Good Morning Lakbay! Traveling from Manila to Lucban

To Lucban!

Well, I guess I was excited back then. It was my first time going to Lucban for Pahiyas Festival. The feast that I could only see on telly or on books. I’ve seen Sinulog, Dinagyang and Masskara for countless times already but this crowning jewel of Quezon Province’s feasts is something that I would look forward into. Such colourful and attractive feast has made me like a bee, attracted to the colour of the kipings and revelry. It was my first time going there and I’ll be commuting. May 15 is a notorious date to any commuter or motorist going south, as horrific stories of traffic jams linger. But I dared!

Which is which?

I called in the Quezon Provincial Tourism Office and sought advise on what’s the best route going to Lucban. My friends from Quezon and the tourism people have a unanimous answer: Go Laguna-Pagsanjan instead!

Here’s why:

Continue reading Good Morning Lakbay! Traveling from Manila to Lucban

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

Liliw Laguna: Tsinelas Republic

Liliw Lagunas own kipings for Tsinelas Festival

Liliw Laguna's own kipings for Tsinelas Festival

Who would have thought that in the middle of vast coconut forest at the foothills of Mount Banahaw could you find a town full of people! Magdalena was laid back but the next town came into our surprise…it was busy and there are people everywhere. May pa-liga pa nga sa covered court nila nang dumating kami!

But anyway, this town is famed for being the footwear capital of Laguna, and perhaps can pose a challenge to Marikina’s shoe industry. However, it is the bakya and the tsinelas that made it very famous.

Liliw, like Magdalena, sits at the foothils of the ever holy Mount Banahaw. 17 kilometers from the cabisera of Laguna province which is Santa Cruz. It’s surprisingly cooler here though, thanks to the mountain. And like Magdalena, it is surrounded by verdant coconut trees and lush vegetation.

Continue reading Liliw Laguna: Tsinelas Republic

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

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