Just 30 kilometers southeast of Manila, Laguna is a veritable treasure trove of cultural, historical and natural gems. It
almost completely surrounds the Laguna de Bay (Laguna Lake), one of Southeast Asia’s largest lakes, thus, its name
derived from the Spanish word “Lago” which meant Lake. It is also the first province south of the bustling National
Capital Region with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport about 1-1 & 1/2 hours away from the industrial estates of

Laguna was a hotbed of numerous historical events- it was the site of one of the most sanguine battle grounds and
Filipino nationalist resistance so many times – the Chinese revolt in 1603, the British plundered its capital during the
years of the British invasion from 1762 to 1764, the revolts against the Spanish cruelty, the defense against the onslaught
of the American invaders, and guerrilla warfare waged against the Japanese. And why not? Laguna’s very own and much
revered son, Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero – also a polymath, polyglot and leading reformist, came from one
of its Ilustrado families of Calamba – was an immense inspiration not only to the nationalist movements in the
Philippines but in the budding anti-colonial forces around the world as well.

One of the southern towns of Laguna, San Pablo City, one of the oldest in the country is known for its collection of 7
lakes- Lakes Malucan, Palakpakin/Palacpaquen, Yambo, Bunot, Pandin, Muhikap, Calibato, and Sampalok – the latter
which is the biggest and the one closest to the city centre. There is a view deck near the city hall on the Dagatan
Boulevard which affords a sweeping view of this serene, yet ordinary lake. Skip the overpriced lunches offered at the
restaurants around the lake though. San Pablo City is also a jump-off point to treks to the nearby Mount Banahaw.
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