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Cubao is the commercial heart of Quezon City, at the intersection of EDSA and Aurora Boulevard. While long overshadowed by North EDSA with its large malls, the districts's status as the traditional shopping center of Quezon City refuses to die; the Araneta family, who owns Araneta City, has begun a redevelopment project for the area to return it to its former glory.


Araneta City, viewed from Santa Mesa, Manila

While the Triangle and Scout Area is the government, entertainment and nightlife hub, Cubao is the grand old commercial heart of Quezon City, with Araneta City, formerly Araneta Center, at its core. This district only developed in the late 1950s, when the Araneta family bought a piece of rural land once owned by RCA and built its first buildings. Cubao started to blossom with the construction of the Araneta Coliseum, which further become famous for the "Thrilla in Manila" boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975. The first shopping mall to open is Ali Mall, named after Muhammad Ali; other buildings followed, like SM Cubao, New Frontier Theatre (Kia Theatre from 2015 until 2018), Fiesta Carnival (formerly a Shopwise supermarket), and Farmers Plaza. The popularity of Cubao slowly declined as larger shopping malls and commercial developments begin to appear outside the area.

Cubao is not limited to Araneta Center, administered as part of barangay Socorro; the district extends into barangays Immaculate Conception, Kaunlaran, San Martin de Porres (Arayat), San Roque, and Silangan, all part of the former barangay until it was divided into smaller barangays. Local addresses continue to utilize Cubao as the barangay.

Get in


By public transit


Cubao lies at the intersection of LRT Line 2 (LRT-2) and MRT Line 3 (MRT-3) and is reachable from both of them. The stations of both lines are named Araneta Center-Cubao, though these do not have any physical connection and transferring between the lines would involve walking on local streets. LRT-2 runs above Aurora Avenue west from Manila into Santolan in Pasig. MRT-3 is built at the middle of EDSA and runs from Taft Avenue in Pasay to North Avenue within Quezon City.

By bus


By city bus


Cubao is served by three bus routes as of August 2022, which is EDSA Carousel, 3 AntipoloQuiapo, 51 VGC-Cubao via Mindanao Avenue and 53 Cubao-Pacita. Route 51 and 53 buses terminate at Araneta Center, EDSA Carousel buses stop near P. Tuazon Boulevard, and route 3 buses stop along Aurora Boulevard

By provincial bus

  • 1 Araneta City Bus Port, General Romulo Street (At Manhattan Heights). Opened 2018, it is an air-conditioned replacement to the older terminal outside Ali Mall. It serves some northbound and southbound services on ALPS, Amihan, Ceres, Isarog, Peñafrancia, and Philtranco. One of the officially designated provincial bus terminals, this will be spared from the proposed closure of company-owned terminals scattered along EDSA and Aurora Boulevard. Araneta City Bus Port (Q85742591) on Wikidata Araneta City Bus Port on Wikipedia

Despite having a centralized bus station, many companies have established their own terminals elsewhere near Araneta Center; most around EDSA. This is going to change however, and those will be closed pending a court order.

For services from South Luzon and interisland trips, there are:

From the north, there are:

For trips roughly within 200 km (120 mi) or 2 hours long, there are often no frills, but there will be vendors entering the bus at certain points and selling food and drinks at inflated prices. Longer trips will tend to have meals included on the fare, tickets must be purchased at a counter at the terminal, and on overnight trips and interisland services, there will be complimentary blankets and a ferry and port surcharge, respectively.

By airport bus


From Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you can take the Cubao route of UBE Express[dead link] to Araneta City Busport, ₱100 per head. Travel time can over 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on traffic on EDSA.

By jeepney


There are jeepneys to Cubao and from Manila and Antipolo, but as with buses, is hardly suggested due to the traffic. If traveling from the east, beware of "patok" jeepneys, which play fast and loud music and are driven erratically (often when requested by adventurous youth), but you'll hardly find them since police have cracked down on those.


