Exploring Araneta Center and the Mowelfund Museum #QCBlogventure

It’s been years since I last wandered at the Araneta Center and yes, a lot have changed for the better. Down the memory lane, it is a popular place for entertainment. You can find a lot of cinemas and malls here. The big dome and the famous Fiesta carnival, the favorite hang-out of Filipino kids.

Thanks to the QC Blogventure, I was able to explore Araneta Center today and see it’s new offerings for the public to enjoy.

During the tour, my colleagues shared a lot of memories about Cubao. An example of our lively discussion was The New Frontier Cinema. It opened in 1967 and was known as Asia’s largest cinema. Today it  is known as The Kia Theatre.

Kia Theatre

The theatre orchestra capacity is up to 2,301 and 2,700 for standing patrons.

Kia Theatre 1


The newly renovated lodge has comfortable chairs.

Kia Theater Lodge

Just in front of the Kia Theatre is the Rustan’s Tower and Gateway Mall. I never thought that I can find a pocket park  in the heart of Cubao.

I’m talking about The Topiary Garden that nestled at the 5th floor of the Gateway Mall. Best view here is during sunset and well, at night.

Topiary Garden 1

Topiary Garden 2

Topiary Garden

Passing by the Topiary Garden, you can reach the Gateway Gallery. It’s the largest cultural destination in Quezon City that promotes industry, culture and education.

Currently, Sining Saysay exhibits Philippine History in Arts. It is a product of five years collaboration among University of the Philippines, the UP Alumni Association, and the Araneta Center.

sining saysay gateway gallery


You can find 30 large history and thematic paintings inside.
sining saysay exhibit

sining saysay exhibit

A few more steps outside Gateway Mall is  the Big Dome now the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. It opened on March 16, 1960, and became historical during Flash Elorde’s triumph over Harold Gomes with 36,000 crowd. One of most dramatic boxing matches in history  happened in the Araneta Coliseum in 1975. It was the ever famous Thrilla in Manila by boxing icons Muhhamad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Smart Araneta Coliseum

The Araneta Coliseum is also the home of Binibining Pilipinas and the Philippine Basketball Association or PBA games.Smart Araneta Coliseum 1

Also a few blocks away is The Farmers Market that opened in 1974. It is also known as the bagsakan ng kalakal from the provinces. Best buy here are the seafoods, though the prices of fruits, meat and vegetables are also cheaper compared to other markets.

Farmers Market


You can find Timbangan ng Bayan in some points of the market. It was a model project that the local government implemented it in all public markets in the city.

Farmers Market Timbangan


Farmers Market also houses Dampa, the famous paluto, where the stalls cook your freshly bought products  in the market for an affordable price.Farmers-Dampa

Aside from the commercial and entertainment structures, the Araneta Center is evolving into a live-work-play environment. It  currently boasts its residential towers like the Manhattan Parkview Garden  and internationally known hotels like The Novotel.

Novotel soft-opens today, October 12. It has 401 hotel rooms and suites.

Novotel room see-thru

Novotel comfort room


Novotel has exceptional venues for occasions like the grand ballroom, the soon to be finished bridal garden and a 360-degree view of the Metro Manila skyline. For business matters, they have six meeting rooms and boardrooms.

Novotel cafe

After  the tour inside Novotel. We proceeded at the Mowelfund Museum at 66 Rosario Drive where we were briefed about the history of Philippine cinema.


Old memorabilia and other stuff of Philippine movie icons are in the house.

mowelfund museum1

You can also find old props and equipment used in film-making.

mowelfund museum3Mowelfund still offers filmmaking and scriptwriting lessons. You can learn from the pro for a fee of P40,000.

It’s my first time in Pambansang Museo ng Pelikula and honestly, it needs the support from the current showbiz industry and personalities.

Our five-hour tour started while having lunch in Four Season’s Buffet and Hot Pot in Manhattan Parkview, Araneta Center and ended at Gerry’s Grill Timog.

To sum it up, I have learned a lot of new things from the Blogventure. It is really worth knowing the history of your home, learning how it was before and how it evolve today is really nurturing, amazing and inspiring. It is something worth sharing for future generations to live, love and value.



40 comments on “Exploring Araneta Center and the Mowelfund Museum #QCBlogventure

  1. I’ve always been in Cubao back when I was a student because back then, we resided near the area. Clearly, there had been so many new establishments that made Araneta Center a great place to visit. I just hope that they improve their Dampa because it’s getting out of date compared to other branches.

