CAPITAL: Sta Cruz
LAND AREA: 1,759, sq. km.
TEL. AREA CODE: 049
NO. OF TOWNS: 29
ZIP CODE: 4000
The province of Laguna was named after Laguna de Bay, the body
of water that forms the provinces northern boundary. In turn,
Laguna de Bay was named after the town of bay which was the first
This province along with its surrounding regions were conquered
for Spain by Capt. Juan de Salcedo in 1571 and seven years hence,
the Franciscan friars started the Christianization of the province.
Laguna became a bloody battleground several times. The first instance
was the Chinese revolt in 1603 and then again in 1639. The British
invasion in 1762-1764, saw thousands of Filipinos fighting in defense
of the province. This battle led by Captain Thomas Backhouse met
resistance from the band of Filipino volunteers led by Francisco
de San Juan of Pagsanjan.
The first Filipino uprising against the Spanish misrule was led
by Hirmano Pule in 1840. Filipino resentment against the Spaniards
was aggravated by the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal and thus, by 1896,
thousands of patriotic inhabitants of the province had joined the
Laguna was one of the first eight provinces to rise in revolt against
the Spanish rule. The ill-equipped Filipino forces, led by Gen,
Paciano Rizal of Calamba, Gen. Severino Taino of Pagsanjan, Gen,
Aueda Kagabagan of Calauan, and Gen. Miguel Malvar of Batangas,
fought the Spanish enemies until they won on August 31,1898 with
the surrender of the last Spanish garrison in Sta, Cruz.
On January 23,1899, Laguna expressed its full support to the First
Philippine Republic which was declared in Malolos, Bulacan. Two
natives of Pagsanjan namely, Don Higino Benitez Abad, Don Graciano
Cordero, were there to witness and participate in this historic
The eruption of the Filipino-American war in 1899-1901 saw Generals
Juan Cailles and Paciano Rizal leading the defense of Laguna until
surrender was inevitable. Under the American Flag, Cailles was named
the Filipino Governor of Laguna.
After the war, Laguna progressed rapidly in peace. Schools were
established, various public services were instituted and roads were
built. In 1917, the Manila Railroad Company extended its line to
Laguna as far as Pagsanjan.
With the onset of the Japanese occupation, Laguna was the center
of resistance despite the presence of some "Makipili"
Today, Laguna is a thriving province. Its fertile lands produce
millions of pesos worth of coconuts, rice, sugar, citrus fruits,
lanzones, and other agricultural products. Its tourist spots also
attract a multitude of both foreign and domestic tourists.
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By and large, Lagunas economy is still based on agriculture.
However, in the recent years, agricultural development has been
complemented by the proliferation of light to medium scale industries.
Before 1973, the processing of agricultural products and making
light handicrafts were the major manufacturing activities in Laguna.
Today, textile spinning, weaving and finishing, chemical, automotive
parts, ceramics, wood and paper products industries have been established.
It is foreseen that more factories will be put up in Laguna in
the near future.
HOW TO GET THERE
Via South Superhighway, Laguna is 1-2 hours drive from Manila.
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Rizal Shrine (Calamba)
This two-storey, red-tiled roof, Spanish vintage house is being
maintained as a national shrine by the national government. It houses
all kinds of Rizalian memorabilia ranging from pictures of the late
hero and the women in his life, sculptures by Rizal, to laminated
excerpts of some of his written works. The house is by no means
an all-original. Except for the old will, which is now dry, everything
is a reconstruction of the original house of Dr. Jose Rizal, the
country's national hero. Even then, it has maintained much of its
colonial appeal. The presence of Rizal still seems to linger in
Underground Cemetery (Nagcarlan)
The underground cemetery is a circular wall structure. From the
wrought iron gate a red tiled walk crosses the grounds leading straight
to the opposite side, where an altar-like structure is located.
The tombstones are embedded on the brick walls of the cemetery.
At the crypt of the cemetery, according to history, is where the
Katipuneros plotted against Spanish rule.
Japanese Garden (Caliraya,
The Japanese Garden is a shrine created by the Japanese government
in memory of the many Japanese soldiers who died during the bloody
encounter between the Japanese troops and the Filipino-American
troops at the close of World War II. According to the people of
the locality, the remains of Yamashita are enshrined in the marble
"altar" located in the elevated area of the garden. In
this altar, Japanese visitors usually offer prayers and material
things to the spirits of the Japanese soldiers who died during the
war. The Japanese Garden sprawls on several hectares of slightly
rugged and rolling land. The topography of the garden and the cool
gentle breeze provide an excellent opportunity for a leisurely walk
around the area. There are picnic huts on the lower level of the
garden where visitors can sit and enjoy a snack.
