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I love to travel just to explore new things in life from breathtaking natural wonders, interesting historical sites, delicious food, friendly people and colorful culture. I treasure every moment in traveling by writing in my journal, taking photos and publish it in my travel blog.
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Friday, November 2, 2012

Bounties of Nature and History in the Laguna Loop: Discovering Nagcarlan

In the foothills of the mystic Mount Banahaw, there is a town strengthened by history and heritage by its bricked structures preserved until the modern days. In addition, you can enjoy the bounties of nature through its lush vegetation, clear waters teemed up with cascading waterfalls flowing from the rivers of Banahaw, and stunning and verdant mountains bordered the historical town.

As you drive in the Laguna Loop, you should visit the town of  Nagcarlan. Located in southern part of Laguna, this town is surrounded by the towns of Pila in the north, Victoria in the northwest, Calauan on the west,  Magdalena on the east, Rizal in the southwest, Liliw on the southeast and Dolores, Quezon in the south.
The statue of Ana Kalang, as you enter the poblacion of Nagcarlan.
Nagcarlan was named after the rich and generous woman named Ana Kalang, who helped the people of the town. It become a town in 1583 under Fr. Tomas de Miranda, the priest who brought wheat seeds in our country.
The thick vegetation apparent from the wide plains to the stunning mountain.
Bunga Falls
The pure and clear waters in the town of Nagcarlan which is also connected to the neighboring towns.
The stunning Mt. San Cristobal from the highway of Nagcarlan.
In Nagcarlan, you can take your nature escapade here as well with outings in some various resorts in the town. In addition, you can enjoy the beautiful spots in this small town because it is bordered by stunning, green mountains of Banahaw and San Cristobal, the thick and verdant vegetation, and the gushing waterfalls flowing with the clear rivers and cool water from the mountains. Besides, you can experience an ultimate roadtrip through zigzag roads and slopes.
The way to Saint Bartholomeu Church which is bordered with palm.
The old bricks used as materials in the construction of the church.

Saint Bartholomew Church
You can also take a walk in the town proper especially if you want to take a historical tour. The first landmark is the Saint Bartholomew Church located in the poblacion. It was built in 1752 and it is one of the Baroque churches in the Laguna Loop. The bricked facade of the church as well with the solemn interior and the Baroque architecture proved that the church was strengthened by centuries.
A huge bell strengthened by years.
A small window from the belfry.
The bird's eye view of Nagcarlan from the belfry.
The church was also the location of the classic fantasy series "Kampanerang Kuba" starrring Anne Curtis. In addition, I had a chance to climb at the belfry. While climbing to the belfry, I noticed that wooden ladders are sturdy for many years but I feel afraid while going upstairs. When I made it to the top, I noticed the huge bell surrounded by the smaller ones and it is also rewarding that I saw the bird's eye view of the town from the top.
The bricked arch of Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.
The chapel of the Underground Cemetery.
The octagonal grounds teemed up with green grass and shrubs and bricked road.
The niches located in the octagonal grounds of the cemetery.
The Underground Crypt.
A few walks away from the church, you can visit the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. It is one of the unique tourist attractions and historical sites in Laguna. It was built in 1851 by a Franciscan priest named Vicente Velloc. It became a secret headquarters of the Katipuneros during the Revolution in 1896. In 1981, it declared as one of the historical sites in the Philippines. As you enter the place, you will notice the bricked facade of the arch as well with the brick road going to the chapel and you can found the cemetery under the chapel. There are almost one hundred forty niches in the octagonal grounds and thirty-six niches in the underground crypt. The cemetery was a burial place of Franciscan friars, and former barangay leaders or cabeza de barangay during the Spanish era and prominent Catholic families in Nagcarlan.

My travel in Nagcarlan reminds me of the rich history during the Spanish era and the abundance of natural resources and hidden natural spots in our country. It is such a place to visit during our vacation as well with the fact that schools can use this as an itinerary for their educational field trip.

Tips and Reminders: According to National Historical Institute, the tourists are allowed to take pictures unless that they are not using the flash in your camera and they are permitted to publish pictures for public use. (Thanks to the tour guide who is knowledgeable and accommodating during my visit in Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery)

Hours of Operation: The schedule of visit in Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is from Tuesday to Sunday, starting from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

How to Get There: You can ride a jeepney from Santa Cruz passing the towns of Pagsanjan, Magdalena and Liliw and they will get you to the town proper of Nagcarlan. In addition, you can take a jeepney from San Pablo passing the town of Rizal.

You can also read December 2011 post from my blog Perspectives in White Scratch Papers entitled Navigating Laguna Loop: Nagcarlan

Date of Travel: October 29, 2011

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