Last updated on September 30, 2019
Novaliches was named after the Marquis of Novaliches, Manuel Pavía y Lacy, the general who protected Queen Isabella of Spain from her uncle who tried to usurp the Spanish crown, and supporter of her son, King Alfonso, upon the monarchy’s restoration. He was made the first Marquis of Novaliches, a title bestowed with Grandeza de Espana (Grandee of Spain-first class rank among the nobility), in the 1840s. Novaliches or “New Liches” came from an old district of Granada, Spain also known as “Liches” where Manuel and his ancestors, the Pavías, originate. By the early 1850s, he reluctantly accepted the post of Governor General of the Philippines. He ruthlessly crushed the rebellion started by José Cuesta of Cavite, a Spanish mestizo who rounded carbineros and natives to fight the Spanish military government.
Novaliches is Quezon City’s northernmost district and is primarily residential. The La Mesa Dam Watershed occupies the eastern portion. The La Mesa Dam supplies much of northern Metro Manila’s water supply. Adjacent to the watershed is the La Mesa Watershed and Eco-Park, Metro Manila’s only forest. Located in the park are convention centers, picnic areas, swimming pools, an orchidarium, and a large lagoon for boating activities. It was the site of the rowing and dragon boat events for the 2005 Southeast Asian Games. Also located here are five big malls: SM City Fairview, Fairview Terraces, Robinsons Novaliches, SM City Novaliches, and Novaliches Plaza Mall.
Novaliches town proper is the home of several educational institutions, notably St. John of Beverley, STI College Novaliches, both near SM City Novaliches, Maligaya Elementary School and Maligaya High School in Maligaya Park Subdivision, just near SM City Fairview, the Metro Manila College (MMC), formerly known as Novaliches Academy (NA), Quezon City Polytechnic University at San Bartolome (The University’s Main Campus), Bestlink College of the Philippines and Colegio de Sta. Teresa de Avila in Kaligayahan, and Sto. Niño de Novaliches School. Barangay Fairview is home to the Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, National College of Business and Arts, Our Lady of Fatima University Lagro Campus, School of Saint Anthony (formerly known as St. Anthony Learning Center) in Lagro, Mater Carmeli School in Sacred Heart Village, Good Shepherd Cathedral School in Fairview, The Lord of Grace Christian School in East Fairview, Divine Grace School in Maligaya Park Subdivision, just near SM Fairview, and Novaliches Cathedral (Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd), the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Novaliches.
Novaliches used to be the home of TV5, one of the country’s largest television networks, which moved to Mandaluyong in 2013. The transmitter located inside the Novaliches facility, however, is still used.
In 1999, a plebiscite was held among the voters of Quezon City to determine the cityhood of Novaliches. The proposed creation of “Novaliches City” would have resulted in the secession of 15 barangays from Quezon City. At the plebiscite’s end, votes that were against the separation heavily outnumbered those that were in favor.
Novaliches is also home to the oldest church of the Diocese of Novaliches and the town itself, the Parish and Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy or the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes. The parish was founded on September 24, 1856 by Padre Andres Martin, O.S.A.
Nearby the Church of Las Mercedes is the huge tree where Andres Bonifacio and Tandang Sora held meetings to fight in the revolution against Spain. It is located in the grounds of Metro Manila College in Barangay Kaligayahan.