Quezon - Land Of A Thousand Colors
The province of Quezon, flocked for a festival and venerated for a volcano, is Metropolitan Manila’s gateway to Southern Luzon and the Bicol Region. It is an elongated province east of Manila and the downward chain of Luzon provinces. Although close to the metropolis, it has retained many of its legacies, traditions, and relics.
Mount Banahaw is a 7,382-foot extinct volcano, famous for its mystical attributes. Unique religious rites are held during the Holy Week by pilgrims who believe that Christ walked on this mountain. Thousands of people flock to the site at Lent, and as many as 68 registered religious sects hold annual rituals. The mountain endowed with majestic beauty is also a favorite of amulet hunters. Found here is Kinabuhayan, believed to have been where Christ spent his Calvary. Ina ng Awa, near Kinabuhayan and located at the foot of Mt. Banahaw, is revered as another mystical site.
The St. Michael the Archangel Minor Basilica in Tayabas, one of the oldest churches in the country, was first built in 1585 and repaired in 1590 using nipa and palm. In 1600, bricks were used to renovate the site.
Bird Island in Polillo is a coral formation that became an island and is now a sanctuary for different species of birds to fly to, from neighboring areas. Lamon Bay, found in the northern part, is a very rich fishing ground and home to various living corals. Puting Buhangin Beach in Pagbilao Grande is a pure white sand beach with crystal clear and calm waters and a small cave at the end. It is a favorite place among the townsfolk, especially during summer.
In the western municipalities of Atimonan, Pagbilao, and Padre Burgos, the Quezon National Park is located. It is 983 hectares of an intricate system of caves, waterfalls, springs, creeks, gorges, and ravines against a quaint backdrop of lush greenery.
Celebrated every 15th of May, Pahiyas is considered as one of the Philippines’ best harvest festivals. It is deeply rooted in the traditional thanksgiving celebration for a bountiful harvest. Decorations called “Kiping,” leaf-shaped and multi-colored rice paste wafers, are the main features of the Pahiyas, which gained national, as well as international, renown for Lucban. It is observed in the towns of Lucban, Candelaria, Tayabas, Sariaya, Tiaong, and Lucena City in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers.
The relatively short distance between Quezon and Metro Manila make the attractions in the province even more inviting, especially for the towns located in the western part. And because Quezon is also a part of the route to the Bicol Region, both by bus and by train, its quaint little towns, which serve as stop-over points for travelers, can benefit much in terms of revenue generation through accommodation and dining establishments.
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 Visayas and Mindanao. Its boundaries extend as far as the 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.
T he province enjoys mild tropical climate and has two pronounced seasons, the dry-cold and dry-warm climate and the cold moist and cold dry climate. The lack of higher mountainous barriers makes some coastal areas prone to the effects of tropical depressions.
The people’s 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 industries, with the planning and construction of economic zones.
Language & Dialects
Tagalog is widely spoken by the populace, with the characteristic lilt common to the locate.
The province is composed of 41 towns and one highly urbanized city, which is Lucena City. The province has 1,248 barangays, which include the barangay of Lucena City.
At one time, Quezon was under the jurisdiction of various provinces. In 1858, 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, was annexed to Tayabas.
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 subprovince, and named in honor of the President’s spouse, Doña Aurora Quezon.
Built by the Spanish colonizers, this bridge is considered the oldest one in town. However, it is not clear whether it was constructed before or after the town church was built in 1585. It is located in Tayabas, Quezon.
Alitao and Malaoa Bridges.
Both are century-old and still passable. They are located in Tayabas, Quezon.
Kutang San Diego (Spanish Fort).
It is the only remaining structure built under the supervision of Franciscans during the latter part of the 18th century. It was erected to help guard the town against sea pirates. The fort is located in the town proper of Gumaca, near the pier.
Iskong Bantay Watchtower.
It was built by the Spanish authorities as a watchtower to warn the townsfolk of Atimonan of impending pirate attacks. It is located in Atimonan town proper.
San Antonio de Alcala Park.
