Laguna: Hugging the Southern Shores of Philippines’ Largest Lake

Because of my campaign of church visits in the Philippines, I was excited then to do town-hopping art our next door province: Laguna. Aside from heritage churches, I wanted to see the local town centers, their museums and taste delicacies they have to offer. Just south of Laguna de Bay, there are many municipalites to visit that one day isn’t enough. Because of this, I visited them in different dates and created routes you can also try.

Calabarzon, formally known as the Southern Tagalog Mainland, is an administrative region in the Philippines, designated as Region IV-A. The region comprises five provinces: BatangasCaviteLagunaQuezon, and Rizal; and one highly urbanized city, Lucena. The region is the most populous region in the Philippines and is also the country’s second most densely populated after the National Capital Region.The name of the region is an acronym of its five component provinces: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
Laguna, officially the Province of Laguna (Filipino: Lalawigan ng Laguna), is a province in the Philippines located in the Calabarzon region in Luzon. Its capital is Santa Cruz while its largest city is the City of Calamba and the province is situated southeast of Metro Manila, south of the province of Rizal, west of Quezon, north of Batangas and east of Cavite. Laguna hugs the southern shores of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country. Its name comes from Spanish for “Lagoon/Lake”.
Laguna is notable as the birthplace of José Rizal, the country’s de facto national hero. It has numerous natural and cultural attractions such as Pagsanjan Falls or locally known as Magdapio Falls (picture above), the hot spring resorts of Calamba on the slopes of Mount Makiling, Pila historic town plaza, the wood carvings and papier-mâché created by the people of Paete, the annual Sampaguita Festival in San Pedro, the turumba of Pakil, the tsinelas footwear from Liliw, the Pandan Festival of Luisiana, the Seven Lakes of San Pablo, and the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan. Laguna is part of Greater Manila Area along with Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan.
My 2nd Province!
Laguna de Bay (Spanish for “Lagoon/Lake of Bay”; Filipino: Lawa ng Bay), also known as Laguna Lake, is the largest lake in the Philippines. It is located southeast of Metro Manila, between the provinces of Laguna to the south and Rizal to the north. A freshwater lake, it has a surface area of 911–949 km² (352–366 sq mi), with an average depth of about 2.8 meters (9 ft 2 in) and an elevation of about one meter above sea level. The lake is shaped like a crow’s foot, with two peninsulas jutting out from the northern shore and filling the large volcanic Laguna Caldera. In the middle of the lake is the large island of Talim.

In this post, I’ll show some tourist destinations I visited in Laguna thru infographics per municipality/city. I’ll post here in my #project81 the articles related to each province.

Laguna comprises 24 municipalities and 6 cities. The provincial capital of Laguna is Santa Cruz. So far, I haven’t visited only 1 municipality highlighted and I’ll update this post soon.

Eastern Corridor: Santa Maria-Mabitac-Siniloan-Pangil-Pakil-Paete-Kalayaan-Lumban-Pagsanjan-Sta. Cruz-Pila-Magdalena-Liliw-Nagcarlan

