The “Resort Province of the Philippines” moves
to protect its natural resources through an
Environment Code, ensuring sustainable
growth for its ecotourism industry
BY JOHN LEE P. CANDELARIA
Ah, Laguna. That wondrous province steeped in history, filled with irresistible delicacies, and with such varied terrain and geographical features, is certainly a sight to behold for tourists who want to
enjoy what the province can offer.
Its natural hot springs remain a strong attraction during summertime and have given rise to a tourism industry that’s been growing year after year.
But Laguna is not only known for its hot springs. The name of the province itself, Laguna, means lake in
Spanish, given by the Spaniards who noticed that the lands that embrace the Laguna de Bay must aptly be named after the said body of water. And with the lake present, many forms of water bodies exist in the province. The crater lakes of San Pablo, the lake reservoirs of Caliraya and Lumot, and the river tributaries of Pagsanjan, all offer a variety of opportunities for people to enjoy. The moniker “resort province of
the Philippines” is not baseless, after all.
TOURISM IN LAGUNA
Laguna’s proximity to the National Capital Region makes it rich in history as well. Archaeological finds in Pila prove that the province has been one of the earliest settlements in the Philippines. It is the birthplace of the most prominent Filipino hero, Jose Rizal, and the Rizal Shrine in Calamba has always hosted students and tourists from all over the country. Historical markers during World War II are also present in the province, especially in the town of Los Baños, where the Japanese commanders Homma and Yamashita were executed.
The oldest churches from the Spanish colonial period, which date back to the end of the 16th century, can also be found in Laguna. The Catholic Holy Week brings in a multitude of pilgrims taking part in the Visita Iglesia, visiting several churches to pray and hear mass.