Quezon Province

Quezon ProvinceQuezon Province was named after the late Philippine President Manuel Quezon. Its natural attractions include Mt. Banahaw, Puting Buhangin Beach and Baluti Island. Historical landmarks include shrines of National Heroes Claro M. Recto and Hermano Pule, the San Diego de Alcala Fortress, Alitao Bridge and Quezon Museum in Lucena City. Churches include the St. Michael Archangel Minor, Tayabas and the Church of St. Louis of Toulouse, Lucban.

Currently the sixth largest province in the country, Quezon Province, is located in the calabarzon Region and one of the biggest provinces in the Southern Tagalog region. It has boundaries extending as far as the province of Aurora in the North and Camarines Norte in the South; It is bounded on the north by the province of Aurora, on the west by the provinces of Rizal and Laguna, on the southwest by the province of Batangas, and on the southeast by Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. Tiaong, its first town via the Manila South Road is about 89 kilometers from Metro Manila, while Lucena City, the capital of the province, is about 137 kilometers by road and 133 kilometers by railroad. The province spreads over 870,660 hectares along the stretch of the Japan-Philippine Highway, which links Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao.

Much of the northern part of Quezon Province is mountainous and hard to reach, although there are isolated communities on the coast. The southern portion of the province serves mainly as a staging post on the road from Manila to the Bicol Region, though it does have attractions such as a couple of excellent climbs, Mount Banahaw and Mount Cristobal. Further east you can explore Quezon National Park, which has some fairly easy marked trails. If you happen to be in Quezon in mid-May, check out what is by far the biggest festival in the province, the Pahiyas Festival, held in and around Lucban, not far from the very ordinary provincial capital, Lucena.

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.

Tayabas, the former name of what is now known as Quezon Province was under the jurisdiction of various provinces. During the latter part of the Spanish colonial period, 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.

Kalilayan, the original name of the general area was created into a province in 1591. On March 12, 1902, under the American regime the civil government was established and renamed as Tayabas. On June 12, 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 11 provinces to revolt against Spain.

In 1591, Tayabas was under the name of Kalilayan. On March 12, 1902, the civil government was established in Tayabas with Lucena as its capital. On June 12, 1902, 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 September 7, 1946, the province of Tayabas was renamed Quezon Province in honor of President Manuel L. Quezon, the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth.

The total land area of Quezon is 870,660 hectares or 8,706.60 square kilometers representing the largest in the region (53.63%) and the sixth largest in the Philippines accounting for 2.96% land area share. It has forty (40) municipalities and one (1) highly urbanized city, Lucena, which is also its capital. Quezon has a total of 1,242 barangays that is administratively divided into four (4) congressional districts. It has a population density of 2.16 person per hectare or 216 persons per square kilometer thereof.

The province has a population of 1,882,900 (2007 Census of Population), with a land area of 8,706.60 square kilometers. Its projected population for 2013 is 1,194,315. The population density is estimated at 216 persons per square kilometer. Of the forty (40) municipalities, Sariaya with about 128,248 population is considered to have the largest population (based on 2007 statistics.) Candelaria, Tiaong and Tayabas rank second, third and fourth, respectively. Lucena City, a highly urbanized area, has 236,390 population.

The Province of Quezon can be reached via public bus or by private car. From Makati, you can take the South Luzon Expressway or SLEX and traverse the new expressway from Calamba exit all the way to Lucena City. By public transportation, various buses ply the route from Makati or Cubao to Lucena via San Pablo.

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