Santa Maria, officially the Municipality of Santa Maria (Tagalog: Bayan ng Santa Maria), is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines.It was known as Caboan that came from the Tagalog word “Kabuhuan,” which means bamboo thicket. “Buho,” is a genus of bamboo, which grows abundantly in the village. In 1613, Padre Geronimo Vásquez built the first church on the spot where the couple found the image of the Virgin. Thus, San Miguel de Caboan became Santa María de los Ángeles, in short — Santa María.
Mabitac, officially the Municipality of Mabitac (Tagalog: Bayan ng Mabitac), is a 5th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 21,275 people.  Mabitac was an excellent hunting ground for wild game three centuries ago. Native hunters used numerous cave-ins or trap-ins called “bitag” in the local dialect. Hence, the place was referred to as “Mabitag” meaning “a place with many traps”.
The Battle of Mabitac (Filipino: Labanan sa Mabitac, Spanish: Batalla de Mabitac) was an engagement in the Philippine–American War, when on September 17, 1900, Filipinos under General Juan Cailles defeated an American force commanded by Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham, Jr.
Pangil, officially the Municipality of Pangil (Tagalog: Bayan ng Pangil), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The town is one of the oldest settlements in Laguna, rich in Hispanic, American and Japanese history. Discovered artifacts of the 12th century Ming and Sung Dynasty were attributed to Chinese immigrants and traders who settled in this place then. According to oral literature, the first leader of the area, which now encompasses four separate towns, was Gat Pangil, who united four ancient settlements to establish a Tagalog kingdom in the area. During the Hispanic period, Pangil became a staging ground of the Spanish missionaries in Christian Evangelization drive in 1578 in the provinces of Rizal, Laguna and Tayabas until it gained recognition as a town through the Franciscan friars in the year 1579.
Pakil, officially the Municipality of Pakil (Tagalog: Bayan ng Pakil), is a 5th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Its land area consists of two non-contiguous parts, separated by Laguna de Bay. The land from Punta Inuod to Guinabihan, Banilan is where the first settlers Gat Maitan and his wife Panumbalihan, and Gat Silayan Maginto and his wife Potongan first established themselves. After a series of raids by pirates and marauders, they moved to the present site of Poblacion, leaving behind Chief Maginoong Dalaga who ruled the place. This account explains why Pakil has two territories on the eastern and western sides of the lake. Gat Maitan and Gat Silayan are one of the borne-leaders from the ancient town of Malolos which was called by pre-colonial Chinese traders from Fujian as “Lihan” where Gats and Lacandolas abundantly reside along the shores of Manila Bay under the Kingdom of Tondo. Gat Silayan actually is one of the members of the ruling clan of Lihan whose names bearing prefix “gat” a royal title. Every member of the clan in Malolos called “Gat”, and it became “Gatchalian”, Gatmaitan, together with Lakandula and Gatbonton at the course of time. When the Spaniard Conquistador together with the Augustinians stationed at Bay came to the place in 1571, this colony was under the leadership of Gat Paquil, a descendant of Gat Maitan whose name was used to name the settlement as “Paquil”, which remained during the whole Spanish Regime and early part of the American period. It was changed to “Pakil” by Executive Order No. 77 in 1927.
The St. Peter of Alcantara Parish, also the Diocesan Shrine of the Our Lady of Turumba is Pakil’s Roman Catholic Church and home to the Our Lady of Sorrows de Turumba.
Paete, officially the Municipality of Paete (Tagalog: Bayan ng Paete), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It was founded in 1580 by Spanish friars Juan de Plasencia and Diego de Oropesa of the Franciscan Order. It is believed that the earliest inhabitants were of Malay lineage, coming all the way from Borneo in their swift and sturdy boats called “Balangay”. The name of Paete is derived from the Tagalog word paet, which means chisel. The proper pronunciation of the town’s name is Pī-té, long i, short guttural ê, sound at the end. The town was referred to as “Piety” by the American Maryknoll Missioners when they came to the town in the late 1950s.
