Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Laguna Province, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
Pagsanjan Falls (indigenous name: Magdapio Falls) is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines. Located in the province of Laguna, the falls is one of the major tourist attractions of the region. The three-drop waterfall is reached by a river trip on dugout canoe, known locally as Shooting the rapids, originating from the municipality of Pagsanjan. The falls can also be reached from the top by a short hike from Cavinti.

The boat ride has been an attraction since the Spanish Colonial Era with the oldest written account in 1894. The town of Pagsanjan lies at the confluence of two rivers, the Balanac River and the Bumbungan River (also known as the Pagsanjan River).

The main falls of Pagsanjan are actually located within the boundaries of Cavinti, Laguna, but the more popular access by canoes originates from the town of Pagsanjan. An unsuccessful move by the ruling body of the town of Cavinti was submitted to the Sangguniang Bayan (legislature of municipalities in the Philippines) on February 10, 2009 proposing the renaming of the falls to Cavinti Falls.

Taytay Falls is a two-story high waterfall which others call it as the Majayjay Falls and even the Imelda Falls. The reason why it has so many names is because of its rich background. Its famous name is actually Taytay Falls but since it is located at Brgy. Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna, people has started calling it Majayjay Falls. Another story is, it got its other name (which is Imelda Falls) from the First Lady of the late Ferdinand Marcos named Imelda Marcos, as she financed the promotion of tourism in this place and because of this, there was a time where the World Bank has sponsored the promotion of tourism in Taytay Falls.

Hidden Valley Spring has more that a hundred natural spring of varying temperatures surfaced and are composed of pure mineral waters.

Laguna is notable for being the birthplace of Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero. The province is subdivided into 26 municipalities and 4 cities. Santa Cruz is the provincial capital. Laguna lies in the southern shores of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country. In the southern border of Laguna are Mt. Makiling and Mt. Banahaw, both are long dormant volcanoes but are still sources of geothermal energy.

Laguna got its name from the Spanish word lago, which means lake or lagoon because the province completely surrounds Laguna de Bay. In 1571, Spanish-Mexican soldiers and many Visayan allies conquered the province and its surrounding regions for Spain. In 1578, Franciscan missionaries started evangelizing Laguna.

The natives of the province proved loyal to the Spanish crown but their loyalty gradually deteriorated into bitter hostility because of the grave abuses by the colonizers especially those of the clergy. Towards the end of the century, the persecution of Jose Rizal and his family aggravated the situation and caused thousands of inhabitants to join the revolutionary Katipunan. Laguna was one of the eight provinces to first revolt against Spanish misrule. The province was cleared of Spaniards when the last Spanish garrison surrendered to the victorious patriots in Santa Cruz on August 31, 1898.

Laguna is endowed with abundant natural resources. Their forests are filled with bamboo, rattan and hardwood. Its vast fields are ideal for growing rice, coconuts, vegetables, tropical fruits, orchids, and other ornamental flowers and exotic plants. The province is also rich in mineral resources such as clay, jasper and basalt glass. In the forests of Mount Makiling and in the waters of Laguna de Bay exists an abundance of flora and fauna.

Laguna’s greatest natural resource is water. There are about forty rivers in Laguna and an estimated 300 million US gallons of underground water, capable of generating energy for Laguna’s expanding power needs.

Laguna is famous among tourists for the Pagsanjan Falls, the University of the Philippines Campus and the hot spring resorts in Los BaƱos in the slopes of Mount Makiling. Other famous attractions in the province are the Pila Town Plaza, Taytay Falls, Majayjay, the wood carvings and papier mache created by the people of Paete, the turumba of Pakil, the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City and the Hidden Valley Springs in Calauan.

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