Miyerkules, Nobyembre 14, 2012

Feature: Quezon City: The “Great, Green, Growing” city of the Metro

During the “Kabuhayan 2012”, this year’s National Livelihood Trade Fair held last November 8-11, 2012 at SM Megamall’s Megatrade Hall, different regions, provinces, and congressional districts of the country showed the best they have to offer in terms of products, services, and tourist destinations. The fair also served as a venue for the promotion of the local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) that invigirote local and national trade.

The event saw the different facets of Filipino culture and tradition—through arts, crafts, fashion, cuisine, and other specialty products hand-crafted by Filipino artisans, as well as services and local tourist spots— all of which demonstrate Filipino creativity, artistry, and ingenuity at its finest.

The affair which was organized by the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc. (CSFI) was a “great opportunity for promoting quality local products from the different regions of the country which are usually enjoyed by the locality’s visitors, tourists and locals,” according to QC Vice-Mayor and CSFI chairman and president Ma. Josefina Belmonte.

The Quezon City (QC) government, being one of the participants of the said event, had its own way of promoting its own cultural heritage. Brandishing the theme “Great, Green, Growing”, the QC made use of the 3Gs to best present the three essence of the city.

According to Ms. Marlyn S. Siapno, officer-in-charge of QC’s Sikap Buhay Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives Office, the theme highlights the best of the city—from products, natural endowments, man-made creations, old and new business establishments, etc. – all of which piece together the city as the “Place to be”.

“’Great’”, Siapno said,  “refers to the city’s rich history with its shrines, monuments, and national and cultural sites such as the Tandang Sora Shrine, Pugad Lawin Shrine, Sto. Domingo Church, and EDSA Shrine, among others, as testament to this.”

She also added that the city’s area of over 16,000 hectares contributes to the city’s greatness. QC also has the bigget population in the National Capital Region with 2.6 million inhabitants, according to a 2007 census.

“Green” describes the city being the “greenest city in Metro Manila”, according to Siapno. Places such as Quezon Memorial Circle, La Mesa Eco Park, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, and the UP Arboretum make up for that green portion of the city. QC has also been very active in green initiatives in support of the government’s, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, environment programs.

From an entrepreneural perspective, Siapno said that “QC is continually ‘Growing’”. “QC supports old business establishments such as Kamuning Bakery, Lechoneros Association, New Polland Bakers Fair (since 1962), etc. which continue to offer quality products and whose existence are intertwined with the city’s history,” she added.

Aside from the old, the city also supports the new and young entrepreneurs that sell fashion accessories, bags, gifts and house wares made from recycled materials as well as indigenous weaves and ethnic and occult-inspired items such as those made by establishments and institutions such as Key Chains, Charms & Other Novelty Products, Rags2riches, Tribu ni Jerry, Kamay Kraft Cooperative, and QC-BJMP Ladies Dormitory, among others.

In its exhibit, QC also has an interactive area where all the city’s tourist destinations which include iconic heritage sites such as churches, monuments, museums, and art galleries. The virtual hub also promotes green destinations which guide prospective visitors through the city’s “green belt” from the Quezon City Memorial Circle all the way up to the La Mesa Eco Park.  Even growing lifestyle destinations are also included such as  shopping areas, dining and entertainment areas like the ones in Tomas Morato, West Ave., Eastwood City, etc.

All these are just a glimpse of what Quezon City can offer. Through its massive tourism promotions, cultural heritage preservations, green initiatives, and entrepreneur programs, QC promises to live up to its vision of being the great, green, and growing city of the metro.