  • 1 Art in Island, #175 15th Avenue (beside the Union Square condominium), +63 277956256. 11AM-7:30PM. Interactive art museum where visitors can pose for a picture with 3D paintings in exhibit. Art in Island on Wikipedia
  • 2 Gateway Museum, 5F, Gateway Tower, Araneta City (Fifth floor of Gateway Mall (see #Buy)). 10AM–6PM. Museum dedicated to Filipino arts and supporting new artists. Gateway Mall (Quezon City) on Wikipedia
  • 3 Topiary Garden (elevator from the Gateway Tower, or stairway from the Gateway Mall cinema). 24 hours. A small secluded garden at the top of the Gateway Mall. Benches and tables are available. See the garden's animal-shaped foliage.
  • 4 Socorro Water Towers (Cubao Water Tower), 15th Ave, Cor. Col. Bonny Serrano Ave (beside Camp Aguinaldo). Historic concrete water towers built in the 1930s. as of August 2023 Cubao Water Towers is Temporarily closed.


  • 5 "Christmas is Home" (At the Times Square Food Park). Live Christmas display in Araneta Center, featuring Filipino and Western Christmas traditions and Araneta Center. It was revived in November 28, 2018, after it was held from 1966 to 2002.


  • 1 Smart Araneta Coliseum, General Roxas Avenue, +63 2 911-5555. Officially nicknamed the "Big Dome", this is a multi-purpose indoor arena built in the 1960s, and the centerpiece of Araneta Center. The "Thrilla in Manila" match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975 was held here; it is also the main venue of Binibining Pilipinas pageants since the 1970s. The arena gets its present name from 2010 when telecommunications giant Smart Communications bought naming rights to the arena. Smart Araneta Coliseum (Q625986) on Wikidata Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wikipedia
  • 2 New Frontier Theatre (Kia Theatre), #7 General Malvar Avenue (in Araneta City mall complex). Multi-purpose venue opened in 1967, with fast food chains, upscale restaurants and cafés outside. New Frontier Theater (Q23808197) on Wikidata New Frontier Theatre on Wikipedia



While it lost its status as the major shopping center in Quezon City over other larger malls built elsewhere, Cubao still retains its malls, supermarkets, and public market, while already dated, still gives the impression of the district's former glory.

  • 1 Ali Mall, General McArthur Avenue. M-F 10AM-9PM; Sa Su 11AM-10PM. The oldest standing major shopping mall in the Philippines, built in 1976. It is named in honor of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who won the famed "Thrilla in Manila" on 1975. Ali Mall (Q4724989) on Wikidata Ali Mall on Wikipedia
  • 2 Farmers Plaza, General Roxas Avenue. 11AM-9PM. Shopping mall. Farmers Plaza on Wikipedia
  • 3 Gateway Mall. M-Th 10AM-9PM; F Sa 10AM-10PM; Su 11AM-9PM. The flagship mall of the Araneta Group. Opened 2006. Gateway Mall (Q5527257) on Wikidata Gateway Mall (Araneta Center) on Wikipedia
  • 4 SM Araneta City (SM Cubao), General Aguinaldo Street. 10AM-11PM. One of the oldest malls owned by retail giant SM, but it looks more like its older sister in Makati's Ayala Center, SM Makati. This instead houses a department store and supermarket inside; all other shops and restaurants are outside. SM Supermalls on Wikipedia