Named after the town‘s patron saint, the park features a promenade area facing Lamon bay and the neighboring island of Alabat. The park is located just before the approach to the town proper of Gumaca.
There are four settlements, namely: Dinigman Settlement at Barangay Canaway, Lamutan Settlement at Barangay Lamutan, Tamala Settlement at Barangay San Marcelino, and Cynthia Village of Barangay Umiray. These settlements are under the administration and supervision of the Local Government, Office for Southern Cultural Communities (OSCC) of Social Services and Development. They are located in Sitio Malatunglan, General Nakar, Quezon.
Gintong Yaman ng Quezon Museum.
The museum houses a collection of the memorabilia of former President Manuel L. Quezon. A large section of the museum contains the personal belongings of prominent men of the province. It is located at the Provincial Health Bldg., Capitol Compound, Lucena City.
Quezon National Park.
With an area of about 9,830,765 hectares, it has an intricate system of caves, waterfalls, springs, creeks, gorges, and ravines against a quaint backdrop of lush greenery. Local folks say that the park is full of flora and fauna from butterflies to birds and monkeys tugging along their young, while crossing the street. Trees are so tall and huge that the zigzag road is relatively dark. The park is also the site of Pinagbanderahan, a place where the Filipino Revolutionaries planted the Philippine flag in their fight against the Spanish colonizers. Quezon National Park encompasses the western municipalities of Atimonan, Pagbilao, and Padre Burgos. It can be reached by walking for about one hour from the road to the top of a ridge.
This is the site where members of religious sects of Mt. Banahaw believe Christ spent His Calvary. Thousands of pilgrims, the number of which may reach to 30,000, come to this area to fulfill their vows or be healed of their afflictions. What can be found here are the rocks where Christ was believed to have been tied (Pinaggapusan). His footprints are embedded on a rock, and a cold and damp rock at the entrance of a cave is said to have curing power. Kinabuhayan is located in Barangay Kinabuhayan, Dolores, Quezon.
Durungawan, Mt. Banahaw.
Having the strength of going up higher at Mt. Banahaw, one can see for himself the crowning glory of the holy mountain’s peak called “Durungawan” – a window place on the mountain’s top where one can gaze at the valleys, towns, and city surrounding the sacred mountain. It is from there that one can feel the ultimate satisfaction of having gone up the mountain. Durungawan is located in Dolores, Quezon.
Ina Ng Awa & Sta Lucia
Situated near Kinabuhayan, at the foot of Mt. Banahaw, Ina ng Awa is also believed to be mystical. The mystical caves are located in this area. Many small caves and rock shelters were given Biblical names and some also serve as altars for the sects. Some, like the Santong Husgado Cave, test the purity of the spirit of those who enter. The ones with clean spirit can easily pass through and the unclean ones are overcome by rocks inside the cave, preventing them from continuing. Ina ng Awa is located in Barangay Sta. Lucia, Dolores, Quezon.
The park consists of seven hectares of fully developed and well-maintained area located at the heart of Lucena City, the provincial capital. It features a children’s playground, a beautifully landscaped garden, a man-made cave, and a large area for outdoor dancing. It is located at the Capitol Compound, Lucena City, Quezon.
It is a monument at the heart of the National Forest Park built in 1938 under the commonwealth government. This is called Pinagbanderahan for its historic role during World War II. It is a perfect vantage point to view Mt. Banahaw, the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro, as well as the major towns and cities of Quezon, like Lucena, Pagbilao, and Tayabas. It is located in Barangay Malinao Ilaya, Atimonan, Quezon.
Balagtas Sports Complex.
It provides adequate space for recreational activities. It is located at Zone IV – Poblacion, Atimonan, Quezon.
Hunters ROTC Veterans Park.
It is a park located at the gateway of the Poblacion, built in memory of the brave Atimonan soldiers who fought during the Japanese war. It is located in Barangay Tagbakin, Atimonan, Quezon.
Roman Catholic Park.
