This weekend getaway has numerous natural attractions, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants.
Known as the resort province of the Philippines, Laguna provides a nearby getaway for Manila-based travelers and residents who need to unwind. Between Laguna's lakes, falls, bed and breakfasts, resorts, and churches, the province has something for everyone.
- Miguel Lopez de Legaspi conquered Laguna in 1571, and after seven years, the Franciscans started with their mission to spread Christianity.
- In 1688, Pagsanjan replaced Bay as the capital of the province. Sta. Cruz was declared the capital in 1852.
- Laguna de Bay, which drains to the Manila Bay via the Pasig River, was the locals' way to Manila.
- Laguna was among the first eight provinces that joined the revolt against Spain.
- Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita was hanged in Brgy. Timugan in Los Baños.
- Dotting Laguna's towns are stone churches in varying architectural styles. These structures date back to the Spanish times.
- Calamba, Laguna is the hometown of the country's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. A replica of the house where Rizal spent his childhood is among the main attractions of the province.
- Mt. Makiling, a dormant volcano, is a popular spot for hiking. The volcano is named after Maria Makiling, a diwata in local mythology.
- Natural attractions abound in Laguna. Travelers can choose to visit Laguna's springs, falls, and lakes. The Magdapio Falls (or Pagsanjan Falls) in Cavinti is among the most popular spots.
- Laguna is home to institutions such as the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Philippine High School for the Arts, and the International Rice Research Institute.
- Quaint restaurants that have a homey feel make Laguna a great spot for food trips. These restos usually offer Pinoy comfort food--and the food is often more affordable than its Manila counterparts.
- The province offers native food products like buko pie, puto Biñan, espasol, uraro, and kesong puti, among many others.
Getting There and Away
Laguna is roughly a two-hour drive from Manila through the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) / Alabang-Calamba-Sto. Tomas Expressway (ACTEx). Travelers commuting to Laguna can ride the HM or Green Star buses headed for Sta. Cruz.