Located just a few hours from Metro Manila, the region of CALABARZON, which is made up of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, is a popular weekend getaway for most cityfolk. The region is characterized by its vast natural attractions, which range from beaches to mountains and from waterfalls to lakes.
The region has also had its brushes with history. Calamba City in Laguna, for example, is the hometown of national hero Jose Rizal. His childhood home, which has been converted into a museum called the Rizal Shrine, stands here as does the second tallest Rizal monument in the country.
Another place of historic significance is the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. It was here where the Philippines first proclaimed her independence on June 12, 1898.
There’s also Corregidor Island in Cavite, which served as the country’s main line of defense during World War II. The island now serves as a memorial for those who lost their lives serving their country.
The region is also dotted with a number of heritage houses, churches, and monuments, all dating back to the country’s time under the Spaniards.
But CALABARZON is perhaps best known for its natural attractions. The province of Laguna is filled with all kinds of lakes and waterfalls, like the beautiful Seven Lakes of San Pablo and the magnificent Pagsanjan Falls. There’s also Taal Lake in Batangas province, which houses the country’s smallest active volcano in its center.
There are also a number of hiking trails within the province, thanks to its mountainous terrain. The most famous would be Mount Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna, which attributes its name to a local legend. Other ones in the region would be Mount Banahaw in Quezon and Mount Batulao in Batangas.
If hiking isn’t your thing, the province of Batangas is also home to a couple of beaches and diving spots. You can find in Nasugbu and Calatagan a number of beach resorts, while Matabungkay is a popular spot for divers and snorkelers, thanks to its diverse marine life.
CALABARZON is also home to the country’s version of Disneyland: Enchanted Kingdom in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
Don’t worry if you need something to bring back to your family and friends, the region has plenty of pasalubong to choose from. There’s buko (young coconut) pie, espasol (rice cake dusted with coconut powder), bibingka (rice cake topped with butter and shredded coconut), and cassava cake, all of which you can get at roadside stalls from any province in the region.
So if you’re looking for a quick escape from the city, grab your car and drive yourself over to CALABARZON.