It is a mini-park located in front of the Roman Catholic Church in Barangay Zone IV – Poblacion, Atimonan, Quezon.
Bonifacio Park - located in Lucban, Quezon.
Formerly known as Plaza dela Revolution, it is one of the finest masterpieces of art in the country. The monument stands as a magnificent sculpture, made in perfect proportion as viewed from any angle. It illustrates the skillful talent of the famous Lucbanin artist, Ishmael Villaseñor, who was widely popular in international expositions during those days. Built in 1915, the park is still the favorite place for relaxation. It is located in Lucban, Quezon.
Rizal Monument in Sariaya
Rizal Monument in Rizal Hill
Manuel L. Quezon Monument.
It was erected in memory of the First President of the Philippine Commonwealth, who is known as “Ama ng Wikang Filipino” in support to his full measure of devotion and service to the cause of Philippine independence from the United States. It is located at the Perez Park, Lucena City, Quezon.
Doña Aurora Dimayuga Park, San Antonio, Quezon
Tayabas ,Quezon Municipal Hall
Sariaya ,Quezon Municipal Hall
Sariaya ,Quezon Municipal - Art Deco Hall
Lucban ,Quezon Municipal Hall
Quezon Provincial Capitol.
This provincial government site of Quezon Province was built on a seven-hectare lot donated in 1908 by its former Governor, Don Felimon E. Perez.
Quezon Convention Center
Constructed at the back of the Governor’s Mansion, it is frequently used as venue for various cultural and tourism activities. The motif was designated by Ugu Bigyan, a well-known mural and pottery artist, depicting the Pahiyas festivals of Quezon Province.
Dalahican Fishing Port
MSCT Historical Gallery
Pagbilao Power Station
Mauban Power Plant
Escudero Hydroelectric Power
Casa Comminidad de Tayabas
La Dona Ana Casa
This is the official residence of the past governors of the province and is now used as guesthouse for visitors. It is situated in front of the Perez Park, overlooking the impressive plaza. It is located in Lucena City, Quezon
Haunted House in Tiaong
Lucban Cemetery & Chapel
St. Michael the Archangel Minor Basilica.
One of the oldest churches in the century, it was first built in 1585 and repaired in 1590 using nipa and palm. In 1600, they used bricks. The church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1743 and later rebuilt and made bigger in 1856. It is located in Tayabas, Quezon.
This church was first built in 1640 but was burned during an invasion. Rebuilt in 1642, it was partially destroyed again by fire. During the Second World War, the whole town, including the church, was leveled off by bombings. Reconstruction of the church started in 1979. It is located in Atimonan town proper.
Cathedral of San Diego de Alcala (San Diego de Alcala Fortress)
Recognized by the National Historical Commission as a national treasure in 1981, this fortress was constructed by the Spaniards under the leadership of Franciscan Father Francisco Coste. Its first establishment was in 1582, on its present site. It was transferred to Silangan in the island of Alabat in 1638. It was burned by the Dutch forces in 1665; reconstructed and beautified in 1846. It is known as the biggest and oldest Catholic Church in the province of Quezon. It is located in Gumaca, Quezon.
Church of Saint Louis of Toulouse.
The first church was built in 1593 but was ruined in 1629. The second church was constructed between 1630 and 1640 but was razed by a fire in 1733. The present church was completed in 1738, and its interiors, in 1743. It was partly destroyed during the Second World War and the Philippine Historical Conservation Society completed its renovation in 1966. The church is surrounded by gardens and grottos, and by old stone walls regarded locally as the “quince-quince.” It is located in Lucban, Quezon.
Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine.
The famous “pangkuan” is held every Friday of the week. Many people from the neighboring towns come to Dolores to attend the mass in honor of the Birhen Dolorosa. It is also known for the yearly “Viernes de Dolores” which falls either in March or April. It features the holy Mass and the “Turumba,” a dance praising the town’s patron saint. After the procession, most of the pilgrims proceed to the river or a resort for a refreshing bath of cold water. The shrine is located in Dolores town proper.
