South Luzon Region: The Heart of Philippines
Moving down in Luzon Island is the South Luzon Region which consists of four regions namely NCR or National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Bicol Region.
National Capital Region (NCR)
The National Capital Region or simply Metro Manila. It is the metropolitan area which comprises Manila City and its surrounding areas. NCR is composed of sixteen cities which are the following Pateros, Valenzuela, Taguig, San Juan, Quezon City, Parañaque, Pasig, Pasay, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Marikina, Mandaluyong, Malabon, Makati, Las Piñas, Caloocan and Manila City.
NCR is the center of educational, economic, political, cultural and social activity. As it is proclaimed, Metro Manila is the center of administrative government and Manila City as the capital. The largest city in Metro Manila is Quezon City while Makati is the largest business district.
The metropolis is bounded in the west by Manila Bay and in the south east by Laguna de Bay and Pasig River links the two bodies of water starting at the borders between Mandaluyong and Makati and with Taguig and Pasig and pass through Manila and finally draining out in Manila Bay. Unfortunately the water is very polluted because of municipal waste however the present administration has put a move to clean up Pasig River.
Metro Manila is the center of all commercial, industrial and financial activities in the country. Makati is the business district of the metropolitan area. It is hosts to many large corporations like Ayala Group of Companies. There is also the “Mall of Asia”, a shopping mall owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings (Shoemart), the largest mall developer and owner in the Philippines. “Mall of Asia” is the third biggest mall in Asia, located in Bay City, Pasay City, near the SM Central Business Park, the Manila Bay and the southern end of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). The mall attracts a daily average foot traffic of about 200,000 people.
You will observe great extremes of wealth in Metro Manila. High income individuals lives in high end residences like Dasmariñas Village, Forbes Park, Ayala Alabang and many more. On the other hand you get to see too extreme poverty that is living in slums all around the metropolitan area like the district of Tondo.
Metro Manila is a busy city yet it has many attractions to offer tourists. It’s a unique combination of past and present influences which is clearly seen in their age old churches to the latest shopping mall in the area.
Calabarzon is one of the South Luzon region and it is composed of five provinces – Cavite Province, Laguna Province, Batangas Province, Rizal Province and Quezon Province. The name Calabarzon is taken from this five provinces. It has fourteen cities and one hundred twenty-nine municipalities. Its regional city is Calamba in Laguna.
This region is along the Southern part of Luzon. It is bounded by Verde Island and CalaBarZon in the north; Pacific Ocean and Bicol region in the southeast; and Panay Island in the south. MIMAROPA consist of five provinces – Palawan, Romblon, Marinduque Island, Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro.
Mindoro is Philippines seventh largest island and it was in November of 1950 that the island was divided into two provinces namely the province of Oriental Mindoro which occupies the eastern section and the province of Occidental Mindoro which is in the western section.
Bicolandia as they are known is one of the regions that comprise South Luzon. It is consists of Masbate, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Albay. Its regional center is Legazpi which is the administrative and political center while Naga City is the center of religious, business and cultural activities. Bicol is bounded by Ragay Gulf and Sibuyan Sea in the west; Pacific Ocean in the east, and Lamon Bay in the north.
Agriculture is the major industry in Bicol and their top five crops produce in the region are jackfruit, coffee, banana, abaca and coconut. Rice and corn are considered as their major seasonal crops. Aside from agriculture, fishing also contributes a lot to the economy of Bicol.
Another contributor to the economy is mining and of course not to mention the tourism industry which generates a good income to the region. Bicol has been blessed with so much beauty where the visitors or tourist can feast upon. They offer different kinds of outdoor activities which visitors would definitely love.