Photo by The Happy Trip
What is it about Laguna that distinguishes it from other areas in the South? To begin with, it is the birthplace of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. It is an important cultural heritage site that has seen the famous Rizal monument built to honor his memory and several forts constructed during the Spanish colonization.
Located southeast of Metro Manila, Laguna is the third largest province in the Calabarzon region. It was founded on July 28, 1571, by Spanish conquistador Captain Juan de Salcedo. Its name comes from the body of water that surrounds it called Laguna de Bay. It was derived from the word lago, meaning lake, and Bay (pronounced as “Bä’ï”) is the province’s former capital.
Let’s rediscover this beautiful province.
Laguna is one of the strongholds of power during the revolts from the Hispanic rule, American colonization, to the Japanese occupation. You can glean Its history from the remnants left by those struggles. To name a few:
- Emilio Jacinto Shrine – commemorates the burial site of the revolutionary group Katipunan’s head.
- Pila’s Heritage Site – one of our national historical landmarks where you’ll see the old architecture of homes, churches, and even the town layout.
- The Pila Museum – established to help preserve the town’s cultural heritage. It displays items from the pre-Spanish period, such as pots, dishes, jugs, and old appliances.
- Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery- an underground crypt exclusively for the Spanish friars designed by the Franciscan Missionaries in the 18th century. It is also said to be the Katipuneros’ meeting place when plotting against the Spanish regime.
- Homma-Yamashita Shrine – marks the execution of Generals Masaharu Homma and Tomoyuki Yamashita, Japanese commanders in the Philippines during the Second World War, for the war crimes they committed.
- Battle of Mabitac Mural – a conspicuous sculpture memorializing the triumph of the Filipino soldiers over the Americans.
- Japanese Garden – a shrine built by the Japanese government to honor the death of their soldiers who died during the bloody battle between Japanese and Filipino-American troops during World War II.
The best place for a hideaway
Since it is the nearest province to Metro Manila, Laguna is the most accessible place to escape for a short respite. It is accessible even if you don’t have a ride. Buses ply regularly along the route.
While it is famous for its natural hot springs, historical churches, and heritage sites, many recreational theme parks and resorts have already sprouted in this area. Excursionists have more options. Fortunately, most of these holiday centers are visible online, and reservations are simple to make.
Photo by D’Real Thoughts
Awe-Inspiring Scenery and Exciting Adventure
Laguna province has a plethora of scenic attractions and things to do. The options are limitless. Each of the 24 municipalities and six cities has its distinct features, and specialties.: Here are some points of interest to get you started on your journey. Woodcarvers of Paete, Tsinelas Capital, National Arts Center in Mount Makiling, IRRI Rice world Museum, UP Los Banos.
Most notably, it is famous for having one of the most unusual geographical formations: the Pagsanjan falls. The government and UNESCO have recognized this enchanting location for its natural and cultural wonders.
One thing that you surely won’t be able to miss no matter where you are in Laguna is the infamous buko pie. This delectable pie is made with fresh, young, and tender coconut, a creamy filling, and a flaky crust. Nothing else tastes like it. Several variants have already been made available, and most of them are delicious.
Other local delicacies to include in your pasalubong are espasol, kesong puti, puto binan, and Mer-Nel’s chocolate cake.
The Silicon Valley of the Philippines
Laguna is an excellent location for high-value information and communication technology research and manufacturing firms. It is equivalent to Silicon Valley in terms of the number of techno parks built there, the state university, and a flourishing science and technology market.
Undoubtedly, Laguna has changed drastically. Although retaining its culture and traditions, it has demonstrated consistent economic viability, industrial development, and suburban expansion.
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As a service area of Streamtech, the newest fiber internet service provider in the country, emphasizing quality of service, Laguna attracts like the sweetest of flowers to a honeybee. More investors, tourists, and migrants will flock to the province in the coming years. They will be drawn in by the province’s overall performance, and the seamless digitization.
THE FIVE OUTSTANDING CITIES OF LAGUNA
BINAN – The Trading and Commerce Center of the South
Binan obtained its cityhood in 2010 and became the lone congressional district on March 27, 2015, through Republic Act 10658 signed by former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
Binan city’s location and accessibility make it an ideal trade center. Most notably, it is home to the most significant public market in Laguna Province and the entire CALABARZON area. Retailers flock to this city to purchase food and goods for resale. Aside from that, it has become a financial hub due to various banking firms and an ever-increasing number of commercial establishments and shopping malls.
Moreover, it is home to two industrial parks, Laguna International Industrial Park and Laguna Technopark Inc. Several multinational companies have found themselves in these industrial estates. In turn, they have increased employment and foreign exchange, which has benefited both the local and national economies.
Binan is also known as the mecca for hat-making and for their mouth-watering pancakes called “puto biniang.”