Parish Church of Saint Francis de Assisi.
The first church was built in 1599. The second church, built in 1965, was replaced by a third in 1641. In 1703, the town was transferred to Lumang Bayan but the earthquakes and floods of 1743 destroyed the church and the town, and caused the people to transfer to the present site. The present church was built in 1748. It is located in Sariaya town proper.
St. Ferdinand Cathedral.
It is located in the heart of Lucena City. Founded on March 1, 1881, the Parish Church of St. Ferdinand, now St. Ferdinand Cathedral, was constructed from May 1882 to July of 1884. On May 24, 1887, the newly built church was gutted down by fire and had to be reconstructed six months after. It is located in Lucena City, Quezon.
Other Churches in Quezon:
St. John the Baptist, Tiaong, Quezon
Church of Candelaria, Quezon
Church of Mauban, Quezon
Church of San Antonio, Quezon
Sta Catalina de Alexandria, Pagbilao, Quezon
Rosary Hill Shrine (Kamay ni Jesus)
Buhay na Kubol
A cultural practice similar to the Moriones Festival of Marinduque is being observed every Holy Week. It starts with the Boling-Boling Festival before the Holy Week; participated in by residents dressed in soldiers’ attire used during the time of Jesus. The culminating event is the presentation of the 13 Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. It is located in General Luna, Quezon.
It is a body of water connecting the northern part of Quezon to the Pacific Ociean. It bounds the coastal towns of Atimonan, Gumaca, Plaridel, Lopez, and Calauag, and the islands 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 other living corals. It is gradually sloping to the extend 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 ideal for swimming. In some parts of the bay, about ten feet from the beach front, are living corals. The town of Lopez has the best colonies of corals which are located just about15 minutes by boat from the shore. Lamon Bay is located at the northern part of Quezon.
Tayabas Bay (Sariaya Area).
The area of Tayabas Bay in Sariaya is developed because of the presence of several large beach resorts. The sand is gray and the water level is gradually sloping. It is located in Sariaya, Quezon.
Mt. Banahaw. This 7,382-foot extinct volcano is famous for its mystical attributes. Unique religious rites are held during Holy Week by pilgrims who believe that Christ walked on this mountain. There are approximately 66 to 68 registered religious sects whose members hold rituals on Holy Week. The mountain is also a favorite site of amulet hunters. Mt. Banahaw is located at the western part of Quezon.
Ro-ro to Alabat (Atimonan)
Habingan, Atimonan Quezon
Quipot Bridge, Pagbilao, Quezon
Ma-init Hot Spring, Atimonan, Quezon
Hanging Bridge to Ma-init Hot Spring
(also referred to as Bitukang Manoko or Eme Road). Located in the middle of the Quezon National Park, its curves are so tight and the road so steep that vehicles have to literally inch their way up. Around the roadsides are lush vegetation of the Quezon National Park.
Located along the main highway, the sculpture of Sirena is an interesting sight for the motorists. The Sirena (Mermaid) is a copy of the sculpture of Little Mermaid in Denmark. Like the one in Denmark, it also sits on top of a big boulder. It is located along the beach of Lamon Bay near the Maharlika Highway, Atimonan, Quezon.
Manlalayes Lakes and Gunao Lake.
These lakes are the main sources of fresh fish, like tilapia, hito, and dalag. Visitors can buy fresh fish at reasonable prices. They are located in Dolores, Quezon.
About two kilometers in diameter and 75 meters deep, Tikob Lake lies on the crater of an extinct volcano. Thick foliage surrounds the lake. It is located in Tiaong, Quezon.
Cristalino Falls, Mt. Banahaw
It is a few meters south of Santos Collegio, where crystal clear water can soothe one’s thirst after climbing a few slopes up. The falls is located in Dolores, Quezon.
Santos Collegio (Kubli Spring)
About 100 meters from Kinabuhayan spring, it is a place where one can bathe from sprinkles of tiny droplets of water from mountain springs, as fresh as dewdrops pouring down from the mountain slides. It is located in Dolores, Quezon.
