|Kainan sa Dalampasigan Restaurant|
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|Laiya, Batangas - Blue Coral Beach Resort|
Laguna is a province located southeast of Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Laguna is bounded on the south by Batangas, on the west by Cavite, on the east by Quezon Province, on the northeast by the Sierra Madre Mountain range, and on the north by Laguna de Bay, the largest freshwater lake in the Philippines. Since the province almost completely surrounds the lake, Laguna was named after the Spanish word "laguna" which literally means lagoon or lake. The province's previous name given by the Spaniards was "La Provincia de la Laguna de Bay."
Laguna is the third largest province in Region IV with a total land area of 175,973 hectares; the province is composed of 26 municipalities and 4 cities and Santa Cruz town is its capital. Laguna is blessed with abundant natural resources. It has about 40 rivers with a total area of 50 hectares; flora and fauna abound in Mount Makiling and Laguna de Bay; its land are rich in mineral deposits such as clay, jasper and basalt glass; and its wide open fields and forests are suitable for growing various crops such as rice, coconut, vegetables, ornamental flowers and exotic plants.
Laguna is only 30 kilometers away from Manila; thus it is an ideal place for businesses and investments. In fact, there are already 18 industrial parks in the province that manufacture various products catering to the local and international markets.
However, despite the industrial and economic developments in Laguna, ecotourism is still popular and thriving in the province. Its close distance to Manila makes Laguna an ideal leisure destination for city dwellers who want to escape the bustling metropolis even for a while. Laguna is widely known as the resort capital of Luzon due to its hot spring pools, with Mount Makiling as the source. The legendary Mount Makiling is also a tourist attraction in the province, preserved and protected by the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Laguna Quick Facts (Source: Laguna Tourism Office)
General Information: Laguna was founded in 1571 (435 years old) with total land area of 175,973 hectares. The province is composed of 26 towns and 3 cities with the town of Sta. Cruz as the capital. Population is 1,965,872 million (NSO 2000 survey).
When to visit: Year round: peak season – summer months from March to early June; it is also ideal to visit from November to February when the temperatures are relatively cool.
What to wear: Light, comfortable clothing and footwear for touring; hiking shoes/boots and windbreaks for trekking and climbing; bring raingear or umbrellas in the rainy months.
Accommodations: More than 500 resorts and hotels with lodgings ranging from native huts to cottages to air-conditioned rooms are available. Most establishments offer dining and convention facilities. May have sales offices in Manila but walk-in clients are accepted however reservations are recommended during peak season.
Dining: Many large restaurants serve local and international cuisine. Fast-food chains abound in commercial areas especially in Los Baños and Calamba. Smaller eateries are everywhere offering tasty meals from home-cooked to exotic.
Communication: Post offices are situated in every town. IDD, NDD telephone services and internet/email is easily available in the commercial areas. PLDT Direct Dial area code is 049. National and local newspapers are also widely available.
Banks: Major banks have branches in the more populous towns and currency exchange is possible. Major credit cards are acceptable in the larger establishments. Banking hours: Mon-Fri, 9am to 3pm. (Note: Major banks such as Bank of the Philippine Islands and Banco de Oro have extended banking hours.)
How To Get to Laguna (Source: Laguna Provincial Office)
There are two points of entry to Laguna from Manila. Via the southern route, the South Expressway is the main artery to exit through San Pedro, Biñan, Santa Rosa, Cabuyao and Calamba. Major bus companies ply the generally developed and well-maintained provincial road from Metro Manila. JAM Transit, HM Transit, Green Star Transit terminals can be found along EDSA and at Buendia, Pasay City. Via the eastern route, pass through the towns of Antipolo or Tanay, Rizal to reach the 4th district or upland towns of the province. This route gives motorists a panoramic view of Laguna Lake and its environs along a picturesque highway. From EDSA-Mandaluyong, take a bus going to Tanay, Rizal, and then take a jeepney to Siniloan, Laguna.
Getting Around (Source: Laguna Tourism Office)
Laguna’s road network is generally well developed. Commuting between most towns is easy, as there are many jeepneys, tricycles and buses plying the main roads connecting town centers to one another. Renting a vehicle, however, offers added convenience and is advisable for the less commercialized areas such as Cavinti, Majayjay, Nagcarlan, Luisiana and towns further east.