Tour the towns around Laguna de Bay


Tag along your family and friends to a historic summer outing roadtrip — Southward.  Take the road less travelled to Laguna which is via the MaRiLaQue (Manila-Rizal-Laguna-Quezon) Highway or, Marcos Highway.  This road traverses the towns of Rizal, leading up to the southern end of Laguna bordering Quezon.

From Quezon City, head to Antipolo City then follow the road going to Teresa which leads you to Pililla.  When you see the giant windmills of Pililla, you can start rambling to the young members of your touring party about renewable energy (ismayls!).  Follow the road up to the backdoor of Laguna.   After the downward, zigzag road, you will come by the first town of Laguna — Mabitac.  Ask for directions to see Mabitac Church.

From Mabitac, you can follow the road to Siniloan or, go straight to the artisan towns of Pakil and Paete — of course, the centuries old churches are the must-see sites but, spare time to check out the small shops which are located on the narrow streets surrounding the old churches.  Let your young children witness wood carving at its finest.  While you’re at it, visit the homes or showrooms of locals who, eventually, have been hailed as national artists.

Next stop: Liliw, the home of fine embroidery.  If you happen to be looking for quality, traditionally made, hand-woven  ternos and barongs, then this is your spot.

If your road sense serves you well or, if you happen to have a good navigator in your group, you should find yourselves in Pagsanjan by lunch time.  Don’t forget to take a snapshot of Pagsanjan’s centuries old arc that marks the town’s foundation.  From Pagsanjan, you can take a trip to the famous Pagsanjan Falls or, head to Sta. Cruz and perhaps see the historic and yet creepy catacombs of Nagcarlan.

However, if you’re beating the time to make it to Los Baños or San Pablo by nightfall, then from Pagsanjan, you can head straight to Liliw — to do some footwear shopping of course!  Feast your eyes (and your pockets) with rows after rows of slippers and shoes that can go for as low as Php100 for three pairs!  Don’t forget to whisper a prayer of thanks when you visit the local church, St. John the Baptist Parish, and take awe at the high altitude view of the neighboring towns from the church’s grounds.


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