By James Barcelona
Mount Banahaw is an active volcano on Luzon in the Philippines. The three-peaked volcano complex is located between the provinces of Laguna and Quezon and is the tallest mountain in the CALABARZON region dominating the landscape for miles around.
The mountain is considered by many as a "Holy mountain" and is popular among pilgrims along with mountain climbers. Banahaw is a national park and a protected area in the Philippines since 1941, and is now called Mount Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape covering 10,901 hectares (26,940 acres) of land.
This is surrounded by spiritual mysticism. Many cults and religious organizations stay in the mountains and numerous Christians visit the mountain during Holy Week. Mt. Banahaw supplies geothermal power to Makban Geothermal Power Plant.
Quezon Province is named after the second president of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon. It is located in the CALABARZON region in Luzon. It is subdivided into 39 municipalities and 1 city which is Lucena, the provincial capital. Located in the southeast of Metro Manila, it is the 6th largest province in the Philippines having an area of 8,706.6 square kilometers.
The province is surrounded by Aurora to the north; Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Batangas to the west; and the Camarines provinces to the east. The northern part of the province is sandwiched between the Sierra Madre mountain range and the Philippine Sea. The southern part, on the other hand, consists of the Tayabas Isthmus which separates the Bicol Peninsula from the main part of Luzon Island.
Originally, what forms Quezon now was divided among the provinces of Batangas, Laguna and Nueva Ecija. The area was first explored by Juan de Salcedo in 1571-1572, during his expedition from Laguna to Camarines provinces. The province was created in 1591 and was called Kaliraya or Kalilayan, after the capital town which later became Unisan. In the middle of the 18th century, the capital was transferred to the town of Tayabas, from which the province got its new name.
After the World War II on September 7, 1946, by virtue of Republic Act No. 14, the province changed its name from Tayabas to Quezon in honor of Manuel L. Quezon, the Commonwealth president who hailed from Baler, which was once a town of the province. In 1951, the northern part of Quezon was made into the sub-province of Aurora, which included Baler. Aurora was the name of the president’s wife, Aurora Quezon. In 1979, Aurora was separated from Quezon as an independent province.
The inhabitants of the province are mostly Tagalogs. The population is concentrated in the flat south-central portion which includes Lucena City and the municipalities of Sariaya and Candelaria. After World War II, the Infanta area received migrants from Manila, Laguna and Batangas.
Quezon is the country’s leading producer of coconut products such as coconut oil and copra. A large part of the province is covered with coconut plantations. Other major crops are rice, corn, banana, and coffee. Fishing is also a large part of the province’s economy.