Places to visit: The Alberto Mansion, Splash Island, Sentrong Pangkultura ng Binan,
School of Rizal and Museum
Festivities: Araw ng Binan (3-day cityhood anniversary), Binan Puto Latik Festival
CABUYAO- The Enterprise City of the Philippines
Photo by Biyaheng Laguna
Located on the shore of Laguna de Bay, Cabuyao serves as a gateway to the mountains and other nearby cities. It became a city under House Bill No. 4259 or the Cabuyao City Charter approved and signed by former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
It was once regarded as the country’s most prosperous municipality due to the influx of migrants working in big-named industry locators such as Nestle Phils., San Miguel Corporation, Wyeth Phils., Tanduay Distillers, Inc, and Procter and Gamble, among others.
Cabuyao City is known for having some of the best roads in the country. Furthermore, the city’s road networks are extensive and well-planned, making it simple for residents to get around. Anyone who wants to travel around the city can take advantage of the freeways.
Moreover, the city council of Cabuyao is an outspoken supporter of the LGBTQ community and has included gender-development programs on their agenda.
Places to Visit: Poor Clare’s Monastery, St. Polycarp’s Parish Church, St. Vincent Ferrer Diocesan Shrine, Sta. Elena Golf Course and Country Club, Light Industry & Science Park I, and City Hall of Cabuyao
Festivities: Cabuyao/Batingaw Day, Sto. Nino de Cabuyao Festival, Feast of Poor Clare, barangay fiestas
SAN PABLO – The City of Seven Lakes
Photo by Trip Advisor
San Pablo is a high-altitude city surrounded by extinct volcanic peaks and mountain ranges. It was once known as Sampalok Village due to the abundance of tamarind trees. It has a generally cool climate since it lies at the foothills of three mountains (Mt Banahaw, Mt Makiling, and the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges).
San Pablo became a city on March 30, 1941, under Commonwealth Act.No. 520, which was signed and approved by President Manuel L. Quezon.
Despite being outpaced by other cities and towns, San Pablo City retains a significant competitive edge. The bulk of its industrial ventures are either non-pollutive or non-hazardous. The city is committed to maintaining a healthy balance between its environmental assets and economic growth.
The city council is lauded for coming up with creative solutions to local issues. The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) which they established has been instrumental in the restoration of Laguna de Bay. Similarly, they implemented a solid waste management plan that has elevated San Pablo to the forefront of Region 4 cities.
Soon, San Pablo will be known as the premier agricultural and light industrial area, educational center, and tourist destination in CALABARZON.
Places to Visit: The Seven Lakes – Sampaloc, Bunot, Calibato, Palakpakin, Mohicap, twin lakes Pandin and Yambo, Hacienda Escudero, Komikero Komiks Museum, Bato Springs, Sulyap Gallery Cafe
Festivities: Coconut Festival, Passion of Christ (Holy Week tradition)
A fast and reliable internet connection promotes modernization and increases economic benefits
Photo from Google
SAN PEDRO – The Dormitory town of Metro Manila
San Pedro is the only city with its own legislation after Santa Rosa formed its own. In 2015, Sen. Koko Pimentel III filed Senate Bill No. 3029, which aimed to separate this city from the first legislative district.
Known as Laguna’s gateway to the metropolis, San Pedro has evolved into a common suburban bedroom community. Every day, most of its citizens commute to Metro Manila for work. People are drawn to this city because of its convenience and affordability. Aside from that, the crime rate is low, making it a safe area.
San Pedro is also known as the Sampaguita Capital of the Philippines. However, urban development has had a negative impact on agricultural lands. As a result, it slowed the growth of sampaguita. Upon noticing the decline, the city council is making concerted efforts to revitalize this sector.
San Pedro’s economic activity is concentrated in San Antonio. It is the city’s largest and most densely populated area. It has hundreds of factories, as well as a central public market. Alaska Milk Corporation is one of the most prominent industries there.
Places to Visit: Salvador Laurel Museum and Library
Festivities: Sampaguita Festival, Christmas Festival, Hiyas ng San Pedro beauty pageant
In business, location and connectivity are key factors to consider.
Photo by Good News Pilipinas
SANTA ROSA – The Lion City of South Luzon
Santa Rosa was constituted as a city on July 10, 2004, through Republic Act No. 9264, approved by voters in a referendum.
Sta. Rosa was once known as the “Vegetable Basket” of the Philippines. Agriculture occupied 96 percent of the land area several years ago. However, with the completion of the South Luzon Expressway in the 1980s, it became a more appealing venue for manufacturing firms and other commercial enterprises.
Since then, the number of industrial locators has increased. Santa Rosa has seven PEZA-registered industrial estates of electronics, semiconductors, and engineering firms. It also houses four automobile manufacturers, earning it the moniker “Little Detroit of the Philippines.”
And, with the emergence of business process outsourcing firms, it is being hailed as the next “New Wave City.” Thereby, these companies have added billions of dollars to the country’s export earnings.
Santa Rosa, with its ongoing growth and infrastructure programs, deserves to be known as “The Progressive City.”
Places to visit: Museo de Sta. Rosa, Cuartel de Sto. Domingo, Santa Rosa de Lima Church, Enchanted Kingdom, Fun Farm at Sta. Elena, Nuvali Park
Festivities: Sikhayan Festival
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