What’s in Quezon province? It’s just a 3-hour drive from Manila but most of the time overlooked, underrated and almost non-existent in travel guides. Glad I somehow found a way to include this sleepy province in my #ISANGDAAN itinerary.
I went to Lucban, Tayabas and the capital- Lucena City. Surprised of what these places offer to an intrepid traveler. Talk about cheap gastronomic food, old churches and heritage houses.
Quezon province is just there, offering each traveler more than he/she can imagine. This province south of Manila is a shocker, really, I was saying “WOW,” “HUWAW” in each stop over. Ohhh, don’t forget the sweet and helpful locals like Mela, Emely and Jennifer. No, I will not tell them that you worked under-time just to journey with me, how sweet!
So for those who want to be surprised like me, here’s 10 of must-see-and-taste-and-experience while in Lucban, Tayabas and Lucena City, Quezon.
1. Count the Heritage Houses. I counted about 9 and I wasn’t that focus yet. I believe there are more waiting to be explored and stamped with National Heritage Institute. Price: Free, just walk
2. Explore Lucban Church. Heard of the colorful Pahiyas Festival? This is the very church where Pahiyas originated. It started when locals begin to offer a portion of their harvest to the parish church as their thanksgiving to St. Isidro Labrador. As the years go by the offerings are too much for the parish church to accommodate so the priest instructed the locals to just place their harvest in front of their houses while he roam around the town with the image of the patron saint. That’s is why the vegetables and kipings are displayed outside the Lucabanons’ houses- Pahiyas came into being. Price: Free
Now? Its commercialized and only a few make kiping and display their harvest outside their houses.
3. Walk on Tayabas Church’s aisle. Tayabas church has the longest aisle in the country- that’s because of the continues repair of the church. So a lot of brides want to get married here, so they have more time to think if they would say “I do” to the groom. Priceless.
4. Buy a gallon of Lambanog. If Manila has SanMig Light, Samar has Bahalina, oldies has sioktong, Mindanao has tuba, Quezon is proud of its lambanog. Ohhh, I remember my highschool days when i first tried Lambanog- after a few seconds, I was literally snoozing. So if you want a stronger alcoholic drink without burning your pocket- lambanog is your bestfriend. The pasalubong is just at the back of the Lucban church. Price: Php75/liter
5. Take home a dozen of Lucban longanisa. Php70 a dozen for small longganisa and Php140 for the bigger ones. Lucban’s mix is full of local garlic or bawang Tagalog. It burst with flavor the moment it sticks to your frying pan. Good pasalubong too to your mother-in-law too! A lot of longganisa can be found at the street at the back of Lucban church, They are just hanging in open air. Price: Php70-140/dozen
6. Buy some budin. Budin is their local name for cassava cake. Im a sicker for everything cheap, so this cassava cake went straight to my plastic bag as a snack for my trip to Marinduque. Good food for runners like me, heavy on stomach. There are lots of budin in Kalye Budin in Tayabas, Quezon. Price: Php25/cake
7. Try the fried siopao. If you want to try a different texture of siopao, then this is the place to be! Manang Lydia is already an institution here. I saw lots of students and locals lining up for a freshly fried siopao. You must try it when you are in town. Price: Php15/piece
8. Pancit habhab. Do as the locals do, eat it without using fork. Just eat it from the banana leaf. That is why they call it pancit habhab- hinahabhab para makain (I don’t knwo how to translate this in English). Price: Php10/order
9. Quezon Capitol. Quezon is formerly called “Kaliraya” (remember the famous Caliraya Lake?) then the capital was transfered to the town of Tayabas, where the province gots its name; it was renamed again to Quezon after the WWII in honor of Pres. Manuel L. Quezon, who is from Baler, which is a part of the undivided province before (now Baler is part of Aurora, which is named after Pres. Quezon’s wife). Whew! That’s for history buffs!
Tip: Go here during sunset to capture the reflection on the mad-made pond, the sky is bursting with golden colors.
10. ___________. Keeping this blank for Quezon locals who wants to add the 10th must-do or must-see or must-eat in Quezon. Go ahead add number 10.
___ ___ ___
I toured around Quezon province during Day 27 of #ISANGDAAN Journey. Thank you again Mela, Emely and Jennifer for the warm welcome! Fried siopao pa! Huwaaaw!
#ISANGDAAN is a personal journey and challenge to backpack around the Philippines the cheapest way possible for 100 days. “Isang Daan” is a Filipino term that can mean either “one way” or “one hundred.”
If you want to follow my steps, I have an interactive map- ISANGDAAN Journey map.