Paete has had a long reputation for its craftsmen highly skilled in wood carving and its embellishment. In 1887, José Rizal described Paete as a town where “carpenter shops” were issuing images “even those more rudely carved” (chapter VI, Noli Me Tangere). Even now, its inhabitants (called Paeteños or Paetenians) continue with their centuries-old tradition in carving and painting. Its statues, pulpits, murals and bas relief are found in churches, palaces and museums all over the world. The town was proclaimed “the Carving Capital of the Philippines” on March 15, 2005, by Philippine President Arroyo.
Lumban, officially the Municipality of Lumban (Tagalog: Bayan ng Lumban), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Lumban is one of Laguna’s oldest towns, located 104 kilometres (65 mi) southeast of Manila. It got its name from Aleurites moluccanus, a tree locally named “lumbang“. The province’s capital town, Santa Cruz, as well as Cavinti and Pagsanjan, were once part of Lumban. The town is the location of the river, wherein the Laguna Copperplate Inscription was found. The copperplate is the oldest known document found in the Philippines, dating to 900AD. Lumban is the home of Lake Caliraya, a man-made lake often visited by nature lovers and sports people.
Lumban is known as the “Embroidery Capital of the Philippines“. Fine Jusi and Piña cloth are embroidered by hand, and the finished product is worn by males as Barong Tagalog and by females as Saya (Filipiñana). These are export-quality items. Lumban is also known for its many designs of shoes, sandals, slippers, and step-ins – all made from local materials. They are usually sold in shopping malls in Metro Manila, albeit at slightly higher prices than what can be found in Laguna. BURDANG LUMBAN Face mask: A pure hand made embroidered mask with a combination of cocoon & cotton cloth as filter and expandex for ear loop. This is one of their products that flourished during pandemic.
Pagsanjan (pronounced PAG-sang-han), officially the Municipality of Pagsanjan (Tagalog: Bayan ng Pagsanjan), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Pagsanjan is the tourist capital of Laguna and is the home of the Bangkero Festival held every March. The bangkeros are tour guides who steer boats along the river to Pagsanjan Falls (also called Magdapio Falls), for which the town is well known but is actually in neighboring Cavinti. Pagsanjan was the capital of the province of Laguna for 170 years (1688–1858) during which the town prospered as the commercial, cultural and learning center of the province.
Pagsanjan is located in the riparian delta formed by the confluence of the Balanac and Bumbungan rivers. Originally called Pinágsangahán (“branching” or “juncture”), this was shortened to “Pagsanjan” by early Spanish colonists because they found the name very difficult to pronounce. Nearby Bumbungan river is the famous Aling Taleng’s Halo-Halo established 1930 and still serving their wintermelon (kundol) halo-halo.
Pagsanjan Arch also known as Puerto Real or Arco Real is a historic town gate of Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines built from 1878 to 1880 under the supervision of Fray Cipriano Bac. The arch was built by the people of Pagsanjan to express gratitude to their patroness, the Our Lady of Guadalupe, from protecting the town from bandits in 1877. The arch is located at the western entrance of the town along the National Highway. It leads to Rizal Street (formerly Calle Real) of the town. The arch was declared as a national landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines on December 6, 2018. A historical marker was unveiled
Santa Cruz, officially the Municipality of Santa Cruz (Tagalog: Bayan ng Santa Cruz), is a first class municipality and capital of the province of Laguna, Philippines. Santa Cruz is considered as the service and commercial center on the eastern part of the province. Santa Cruz is also the seat of the provincial government since 1885, giving the municipality an additional administrative function over the entire province. It also functions as the service center for transportation, commerce, health, education, and other social services for the predominantly rural north-eastern municipalities of the province. The development of Santa Cruz as the administrative, commercial, and service center of Laguna makes it accessible for all private/public vehicles going to nearby places particularly Pagsanjan, Lake Caliraya, Liliw, Paete and Nagcarlan. Santa Cruz boasts of the famous white cheese or kesong puti, freshly made from carabao’s milk.
Pila, officially the Municipality of Pila (Tagalog: Bayan ng Pila), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The town of Pila is the site for some well-preserved houses dating back to the Spanish period as well as the National Shrine of Saint Anthony of Padua, the first Antonine church in the Philippines. Don Felizardo Rivera, who donated his lands to the church and municipal government, is the recognized founder of Pila. He is the ancestor of prominent families in Pila surnamed Rivera, Relova, Agra and Álava.
