Laguna (province)

Laguna, officially the Province of Laguna (Filipino: Lalawigan ng Laguna), is a province in the Philippines located in the Calabarzon region in Luzon. Its capital is Santa Cruz while its largest city is the City of Calamba and the province is situated southeast of Metro Manila, south of the province of Rizal, west of Quezon, north of Batangas and east of Cavite. Laguna hugs the southern shores of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country. As of the 2020 census, the province's total population is 3,382,193[4]. It is the seventh richest province in the country.[5]

From left-right, top-bottom: Laguna Provincial Capitol • Paete Church • Pagsanjan FallsRizal Shrine • Southwoods Mall • Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
"Laban, Laguna!"
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 14°10′N 121°20′E
FoundedJuly 28, 1571[1][2]
Named forLaguna de Bay
CapitalSanta Cruz
Largest cityCalamba
  GovernorRamil Hernandez (PDP–Laban)
  Vice GovernorKatherine Agapay (PDP–Laban)
  LegislatureLaguna Provincial Board
  Total1,917.85 km2 (740.49 sq mi)
  Rank63rd out of 81
Highest elevation2,170 m (7,120 ft)
 (2020 census)[4]
  Rank3rd out of 81
  Density1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
   Rank3rd out of 81
  Independent cities0
  Component cities
  Ethnic groups
Time zoneUTC+8 (PHT)
ZIP Code
IDD:area code+63(0)49
ISO 3166 codePH-LAG
Spoken languages
HDI 0.732 (High)
HDI rank8th (2015)

Laguna is notable as the birthplace of José Rizal, the country's de facto national hero. It has numerous natural and cultural attractions such as Pagsanjan Falls, the University of the Philippines Los Baños and the University of the Philippines Open University in Los Baños, the hot spring resorts of Calamba on the slopes of Mount Makiling, Pila historic town plaza, Taytay Falls in Majayjay, the wood carvings and papier-mâché created by the people of Paete, the annual Sampaguita Festival in San Pedro, the turumba of Pakil, the tsinelas footwear from Liliw, the Pandan Festival of Luisiana, the Seven Lakes of San Pablo, and the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan.

Laguna is part of Greater Manila Area along with Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan.


Pre-Hispanic era

Pre-Hispanic settlement in the area can be dated to prehistoric times, as evidenced in the names of towns such as Pila, Laguna, whose name can be traced to the straight mounds of dirt that form the boundaries of the rice paddy, or Pilapil. The written history of the province of Laguna, (Lagoon in Spanish) and that of the Southern Tagalog region, dates to 900 AD. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription is the oldest known written document found in the Philippines. It notes that its subject was released from a debt to the King of Tondo.

A prominent figure during the time of pre-Hispanic contact is Gat Pangil, a powerful native ruler in the area. The towns of Bay, Pangil and Pakil were reputed to have once been a part of his domain, although accounts vary about his identity.

16th century

The Province of Laguna, which was formerly called La Laguna and La Provincia de la Laguna de Bay, was named after Laguna de Bay, the body of water that forms its northern boundary.[6] Laguna de Bay, in turn, was named after the town of Bay, the first provincial capital. Captain Juan de Salcedo with a band of one hundred Spanish-Mexican soldiers conquered the province and its surrounding regions for Spain in 1571. The province of La Laguna comprised the modern province of Laguna, as well as parts of what are now known as Rizal and Quezon provinces.

In 1577, Spanish Franciscan missionaries arrived in Manila, and in 1578 they started evangelizing Laguna, Morong (now Rizal), Tayabas (now Quezon) and the Bicol Peninsula as part of the colonizing effort. Juan de Plasencia and Diego de Oropesa were the earliest Franciscans sent to these places. From 1580, the towns of Bay, Caliraya, Majayjay, Nagcarlan, Liliw, Pila, Santa Cruz, Lumban, Pangil and Siniloan were founded. During the time of Governor-General Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas, the province of La Laguna was divided into the following encomiendas:[7][8][9]

By 1591, there were approximately 48,400 people living in the province.

17th and 18th century

Laguna was the site of multiple engagements during the Sangley Rebellion, made up of Chinese-Filipino mestizos.[6] In 1603, Antonio de Morga relates how the Chinese rebels scattered to three divisions, one of which went to the mountains of San Pablo.[10] Captain Don Luys de Velasco, aided by Spanish and Filipino forces, was successful in pursuing the rebels. Eventually the Chinese were able to kill Luys de Velasco and ten of his men, before securing themselves in San Pablo while waiting for reinforcement from the mainland. On October 20, 1603, Governor-General Pedro Bravo de Acuña then sent Captain Cristoval de Axqueta Menchaca to pursue and crush the rebellion and was successful after twenty days of fighting.

