Laguna Province: Popular Place by Expats
The province got its name from the lake called Laguna de Bay. This is by far the largest lake in the country and it is the province’s boundary in the north side. One of its town, Calamba is where the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was born.
It is the third largest province in the Region Four. It has a total land area of 175,973 hectares. About seventy-two percent of the land area is categorized as alienable and disposable and the rest are forest lands. Its capital city is Sta. Cruz.
The Climate in the province does not differ that much with the other places in the Philippines. Dry season usually cover November until April and the rest of the year is the wet or rainy season in the western part of Laguna while the southern and eastern part of the province experience no distinct season where rainfalls is usually distributed all throughout the year.
Base on the Census May 2000, the total population is 1,965,872. This shows about thirteen percent increase in the figure from 1995 Census of Population.
For one, the province is blessed with so many natural resources. Its field is rich and is ideal for growing various root crops, rice, vegetables and fruits; exotic plants and other ornamental flowers. Its forest is with hardwood trees, rattan and bamboo. Aside from that the province is also abundant with menial resources like basalt glass, jasper and clay.
The province is rich with water resources with forty rivers with the famous Laguna de Bay. Indeed its greatest natural resource is water with about three hundred million US gallons of underground water which can produce energy for Laguna’s increasing power needs.
Its major agricultural activities include crop production, livestock, fishing and poultry production. There are a lot of investment opportunities in the province which includes Tourism, Forestry, Fishing, Agriculture, Garments and footwear; Electronics, Service Facilities, Metal craft, Gifts and House wares, Herbal medicines, Vegetable and fruit processing; ornamental cut flowers, Inter cropping of coconut, ecotourism enterprise and convention centers. Individuals have a lot of opportunities to invest in such industries.
There is a wide branch of bank network like savings bank, commercial, private development banks, rural banks, mortgage banks and of course loan associations. There are also non-bank financial institutions which also provide financial services in the province. There are approximately 400 offices for lending, financial companies, pawnshops, investment houses and nonstick savings and loan associations.
The province has both public and private schools and they have a total of thirty-five institutions of higher learning and the most prominent and famous is the University of the Philippines in Los Baños which is popular for its College of Agriculture. There is also the private school like the University of Asia and Pacific.
There is an abundance of private health care facilities too. They have about 270 private clinics and hospitals against 9 public facilities. All these hospitals are categorized as primary, secondary and tertiary. A few of the government hospitals were renovated or improved and offer better medical services.
Real estate investment is definitely boosted up especially in Santa Rosa, Laguna. To date billions are being invested in real estate in Santa Rosa by the famous people in the real estate business like the Ayalas, Eton Properties Philippines, Inc of Mr. Lucio Tan, Filinvest of Gotianuns, Cathay Land, Inc. and so many more. Investment in real estate is definitely viable here and a good opportunity for one to earn.
Peace and Order
The performance of PNP Provincial Command is just exceptional which boast all the more the confidence of foreign investors to invest in the province. To date the Laguna Philippine National Police is considered as one of the best PNP Command in Calabarzon region. They also rank as the most efficient because of their modern techniques and facilities in running the provincial police command. One way is by using the Internet through social media networks where they post the most wanted persons and other cases of crimes.
Tourist attractions are categorized as historical, cultural, Religious, Natural and Man-Made Attractions. Here are some of the most popular in this group;
Rizal Shrine. The shrine is a pride of Calamba. It is a two storey building which boast of Spanish Architecture which the work of John Nakpil.
Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. This underground cemetery was built in the 18th century. This has been built by the Franciscan Missionaries. According to history this is where the Katipuneros meet and plotted against the Spaniards.
Other historical attractions worth to see is the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe shrine, Homma-Yamashita Shrine, Japanese Garden, Pinagbayanan Crematorium, Pila Town Plaza and Ancestral Homes, Biñan Town Plaza and Ancestral Homes and Battle of Mabitac Mural.
Mount Makiling. The mountain is at Los Baños, Laguna. It is inactive volcano which rises about 1,109 meters above sea level. You will find various plant species, in fact there are about 2,048 plant species present in the mountain.
Pagsanjan Falls. The falls is in the town of Cavinti and it is called Magdapio Falls but it is more known as the Pagsanjan Falls.
Other natural attractions that one should not miss includes Crocodile Lake of Los Baños, Buruwisan Falls of Siniloan, Dalatiwan River of Botocan, Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Hidden Valley Springs of Calauan and Eight Mountains of Nagcarlan.
National Arts Center of UP Los Baños. Great place where you can get the best scenic view of Crocodile Lake, Talim Island, Laguna de Bay as well as the International Rice Research Institute. The center has facilities like an auditorium, seminar and convention amenities and not to forget the sixty-two cottages.
Enchanted Kingdom. It is the country’s most original theme park. You will have great time with their various games and rides.
Other man-made attractions you can visit includes their hot spring resorts, Caliraya Lake, Paete’s Woodcarving, Boy Scouts of the Philippines Camp, Barong Makers in Lumban and Valesol Haven at UP Los Baños.
The province has also plenty of religious attractions which include Pakil Church, St. Gregory Church, Our Lady of Candelaria, and St. James the Apostle Church.
It’s one of the provinces in the Philippines which celebrate more than ten festivals the whole year through. The festivals they celebrate include Ana Kalang Festival, Coconut Festival every 15th of January, Feast of the Risen Christ, Mayflower Festival, Festivals of Light, October Festival, Bangkero Festival, Tsinelas Festival, Pinya Festival, Itik Festival, Turumba Festival, and Keso Festival.
Advantages in Living in Laguna
The province is definitely a place full of opportunities for business for those foreign retirees who plan to retiring in Philippines. Laguna ranks as one of the top provinces when it comes to business opportunities or investments. This is one place where foreigners can invest their money.
Its probable reason is the fact that it is very close to Metro Manila and the fact that Laguna is highly developed especially their first and second district. Maintaining peace and order in the province also plays an important role getting foreign investors to invest in the province.
There are two routes which you can take to reach Laguna from Manila. One is through the southern route which is the South Expressway which can take you to Calamba, Cabuyao, Biñan, San Pedro and Santa Rosa. Major bus companies like the Free Star Transit, HM Transit and Jam Transit serves this route and their terminal is along Buendia and EDSA at Pasay City.
The other route is through the eastern route which passes to the towns of Tanay or Antipolo in Rizal to make its entry in the fourth district of the province. This route gives the traveler a scenic view of the Laguna de Bay. You can take a bus for Tanay and take a jeepney to Siniloan.