Tag Archives: Laguna Philippines

#319 Mt. Banahaw

Mount Banahaw is a dormant volcano located along the boundary of Laguna and Quezon provinces, central Luzon island,  Philippines.

The mountain and its environs are considered sacred by the local residents because of its “holy water,” which allegedly have beneficial qualities, issuing forth from local springs and its “puwestos” or the “holy sites.”  These are composed of unique, natural features such as rocks, caves and springs with shrines erected in, on or around them. The location of these ‘holy sites’ were supposedly revealed to a man during the Spanish colonial era by the “Santo Boses” or the “Holy Voice.”

Mt. Banahaw regularly attracts locals who are into folkloric religious or spiritual belief systems, and those who claim to have found healing in Banahaw’s slopes. Filipino mystics and their followers consider Banahaw as one of the world ‘spiritual energy’ centers and believe that the mountain has a unique role in developing human spiritual life.

Religious devotees usually flock to Mt. Banahaw during the Lenten season. A climb to Mt. Banahaw takes around two to three days trek, passing waterfalls and caves en route to the summit. There are at least four different trails from Dolores, Sariaya, and nearby towns in Quezon. Pilgrims and hikers usually take the trail of Cristalino and of Tatlong Tangke from Kinabuhayan, Dolores reaching the Durungawan I, II, and III viewpoints atop the summit. (Source: Wikipedia and other sources).

Long live Mt. Banahaw!

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#239 Pila, Laguna

Vintage colonial-era house in Pila, Laguna

Pila in Laguna province is known for its well-preserved houses dating back to the Spanish colonial period.

The town is also known for the old Saint Anthony of Padua Parish Church, the first Antonine church in the Philippines. Pila and adjacent towns along the shores of Laguna de Bay are considered by archaeologists as one of the oldest settlements in the Philippines. The community is one of three such concentrations of population known archaeologically to have been in place before A.D. 1000. Archaeologists recovered in Pinagbayanan potteries and artifacts that indicate considerable settlement in the area during the Late Tang Dynasty (900 A.D.).

The Franciscan order also established in Pila the second printing press in the Philippines and printed in 1613 the Philippines’ oldest dictionary and the first book printed using the movable type, the Vocabulario de Lengua Tagala. The book was written and compiled by Fray Pedro de San Buenaventura and printed by Tomas Pinpin,  a noted name in early Filipino printing. The book is 27 years older than the Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in the United States in 1640. (From: Wikipedia).

Mabuhay ang Pila!

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