Las Piñas used to be part of Parañaque City until it became a separate municipality in 1907. Established officially as a city only in 1997, it used to be a small fishing port and a major producer of salt in the country. Over the years, Las Piñas was developed into an urban center, and is now one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines.
Perhaps the most famous attraction in Las Piñas is the Bamboo Organ, located in St. Joseph Parish Church. The 19th century musical instrument was completed in 1824, but wear and tear rendered it useless for a long time. The government sent it to Germany in 1973. After careful restoration and repairs, it was shipped back to the country in 1975. The Bamboo Organ was declared a National Cultural Treasure in 2003, and it is played during masses and the annual International Bamboo Organ Festival.
If you love nature and are religious at the same time, you must visit the Mary Immaculate Parish. The beautiful church is surrounded by various trees, plants and serene lagoons. The church pews and chairs are made from logs and tree branches. Its solemn environment can make anyone reconnect with their faith and commune with nature at the same time.
Las Piñas is also the location of the most popular producer of jeepneys - The Sarao Motors, Inc. Jeepneys, of course, are the colorful vehicles found in the country and the most popular modes of public transportation.
There are also numerous shopping malls in Las Piñas. The most popular ones are SM Southmall, SM Las Piñas, and Robinsons Place Las Piñas.
By Taxi or Ridesharing Services
Going to Las Piñas via taxi is the most convenient option, but also the most expensive. The flag down rate is PHP 30.00 and PHP 3.50 for every succeeding 500 meters or 90-second idle time. There are numerous taxis in Mero Manila so finding one wouldn’t be too hard.
Another convenient option would be to use ridesharing services like Uber or Grab. You can book a ride with just a couple of taps on your smartphones.
By Bus, Train, and Jeep
There are Las Piñas-bound buses along Taft Avenue. Buses such as Erjohn & Almark and TasTrans go directly to Pilar in Las Piñas, which is just minutes away from SM Southmall.
From Greenbelt 1 in Makati, there are Point-to-Point buses operated by RRCG Bus Transport that go directly to the Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa. From there, you can ride a jeep passing along the Alabang-Zapote Road to get to Las Piñas.
There are no trains that go directly to Las Piñas. However, commuters can ride the LRT 1 train to Baclaran station. Walk a couple of steps further until you reach F.B. Harrison Street, where jeeps bound for Las Piñas are found.
How to Get Around
When in Las Piñas, jeeps are commonly found along the Alabang-Zapote road.
Tricycles are also a common mode of public transport in Las Piñas, especially if you’re going to residential areas.
What to See
Las Piñas is known as the “Home of the Bamboo Organ,” since the city is where the renowned Las Piñas Bamboo Organ can be found. The bamboo organ was completed in 1824 but has suffered wear and tear over the years. It was sent to Germany for repairs and restoration and was returned to the country in 1975. A year later, the annual International Bamboo Organ Festival was held to honor the instrument for its cultural significance.
The Las Piñas Bamboo Organ is found in the Saint Joseph Parish Church, which was founded in 1975. This grand church is made of volcanic stones and was built in distinct earthquake baroque architectural style. It is also the venue of the Bamboo Organ Festival every year.
Las Piñas is also the home of Sarao Motors, the pioneering automotive manufacturer of the iconic Philippine jeepneys. You can visit its factory in Barangay Pulang Lupa where you can see firsthand how these vehicles are built before they ply the major roads of the metro.
The Nature Church located in Moonwalk is a place of worship that is unlike any other in the country. While most churches are made of concrete materials, Nature Church draws inspiration from nature. For example, the roof is made of a network of anahaw leaves woven in a funnel-shaped form. Its beams and pillars are constructed using mango trees, while its pews are furnished fallen logs.
For a thrilling experience, you can learn how to fire a gun in an indoor shooting range found right along the Alabang Zapote Road. The Lock and Load Indoor Range is manned by range officers who can educate you with the proper way of handling a firearm.
Events and Festivals
The International Bamboo Organ Festival is held in the city every February where performers, both local and foreign, showcase the melodic tunes and unique sound of the remarkable instrument. The Waterlily Festival in July, the Lantern Festival during the Christmas Season, and the Historical Festival every March are other events and festivals that people can look forward to when visiting Las Piñas.
Where to Eat
Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen, located in BF International, serves Italian and American dishes that many have come to love over the years. When you dine at Mama Lou’s, do not forget to order their bacon poutine, carbonara pizza, and their ravioli epinard. Also, don’t forget to try the signature Mama Lou’s Iced Tea, and cap your dining experience with delightful tiramisu for dessert.
Mang Raul’s BBQ is a favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant found in BF Almanza. It’s unassuming façade and interiors are simple, but their flavorful grilled offerings make dining one of the kind. They are very pocket-friendly too!
Vibang’s Delight is another staple in the Las Piñas food scene. They serve mouth-watering Filipino dishes in a kubo-inspired restaurant in BF Resort. Some of their recommended dishes are sinigang na hipon, lechon kawali, caldereta, and Bicol express.
Where to Shop
Meanwhile, those who love shopping will surely find SM Southmall ideal for retail therapy. The mall is also located along Alabang Zapote Road and is the fifth largest mall in the country. The shopping center has over 400 stores, boutiques, and dining establishments in its property that spans over 205,000 square meters.
Fare: PHP 20.00++
The minimum bus fare in Las Piñas starts at PHP 15.00. If you’re taking the P2P bus to Alabang from Makati, the fare is PHP 50.00. A jeep ride, on the other hand, costs PHP 7.00 at the minimum. Tricycle rides are PHP 10.00 per head. Meanwhile, taxi fares start at PHP 30.00.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 500.00
The restaurants in the city offer delightful value-for-money dishes that will leave you satisfied. On average, diners can spend PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00 per meal. Fast food chains are also dime-a-dozen in the area, and there are a couple of fine dining options too.
Shopping: PHP 500.00++
When shopping in SM Southmall, good quality shirts are priced at PHP 300.00 at least. A pair of jeans from some of the country’s leading brands are priced at PHP 800.00. Shoes and bags can also be purchased for as low as PHP 500.00 to PHP 600.00 at SM Department Store.
Accommodation: PHP 1,500.00 to PHP 2,500.00
Basic rooms for budget travelers are available starting at PHP 1,500.00. Hotels with more compete amenities and services start at PHP 2,500.00 for an overnight stay.
Activities: PHP 170.00 to PHP 1,000.00
Movie tickets at SM Southmall cost PHP 200.00. If you wish to go bowling, the rate per game is PHP 165.00. You can also try a whole day of ice skating in the mall for only PHP 380.00. If you want to try firing a gun at the Lock and Load Shooting Range, the rate starts at PHP 1,000.00.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
Most restaurants usually include a service fee in your bill. In such cases, tipping is no longer necessary. But if you want to leave something for your servers, PHP 20.00 or PHP 50.00 would be highly appreciated.