Around this time the hot springs of Los Baños and San Pablo were known to the Spanish, and a hospital was built in the area. By 1622, the hospital was notable enough to be mentioned by the Archbishop of Manila at the time, Miguel García Serrano in his letter to King Philip IV.[11]

In 1639, a second rebellion involving the Chinese occurred, and the rebels fortified themselves in the highlands of Cavinti and Lumban before surrendering in Pagsanjan a year later.

Facade of the Cathedral Parish of Saint Paul the Hermit, San Pablo, Laguna

In 1670, a delimitation of borders were made between Lucban, Majayjay and Cavite. The most populous town at that time, Bay, was capital of the province until 1688, when the seat of the provincial government was moved to Pagsanján. Pagsanján would be the provincial seat until 1858 when it was moved once again to Santa Cruz. In 1754, the Province of Laguna and Tayabas were divided, with the Malinao River separating the towns of Majayjay and Lucban.[12]

In 1678, Fray Hernando Cabrera founded San Pablo de los Montes (now San Pablo City) and built a wooden church and convent considered as the best and finest in the province.[12]

Fighting extended to Laguna during the British occupation of Manila between the years of 1762–64. A detachment of British troops under Captain Thomas Backhouse entered the province in search of the silver cargo of the galleon Filipina while Francisco de San Juan led a band of volunteers that fought them in several engagements in and around the then provincial capital of Pagsanjan. Backhouse plundered the town and burned its newly reconstructed church but San Juan succeeded in escaping with the precious hoard to Pampanga where the treasure greatly bolstered the defense effort of Governor-General Simón de Anda y Salazar. For his actions, San Juan was made a brigade commander and alcalde mayor of Tayabas (now Quezon) province.[12]

19th century

A major event in Laguna occurred in 1840, when religious intolerance led the people of Majayjay, Nagcarlan, Bay, and Biñan to join the revolt of Hermano Pule (Apolinario de la Cruz) of Lucban, Tayabas.[12] This revolt was eventually crushed by Governor-General Marcelino de Oraá Lecumberri.

As part of political restructuring during the 19th century, the municipalities of Morong, Pililla, Tanay, Baras, Binangonan, Jalajala, Angono and Cardona were separated from Laguna and re-organized to the province Politico-Militar Distrito de Morong. In 1858, the provincial capital was once again moved from Pagsanjan to Santa Cruz, where it stands until today.

In 1861, José Rizal was born in Calamba to Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonso. Rizal would become one of the leading members of the Propaganda Movement, who advocated political reforms for the colony. Rizal would go on to write two novels, Noli Me Tángere and El filibusterismo, which in part fueled additional anti-colonial sentiment, contributing to the eventual Philippine Revolution. In 1896, thousands of inhabitants, especially of Bay, Los Baños, Nagcarlan, Magdalena, Santa Cruz, and Pagsanjan had joined the revolutionary Katipunan.[12] Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896, on charges of rebellion. Today, Rizal is recognized as a national hero of the Philippines.

Historical marker of the Battle of Sambat, Pagsanjan, Laguna

Laguna was one of the eight provinces to rise in revolt against the Spanish misrule led by Generals Paciano Rizal in Calamba, Severino Taiño in Pagsanjan, Agueda Kahabagan in Calauan, and Miguel Malvar in Batangas.[6] One of the early engagements of the revolution was the Battle of Sambat, in Pagsanjan. Katipuneros from Laguna, led by Severino Taiño, took the city of Pagsanjan and attempted to use it as a starting point towards the liberation of the province, but was quelled by forces led by Basilio Augustín.[13]

The defeat in Sambat meant the end of large-scale organized revolt in Laguna, the Malungingnging chapter of the Katipunan failing to replicate the relative success of the revolution in Cavite. The revolutionaries resorted to hit-and-run and guerrilla tactics against the Spanish, lasting until the Pact of Biak-na-Bato on December 14 to 15, 1897.[12] It was only after the execution of Jose Rizal that the revolution flared up again, culminating in the Battle of Calamba in May 1898, and the surrender of the last Spanish garrison in Laguna in Santa Cruz, on August 31 of the same year.

