Quezon Province: My First Trip Alone!

Quezon Province is almost the sister province of Marinduque, being the only port going to the province from Manila. During my High School years, I only heard about Quezon Province and Mindoro from the radio stations and ever since then, I always wanted to visit these provinces.  I heard about Manila, but since I’m more of a country girl, these provinces have been my dream destinations. I’ve been to Manila once, when I was 5 years old and I can’t really remember how these places looked like.
Governor's Office located just beside the Capitol
In 2002, I finally was able to see the stores, houses and buildings along the highway in Quezon Province on my way to Manila to study in collage. They look just the same as the stores & houses in Marinduque, but I know it has other attractions that can't be seen from the bus. Every time I go home to Marinduque the nagging inside my head to visit the place is becoming very strong so I started planning on exploring this province. 
Lambanog (Local Alcoholic Drink)
I almost had my plan put into action when my sister planned on visiting Lucena City to buy tiles for our new house so I asked my mother to tag along. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to finally explore the province, so I thought. Unfortunately, since we don’t have much time, we were able to visit just the Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban, Quezon and they went back to Marinduque and me to Manila.
Former President Manual L Quezon's Memorial Park
Then a long weekend came and I can’t make up my mind whether I go home to Marinduque or not. Just thinking about waking up early in the morning and traveling for almost 8 hours is making me dizzy already.  I should have left at 4:00am in the morning but it’s already 9:00am and I still can’t decide.
Miniature of Lucban Church and Pahiyas-Decorated Houses
Then an idea came up…why don’t I just spend a night in Quezon Province?!  That way, I don’t have to wake up early to travel because the port going to my hometown is less than an hour away. And while I’m there, I should explore the province like I always wanted to.  With that I packed my things and positively left the house…looking forward to this trip…also my first ever trip alone.
Native items stores located just behind the Lucban Church
It was just a spur of the moment trip so I’m not very well prepared.  I wasn’t able to check-in to a hotel prior to the trip or inquire more about the province, but I was really excited.  For convenience on traveling and since it’s a lot cheaper, I booked at Quezon Premier Hotel. It’s not a peak season so I was able to book a hotel as I walked in the hotel. I just put my backpack inside and start exploring.
Casa de Comunidad de Tayabas
My original plan was to only visit all the churches in the province.  But as I quickly searched online for the places to see in the province, I’ve found other interesting sites to visit. Quezon Province was formerly known as Tayabas but changed into the current name in honor of the second President of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon. The northern part of the province was separated and named after the president’s wife, Aurora.
Mi Casa en Tayabas' lobby
The most important event in the history of the province was the Confradia revolt led by the famous Apolinario dela Cruz, popularly known as Hermano Pule.  The province is said to be among the earliest to join the Philippine Revolution, which lead to the takeover of the government, by the Revolutionary Government. Mount Banahaw was said to be the major tourism attraction in the province, a mountain that is surrounded by spiritual mysticism. However, nowadays, a lot of tourist attractions can be found in the province.
Crispy Pata at Bubbles Crispy Pata & Restaurant
In Lucena City, the capital of the province, there is just a few interesting places to check. How can I not be interested in this city? Here is where the port, Talao-Talao Port in Dalahican going to Marinduque is located. It also once called Buenavista, same as the name of my hometown. I wanted to explore more of Lucena City, but it’s getting dark so I just had a dinner in Bubbles Crispy Pata & Restaurant located in front of the Capitol. They have the best tasting Crispy Pata I have ever tasted.
Ascending Jesus at Kamay ni Hesus
I only have 1 day left for my adventure and I went to bed early to get ready for the big day. There’s an incident at the hotel that night so I wasn’t able to sleep, but that didn’t stop me from waking up early the next day. I just had a breakfast, which is included in the room rate, and head to the first town in my itinerary for the day, Lucban.
Lucban Longganisa & Pancit Chami Noodles
When someone hears Lucban, the first thing that comes to mind is Longganisa, followed by Pahiyas Festival and then Pansit Lucban, popularly known as Pansit Habhab. It's also popular because of the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine, not to mention the church that is one of the oldest in the country. 
Tayabas Basilica (Minor Basilica of St. Micheal Archangel)
From Lucban, my next destintation is the neighboring town, Tayabas, the former capital of the province. It's home to the finest Lambanog (local alcoholic drink), sweet delicacies, heritage houses, historical landmarks and tourism resorts. It's named City of Festivals because of its wonderful and colorful festivals. Tayabas Church is also well known because of its key-like shape due to a lot of renovations, reconstructions and expansions. Make sure to walk around town to see some of the ancestral houses still standing. 
Sariaya Church (St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church)
Last on my list is the town of Sariaya. From Tayabas, I went back to the hotel to checkout then headed to Sariaya. Sariaya is the only Mount Banahaw town in Quezon and Laguna provinces that has a seacoast. It's known for pastries, specially the Pinagong, a very tasting bread that is perfect to go with black coffee. 
Natalio Enriquez House
Sariaya is one of the acknowledge heritage centers in Southern Tagalog. What really caught my attention every time I pass by the town of Sariaya is this Natalio Enriquez Ancestral House located not far from the church. I wished I can go inside to explore, but no one was there when I visited so I didn't know if it’s possible. More ancestral houses can be seen around town so make sure to explore.
View of Mount Banahaw from the bus
Since my original destination is Marinduque, I just wait for a bus going to Dalahican (Talao-Talao) Port at the bus stop near the Sariaya church. I wanted to explore more, but I know it's best to save some for next time.
I've been to Quezon Province three times already but I will never get tired of coming back again and again. Oh and if you want to feel safe when you visit the province, stay at Queen Margarett Hotel. We stayed there twice and I will still do when I return.
To get the full list of What to See in Quezon Province, please click here. And for a guide to on how to get there, click here.

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