  2. I watched the MLQ Musical Play at the KIA Theater last QC Day celebration. Brand spanking new. The next big show there is the concert of The Jets. I do wish we can get to watch that nostalgia show.

  3. Cubao has always been a landmark of cultural sorts. 🙂 i’m happy that a lot of businesses have invested to maintain (and improve) the area and it’s never looked as good and exciting as it does today. Hope to come around too sometime soon! Kudos for the insider tips!

  4. This place looks nice though I haven’t visited the place but bookmark this place when visiting next time.

  5. This was all in Cubao? Wow! Never thought there are so many other things to see there aside from the Araneta Center and the ukay shops. Hehe. I’m very interested to see the art and the Mowelfund Museum.

  6. The last time I’ve been to Araneta Center is way back the 80s. wow! what a transformation . New Frontier cinema, a very familiar and memorable place to me.. I must visit AC and check out that Mowelfund Museum..

  7. Awww… so sad to missed this Blogventure. Im from QC and the places you posted here is just a stone’s throw away from my house. Happy you had fun and enjoyed QC.I frequent Gateway, But twas only 2 weeks ago that I was able to go to Topiary Garden. Nice place 🙂

  8. I haven’t been back to Araneta Center in a long while, years actually. 6 years back, I’ve always frequented the Farmer’s Market in Cubao and remember always having fresh buko juice at Dampa before going home. The produce, meat and poultry there are just stunning, even though a bit pricey in some stalls. A lot has changed from the looks of it! I definitely need to visit Araneta Center one of these days, and soon!

  9. I haven’t visited Areneta Center, coz mainly I’m from the south and travelling there is just, whew.. So anyway, I’d love to check out the place soon!

  10. Oh! There is a lot at Araneta Center. I got interested to The Kia Theater, it looks really nice. And the museum, i love museum. I will explore it soon. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I’ve never been to this places in Araneta… We’ve been checking the new Novotel hotel and was planning for a staycation there sometime soon… Those gallery of paintings and the topiary at gateway looks interesting to me! 🙂

  12. Novotel looks like a nice pace to stay! Also, every time I go to Araneta, it’s always for something else, so I never get to actually explore what it has to offer. Thanks for “doing most of the work” for me! Haha

  13. Wala bang speech si Roxas? (joke)

    Kidding aside, the new Kia Theater looks nice, will it be for film exhibition or stage plays?. Likewise, I never thought there was in Gateway mall. Must checked these when I visit the area.

  14. When i was studying at TIP QC – ako yung estudyanteng taong Cubao. After that, when i already had work, minsan na lang makapunta. Last 2 weeks, i went to Cubao at Gateway and I noticed that big new building. That is the Kia Center pala. Wow. Ganda! And. When i was in college, yung 5th floor ng Gateway wala pa yan. I think i need to go again. 🙂 how can i join that Blogventure? I want to join! Hehehe.

  15. I’ve been going to Araneta center for concerts and basketball games but I never knew there was this much to explore. I want to see that pambansang museo ng pelikula and the other things you posted. Love the grass trimmed to look like elephants. Wow, you just gave me a different place to explore. Who knew exploring your own backyard could be as much fun.

  16. Would like to attend concert in Araneta and see how does it look likes when its full. Nice photos!

  17. I remember Fiesta Carnival! I only moved back to the province in 2014 and I had visited Cubao at that time. But it seems a lot of development has happened as well that were not there two years back! Now, I only get to visit Manila a few times and only stay for a day or two that I never get to see all these progress. Thanks for the post!

  18. I have never been to Araneta Center but the Topiary Garden is really catchin my attention/… I would love to visit this family-friendly place someday as well as that intriguing Mowelfund museum!
    thanks for giving us a tour through your photos!

  19. I like the interior of Novotel and the comfy bed, I’ve haven’t been in Araneta but will explore this soon, thanks for sharing!

  20. Wow! I live in Cubao and I pass by these places on my way home from work! Haha. I have never heard of the museum tho 😛 I should definitely check it out. Is it walking distance from Gateway Mall?

  21. nice! humahabol na ang Cubao sa mga business districts! i’ve never liked going there particularly because the commute is horrible and it looks like an old and dirty district, didn’t think a lot is going on already. it looks inviting now!

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