Love Local, #LoveLaguna: History, Culture, Food, Arts & Shopping!

Laguna is that beautiful place that everyone knows about but is often overlooked & taken for granted-- myself included. I have been there plenty of times but for work, errands, events, or just to visit Enchanted Kingdom & Nuvali. Maybe because it seems to be as urban as nearby Manila so people don't prioritize it when planning their vacation. To be honest, I didn't know there are so much to see and do in Laguna, so our immersive overnight excursion to the province was an eye-opener & truly an experience I won't ever forget! Let me show you why you should add Laguna to your list of places to visit when planning a vacation or a weekend getaway.  Read on to know more...

Last July 25-26, I went to Laguna with some blogger friends for Love Laguna's official launch. We were warmly welcomed by the Laguna Tourism Culture Arts & Trade Office, attended the launch at the Municipal Town Hall, and visited different towns in the province. 

The Love Laguna campaign was launched to strengthen and amplify the tourist spots & different activities offered by this rich-in-everything province. It aims to showcase the popular & undiscovered gems of the province --from food, culture, adventure, shopping, nature, history & people. 

Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez

Vice Governor Atty. Karen Agapay

    Mark your calendars! Here are the different festivals in Laguna!

After the event, we visited the Likhang Laguna Trade Fair, Laguna Art Exhibit, then Laresio Lakeside Resort & Spa in Los Banos for snacks, and to check their fun water activities...

Ms. Annie who owns the famous Annie's espasol. Their family have been in this business for more than 20 years now. 

Fell in love with these lamps made from cacao leaves!

Artwork made from colored cacao leaves. So pretty!

Banig bags. Ana bought one for only P110! Wow

Love these artwork by local artist Romer "Pio" Kagayutan

Painting by Amador Barquilla

Amazing technique by artist Jeff Dahilan

Courtesy call at Provincial Admin Atty. Dulce Rebanal's office

We weren't able to try the water activities, but we enjoyed looking around the resort. Laresio has a breathtaking view of Lade Tadlac, comforting hot springs & wide array of outdoor activities. Whether it's to relax or for some adrenaline rush, this is the perfect place to spend time with friends & family. It's also perfect for events & corporate outings!

The different activities you could do at Laresio!

Fun trip with blogger friends Ana, Rod, Alex & Rodel

View room rates by clicking link below:

Tel: (+632) 8 552 - 5148 || (+634) 9 502 - 0168
Mobile: (+63) 917 551 7934 || (+63) 917 538 1284
Email: laresio15@gmail.com

After a long day, our group finally retired at Chateau Genevie Resort & Events Center in Calamba, Laguna. Too bad we were not able to explore the place coz we arrived late and we had to leave before sunrise, but I saw the photos online and the place is amazing! Can't wait to go back soon so I could fully enjoy the resort.

My Antartica-themed room! 

DAY 2: Municipality Visits

On our 2nd day, we went to 5 municipalities where we did courtesy calls, eat and also visited a few of their local attractions. Our first stop, PAKIL

St. Peter of the Alcantara Parish Church 

The St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church, designated as the Diocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba, is a Roman Catholic church in Pakil, Laguna, Philippines. It enshrines the Our Lady of Turumba painting. The first church in 1676 was constructed of bamboo, nipa and other light materials, by volunteers under the patronage of Peter of Alcantara. (Wikipedia)

Proof of affiliation with St. Mary Major in Rome

Our Lady of Turumba painting

Every year during the months of April and May, the people of Pakil, in the province of Laguna celebrate the Turumba Festival. It commemorates the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is held 7 times each year between the months of April and May. (source)

Wood Shaving Products Demo

The province of Laguna boasts of unique, delicate & unparalleled artistry, one of which is the world-renowned Kayas -- the art of whittling/woodshaving. We went to the rustic & quiet town of Pakil to watch a live demo! 

So pretty!