  • 1 Banapple, Space 040 - a, General Roxas Ave.
  • 2 Four Seasons Buffet & Hotpot, Manhattan Parkview, Ground Floor, General Roxas Ave.
  • 3 Buddy's Pancit Lucban - Shopwise, General Aguinaldo Ave.
  • 4 Popeyes - Ali Mall, Ground Level, Ali Mall, General McArthur Ave, corner Times Square Avenue. 10AM–8PM.
  • 5 Baker's Fair - Farmers, G/F 3M-10, Farmers Market, Central Avenue. 7AM–9PM. Bake Shop.
  • 6 Julie's Bakeshop-Cubao MRT Station, Central Avenue. 8AM–9PM.
  • 7 McDonald's - Farmers Plaza, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (located in Ground Floor of Farmers Plaza Mall). 10AM–9PM.
  • 8 Salazar Bakery - Farmers Plaza Mall, Epifanio de los Santos Ave (located in 2nd floor of the Farmers Plaza Mall). 8AM–8PM.
  • 9 Inasal Chicken House - Farmes Plaza Mall, Epifanio de los Santos Ave. 10AM–9PM.





The area has Starbucks branches at Ali Mall and Araneta Coliseum, a Seattle's Best outside Shopwise, and a Tim Hortons at the New Frontier Theatre.

  • Bengal Brew
  • The Northern Coffee Experience




  • 1 Eurotel, 628 EDSA (At Vivaldi Residences), +63 2 8848 3045. European-style rooms with basic amenities. . Amenities include bar and restaurant, free or valet parking, massage, and safe. 3 hours: ₱395 ;Overnight: ₱1058.
  • 2 Hotel Dreamworld, Roxas Avenue (Across from Smart Araneta Coliseum), +63 912 433-3333. A/C rooms with free WiFi, cable TV and in-room bathrooms From ₱1010.
  • 3 Hotel Sogo EDSA Cubao, 629 EDSA, San Martin de Porres, +63 2 8723 4351. The flagship branch of the nationwide motel chain housed in red and white buildings, with four room classes. Weekdays: ₱825-1175 (12 hours), ₱1425-1825 (24 hours); Weekends: ₱1306-1755 (12 hours), ₱1505-2075 (24 hours).
  • 4 Hotel 99, 8 Pinatubo Street, San Martin de Porres, +63 2 8705 1325, . Accented A/C rooms with free WiFi and computers. No free breakfast. From ₱1080 (₱1280 with breakfast).
  • 5 Mariposa Budget Hotel, 30 Stanford Street, +63 2 8911 9133, . Single rooms with cable TV and free breakfast. Free parking and WiFi available. From ₱1347.
  • 6 Red Hotel Cubao, 627 Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, +63 2 8253 1888. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.
  • 7 RedDoorz near Araneta Center, 10 Imperial Street. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.
  • 8 Red Planet Cubao Aurora Boulevard, Aurora Boulevard corner Yale Street. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.


  • 9 The Fernandina 88 Suites Hotel, 222 P. Tuazon Boulevard (at the back of Ali Mall), +63 2 8911 3169, . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Transportation available to and from international and domestic airports. All suites have living, dining, and kitchen areas, internet connection, cable television, air conditioning, hot & cold shower. The rooftop pool and restaurant have a nice ambience, especially if you like looking at a concrete jungle, and a complimentary breakfast buffet is available.
  • 10 Fersal Hotel P Tuazon, 245 P. Tuazon Boulevard. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.


  • 11 Novotel Araneta City (Novotel Manila), +63 2 8990 7888. Has 401 suites, two classy restaurants and bars, and an executive sky lounge providing 360-degree views of Metro Manila. Each room has A/C, cable TV, desk, minibar, and coffee and tea makers. From ₱4245-4875.

As of 2018, only Novotel is the splurge hotel around Cubao; the second splurge hotel to open is the 24-storey Ibis Styles Hotel, the first hotel in the Philippines under the Ibis brand; construction begun in 2016.



Gateway has a limited free Wi-Fi service for Globe and Smart subscribers, although it is generally unreliable. The Farmer's Plaza also has some internet cafes.

Go next

Routes through Cubao (by car)
CaloocanNorth EDSA  N  S  Ugong NorteMakati
Becomes  W  E  KatipunanMarikina

Routes through Cubao (by rapid transit)
QuiapoSan Juan  W  E  KatipunanAntipolo
MakatiUgong Norte  S  N  North EDSA

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