
Originally, the auxiliary structures such as the presidential library, museum, and theater, were planned and yet were never built. Instead, two smaller museums: one containing the presidential memorabilia of Quezon, and the other containing items on the history of Quezon City, were installed within the monument itself. In the 1980s, the lost or incomplete bas reliefs for the outside of the memorial were placed and a development plan was also drawn up and partially implemented that included the building of the recreation and dining structures (“Quezon Memorial,” n.d.).

References:
Local Government of Quezon City. (2008, December 9). Places To See. The Local Government of Quezon City. Retrieved  from
http://www.quezoncity.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=84

Pelayo, J. (2011, April 15). Exploring the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. Free Articles Directory | Submit Articles - ArticlesBase.com. Retrieved from http://www.articlesbase.com/hotels-articles/exploring-the-quezon-memorial-circle-in-quezon-city-4606122.html#axzz1Pn8z5v

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