Laguna actively supported the First Philippine Republic proclaimed at Malolos on January 23, 1899. Its two delegates to the Malolos Congress were Don Higino Benítez and Don Graciano Cordero, both natives of Pagsanján.[12]

Philippine–American War

Upon the outbreak of the Philippine–American War, Generals Juan Cailles and Paciano Rizal led the defense of Laguna during the war's early stages. The Battle of Mabitac was fought in defense of the town of Mabitac and was won by Filipino forces. However, forces led by Henry W. Lawton fought and won in Santa Cruz, Pagsanjan, and Paete, effectively securing the province for American forces. Resistance still occurred during this time. One of the province's folk hero during the continuing engagements was Teodoro Asedillo, who was considered a bandit by American forces.

American occupation

By the end of the war, the entire country was occupied by American forces and was taken as a colony. The Taft Commission was established to govern the Philippines during the interim period, which appointed Juan Cailles as the provincial governor of Laguna. Act No. 83, or the Provincial Government Act, established a civilian government under American occupation.[14] During this time, roads were built, schools were established, and in 1917, the Manila Railroad Company extended its line to Laguna as far as Pagsanjan.

In 1903, the town of Muntinlupa became part of La Laguna and was annexed to the town of Biñan,[15] but was later returned to the province of Rizal in 1905.[16][17]

World War II

During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines (1942–1945), Laguna was a center of Filipino resistance despite the presence of Makapili collaborators.[12]

Marking's Guerrillas raided the Cine Lumban in Laguna in June 1942 in an attempt to free the 115 American POWs. Only one American was rescued, Corporal George Lightman of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron, because the ranking American captain ordered his men to stay where they were. The Japanese executed 10 American prisoners in retribution.[18][19]

The establishment of the military general headquarters and military camp bases of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and the Philippine Constabulary is a military unit organization was founded on January 3, 1942, to June 30, 1946, in the province of Laguna, and aided of the local military regular units of the Philippine Commonwealth Army 4th and 42nd Infantry Division and the Philippine Constabulary 4th Constabulary Regiment. Started the engagements of the Anti-Japanese Military Operations in Southern Luzon, Mindoro and Palawan from 1942 to 1945 against the Japanese Imperial forces.

Beginning in 1945, attacks by the Filipino soldiers of the 4th, 42nd, 43rd, 45th, 46th and 47th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, 4th Constabulary Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary and the recognized guerrillas against Japanese forces in Laguna increased in anticipation of the Liberation of the Philippines by joint Filipino & American forces.

Recent history

The International Rice Research Institute was established in 1960, during the presidency of Carlos P. Garcia, and a site in Los Baños was selected to be its headquarters. By 1962 during the presidency of Diosdado Macapagal, IRRI had begun research to develop the new high yield “Miracle Rice” (IR8) variety.[20] Enhanced by the extensive use of chemical fertilizers, IR8 would serve as the foundation for the brief success of the Philippine Government's Masagana 99 agricultural program during the 1970s, although the program would fail in the 1980s mostly because of the Marcos administration's credit scheme did not work.[21]

The social unrest which arose when Ferdinand Marcos' debt-driven campaign spending led to the 1969 Philippine balance of payments crisis[22][23] spread beyond the capital and also triggered protests by students in Laguna, especially UP Los Baños.[24] When martial law was declared in September 1972, Marcos cracked down on any form of criticism or activism, leading to the arrest of many of Laguna citizens. Among those who experienced arrest and torture during martial law were Dr. Aloysius Baes, while among those who became desaparecidos were Tish Ladlad, Cristina Catalla, Gerardo "Gerry" Faustino, Rizalina Ilagan, Ramon Jasul, Professor Jessica Sales, and Philippine Council for Agricultural Research and Resource Development artist-illustrator Manuel Ontong. Among those confirmed to have been martyred for their beliefs were Modesto "Bong" Sison, and Manuel Bautista.[24][25][26] Camp Vicente Lim in the Canlubang district of Calamba was among the many sites where prisons were put up to contain detainees who dared to criticize the Marcos administration.[27]

Laguna has been the victim of perennial flooding along the south and eastern coasts of Laguna de Bay due to the 1977 cancellation of the Parañaque spillway project. The spillway had been the second part of a plan to reduce flooding on the lakeshore towns of Metro Manila in the 1970s, but the various economic crises of the 1970s led to a lack of budget, which meant that only the Manggahan Floodway in Rizal Province was built.[28][29]:61 The Floodway drew waters away from the Metro Manila lakeshore towns, but dumped them on to the lake. The cancellation of the Parañaque spillway meant that there was no way for the water levels of the lake to be reduced in turn.[30][31] Within the first year of Manggahan Floodway's completion in 1986, Laguna was hit by an unusual large flood which lasted for 2 months and resulted in high mortality and morbidity rates due to gastroenteritis and other water-borne diseases.[32]


Laguna covers a total area of 1,917.85 km2 (740.49 sq mi)[33] occupying the northcentral section of the Calabarzon region in Luzon. The province is situated southeast of Metro Manila, south of Rizal province, west of Quezon, north of Batangas and east of Cavite. Laguna is the third largest province in the Calabarzon region and the 63rd largest in the entire country. The municipalities of Cavinti and the city of San Pablo have the largest land areas with 203.58 km2 (78.60 sq mi) and 197.56 km2 (76.28 sq mi), respectively. The municipality of Victoria has the smallest land area with 57.46 km2 (22.19 sq mi).

