Lucena / Quezon


Quezon, an elongated province due east of Metro Manila and the downward chain of Luzon provinces, is the country’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 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 honor of San Isidro Labrador and marked by 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 traveller’s haunt often visited by travellers from either point 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.

Quezon Province, formerly known as Tayabas, was first explored by the Spaniards in 1571 & 1572 by Juan de Salcedo upon the orders of the first Spanish Governor General, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. Salcedo crossed thru the central portion of Tayabas in his march from Laguna to Paracale. The following year, Salcedo led an expedition around the northern coast of Luzon and visited the "contracosta" towns of Baler, Casiguran and Infanta. In 1574, the municipality of Gumaca, then called Bumaka was discovered by father Diego de Oropesa on the eastern coast. The natives living there had their own culture and form of government.

The present day territories of Quezon province used to be under the jurisdiction of other provinces. The southern and central portions were under the province of Bonbon (Batangas), the northern portion was divided between Laguna & Nueva Ecija, while the rest of the territories was divided into the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque & Camarines. It was only in 1591 that Tayabas was created as a separate province with the name of "Kalilayan". Its capital was the ancient town of Tayabas, located in what is today a barrio of the town of Unisan. In the middle of the 18th century, the provincial capital (together with its name) was transferred to what is now the present site of the town of Tayabas.

The year 1595 marked the spiritual birth of the province with its incorporation into the diocese of Nueva Caceres. The first catholic bishop of the province was Fray Francisco Ortega, an Augustinian friar. With the onset of the Philippine revolution, Tayabas was among the first provinces to join. On Aug. 15, 1898, Gen. Miguel Malvar took possession of Tayabas in the name of the Revolutionary Government. But the reins of government were relinquished to the American forces upon his surrender in 1901. A Civil Government was established by the Americans on March 12, 1901 with Lucena as the new capital. Hon. Cornelius Gardiner was the first governor of the province. On June 12, 1902, the district of Principe (a dependency of Nueva Ecija) and the district of Infanta, including Polilio (a dependency of Laguna) were annexed to Tayabas. Six months later, Marinduque (a separate province) was also annexed.

With the coming of World War II, Tayabas was not spared from the Japanese atrocities. On December 23, 1941, a joyous Christmas celebration was interrupted by the landing of Japanese forces on the beaches of Atimonan.

Civil control was regained upon liberation at the end of World War II. On September 7, 1946, Tayabas was renamed "Quezon Province" by virtue of Republic Act No. 14, signed by President Manuel Roxas, in honor of its most illustrious son, Manuel Luis Quezon of Baler, First President of the Phil. Commonwealth.


Tagalog is widely spoken by the populace with the characteristic lilt common to the locale.

Quezon province plays a vital role as the new axis of growth in the fastest developing economy of Southern Tagalog. The province is well-endowed with productive agricultural land, that allows the province to lead in coconut production, as well as crops like rice, corn, root crops, bananas, mangoes, and vegetables. The seas surrounding the province are rich fishing grounds that teem with shrimp, crap, grouper, tilapia, milkfish and squid.

Buses at Lawton Terminal in Manila go to Lucena, capital of Quezon Province. The trip takes 3 hours. From Lucena, there are jeepneys and mini-buses to either Sariaya, or Lucban.

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Government of Philippines.


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