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University of the Philippines Los
The University of the Philippines, the first and premier
state institution for higher learning in the country, was constituted
on June 18, 1908 by virtue of Act. No. 1870 or otherwise known as
the University Charter. The University was founded to provide advance
instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and the arts,
and to give professional and technical teaching.
On November 20, 1972, the university set-up was recognized. As decreed
by the President of the Republic and unanimously adopted by the
U. P. Board of Regents, a New University of the Philippines System
was established. And thus, the University of the Philippines in
Los Baños was declared an autonomous member of the system.
UPLB has six degree-granting colleges. On the undergraduate level,
it offers a certificate program, 21 major fields leading to Bachelor's
degrees, and one other professional degree. On the graduate level,
there are 34 fields leading to master's degrees and 18 fields leading
to doctorate degrees. It also has one main and six unit libraries.
The university sprawls on a 5,000 hectare campus, 4,244 hectares
of which is a forest reserve in Mt. Makiling.
Museum of the Wildlife Collection
of Dr. Dioscoro Rabor
Located at the ground floor of the College of Forestry Bldg.,
U.P. Los Baños campus. The museum showcases the personal
collection of mammal and bird species of Dr. Dioscoro Rabor in the
course of his scientific study.
As a zoologist, Dr. Rabor has worked on various fields such as ichthyology,
fisheries, mammalogy herpetology, ornithology and ecology. However,
it is in ornithology and mammalogy where he has made many important
Located at the third floor of the Institute of Biological
Science Bldg., College of Arts and Sciences, U.P. Los Baños
campus. The entymology museum features the different species of
the insect world from the smallest bug to the biggest moth.
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The sampaguita is the Philippines' national flower. It symbolizes
the chaste and strong character of the Filipinos. Sampaguitas are
grown practically all over the Laguna. However, it is said that
a large percentage of the sampaguitas supplied in Manila come from
San Pedro. Shrubs of this white fragrant flower are planted along
the sides of the highway.
According to old legends, the slopes of Mt. Makiling are
shaped like that of a woman lying down. Some say that it is the
profile of the sleeping Mariang Makiling who dwells in this mountain
and protects it from harm. The mystical Mt. Makiling is an inactive
volcano, rising to about 1,109 meters above sea level. The vegetation
consists of approximately 2,048 different species of plants. The
lower slope is a tall dipterocarp forest while the summit is a dwarf
mossy forest. Mt. Makiling is ideal for all types of nature tripping-
from trekking, to bird and butterfly watching, and even camping.
University of the Philippines Botanical
The garden is like a dipterocarp forest. Its beauty and appeal
lie mainly in its unpolluted and unsophisticated natural vegetation.
The lay-out of the garden is adapted to the hilly terrain of Mt.
Makiling thus, providing a pleasant opportunity for hiking and nature
tripping. Another attraction of the Botanical Garden is the swimming
pool, located on an elevated area in the garden.
Located near the City of Springs Resort in Los Baños.
The Crocodile Lake is of special interest because it is a lake within
a lake. It is a small crater lake situated on the edge of Laguna
Each of the seven lakes is nestled in a depression created
long ago by volcanic activity. The seven lakes are Sampaloc, Mojicap,
Palakpakin, Calibato, Pandin, Yambo and Bunot Lakes.
Sampaloc Lake (San Pablo City)
It is behind the city hall. Sampaloc Lake is the biggest of the
seven lakes. It is dotted with fish pens where tilapia is bred.
Dalitiwan River (Botocan,
The terrain is rugged as mountain lands go, and the cool water of
the river gush through the rocks and boulders along the watercourse
in sweeping currents.
Pagsanjan Falls (or Magdapio Falls)
/ Shooting the Rapids
Pagsanjan is noted for its famous Pagsanjan Falls. Actually, the
name of the falls is Magdapio Falls and is located at the next town
which is Cavite. However, the falls has been known as Pagsanjan
Falls because of the trip to the falls, referred to as shooting
the rapids. This is an exhilarating three hour boat ride from the
Magdapio River to the Magdapio Falls (more popularly known as Pagsanjan
Falls). The boat is expertly maneuvered upstream by two seasoned
boatmen. Going to the falls is the tricky part because it is going
against the current. Going back is a smooth swift glide with the
current. There are about 16 rapids along the watercourse. However,
there are less during the rainy season as the water level is high.