The scientists were able to uncover Philippines’ oldest crematorium in the old town site of Pila called Pinagbayanan. It is worthwhile to note that the oldest Philippine document, the 900 A.D. Laguna Copperplate Inscription, mentioned Pila (as Pailah) twice and its ruler Jayadewa. Pre-Hispanic Pila was one of the biggest barangay domains in Southern Luzon. Its leader was not only the local chief but also the regional datu. The bards of the shore towns of the Morong Peninsula across the lake from Pila sang of the exploits of Gat Salyan Maguinto, the “gold-rich” datu of Pila who extended his kingdom far and wide into their settlements.
It is a common misconception that the old ancestral houses are Hispanic in design. According to the town’s curator and tourism officer however, these houses were built during the early American period. A number of them are still in pristine condition, preserved by the descendants of the original owners of the house while some are converted into shops and cafés. A majority of the houses within the site are derelict but the town officials are taking action to restore these architectural treasures. Above is the Jose Agra Ancestral House facing the town plaza.
Magdalena, officially the Municipality of Magdalena (Tagalog: Bayan ng Magdalena), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Magdalena was formerly a barrio of Majayjay, Laguna. A petition from the residents of the barrio for the creation of a new town was presented on September 15, 1819. It was proclaimed a new town by Governor General Don Mariano Fernández de Folgueras on January 18, 1820, and was originally named “Magdalena de Ambling“. The name was derived from its patron saint Maria Magdalena and the barrio of Ambling where it was established. The first Teniente Alcalde or Capitan (the highest political authority in a town) was Don Mauricio San Mateo. Magdalena held its first Kawayan Festival to mark the town’s 185th Foundation Day. The colorful festival celebrates the native bamboo and its role in the culture and livelihood of the town and to promote bamboo-based industries.
Liliw, officially the Municipality of Liliw (Tagalog: Bayan ng Liliw), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It is one of the highland towns forming the southern extremity of Laguna. It is situated at the foot of Mt. Banahaw. Liliw is perhaps best known for its cold water spring resorts, native homemade sweets and a sizeable shoe industry that rivals that of Marikina. The town is also known for its baroque church and its Liliw-style houses.
According to a story, Liliw got its name from a bird. It was said that Gat Tayaw and his followers decided to erect a bamboo pole and to name the town after the bird that would first alight at the top of the pole within four days. A crow, however, was the first bird to alight on the pole. A crow was considered bad and so Gat Tayaw and his men moved south and erected another bamboo pole. A beautiful bird alighted on the pole and sang, “Liw, Liw, Liw”. Thus the town became Liliw.
The town’s main attraction is its growing footwear industry. It started in 1931 when Casiano Pisuena became interested in making slippers. His first prototype was made from coconut husk and rubber from tire interiors. He soon became successful and many residents of Liliw followed suit. At present there are about 50 stores selling footwear in Liliw. The regular slippers are still the most popular, but many stores are now selling shoes, handbags and other leather goods. Most stores still carry the three-for-P100 slippers. The annual Tsinelas Festival is celebrated every end of April.
Nagcarlan, officially the Municipality of Nagcarlan (Tagalog: Bayan ng Nagcarlan), is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. According to the origin, the name Nagcarlan came from the name of a famous rich and generous woman by Ana Kalang or Ana Panalangin was a native woman who was known for her golden salakot and cane which she always carried when walking around town. She was well-respected by the townfolk not just for her wealth but also for the help she extends to those in need. One day, a Spaniard came to her house and upon looking out of the window, he saw branches swaying and hitting one another, and so he asked what was going on. Ana Kalang answered and said “nagkakalang sila”. The word was repeatedly mispronounced by the Spaniards until it became Nagcarlan, which is now the name of the town.

