Thursday, October 14, 2010
Quezon an elongated province due east of Metro Manila and the downward chain of Luzon provinces, is the coutry's sixth largest province. Manila's gateway to the Southern Luzon and Bicol Region, the province of Quezon abounds with numerous potentials and existing tourist attractions.
Named in honor of the President of the Philippine Commonwealth, President Manuel L. Quezon, who was a native and patriot of the province, Quezon is now considered an industrial growth corridor, and is targeted as the centerpiece for prime eco-tourism development in Southern Luzon under the CALABARZON concept, to cover the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Aurora. Rizal and Quezon.
Although close to Metro Manila, the province retains many of the traditions, legacies and observances of the past. One of the best preserved is the internationally acclaimed Pahiyas Festival in the towns of Lucban, Tayabas, Sariaya and Tiaong. Held in the honor of San Isidro Labrador and marked by the rice paste overhangs in a rainbow of colors from every window and door all over town, the festival is a major tourism spectacle in the Philippines.
Quezon's northern gateway to Laguna and Metro Manila is Tiaong which is only about one hour and 30 minutes away over good roads. The town is a traditional travel's haunt often visited by travellers from either points of origin. Interesting tour stops include the fully developed Villa Escudero and the almost untouched Tikob Lake. The mystical Mt. Banahaw continues to attract not only pilgrims, students of the paranormal sciences and dabblers in mysticism but curious travelers as well. Deeper south, one can choose between the forest of Quezon National Park and the beaches of the coastal towns which dot the province.
The relatively short distance between Quezon and Metro Manila should make the attractions in the province even more inviting and accessible, especially for the towns located in the western part. Because Quezon is also part of the route to the Bicol as stop-over points for the travellers, can benefit much in terms of revenue generated by accomodation and dining establishments.
At one time, Quezon was under the jurisdiction of various provinces. In 1585, the central portion was under the authority of Batangas, the northern portion was divided between Laguna and Nueva Ecija, while the other portion was divided between the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque and Camarines.
In 1591, Tayabas was created into a province under the name of Kalilayan. On 12 March 1902, the civil government was established in Tayabas with Lucena as its capital. On 12 June 1902, the district of Principe, formerly under Nueva Ecija, and the district of Infanta, including Polillo which was under Laguna, were annexed to Tayabas was among the first provinces to rise up in arms against Spain. At the close of Filipino-American hostilities, a civil government was established in the province in 1901, and Lucena was appointed the capital.
On 7 September 1946, Tayabas was renamed Quezon Province in honor of President Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippine Commonwealth, who hailed from the town of Baler. Later in 1951, a northern municipality, Aurora was created into a sub province, and named in honor of the President's spouse, Doña Aurora Quezon. It became an independent province in 1979.
In terms of land area, Quezon is one of the biggest provinces in the Southern Tagalog Region. It spreads over 870,660 hectares along the stretch of the Japan-Philippine Highway which links Luzon to the Visayan and Mindanao province of Aurora in the north and Camarines Sur in the south. It is bounded on the west by the provinces of Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Batangas, and on the southeast by Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur.
The province is divided into 40 towns and one chartered city which is Lucena City.
The province of Quezon has an estimated population of 1,537,742 mostly concentrated in the flat-south central portion which includes Lucena, Sariaya and Candelaria. The people are characterized as friendly and hardworking. Their main sources of livelihood range from land and sea agricultural cultivation to home industries which have lately taken a turn toward the export-oriented light to heavy metalworking industries with the planning and construction of economic zones.
SOME INTERESTING PLACES OF QUEZON:
1. MALAGUNLONG BRIDGE (Tayabas). It is considered the oldest bridge in the province. It was built by the Spanish colonizers around 1585.
2. KUTANG SAN DIEGO (Spanish port)- Located at the town proper of Gumaca near the pier. It is the only remaining structure built under the supervision of Franciscan priests during the later part of the 18th century.
3. ISKONG BANTAY WATCHTOWER (Atimonan). It was built by the Spanish authorities as a watchtower to warn the townfolk of Atimonan of impending attack of pirates from the sea.
4. SAN DIEGO DE ALCALA PARK (Maharlika Highway, Gumaca). Named after the town's patron saint, the park features a promenade are facing Lamon Bay and the neighboring island of Alabat.
5. GINTONG YAMAN NG QUEZON MUSEUM (Provincial Health Building, Capitol Compound, Lucena City) - The museum houses a collection of the memorabilia of former president Manuel L. Quezon. A large section of the museum contains the personal belonging of prominent people of the province.
6. LAMON BAY ( Northern part of Quezon ). It is the body of water connecting the northern part of Quezon to the Pacific Ocean. It bound the coastal towns of Atimonan, Gumaca, Plaridel, Lopez, Calauag, and the island of Alabat. It is a rich fishing ground and the home of various living corals. Most parts of the bay consist of gray sand. Some parts are filled with rocks and some with living corals. It is gradually sloping so that during low tide, the water level is low enough to allow one to walk as far as five hundred meters from the shore. The beaches in the towns of Gumaca and Plaridel are sandy and are ideal sites for swimming. The town of Lopez has the best colonies of coral, located just about 15 minutes rides by the boat from the shore.
7. PUTING BUHANGIN BEACH (Pagbilao Grande Area). It is the beach of pure white sand beach which is favorite site for bathers in Pagbilao during summer months.
8. MT. BANAHAW (Western part of Quezon Province). This 7,382 ft. extinct volcano is famous for its mystical attributes. Unique religious rites are held every Holy week by pilgrims who believe that Christ walked on this mountain. Thousands of people flock to the site every Lenten season. There are approximately 66-88 registered religious sects which hold rituals every Holy Week in the area. The mountain is also a favorite site for amulet hunters.
9. PAMPLONA BEACH ( Gen Nakar). The beach is about three kilometers long and 40 meters wide. A large part of the area has fine gray sand and smooth pebbles and rocks in some parts. Rocks with curious formations are also present at one end of the beach. A spring with cold water can be found near these rock formations..
10. ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL MINOR BASILICA (Tayabas). One of the oldest churches in the country, it was first built in 1585 and repaired in 1590 using nipa and palm. In 1600, its materials were changed to bricks. The church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1743 and later rebuilt and made bigger in 1856.