Finding the perfect getaway for a day trip that’s still near the metro? Laguna is one such option – a 1.5-hour drive from Manila, minus the heavy luggage and flight bookings. Besides hot springs and delicious delicacies that are uniquely Laguna, here are more reasons to fill up the tank and head there anytime soon — whether it be for a long weekend, a quick staycation or for some dose of history or shopping.
1. Natural hot springs
The hot springs of Laguna from Calamba to Los Banos provide a therapeutic uplift to your soul. Of course, health benefits also include clearer skin, overall relaxation, and normalizing heart rate. Why is Laguna abounding in hot springs? Mt. Makiling is a dormant volcano whose base provides geothermal and sulphuric heated water that is touted for its medicinal benefits for the body. The RR Resort Spa and Restaurant, located along Km. 55, Pansol, Calamba, provides private pools and cabanas for your personal reward, or a barkada hangout.
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2. Organic food
Getting healthy in Laguna means not just the hot spring water you dip your body in, but also the nutrition that goes inside it. If you’re looking for guilt-free palatable delights, then head on over to Satya Graha vegetarian restaurant in Los Banos. The rustic, homey al fresco ambiance belies the international fusion cuisine that’s proudly organically grown, non-GMO and gluten-free. Try their Mushroom Calamari and Vegchon Kawali and experience how all this good food nourishes you from within.
Satya Graha is located at 1460 Siving Street, Batong Malaki, Los Banos.
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3. A lady called Maria Makiling
Maria Makiling, the spirit or deity who guards over Mt. Makiling, is according to legend both beautiful and terrible to behold. She is beautiful to those who show respect for nature, and terrible to those otherwise. Mt. Makiling is a true favorite tourist destination in Laguna. This mountain range resembles a lady lying on her back with her hair flowing endlessly and her knees pointing up to heaven. The air is beguilingly sweet, scented as it were by the various species of pine and balete trees. The National Artists Center is found here, perfect for picnics and a major attraction to aspiring artists. The cradle of Filipino artists and performers, the Philippine High School for the Arts, is on this Mount, too.
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4. Rich history
Calamba, Laguna is the birthplace of the Philippine National Hero, the novelist-journalist, Dr. Jose Rizal. Though the original household of the Mercados were destroyed in World War II, it was completely reconstructed in 1950s and now serves as a major museum. Walk within the halls and rooms where the greatest Filipino mind grew up in. Speaking of WWII, another memorial also stands in Laguna, the Japanese Garden Memorial Park along Lake Caliraya. Take a leisurely walk across wooded areas and enjoy the beautiful sights of Lake Caliraya and the Sierra Madre mountains. The Japanese Garden is located at Brgy. Talaongan, Cavinti, Laguna.
Read more: Top 5 Historical Sites in the Philippines
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5. Cathedrals and ancient architecture
If old churches are your thing, bring your camera, because you’re certain to have your fill in Laguna. There are over a dozen Hispanic-era churches in Laguna, and almost anywhere you can hear the bells tolling in harmony. There is the San Isidro Labrador in Calauan set in brick and stone, the St. John the Baptist Church in Liliw, the St. James the Apostle Parish in Paete and the St. Peter of Alcantara in Pakil. These ancient edifices have undergone careful reconstruction to restore their original beauty that had been ravaged by earthquakes, fires, and wars. The fact that they still stand is a testament to the tenacity of Filipinos and their strong faith.
Read more: 6 Best churches in the Philippines
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What are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Laguna the soonest chance you’ve got for a day full of adventure, sights, food and awesome travel!
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