Last updated on September 30, 2019
Before Quezon City was created, its land was settled by the small individual towns of San Francisco del Monte, Novaliches, and Balintawak. On August 23, 1896, the Katipunan, led by its Supremo Andrés Bonifacio, launchedthe Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire at the house of Melchora Aquino in Pugad Lawin (now known as Balintawak).
In the early 20th century, President Manuel L. Quezon dreamt of a city that would become the future capital of the country to replace Manila. It is believed that his earlier trip in Mexico City, Mexico influenced his vision.
In 1938, President Quezon created the People’s Homesite Corporation and purchased 15.29 km2 (6 sq mi) from the vast Diliman Estate of the Tuason family; this piece of land became known then as Barrio Obrero (“Workers’ Village”). The National Assembly of the Philippines passed Commonwealth Act 502, known as the Charter of Quezon City, originally proposed as “Balintawak City; Assemblymen Narciso Ramos and Ramon Mitra Sr. successfully lobbied the assembly to name the city after the incumbent president. President Quezon allowed the bill to lapse into law without his signature on October 12, 1939, thus establishing Quezon City.
When Quezon City was created in 1939, the following barrios or sitios: Balingasa, Balintawak, Galas, Kaingin, Kangkong, La Loma, Malamig, Masambong, Matalahib, San Isidro, San Jose, Santol, and Tatalon from Caloocan; Cubao, the western half of Diliman, Kamuning, New Manila, Roxas and San Francisco del Monte from San Juan; Balara, Barangka, the eastern half of Diliman, Jesus de la Peña and Krus na Ligas from Marikina; Libis, Santolan and Ugong Norte from Pasig and some barrios from Montalban and San Mateo were to be given to the new capital city. Instead of opposing them, the six towns willingly gave land to Quezon City in the belief that it would benefit the country’s new capital. However, in 1941, the area within Wack Wack Golf and Country Club was reverted to Mandaluyong, and Barangka and Jesus de la Peña to Marikina. In addition, the land of Camp Crame was originally part of San Juan. On 1 January 1942, President Quezon issued an executive order from the tunnel of Corregidor designating Jorge Vargas Mayor of Greater Manila, a new political entity comprising, aside from Manila proper, Quezon City, Kalookan, Pasay, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Parañaque. Greater Manila would later be expanded to include Las Piñas, Malabon, and Navotas.
Imperial Japanese forces occupied Quezon City in 1942 during World War II. In October of that year, the Japanese authorities divided the City of Greater Manila into twelve districts, two of which were formed from Quezon City: Balintawak which consisted of San Francisco del Monte, Galas, and La Loma; and Diliman which consisted of Diliman proper, Cubao, and the University District. In 1945, combined Filipino and American troops under the United States Army, Philippine Commonwealth Army, and Philippine Constabulary, with help from recognized guerrilla units, liberated and recaptured Quezon City in a few months, expelling Imperial Japanese forces. Heavy fighting occurred near Novaliches, which at that time was in Rizal Province, and New Manila which was a strongpoint. Toward the end of the Battle of Manila, Pres. Sergio Osmeña dissolved the Greater Manila Complex, which included the Japanese-created districts of Balintawak and Diliman which had been formed from the prewar Quezon City.
After the war, Republic Act No. 333, which redefined the Caloocan–Quezon City boundary, was signed by President Elpidio Quirino on July 17, 1948, declaring Quezon City to be the national capital, and specifying the city’s area to be 156.60 km2 (60 sq mi). The barrios of Baesa, Bagbag, Banlat, Kabuyao, Novaliches Proper, Pasong Putik, Pasong Tamo, Pugad Lawin, San Bartolome and Talipapa, which belonged to Novaliches and had a combined area of about 8,100 hectares, were taken from Caloocan and ceded to Quezon City. This caused the territorial division of Caloocan into two non-contiguous parts, the South section being the more urbanized part, and the North half being sub-rural. On June 16, 1950, the Quezon City Charter was revised by Republic Act No. 537, changing the city’s boundaries to an area of 153.59 km2 (59 sq mi). Exactly six years after on June 16, 1956, more revisions to the city’s land area were made by Republic Act No. 1575, which defined its area as 151.06 km2 (58 sq mi). According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and Geoscience Australia on their study earthquake impact and risk assessment on the Greater Metropolitan Manila Area, the total area of Quezon City stood at 165.33 km2 (64 sq mi).
On October 1, 1975, Quezon City was the actual site of the “Thrilla in Manila” boxing fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, which took place at the Araneta Coliseum. It was renamed as the “Philippine Coliseum” for the event.
On November 7, 1975, the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 824 of President Ferdinand Marcos established Metro Manila. Quezon City became one of Metro Manila’s 17 cities and municipalities. The next year, Presidential Decree No. 940 transferred the capital back to Manila on June 24, 1976. On March 31, 1978, President Marcos ordered the transfer of the remains of President Quezon from Manila North Cemetery to the completed Quezon Memorial Monument within Elliptical Road. On February 22, 1986, the Quezon City portion of the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (between Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo) became the venue of the bloodless People Power Revolution that overthrew Marcos.
On February 23, 1998, Republic Act. No. 8535 was signed by President Fidel Ramos. The Act provided for the creation of the City of Novaliches comprising the 15 northernmost barangays of Quezon City. However, in the succeeding plebiscite on October 23, 1999, an overwhelming majority of Quezon City residents rejected the secession of Novaliches.
Quezon City is the first local government in the Philippines with a computerized real estate assessment and payment system. The city government developed a database system that now contains around 400,000 property units with capability to record payments.