Western Corridor: Calamba City-Cabuyao City-Sta. Rosa City-Biñan City-San Pedro City

Calamba, officially known as the City of Calamba (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Calamba), is a 1st class component city in the province of Laguna, Philippines.
It is the regional center of the Calabarzon region. The city is known as the “Spring Resort Capital of the Philippines” because of its numerous hot spring resorts, which are mostly located in Barangays Pansol, Bucal, Bagong Kalsada, and Lingga.
Calamba is the most populous local government unit in Laguna. The city is known to be the Calabarzon’s richest city, followed by Cabuyao City, because of its numerous factories.
Calamba is the hometown of the de facto Philippine national heroJosé Rizal.
The name of the city is derived from Tagalog kalamba, meaning a wide-mouthed earthen water jar (also called balanga or banga). The origin of the name is reflected in the Calamba Jar landmark in city plaza, as well as the city’s seal which depicts a water jar superimposed with a profile of José Rizal.
Cabuyao, officially known as the City of Cabuyao (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Cabuyao), is a 1st class component city in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It used to be known as the “richest municipality in the Philippines” because of the large populace of migrants working in the town’s industrial estates. Cabuyao was once the central part of “Tabuco“, a large territory which once included the modern-day cities of San Pedro, Biñan, Santa Rosa and Calamba. The name “Cabuyao” came from the kabuyaw tree, Citrus hystrix. Known as “The Enterprise City of the Philippines”, the City of Cabuyao is located at the country’s industrialized region.
Batingaw Festival is a festivity commemorating the legendary Kampanang Ginto which Cabuyao is known. The celebration always starts with the simultaneous ringing of church bells, which Cabuyeños believe that it brings good agricultural harvest. The highlights of the five (5) days festival include the parade of the Kampanang Ginto, colorful street dancing, singing contest, trade fair exhibits, Mutya and Lakan ng Cabuyao and fireworks.
Santa Rosa, officially known as the City of Santa Rosa (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Santa Rosa), is a 1st class component city in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It is the second largest local government unit in Laguna after Calamba. Santa Rosa was initially known for the Coca-Cola and Toyota manufacturing plants in its industrial estates. Recently, it has become popular for being the site of Enchanted Kingdom, a local theme park, and several housing developments.
In 1571, Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo, the grandson of Miguel López de Legazpi, founded the town of Biñan which was annexed as a barrio to Tabuco (now Cabuyao) while exploring the region of Laguna de Bay.
In 1688, Biñan, together with Barrio Bukol, separated from Cabuyao. After a series of renaming and separating barrios to become independent towns, Barrio Bukol was politically emancipated as the municipality of Santa Rosa, which was named after Saint Rose of Lima. The municipality of Santa Rosa was founded on January 18, 1792.
Biñan, officially known as the City of Biñan (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Biñan), is a 1st class component city in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Biñan, also known as Biniang, has become both a suburban residential community of Metro Manila and a location for some of the Philippines’ largest industrial estates and export processing zones.
Where Biñan got its name is a mystery. Some deduced that before Captain Juan de Salcedo proceeded to Cainta and Taytay finally reaching Bay, he landed in Biñan. According to the story, Padres Alfonso de Alvarado and Diego Espinar planted a huge wooden cross on the spot where the present day San Isidro Labrador parish stands and co-celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass. Curious natives gathered and the two Spanish missionaries took advantage of the situation. They baptized each one of them. From then on, old folks say they called the place “Binyagan,” which means a baptismal place. The Spanish tongue’s difficulty in pronouncing the local dialect acquired for the once town its name— “Biñan”.
The Alberto Mansion is a historic house in Biñan that was built around the 1800s and was owned by Jose Alberto Alonzo. The house is noted for its connection to the family of José Rizal. Alonzo is the father of Rizal’s mother Teodora Alonso Realonda. Biñan is where Realonda would spend her teenage years and where she would meet Rizal’s father Francisco Mercado who lived in a house nearby. The property would later be passed down through several generations.
San Pedro de Tunasán became a town on January 18, 1725, upon the request of San Pedrense Principalía led by Alonzo Magtibay, Francisco Santiago, and Ignacio de Guevarra and approved by the Governor-General and Manila Archbishop Francisco de la Cuesta. Later on, San Pedro became an hacienda of Colegio de San José, a group of Jesuits who took over the property which now is known as “San Pedro Tunasán”. Tunasán literally means “a place where there is Tunás” (Nymphaea nouchali), a medicinal plant abundant on shoreline area. San Pedro is known as “Laguna’s Gateway to Metro Manila”. Its position makes San Pedro a popular suburban residential community, where many residents commute daily to Metro Manila for work