Also during the rainy season, when the current is very swift and
the falls gush heavily through the river, the boat rides are cut
short because of the danger posed by the high water.
Buruwisan Falls (Siniloan)
It is found in the part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges that
belong under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Siniloan. It
is one of the five falls known to the local residents, the others
being: Guiling-Guiling Falls, Lanzones Falls, Binaytuan Falls and
Sebakon Falls. Most of these falls, however, are unexplored. Buruwisan
Falls is the most popular among these falls because it is the most
accessible. Some local residents claim that there are still a number
of "undiscovered" falls in the area aside from the five
There are two possible mountain trails to the site - via Puting
Bato or via Pulang Lupa, the latter is a shorter route. It takes
two hours of strenuous trekking over steep grassy hills, rocky streams
and muddy river beds, and of wrestling against the overhanging branches
of the wild vegetation that abounds in the area, to reach the site.
But, the "discovery" of Buruwisan Falls makes the trip
Buruwisan Falls has a more or less 50-meter drop. The water is
clear and cool. The area around Buruwisan Falls, being virtually
unspoiled, is ideal for camping. As a matter of fact, different
mountaineering groups from different schools have pinpointed this
area as an excellent training ground for neophyte mountain climbers
and thus, conduct "fun climbs" in this site. Across the
Buriwisan Falls (at an approximately 35-degree angle) is the Lanzones
Falls. The rivers of the Buruwisan and Lanzones Falls meet at a
certain point and form a bigger fall which is the Binaytuan Falls.
The Binaytuan Falls has a more or less 200-meter drop.
National Botanical Garden of the
It is located on the border of Laguna and Quezon Province.
It is 19 km. away from Siniloan Laguna and 28 km. away from Real,
The Garden was initiated in 1978 by the National Institute of Science
and Technology, University of the Philippines and the National Research
Council of the Philippines. Its principal aim is to conserve Philippine
plants. The garden is a part of the U. P. Land Grant. The garden
is situated in a beautiful valley. A secondary forest covers the
area which is very peaceful. The garden is quite cool as it is at
an elevation of about 300 meters. The average rainfall is about
3,500 mm a year.
There are plenty of wild orchids, ferns and trees as well as wildlife
of all kinds in the valley including flying lizards, chameleons,
monkeys and birds. The Lalawinan River cuts through the garden and
also near this river is a natural swimming pool.
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Pook in Mariang Makiling (BSP Camp, Makiling U. P. Los Baños Campus)
This resort is under the jurisdiction of the National Parks Development
Committee. Thus, all reservations are coursed directly through the
main office in Manila. The resort sprawls on a 5.9 hectare land
with gently sloping terrain and lush greenery. The resort is a picture
of natural beauty and rural serenity. An Olympic-sized swimming
pool, nestled at the center of the resort, is a swimming welcome
for those who seek relaxation.
Hidden Valley springs us located at a secluded part of the
town of Alaminos and discovering the way to the resort is already
an adventure in itself. The narrow 4.5 km. road leading to the resort
is rough and lined by towering coconut trees and lush vegetation.
Some of the attractions of the resort are: the hidden falls, amlang
tree, lover's pool, soda pools, the hanging bridge, and the lanzones
trees. They also offer horseback riding occasionally.
Boy Scouts of the Philippines Camp (U.P. Los Baños Campus)
The BSP grounds are an ideal camping areas. The Boy Scouts and Girls
Scouts of the Philippines usually conduct their jamborees and other
National Arts Center (U. P.
Los Baños Campus)
The National Arts Center is the showcase of Laguna. It is an ideal
vantage point for a panoramic view of the Laguna de Bay, Talim Island,
Crocodile Lake and the International Rice Research Institute.
The National Arts Center is under the jurisdiction of the Cultural
Center of the Philippines. Reservations for seminars and conventions
could be coursed through the CCP Main Office at Roxas Blvd. Manila,
Tel. No. 832-1125 loc. 225/832-3703.
The National Arts Center has 62 cottages grouped into five clusters
on different peaks. It also has an auditorium with a seating capacity
Also within the area is the Ballet Studio and Library. The Ballet
Studio and the Rilda B. O'Brien Cliburn Library for the Humanities
was established in 1981 as part of the overall logistical support
to the operations of the Philippine High School for the Arts.
Valeso Haven (U. P. Los Baños
This half-hectare farm is abloom with cattleyas, dendrobiums, vandas,
"waling-walings", anthuriums and other various species
of colorful flowers in varying stages of growth. The owner, Mr.