Sta. Lucia Falls.
Before going directly to the falls, an adventurous tourist can detour to a winding footpath leading to “Ina ng Awa,” a place of religious worship where many members of religious sects pray for guidance from the Virgin Mary. 267 steps going down to Sta. Lucia falls, one can hear the murmur of the cascading water as it quietly settles into a tranquil basin, truly nature as its best. The falls is located in Dolores, Quezon.
It is the biggest of the three falls located in Barangay Mapalad in Real. It has about 100 feet of cascading water.
It is probably the longest cave in Atimonan, with a clearance of more or less 2 feet in height. It is located in Barangay Malusak, Atimonan, Quezon.
It is a small islet or a large rock, which also looks like a land bridge with a small cave where swimmers can pass through from one end to the other. It is located in Anilon, Burdeos, Quezon.
Virgin Island or Kwebang Lampas
Sta. Milagrosa Nursery Cave, Calaug, Quezon
Puting Bato Cave #1, Burdeos, Quezon
Puting Bato Cave #2, Burdeos, Quezon
Padre Burgos Submarine Garden.
It is a shallow coral area. Starfish of several kinds, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, jellyfish, and gorgonians abound. The area is good for snorkeling. It is located in Padre Burgos, Quezon.
D and G Farms.
The site is a family farm, which breeds pigs, fighting cocks, orchids, and fruit trees. A river near it is also being developed to become a natural swimming pool. Those who may want to visit the piggery will have to take a bath for quarantine reasons. The farm is located in Barangay Masalakot 1, Candelaria, Quezon
Minasawa Bird Sanctuary.
The island is just off the town of Jomalig but still part of Burdeos. The 4.5-hectare island was established as a sanctuary by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to protect the bird population in the area. At present, there are about five species of birds, which are found in the island; the Nutmeg Imperial Pigeon (600), Black Naped Oriole (600), Rufus Night Heron (thousands), Amusling (thousand), and Swifts (50). It is located in Burdeos/Patnanungan; office is in Real.
It was a coral formation, which became an island. The island is now a sanctuary for the birds, which fly over the main island of Polillo and its neighboring areas. Every afternoon, groups of birds gather in the sky and head towards the island to spend the night there. Bird Island is located in Polillo Island, Quezon.
Munting Malaguinoan Island.
In the smaller of the two Malaguinoan Islands, an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands. The image of the kneeling Mary was found out of a growing stone. Every boat that passes near the island pays homage to the image to have a safe journey. It is located in Malaguinoan, Burdeos, Quezon.
It is a group of island located at the Tayabas Bay area where there are white sand beaches and rich fishing grounds. This is also the site of Tulay Buhangin where sand dunes connect the islets of Padre Burgos during low tide. It is located in Tayabas Bay, near the coast of Pagbilao.
These are two islands located off the shore of Padre Burgos town. The bigger of the two, Malaking Talabaan, is a favorite jump-off point to the beaches of Padre Burgos and the neighboring town of Pagbilao. The smaller island, Maliit na Talabaan, is a rock formation jutting out of the sea. What makes the island unique is that the rocks seem to have been curiously arranged and piled.
The Mag-asawang Bato are two pieces of big boulders jutting out of the sea. During low tide, the land where the stones stand are exposed so that people can walk over them. The boulders are located off the coast of Padre Burgos.
Tulay Buhangin Island.
The island is one of the favorite areas of vacationers who go to Padre Burgos. Although one beachfront has been damaged, other parts of the island are still good for swimming. It is located in Padre Burgos, Quezon.
Located about three kilometers from the town port of Real, Baluti island covers an area of about 23 hectares. A wide river separates the island, which is a part of the mainland. Many parts of the island are covered with pine trees, instead of coconut trees. The beach areas are good for swimming. The water is relatively clear and the gray sand is fine. A slight drop-off is located just about 10 meters from the beachfront. It is located off the coast of Real.