Central-Southern: Los Baños-Bay-Victoria-Calauan-San Pablo City-Alaminos-Rizal-Majayjay-Luisiana-Cavinti

Los Baños, officially the Municipality of Los Baños (Tagalog: Bayan ng Los Baños), colloquialy ‘elbi’ or simply LB, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The municipality lies on the northern slopes of the long dormant volcano Mount Makiling and is known among tourists for its hot spring resorts. Los Baños was declared as the Special Science and Nature City of the Philippines through Presidential Proclamation No. 349. The proclamation, however, does not convert the municipality to a city or give it corporate powers that are accorded to other cities.
Los Baños also hosts two constituent universities of the University of the Philippines System: the University of the Philippines Los Baños and University of the Philippines Open University, along with other foreign and local and international research centers, such as the International Rice Research Institute, the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, the Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Carabao Center at UPLB, and SEAMEO-SEARCA, making the town a temporary home for tens of thousands of both local and foreign undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and support staff.
Los Baños started as a settlement, a barrio of Bay, called Mainit, the Tagalog term for “hot”, alluding to the thermal springs at the foot of Mount Makiling. By 1589, through a Franciscan friar, it became popularly called by its present name, “Los Baños”, which is Spanish for “bathing place“. Aside from its importance in academics, science and research, Los Baños is a well-known tourist destination. Because of the town’s proximity to Metro Manila, Los Baños’ hot spring resorts are frequent weekend or summer getaways for residents of the vast metropolis and tourists from other places in the Philippines and abroad. Tourists who visit Los Baños also come to the several native delicacies stores in the town to buy the town’s famous buko pie (coconut meat pie) as well as a home-grown brand of chocolate cake. Currently, it is Laguna’s richest municipality.
Bay, officially the Municipality of Bay (Tagalog: Bayan ng Bay), is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The Patron of Bay is Saint Augustine of Hippo celebrating his Feast Day during August 28. Laguna de Bay, the country’s largest freshwater lake, is named after the town. In the old Tagalog language the name Bay derives from the same phonetic roots as “baybay” (shore) and as “babae” (woman) and “babaylan” (priestess). The name can thus be thought of either as a reference to the shore of the lake, or to a great lady. In the case of the latter, it has been suggested that the great lady might be the same as Maria Makiling, as her mountain was within the scope of Bay’s original territory. Bay is one of the oldest towns in Laguna province, and was the province’s first capital. Its original territory covered the areas that are now known as Los Baños, Calauan, Alaminos and San Pablo (in addition to its current territory). The Spaniards pronounced the name of the town “Bah-ee” while the natives called it “Bah-eh.” Either way, the similarity in spelling has led to the misconception that the town was named after Laguna de Bay. Instead, the Spaniards named the lake after this ancient Tagalog community.
Victoria, officially the Municipality of Victoria (Tagalog: Bayan ng Victoria), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. After Pateros became highly urbanized and densely populated, Victoria became a destination of balut traders and thus became “Duck Raising Capital of the Philippines”. Victoria is a municipality offering some of the most bizarre yet delicious dishes including goats’ and ducks’ meat. The town is bordered by Calauan, Nagcarlan, and Pila. Following the town’s nickname, the Itik Festival is celebrated, along with the town’s founding anniversary, to give honor and to know more about the products that come from itik (duck). Nanhaya was a barrio of Pila until November 15, 1949, when President Elpidio Quirino signed into effect EO 282 segregating this barrio and 8 others into an independent community. Its name was adopted from President Quirino’s daughter Victoria Quirino. The Name Victoria is the Spanish word means “Victory“.