Turumban Spring Resort

Walking around could be draining coz of the heat, so why not cool down at the Turumban Spring Resort? Just pay the entrance fee then enjoy a dip in the refreshing spring pool. The crystal clear water comes from the mountain of Sierra Madre and is known to be miraculous and healing. Townfolks also get their drinking water from here. 

Pakil Local Specialities

We were given local delicacies to try such as Ukoy na Hipon, Pasingaw, Espasol na Dahon, Pili & Palitaw. Finished everything but my favorite will always be their espasol! :)


After Pakil, our next stop was the town of PAETE! Known as the Woodcarving Capital of the Philippines, the town is home to generations of skilled artisans. Visit the town and see life-size statues of saints, beautiful sculptures, wall arts, and the famous colorful taka or paper-mache horses.

Mariano Madrinan or "Tandang Ano" is the first internationally known Filipino woodcarver. He carved religious statues & perfected the art of movable joints and defined details to make them life-like.

With Paete Mayor Ronald Cosico

We ate all day! We did courtesy calls for each town and all of them prepared food. Sarap!

Saw this on our way out and just had to take a photo because it is so cool!

Sculptor Glenn Cagandahan

As soon as I entered the shop, I got excited because I recognized the artwork immediately. I already saw a few pieces displayed in art galleries at SM Megamall and I instantly fell in love! I just love the design, details, workmanship, and inspiration behind them which are mostly Filipino's everyday life, family & relationships. 

Live demo by the artist himself!

Artist Glenn Cagandahan uses a unique method of combining Epoxy clay and sawdust when restoring damaged wood. Aside from woodcarving & metal carving, he also does mixed media & assemblages, truly a legend in visual arts. 

I want this lamp!

Paete Handmade Wooden Bags

The bags are mostly made from Acacia wood and priced at more or less P5,000 per piece.

After Paete, we headed to the next town-- LUMBAN! Known as the "Embroidery Capital of the Philippines", it is also one of the oldest towns in the province. We witnessed live embroidery during our visit at the town hall! Materials used are mostly cotton, organza, fine jusi & piña cloth. If you want to buy handmade Barong Tagalog & Saya, this is the place to source!

San Sebastian Parish Church

After a quick visit to Lumban, we headed to the next town-- PILA! The town of Pila is known for its well-preserved ancestral houses dating back to the Spanish period as well as the old Saint Anthony of Padua Parish Church, the first Antonine church in the Philippines. Its also known for its world-class water hyacinth handmade products.

Fun fact: The 2 houses above were the filming locations of the  TV show "Labs ko si Babe" starring Jolina Magdangal & Marvin Agustin!

La Casa Agra

San Antonio De Padua Parish Church

Sarilika & Rolyolikha Water Hyacinth Products

Water hyacinth is known to be an invasive plant species, but the people of Laguna, specifically entrepreneur Remia Adedoja, found a way to make it into a livelihood by turning them into beautiful handicrafts! Water hyacinth fiber (from water hyacinth stem) is used to create various products such as bags, slippers, home decors, furnitures, etc. Here are 2 shops in Pila owned by Mr. Cesar Pasco which boasts of this amazing craft!



The last town we visited was BAY, Laguna! One thing that immediately came to mind is the famous Laguna De Bay, the largest freshwater lake in the country. The town is named after it. Here we checked out Lotuspod Bed & Breakfast, did plant shopping and had dinner at Kamayan at Palaisdaan.

Didn't know there's a resort like this in Laguna! Bali vibes, so beautiful!

Standard Casita with own dipping pool! P8,500 a night.  

Their Narra Luxury Villa has this beautiful terrace overlooking the lotus pond! P35,000 a night during weekdays, P45,000 during weekend. 

So many nice plants & pots for sale! Plantitos and Plantitas attack! Hehe

Delicious dinner at Kamayan at Palaisdaan!

It was just a quick trip, but I learned & experienced so much!!! With 6 cities & 24 municipalities, you'll truly never run out of things to do and memories to make in Laguna. They have urban, nature, culture, history, food, shopping and many more. So make that trip now and discover the gem that is Laguna. :)

For more details, visit LOVE LAGUNA's page!

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