CALABARZON Travel Guide: Where to go When You Visit the Five Provinces

Calabarzon is used to be called Southern Tagalog Mainland in the Philippines and under Region IV-A. The provinces that make up the region are Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon. It’s the most populated region of the country after Metro Manila.

CALABARZON Travel Guide - Pahiyas photos by Jason de Villa via Flickr CC
CALABARZON Travel Guide – Pahiyas photos by Jason de Villa via Flickr CC

It’s located at the south of National Capital Region (NCR). These 5 provinces of Calabarzon are where you can find some of the most stunning natural places in the Philippines including mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, beaches, lakes and many more. City dwellers visit these places on a regular basis because of its proximity to Manila but most especially during the summer when it’s scorching hot and everyone just wants to go away for a few days.


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Here is a list of the attractions you can visit in the five provinces of Calabarzon.

Cavite

Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine

Aguinaldo Shrine
Aguinaldo Shrine

This South Luzon province is where the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine can be found. This is the place where the Philippines declared its independence from Spanish Colonization took place. Both Natural beauty and man-made attractions of Cavite attracts tourists.

Corregidor Island

Corregidor Hospital Ruins
Corregidor Hospital Ruins

Corregidor Island can be found in Cavite. It’s located at the entrance of Manila Bay and served as a military bastion. Its ruins can be seen up to this day. History says that this island was where they put coastal artillery to fight the warships trying to enter the Philippines through Manila Bay.

This tour gives an in-depth learning experience for those who wish to know about the history of the Philippines in that area.

Mt. Palay-Palay

Mc Pol Androuse Cruz in Mt Pico de Loro
Mc Pol Androuse Cruz in Mt Pico de Loro

This dormant volcano which stands at 688 m (2,257 ft) above mean sea level used to be called Pico de Loro because it has a monolith with the shape of a parrot’s beak. There are many groups offering guided tours to the mountain. Both beginners and advanced mountain climbers will enjoy the views of open waters and mountains nearby.

Laguna

The province of Laguna is most known for being the birthplace of Rizal but other than that, the place is endowed with several bodies of nature, eco-tourism spots and health and wellness establishments.

Enchanted Kingdom

Enchanted Kingdom Rainy Days
Enchanted Kingdom Rainy Days

EK is an old favorite and even if it’s not as popular as before, this theme park make everyone happy with its numerous rides like Up, Up and Away which looks like you’re riding a hot air balloon; Xtreme Paintball Philippines and Rio Grande Rapids. The amusement park also has shopping facilities, dining stalls and shows and entertainment venues.

Paete

Paete Church by Carlo Joseph Moskito via Wikipedia CC
Paete Church by Carlo Joseph Moskito via Wikipedia CC

The town of Paete is mostly visited because of their woodworks but more than that, you can embark on gastronomic adventures by trying their local puto bumbong. There’s an old church in Paete with the same name that maintained its glory through the years. The façade is made of complicated stone works while upon entering you’ll be greeted with red stone flooring and dark wooden ceiling. There are several small statues of Saints and a bell tower.

Batangas

Classic Bulalo
Classic Bulalo

Batangas is known for many things like its beaches, Kapeng Barako, Tablea, balisong and many more. Verde Island Passage can also be found in Batangas. This is the center of the world’s marine biodiversity. The water activities of Batangas are also being visited by many tourists around the country. Aside from its natural attractions and products, Batangas wows many with their special version of Bulalo.

Anilao Diving Sites

Plectorhinchus Polytaenia in Anilao Batangas
Plectorhinchus Polytaenia in Anilao Batangas

The nearness of Anilao to Manila makes this beach a go to for diving enthusiasts. The marine life of Anilao is diverse and really colorful. There are resorts where accredited dive masters are ready to give lectures to willing guests.

Also Read: Best Beach and Dive Resorts in Anilao, Batangas

Taal Heritage Town

Visit in Taal Batangas Basilica
Visit in Taal Batangas Basilica

The ancient town of Taal is where the well-preserved heritage houses and other establishments of the rich and famous people of a bygone era are located. There’s a park in the town called Taal Park where Basilica de San Martin de Tours stands. Modern times have paved ways for modern shops like convenience stores but the charm of this quaint place remains. You can go on a walking tour around the area where you can also buy embroidered piña fabrics as pasalubongs.

Also Read: Top 12 Things to do and Places to Visit in Taal, Batangas

Padre Pio National Shrine

Padre Pio is famous for having stigmata which became a stir of controversy and interest. The shrine in Batangas is built in his honor. Many people flock to the church to offer their thanks and most of all to pray for the things they’re wishing for in life. Everyone can go to the 14 Stations or hang their handkerchiefs and wish for something they truly want. There’s also a small shrine of Padre Pio and visitors can climb the bell tower.

Rizal

Rizal is a mountainous province in the Philippines located east of Manila. The highest points of Rizal offer a fantastic view of the business districts of Manila as well as Laguna de Bay at the South-eastern horizon of the province. Rizal doesn’t have beaches but the province have waterfalls, caves and streams of water. Its location is not that far from Manila so it’s easy to reach but far enough to enjoy peace and quiet.

Daranak Falls

Daranak Falls
Daranak Falls

Daranak falls is already a popular tourist spot in Tanay because of its green waters and lush backdrop. You’ll have to take a hike to reach this cherished place. It isn’t a huge waterfalls but its allure comes from the beginning of the hike to the cute rock formations and of course the stunning falls as the main event.

Pililla Wind Farms

Pililla Wind Farms by RMNSantiago via Wikipedia CC
Pililla Wind Farms by RMNSantiago via Wikipedia CC

Not as towering as the ones in Bangui but the windmills of Pililla have its own appeal since its standing on top of the hills with a stunning view of Laguna de Bay. The strong winds of Pililla make it the perfect spot for these wind turbines which is responsible for about 150 Gigawatt hours of electricity each year.

Quezon

The farthest province from Manila is also where some of the most amazing beaches, colorful festivals, delicious foods, mountains, churches and heritage houses can be found. It’s a large province and can be reached from Manila in 4 hours or more.

Agawan Festival

Agawan Festival
Agawan Festival

The yearly festival celebrates Saint Isidore the Laborer, the patron saint of farmers and lover of the poor and animals. The locals put ‘pabitins’ or hang treats outside their houses where members of the parade and other crowds will try to take their pabitins then the other members of the households will throw leafy foods outside. They celebrate this festival as a way to liberate their souls.

Foodie Tour

Pancit Habhab
Pancit Habhab

The foods of Quezon are famous for its unique tastes. Lucban longganisa isn’t your typical sweet Filipino sausage; its taste falls on the garlicky and salty side. Quezon also have its own version of pancit which is pancit habhab, atype of miki noodles cooked with sayote, pork meat, soy sauce and vinegar.  Aside from these two; hardinera, budin and yema cake are the foods you should try when you visit.

Cagbalete Island

Cagbalete Island photo by Pansacola Beach Resort FB
Cagbalete Island photo by Pansacola Beach Resort FB

White sand; turquoise waters and calm waters, that’s the promise of spending a day or two in Cagbalete Island in Mauban Quezon.  It’s a serene place with only a few locals that you can enjoy. You can go swimming, beach bumming or strolling as much as you can. Some accommodations are available but it’s still limited.

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