Sta. Cruz / Laguna

THE PROVINCE AT A GLANCE

BRIEF DESCRIPTION
Laguna might just as well be dubbed as the "Resort Province of the Philippines" because of the abundance of hot springs, lakes and waterfalls. This is attributable to the fact that Laguna is the only province with ground water that flows at 300 million gallons a day. Indeed, so much water abounds. With Southeast Asia’s largest fresh-water lake, the Laguna de Bay, plus innumerable springs, the seven lakes of San Pablo, the famous Pagsanjan Falls and the regular blessings of rain showers, Laguna stays lush throughout the year.

For vegetation needs water, it is no surprise that Laguna stays green whatever season. Thus, it can likewise aptly be called the "Garden Province". Fragrant sampaguitas, and delicate orchids are grown in this province all year-round. Meanwhile, August to September is harvest season in the lanzones plantations all over the province. Laguna has much to offer, having been successfully able to preserve most of its rustic beauty and appeal despite the level of industrialization that it has achieved. It managed to blend the best of both the agricultural and industrial worlds.

With its proximity to Manila, Laguna easily lures the city dwellers who wish to "escape" from the chaos of the concrete and asphalt jungle. It offers a convenient alternative for those who want to relax without going too far. It is a one and a half to two hours drive from Manila.


BRIEF HISTORY

The province of Laguna was named after Laguna de Bay, the body of water that forms the province’s northern boundary. In turn, Laguna de Bay was named after the town of bay which was the first provincial capital. This province along with its surrounding regions were conquered for Spain by Capt. Juan de Salcedo in 1571 and seven years hence, the Franciscan friars started the Christianization of the province.

Laguna became a bloody battleground several times. The first instance was the Chinese revolt in 1603 and then again in 1639. The British invasion in 1762-1764, saw thousands of Filipinos fighting in defense of the province. This battle led by Captain Thomas Backhouse met resistance from the band of Filipino volunteers led by Francisco de San Juan of Pagsanjan.

The first Filipino uprising against the Spanish misrule was led by Hirmano Pule in 1840. Filipino resentment against the Spaniards was aggravated by the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal and thus, by 1896, thousands of patriotic inhabitants of the province had joined the revolutionary Katipunan.

Laguna was one of the first eight provinces to rise in revolt against the Spanish rule. The ill-equipped Filipino forces, led by Gen, Paciano Rizal of Calamba, Gen. Severino Taino of Pagsanjan, Gen, Aueda Kagabagan of Calauan, and Gen. Miguel Malvar of Batangas, fought the Spanish enemies until they won on August 31,1898 with the surrender of the last Spanish garrison in Sta, Cruz.

On January 23,1899, Laguna expressed its full support to the First Philippine Republic which was declared in Malolos, Bulacan. Two natives of Pagsanjan namely, Don Higino Benitez Abad, Don Graciano Cordero, were there to witness and participate in this historic event. The eruption of the Filipino-American war in 1899-1901 saw Generals Juan Cailles and Paciano Rizal leading the defense of Laguna until surrender was inevitable. Under the American Flag, Cailles was named the Filipino Governor of Laguna.

After the war, Laguna progressed rapidly in peace. Schools were established, various public services were instituted and roads were built. In 1917, the Manila Railroad Company extended its line to Laguna as far as Pagsanjan. With the onset of the Japanese occupation, Laguna was the center of resistance despite the presence of some "Makipili" traitors.

Today, Laguna is a thriving province. Its fertile lands produce millions of pesos worth of coconuts, rice, sugar, citrus fruits, lanzones, and other agricultural products. Its tourist spots also attract a multitude of both foreign and domestic tourists.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES
By and large, Laguna’s economy is still based on agriculture. However, in the recent years, agricultural development has been complemented by the proliferation of light to medium scale industries. Before 1973, the processing of agricultural products and making light handicrafts were the major manufacturing activities in Laguna. Today, textile spinning, weaving and finishing, chemical, automotive parts, ceramics, wood and paper products industries have been established. It is foreseen that more factories will be put up in Laguna in the near future.

HOW TO GET THERE

Via South Superhighway, Laguna is 1-2 hours drive from Manila.

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Government of Philippines.

 

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