THE PROVINCE AT A
Quezon, an elongated province due east of Metro Manila and the
downward chain of Luzon provinces, is the country’s sixth
largest province. Manila’s gateway to the Southern Luzon and
Bicol Region, the province of Quezon abounds with numerous
potentials and existing tourist attractions.
Named in honor of the president of the Philippine Commonwealth,
President Manuel L. Quezon, who was a native and patriot of the
province, Quezon is now considered an industrial growth
corridor, and is targeted as the centerpiece for prime
eco-tourism development in Southern Luzon under the CALABARZON
concept, to cover the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas,
Aurora, Rizal and Quezon.
Although close to Metro Manila, the province retains many
traditions, legacies and observances of the past. One of the
best preserved is the internationally acclaimed Pahiyas Festival
in the towns of Lucban, Tayabas, Sariaya and Tiaong. Held in
honor of San Isidro Labrador and marked by rice paste overhangs
in a rainbow of colors from every window and door all over town,
the festival is a major tourism spectacle in the Philippines.
Quezon’s northern gateway to Laguna and Metro Manila is Tiaong
which is only about one hour and 30 minutes away over good
roads. The town is a traditional traveller’s haunt often visited
by travellers from either point of origin. Interesting tour
stops include the fully-developed Villa Escudero and the almost
untouched Tikob Lake. The mystical Mt. Banahaw continues to
attract not only pilgrims, students of the paranormal sciences
and dabblers in mysticism but curious travelers as well. Deeper
south, one can choose between the forest of Quezon National Park
and the beaches of the coastal towns which dot the province.
Quezon Province, formerly known as Tayabas, was first
explored by the Spaniards in 1571 & 1572 by Juan de Salcedo upon
the orders of the first Spanish Governor General, Miguel Lopez
de Legaspi. Salcedo crossed thru the central portion of Tayabas
in his march from Laguna to Paracale. The following year,
Salcedo led an expedition around the northern coast of Luzon and
visited the "contracosta" towns of Baler, Casiguran and Infanta.
In 1574, the municipality of Gumaca, then called Bumaka was
discovered by father Diego de Oropesa on the eastern coast. The
natives living there had their own culture and form of
The present day territories of Quezon province used to be under
the jurisdiction of other provinces. The southern and central
portions were under the province of Bonbon (Batangas), the
northern portion was divided between Laguna & Nueva Ecija, while
the rest of the territories was divided into the provinces of
Mindoro, Marinduque & Camarines. It was only in 1591 that
Tayabas was created as a separate province with the name of "Kalilayan".
Its capital was the ancient town of Tayabas, located in what is
today a barrio of the town of Unisan. In the middle of the 18th
century, the provincial capital (together with its name) was
transferred to what is now the present site of the town of
The year 1595 marked the spiritual birth of the province with
its incorporation into the diocese of Nueva Caceres. The first
catholic bishop of the province was Fray Francisco Ortega, an
Augustinian friar. With the onset of the Philippine revolution,
Tayabas was among the first provinces to join. On Aug. 15, 1898,
Gen. Miguel Malvar took possession of Tayabas in the name of the
Revolutionary Government. But the reins of government were
relinquished to the American forces upon his surrender in 1901.
A Civil Government was established by the Americans on March 12,
1901 with Lucena as the new capital. Hon. Cornelius Gardiner was
the first governor of the province. On June 12, 1902, the
district of Principe (a dependency of Nueva Ecija) and the
district of Infanta, including Polilio (a dependency of Laguna)
were annexed to Tayabas. Six months later, Marinduque (a
separate province) was also annexed.
With the coming of World War II, Tayabas was not spared from the
Japanese atrocities. On December 23, 1941, a joyous Christmas
celebration was interrupted by the landing of Japanese forces on
the beaches of Atimonan.
Civil control was regained upon liberation at the end of World
War II. On September 7, 1946, Tayabas was renamed "Quezon
Province" by virtue of Republic Act No. 14, signed by President
Manuel Roxas, in honor of its most illustrious son, Manuel Luis
Quezon of Baler, First President of the Phil. Commonwealth.
Tagalog is widely spoken by the populace with the characteristic
lilt common to the locale.
Quezon province plays a vital role as the new axis of
growth in the fastest developing economy of Southern Tagalog.
The province is well-endowed with productive agricultural land,
that allows the province to lead in coconut production, as well
as crops like rice, corn, root crops, bananas, mangoes, and
vegetables. The seas surrounding the province are rich fishing
grounds that teem with shrimp, crap, grouper, tilapia, milkfish
HOW TO GET THERE
Buses at Lawton Terminal in Manila go to Lucena,
capital of Quezon Province. The trip takes 3 hours. From Lucena,
there are jeepneys and mini-buses to either Sariaya, or Lucban.