Calauan, officially the Municipality of Calauan (Tagalog: Bayan ng Calauan), is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The town got its name from the term kalawang, which means rust. Folklore has it that the town got its name when the Spanish started construction of the Municipal Church and water seeped in from the holes dug into the ground for the Church’s foundation. The water was colored brown and rusty in character hence the name Calauan (Kalawang).
Calauan is known for the Pineapple Festival, which is celebrated every 15 May.
The patron saint of Calauan is Isidore the Laborer, the patron of farmers, known in Spanish as San Isidro Labrador.
Popular destinations in the area include the Field of Faith situated in Barangay Lamot 2 and the Isdaan Floating Restaurant located along the National Highway going to Victoria Laguna.
San Pablo, officially known as the City of San Pablo (Tagalog: Lungsod ng San Pablo), is a 1st class component city in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The city is more popularly known as the “City of Seven Lakes” (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Pitong Lawa), referring to the Seven Lakes of San Pablo: Lake Sampaloc (or Sampalok), Lake Palakpakin, Lake Bunot, Lakes Pandin and Yambo, Lake Muhikap, and Lake Calibato.
San Pablo‘s earliest historical record dates back to pre-Spanish times when four large barrios bounded by Mount Makiling composed “Sampalok”. In 1571, the first Spanish troops under Captain Juan de Salcedo arrived in the upland village of Sampaloc, which became a parish in 1586, and then a municipality in 1647, and was renamed “San Pablo de Los Montes” in honor of Saint Paul the First Hermit. In 1756, it was placed under the jurisdiction of Batangas province but was returned in 1883 to Laguna.
Pandin and Yambo are twin crater lakes separated by a narrow strip of land. They are part of the Seven Lakes system in San Pablo, and are situated at Brgy. San Lorenzo in San Pablo City of Laguna province in the Philippines.
It was told that these two lakes were named after two lovers. According to the legend, a beautiful woman named Pandin was cursed not to step on the earth, otherwise, something terrible would befall her. Yambo, her ardent lover, did not know about the curse and had made her step on earth, after which there was a terrible noise followed by the cracking grumble of the earth and a heavy downpour eventually converted the area into twin lakes separated from each other by a bare strip of land.
Alaminos, officially the Municipality of Alaminos (Tagalog: Bayan ng Alaminos), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The Municipality of Alaminos is an agro-industrial town that lies within the third congressional district of the Province of Laguna and is part of the Calabarzon. Based on the municipal zoning, the industrial sites are located along Maharlika Highway of Barangays San Andres, San Juan, San Agustin and San Benito. Here, lands are available for industrial and commercial purposes. Barangays San Andres and San Juan will also be developed as a techno park for farm housing, industrial and commercial purposes. Alaminos began as a barrio of San Pablo City, which was then only a town of the Province of Batangas. Its initial name was Trenchera, denoting the presence of long and deep ravines. Don Cirilo Baylon was appointed the first Gobernadorcillo or town mayor in concurrent capacity as Capitan de los Constables de Pueblo or the equivalent of the local police chief. In appreciation of Capitan General Juan de Alaminos Nivera, the new pueblo was named Alaminos in 1873 and remained part of Batangas until 1903. The town celebrates the CORAMBLAN every October. It is a festival of coconuts, rambutans and lanzoneses, the main agricultural produce of the municipality.
Rizal, officially the Municipality of Rizal (Tagalog: Bayan ng Rizal), is a 5th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The municipality, named after the country’s national hero José Rizal, is one of the youngest municipalities in Laguna. The kaingineros were among the first reported settlers in this part of Laguna around the 17th century. Around mid-1800, this area was called barrio “Pauli” and was part of the town of Nagcarlan. Locales also thrive by fishing from the Mayton and Mayit brooks and Lawa ng Kalibato (Calibato Lake), which the village share with the town of Sampalok, which is now San Pablo City. However, between 1912 and 1915, residents led by Fortunato Urrea Arban, Agustin Vista, and Felix Isles, former municipal councilors campaigned to regain their municipal status. The petition included the inclusion of barrios Antipolo, Entablado, Laguan, Pook, Mayton, Pauli, Talaga and Tuy. On December 18, 1918, Governor Francis Burton Harrison issued Executive Order 56 creating the Municipality of Rizal, naming the town after the foremost national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