The island is about one hectare in size and filled with mangroves, talisay trees, and other shrubs. The beach is gently sloping and it has light brown sand and crushed shells. The deeper portion is dotted with isolated coral beds. It is located in Burdeos, Quezon.
The island has an area of one hectare and is still uninhabited. It is circular in shape and ringed by fine white sand. The sand level gradually slopes and the water is very clear. The land is densed forested. Not far from the island is a good spot for snorkeling and diving.
The island is about 15 hectares in size and filled with coconut trees. Like the other islands, it has white sand. It is located in Burdeos,Quezon.
The sand on the beach is brown, and gently sloping. The beach is about 500 meters long and 20 meters wide. A wide area of coral reef is located near the island. It is located in Patnanungan.
Part of the Pagbilao Grande Islands, this is where the Tulay Buhangin (Sand Bridge) is located. People say that Patayan Island was named from the site where the young men of the town were killed by pirates during the olden times. This is the island to which one end of the Tulay Buhangin is connected. The island has a beach known for its smooth stones. The island is located in Pagbilao Grande, Pagbilao, Quezon.
The island is about 15 hectares in area and the white sand beach on one side of the island is about one kilometer long and 25 meters wide. During low tide, one end of the island reveals a long stretch of sand which looks like a sand bridge. It is located in Burdeos, Quezon.
Malaking Malaguinoan Island.
The bigger one of the two Malaguinoan islands, it is about 40 hectares in area. Several white sand beaches are located along its coast. It is located in Burdeos, Quezon.
The major attractions of Puting Bato are its cliff walls, which look like limestone cliffs of North Palawan. Aside from the walls, there are small caves. Small isolated beaches, which are good for swimming, can also be found. Rock formations, which look like umbrellas, abound in the area. It is located in Barangay Puting Bato, Burdeos, Quezon.
Although the beaches in Anawan are good, they are very far from the town pier. The distance is about 1.8 nautical miles. Its land area is about 18 hectares.
The beach is about two kilometers long, 30 meters wide, and has been the favorite picnic area of many locals especially during the summer months. The sand is fine and light gray in color. The drop-off is about 20 meters from the shore. It is located in Barangay Libjo, Infanta, Quezon.
The beach is about three kilometers long and 40 meters wide. Parts of the area have gray sand, smooth pebbles, and rocks. 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. It is located in General Nakar, Quezon.
San Francisco Beach.
The beach is about one kilometer long and 25 meters wide. The color of the sand is light brown and the ocean floor slopes gradually. The area is a favorite picnic ground of the people of Polillo. It is located in Barangay Sibulan, Polillo, Quezon.
Puting Buhangin Beach.
Located in the Pagbilao Grande area, this pure white sand beach, with crystal-clear and calm water, is a favorite place in Pagbilao during the summer months. The white sand beach is about 70 meters long and 10 meters wide. A small cave is found at one end of the beach. It is located at Pagbilao Grande, Pagbilao, Quezon.
The beach is one of the popular areas in the island for tourists. Because of the clear water, the wide area of the beach, and the sudden drop-off, professional swimmers prefer the area. It is located in Jomalig, Quezon.
Borawan Island Beach
Mt. Banahaw Mountain Climbing
(March; western part of Quezon – Sariaya, Lucban, Tayabas & Dolores). Trekking the scenic Mt. Banahaw is a memorable experience.
Feast of San Isidro Labrador / Pahiyas Festival
(May 11-15). San Isidro is the patron saint of farmers. His feast day is celebrated to give thanks for a bountiful harvest that the farmers had received. With sincerity and flamboyance, the people of Lucban celebrate San Isidro’s feast day with varied festivities all over town, topped by the religious procession along the street where the houses are all decorated with native “pahiyas” (décor) called “kiping,” “suman,, rice cakes, fruits and vegetables, rice grains and rice stalks, beautiful and rare flowers and ferns, native lanterns, even “lechon.”
