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The Quezon House at QMC

 

quezonhaus1When Manuel L. Quezon was first diagnosed to have Tuberculosis he purchased a parcel of land from the estate of Doña Imelda Hemady, which during that time was sprawling hills, full of trees. Over time, the Quezons were able to acquire three other lands around it. Although they had a property in Pasay, Manuel Quezon chose to stay in their house in New Manila to recuperate and rest whilst ill.

He also held office in it for some time. It was their vacation house. Unlike present day presidents, Quezon had time for quezonhaus2children, playing with them in the airy sala of this house: “My father was never too busy for us, unlike the families of present-day presidents," said Zenaida "Nini" Quezon Avanceña.

At the living room, Doña Aurora may have held her meetings to conceive what became the Philippine Red Cross, a humanitarian organization for which she and her daughters worked for actively. During the Second World War, Quezon and his family went into exile in the United States, where he continued to carry out his government duties. In 1946, as the war ceased and after Manuel Quezon died, the family came back to the country and resided in their house in New Manila. It was their only remaining property standing, as their other known homes had been devastated during the war. Throughout those years, the house became open to receive hundreds of people who paid their respects to the family of the late President. Moreover, its doors were opened to those who quezonhaus3sought livelihood, health and even political assistance. These paved the way for Doña Aurora to re-establish the Philippine National Red Cross right in their home's living room. Eventually, she became the first Chairperson of the Red Cross.

The Bautista Administration, desirous of  preserving and protecting the City's heritage, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the heirs of President Quezon, represented by the brothers Manuel, Benjamin, and Ricky Quezon Avanceña, for the transfer of the original house at 45 Gilmore Street, to its new location within the Quezon Memorial Circle.

During the first two months of the year, the laying of the house's new foundation started, which was a replica of the original. In April 2013,  builders have begun disassembling the original structure in Gilmore Street, carefully taking off the tiles and other parts of the quezonhaus4house, salvaging as much  as they could. The demolition ended in June. The family allowed the use of many of the original furniture and fixtures inside the house, including an antique glass cabinet, a brown wooden cabinet, a marble dresser, an antique bed with headboard and an antique bed with canopy.

quezonhaus5The Quezon House at the Quezon Memorial Circle will be inaugurated on October 12, 2013, right after the wreath laying at the Quezon Memorial Circle Pylon, where President and Mrs. Quezon are entombed.

 

 

 

 

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