Officials inaugurated the new town a year after on January 7, 1919.
Majayjay, officially the Municipality of Majayjay (Tagalog: Bayan ng Majayjay), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Majayjay has the Taytay Falls, also called the Majayjay Falls or Imelda Falls, because ex-First Lady Imelda Marcos financed the promotion of tourism in this place. It is a two-storey high falls located in a remote scenery where the forestry is abundant. It called Majayjay because it is a mountainous place and the people is saying “hay hay” (a sigh). Indigenous residents use to call it Malay Barangay. The Spanish colonial government made it a town in 1571.
Majayjay is home to one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines, the Saint Gregory the Great Parish Church. It was built in 1575 through forced labor to the town folks. Inside the church are antique statues of saints brought by the Spaniards in the early era of propagating Christianity. It is somehow true to every church built in the country that it experienced arson (1576, 1606 and 1660) but later undergone reconstructions and rehabilitation works. Atop the roof of the church is seen the scenic view of Laguna de Bay. It was declared a National Cultural Treasure.
Luisiana, officially the Municipality of Luisiana (Tagalog: Bayan ng Luisiana), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Locals call the town Little Amigos Dísmo because of its high elevation and cool climate like the City of Baguio. During the 17th century, there was an area of land in Laguna known as Terreno de Nasonog (Lupaín ng Nasonog in Tagalog). In 1678, Terreno de Nasúnog was divided into three parts: Nasúnog de Lucban, Nasonog de Cavinti, and Nasúnog de Majayjay. Nasonog de Majayjay later became the town of Luisiana. It was only on April 3, 1854, that ecclesiastical independence was granted to Nasonog by the Governor-General (the Marqués de Novaliches) with the corresponding approval from the Archbishop of Manila, having Don Marcos Bartolomé as its first interim parish priest. Because of the role of Don Luis Bernárdo, which was then regarded as the Father of Luisiana, and his wife Doña Ana, the town was named ‘Luis y Ana‘, later changed to ‘Luisiana’. The five-day long Pandan festival of the pandan harvest and its items conincides with the Independence Day of Luisiana on April 3.
Hulugan Falls
Located in Brgy. San Salvador, Luisiana, Laguna, this is the highest falls in the province with height of 235 feet (71 meters). Downstream of Dapi River leads to Balanac River in Magdalena, Laguna. Hulugan Falls was a local favorite until it became popular on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram in the last decade. The falls was named after a strange incident in which a carabao fell down the falls due to the strong water currents.
Cavinti, officially the Municipality of Cavinti (Tagalog: Bayan ng Cavinti), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It is in the Sierra Madre mountain range.
Major produce are its pandan made products, including the Sambalilo (straw hat).
It is also known for its cathedral cave, Cavinti Falls, and Bumbungan Eco Park. Cavinti came from the phrase“kapit sa binti”, which means “hold on to the leg”, after Spaniards witnessed a wedding ritual that turned saving the life of the bride by her groom after holding the bride’s leg while was snatched by river current.
Pagsanjan Falls, also known as Cavinti Falls (local name: Magdapio Falls) is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines. Located in the province of Laguna (within municipality of Cavinti), the falls is one of the major tourist attractions of the region.Access to the falls is through Cavinti’s own Pueblo El Salvador Cavinti Nature’s Park and Picnic Groove in barangay Tibatib-Anglas. To reach the main falls, there is a steep, steel ladder, which in one section goes vertically straight down. The raft to the falls and the “Shooting the Rapids” boat ride are also available from park management.

For detailed post about visita iglesia in Laguna, click on below link:

Visita Iglesia in Laguna

For detailed post about foodtrip and pasalubong in Laguna, click on below link:

LAGUNA: Food trip and pasalubong

#RiseHighLaguna 😁🏖️ (n_n)

2 thoughts on “Laguna: Hugging the Southern Shores of Philippines’ Largest Lake

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