Feast of San Isidro / Agawan sa Sariaya
(May 11-15; Sariaya, Quezon). It is almost the same as the one held in Lucban, only the decoration or Pahiyas consists of fruits, vegetables, candies, breads, and other food either thrown or given to people after the patron saint has passed them. Joyous preparations for the feast of Saint Isidro de Labrador, patron saint of farmers and laborers, begins on the eve of May 14. The best of their crops are hung on the windows, walls, arenas, and young bamboo trees called “Bagakays.” As soon as the procession of the patron saint passes a decorated house, people are allowed to get its crop decor.
Feast of San Isidro / Balwarte sa Gumaca
(May 15; Gumaca, Quezon). This festival is different from Pahiyas sa Lucban – balwarte or arches are decorated with various agricultural products like bananas, vegetables, buco, pineapple, and root crops. These crop decor are pulled out by the people after the patron saint has passed. The three most beautifully decorated balwartes are given prizes.
Feast of San Isidro / Mayohan sa Tayabas
(May 12-15; Tayabas, Quezon). It is similar to the one in Lucban but less grandiose. It started in 1998 so it is only starting to pick up. Several programs are held from May 12 to 14 and the parade is held on the 15th. Contests on the re-enactment of different cultural practices like Sunduan, Santa Cruzan, and Galahan are held with huge prizes at stake. Hagisan ng suman is done on the 15th of May.
Pasayahan sa Lucena.
It is a three-day celebration featuring outlandish costumes and symbolic floats, which parade along the main street of the city. The affair is highlighted by dancing, singing, and merry-making on the street ala Mardi Gras. This is done on the 27th of May after the Feast of San Isidro de Labrador by hanging all sorts of crops, candies, kiping on bamboo poles, and bagaybay. On the 29th, Ugat Lucena is celebrated, where Lucenahin residents and those from abroad come home and retrace familial origin, renew old acquaintances, and enjoy camaraderies. It’s fiesta time on the 30th, highlighted by the celebration of Holy Mass by the bishop, in honor of Saint Ferdinand, the patron saint of Lucena. Santa Cruzan, held on the 31st, showcases the innate talents of Lucena’s couturiers and artists on aesthetics and fashion design via a religious setting.
before Holy Week; Dolores, Quezon). There is a competition on colorful street dancing and rituals to honor the Virgin Mary.
April 6; Dolores, Quezon). Dolores Day is the town’s foundation anniversary. On this date, people from other places come to the town and pray in the town church. Many sick people also come to pray to be healed.
Lopez Submarine Garden.
Located near the Pulong Niugan (Coconut Island), it has a vast array of corals, which make it perfect for snorkeling. It is also a good site for scuba diving. It is located in Barangay Hondagua, Lopez, Quezon.
Polillo Coral Reef.
Located just before the entrance to the cave of Polillo town, the coral reef has a length of about five kilometers and a width of about two kilometers. It has a good spot for snorkeling and diving. Some parts are so shallow that any type of ship and banca will have to make a detour to avoid the reef area. Other parts have walls which are more than a hundred feet deep. The reef is located in Polillo, Polillo Island.
Burdeos Coral Area.
The coral area of Burdeos is one of the riches marine areas in Quezon. The particular site near the Kalotkot Island is one of the best-preserved areas. It is located in Burdeos, Polillo Island.
Quezon is a tapestry of old Spanish-style houses with Castilian architecture and character. Visit the old houses of Lucban, Tayabas, Sariaya, Gumaca, and Mauban while savoring the best of the yield from lanzones plantations. Or come during the San Isidro Festival in honor of the patron of farmers, San Isidro Labrador. Take home petered rice paste strung in garlands for a souvenir and celebrate with the people this feat of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.
Skirt around the mountains of Mt. Banahaw to watch the psychics at meditation and view the lush greens of tropical wildlife. Then stop for rare orchids and cutflowers from a thriving industry.
Swimming and leisurely beachcombing are possible in many of Quezon’s shorelines. Try the bay waters of Pagbilao, the beaches of Atimonan, the fringes of Lamon Bay and Tayabas Bay. These are also rich fishing grounds where the fresh catch may be broiled for a delectable lunch.