Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Laguna, Philippines: An Overview of the Historic Province

The province of Laguna is the third largest province in Region IV. It is part of Region 4A, commonly known as CALABARZON. It has a total area of 1,823.6 square kilometers. It has 30 towns, 4 of which are already cities, namely, Biñan City, Calamba City, San Pablo City and Santa Rosa City. The capital of this province is the town of Santa Cruz. The 26 other municipalities of the province are as follows:

* Alaminos
* Bay
* Cabuyao
* Calauan
* Cavinti
* Famy
* Kalayaan
* Liliw
* Los Baños
* Luisiana
* Lumban
* Mabitac
* Magdalena
* Majayjay
* Nagcarlan
* Paeté
* Pagsanjan
* Pakil
* Pangil
* Pila
* Rizal
* San Pedro
* Santa Cruz
* Santa Maria
* Siniloan
* Victoria

Laguna lies mostly at the southern part of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country. The province actually almost completely surrounds the lake from which its name originated from. Laguna is from the word “lago”, a Spanish word which literally means “lagoon”.

The eight rays of sun in the Philippine flag symbolize the eight provinces that revolted against the Spanish rule, and Laguna is one of them. Laguna is one of the most famous provinces in the country especially since this is the home province of the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

People from Laguna, often called “Lagunense” or “taga-Laguna”, use “Tagalog” as their main dialect. Tagalog came from the word “taga-ilog” which literally means people who live near the river. This dialect was widely spoken in nearby provinces as well. It gradually spread and became the most widely spoken dialect in the country. Tagalog is actually the basis of the national language, “Filipino”.

On the North-Eastern side of Laguna is the majestic Mount Makiling, a mystical mountain that is said to be a dormant volcano. Eighteen municipalities of Laguna are located along the coast of the splendid Laguna Lake. In the midst of the province are various bodies of water, small mountain ranges, valleys and forests. If you want to go nature-tripping, you will definitely not run out of options in Laguna. From the small rapids of Pagsanjan Falls, to the man-made Caliraya lake, to the home of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, to the City of Seven Lakes, to the peaks of Mount Makiling – there are definitely a lot of places to see.

Laguna is a very historic, inspiring and wonderful place to visit. Join me in my travels throughout the magnificent province of Laguna!

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