Carlos Lazaro, can lecture on orchid and anthurium propagation.
Wilfredo Mabuhos Farm (Consuelo
Subdivision, San Pablo)
This 22-hectare farm is planted with fruit bearing trees such as
rambutan, lanzones, citrus, banana, duhat and coconut. Lovely orchids
and anthuriums are also grown in the greenhouse. Another attraction
of this site is the seemingly unending rows of triangle shelters
where colorful cocks of different breeds are housed. Activities
in this farm include a tour of the cock farm, a cock fight demonstration,
fruit-picking, and lectures on fruit tree propagation, grafting,
and budding methods.
Provincial Office Demo Farm Complex (Bo. Callios, Sta. Cruz)
This demonstration farm complex, which sprawls on a seven-hectare
land, was conceived as a government agricultural development program
devoted to rice production, orchid propagation, fish growing and
It implements the scientific agricultural methods researched and
undertaken by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
It also provides orchid seedlings to contract growers, who engage
in cut-flower production, plus it also breeds in its 2.2-hectare
fishpond, freshwater fish such as tilapia and big head carp.
Lake Caliraya (Lumban)
It is the result of an infrastructure project. It is actually a
large reservoir built in 1943 to supply water to the Caliraya Hydroelectric
Plant. As the dams were constructed, entrepreneurs with foresight
created two adjacent communities, which were envisioned to be ecological
communities, where one can enjoy the beauty and richness of unspoiled
nature. The results were man-made mountain lakes complete with coves
and sand bars - Lake Caliraya and Sierra Lakes.
The waters of Lake Caliraya are cool and measures about 50 meters
at its deepest. The lake extends and roves over partly submerged
hills, which form islands. The shores are of viscous red clay on
some areas and pebbled on other areas.
The deep waters of the lake and the strong mountain breeze that
blows from the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges and the distant Mt.
Banahaw, make Lake Caliraya an ideal place for aqua sports such
as boating, wind surfing and water skiing. The lake is also excellent
for game fishing as fairly large game fish swim here. However, commercial
fishing is prohibited in the lake. A boat trip around the lake would
take approximately four hours.
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The intricate art of barong embroidery has, indeed, made
a name for skillful and artistic women of Lumban. In this rustic
town, hand-embroidering barong is an art passed on from generation
Wood carving and papier mache (Paete)
There is a proliferation of wood carving and papier mache factories,
ranging from small to large scale, in the town. Practically all
the townsfolk are involved in the two businesses. It is either they
work in these factories or they own it. The artistic ingenuity of
this lakeshore town can be traced even before the Spanish period.
However, it was during the Spanish era that the art flourished.
During this era, the Paete artists created mostly religious articles.
Today, Paete's artists carve not only religious figures but also
genre masterpieces, furniture and just about anything imaginable.
The hard work that each Paete artist devotes to his craft indeed
puts meaning to the words "Made in Paete".
Wood Filigree (Pakil Woodcrafts)
Pakil produces a unique kind of woodcraft. It takes only a piece
of white kaytana, amblang, or malasangkit wood, a few carving tools
and very skillful hands to produce the delicate and intricate woodcrafts
of Pakil. Within five to ten minutes a skillful carver can easily
transform a prosaic piece of white wood into a tiny angel, a butterfly,
or a bird in flight. The uniqueness of this craft lies in the material
and design. A trademark characteristic of these woodcrafts is the
fine wood shavings shaped into wings or feathers. Baskets are also
made from this type of wood.
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Pakil is also known for the "Turumba", a festival held
in honor of Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. This celebration dates
back to 1640 when the statuette of our Lady of Sorrows was found
by a fisherman floating in the Laguna Lake. Legends tell that the
fisherman brought it to Pakil and left it in his boat while he sold
his catch in town. Meanwhile, a housewife saw the image in the banca
and thought that it was a miracle having found the image where it
was. She notified the parish priest, and soon afterwards a crowd
started to gather around the banca. A farmer carried the statuette
to the church and on his way the people following him started to
sing and dance. This was the first "Turumba" procession.
The word "Turumba" has no real Tagalog or Spanish meaning.
Still according to the legend, "turumba" was the sound
of the drumbeats during the procession. To this day, the Turumba
is still celebrated. The image of virgin Mary is borne on the shoulders
of the devotees and brought to the seashore and back to the Catholic
church in a festive grand procession. The Turumba is the longest
celebrated festival in the country covering seven months. The first
celebration is held a week before (Holy week) the week before Easter
Sunday, and then every ninth of the month, hence, for seven months.
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