Twilight at Nagcarlan Laguna

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery, Laguna

As we ended our Laguna Lake Loop tour, we reached the rustic yet remarkable town of Nagcarlan. Much busier than Liliw perhaps, because it was 5PM and people are flocking the church for the afternoon mass. The air was cool and we had some sprinkles of mountain drizzle while the sun sets. The town of Nagcarlan is about 30 minutes away from San Pablo City in Laguna, the famed “City of Seven Lakes.” We visit two of its famed sites, the church and its underground cemetery.

Continue reading Twilight at Nagcarlan Laguna

Magdalena Laguna: “Hollywood of the Philippines”


Santa Maria Magdalena Church, Magdalena, Laguna

I would like to go to Laguna, the off-beaten track. Palagi na lang kasi sa highway kaya di masyadong maka-pasyal! I was thinking of going to Majayjay with its massive church…however it is very off the way and the sun is setting in few hours time. We’ve finally decided, from Pagsanjan all the way to Nagcarlan via Magdalena and Liliw then San Pablo then head home. We went far interior, into the foothils of the Holy Banahaw.

By the time we reached Magdalena, I was surprised by several billboards claiming its title: “Hollywood of the Philippines.” Really now? How come it became “Hollywood” in the middle of the coconut plantations? I was really clueless.

Yet upon arriving at the town’s church plaza and the municipal hall, I gasped and said, “Ah! Dito pala ang pinagshootingan nung mga pelikula ni FPJ at iba pa!” Indeed, it was a familiar sight and delight. No wonder this rustic town got its own exposure to stardom. At di na nya kinailangang pumasok sa “Bahay ni Kuya” o magpa-audition sa “Starstruck!” True enough, there’s a facility nearby that was donated by FPJ himself!

One of Philippine cinema’s favorite towns indeed!

Continue reading Magdalena Laguna: “Hollywood of the Philippines”

A Short Stop at Pagsanjan Laguna

Pagsanjan Church, Laguna (Photo by Jeffrey Garcia)

Pagsanjan Church, Laguna (Photo by Jeffrey Garcia)

My camera’s dead…malfunctioning upon the time of our arrival at Pagsanjan, Laguna. It was disheartening for my aim was to take the photos of all the towns we pass by during our road trip. Alas, felt with heavy heart. But it’s a good thing my barkada would let me borrow their cameras and photos.

Okay, enough of sentiments. Lets not spoil our trip. Hehe!

Pagsanjan is in eastern Laguna. For the heritage buff, it’s Laguna’s answer to Taal, Batangas and Vigan, Ilocos Sur. For the majority of the Filipinos, it is where that famed Pagsanjan Falls are located (yet technically, like Angono Petroglyphs, its on another town). We had our short stop and parked just in front of the church. While my companions went around the town center and plaza taking pictures of the old heritage structures, I was left at the car, pondering on my malfunctioning camera…but luckily, my companions lend me their cameras for this. Continue reading A Short Stop at Pagsanjan Laguna

Wood Carvers Town: Paete Laguna

Santiago de Compostela Church, Paete, Laguna

Santiago de Compostela Church, Paete, Laguna

Paete in Laguna is just a short 5-minute drive (or even a jeepney ride) from Pakil. Still within the local narrow winding road below the cliff. It’s somehow more bustling than Pakil on a high afternoon. Cool breeze still blows from the lake but the heat under the sun has somehow made it quite unbearable.

Paete is known to be the “Wood Carving Capital of the Philippines.” The tradition of pag-ukit dates back since time immemorial. Even the national hero, Jose Rizal, mentioned its works in one of his novels. The exquisite talent of the Paeteños have reached overseas with some of their works reportedly displayed and used in some countries such as the Vatican and United States. Even the name itself of the town, Paete, is believed to have come from the Tagalog word “paet” meaning chisel…obviously tool used for woodcarving of course, hehe! Continue reading Wood Carvers Town: Paete Laguna

Visita Iglesia de Batangas: Lipa City (Part 1)

San Sebastian Cathedral of Lipa City

Black Saturday, the whole Philippines (well except for some pockets of it) is at its somber state. Having a big Catholic population, the economy would correspond to the religious needs in this country. Because no business whatsoever will be done for the day, my barkada (peers) and I decided to visit several heritage sites in the province of coffeebeans and balisongs, Batangas.

7:00AM. Assembly time. Good thing walang traffic. The bus terminal at Buendia corner Taft Avenue in Pasay City is not filled unlike the previous days. So, off for a 2 hour sojourn for Lipa City, ate Vi’s hometown and known for the miracles at Carmel. A bus ride from Manila to Lipa would cost you more or less PhP150+/- for air conditioned trip.

Continue reading Visita Iglesia de Batangas: Lipa City (Part 1)

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