Laguna lies on the southern shores of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the country. The land near Laguna de Bay can be considered to be narrow and flat, while become more rugged going further inland towards the mountainous areas of Sierra Madre, Mount Makiling, and Mount Banahaw.[34]

Aerial view of Mount Banahaw

Laguna is home to 24 mountains, most of which are inactive volcanoes. The highest peak in Laguna is Mt. Banahaw, with an elevation of 2,170 m (7,120 ft). Banahaw, unlike most other volcanoes in Laguna, is an active complex stratovolcano, which last erupted in 1843. Banahaw is located in the boundary of Laguna and Quezon and is home to multiple hot springs.[35] Laguna is also home to the Laguna Volcanic Field, which can be found near San Pablo. The Laguna Volcanic Field is composed of over 200 dormant and monogenetic maars, crater lakes, scoria cones and stratovolcanoes, the tallest of which is Mount Makiling at 1,090 m (3,580 ft) in elevation.

San Pablo itself is known for its seven crater lakes, the largest of which is Lake Sampaloc. Apart from the Laguna de Bay and the Seven Lakes of San Pablo, there are also two reservoir lakes that can be found in Laguna, the Lake Caliraya and Lumot Lake. These two man-made lakes were formed by the creation of the Caliraya Dam and the Lumot Dam.

View of Pagsanjan Falls from inside the Devil's Cave

Due to its proximity to Laguna de Bay, Laguna is home to a large number of its tributaries. One of the most famous rivers in Laguna is the Bumbungan River, also known as the Pagsanjan River, named after the town of Pagsanjan and its falls. The Pagsanjan Falls lie at the end of the river. The Pagsanjan Falls are a three-drop waterfall with a longest drop of 120 m (390 ft).

Laguna has 60,624 ha (606.24 km2) of alienable and disposable agricultural land, mostly found near the low-lying areas. Around 41,253 ha (412.53 km2), or 23.44% of Laguna's total land area is forest land, situated near Mount Makiling and further south towards Quezon.[36] Laguna has an estimated 16,205 ha (162.05 km2) of forest cover, ranking it third in the region.[37]


The province is relatively dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year for a small portion near the southern boundary. The other parts, west of Santa Cruz municipality, experience a dry season from November to April and rainy season during the rest of the year. The eastern and southernmost portions do not have distinct season, with rainfall more evenly distributed throughout the year.[38] Laguna is classified under the Köppen climate classification as predominantly having a Tropical monsoon climate, mostly centered around the areas of Calamba to Calauan. The area stretching from Biñan to Cabuyao is classified as having a Tropical savanna climate, while the area from Luisiana to Pangil has a tropical rainforest climate.[39]

Administrative divisions

Laguna comprises 24 municipalities and 6 cities. The provincial capital of Laguna is Santa Cruz. As of the 2020 census, there are 3,382,193 people in the province.[4]

  •    Capital municipality
  •    Component city
  •   Municipality


Population census of Laguna
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 148,606    
1918 195,546+1.85%
1939 279,505+1.72%
1948 321,247+1.56%
1960 472,064+3.26%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1970 699,736+4.01%
1975 803,750+2.82%
1980 973,104+3.90%
1990 1,370,232+3.48%
1995 1,631,082+3.32%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2000 1,965,872+4.08%
2007 2,473,530+3.22%
2010 2,669,847+2.82%
2015 3,035,081+2.47%
2020 3,382,193+2.15%
Sources: Philippine Statistics Authority[40][47][48]

The population of Laguna in the 2020 census was 3,382,193 people,[4] with a density of 1,800 inhabitants per square kilometer or 4,700 inhabitants per square mile. Calamba is the most populous city in Laguna, accounting for 16% of the provincial population with 539,671 inhabitants, while Famy is the smallest municipality in Laguna with a total population of 16,791. In terms of population density, San Pedro has the largest with a density of 14,000/km2 (36,000/sq mi), while Cavinti is the smallest with a density of 120/km2 (310/sq mi). Most of the people in Laguna live in the cities of San Pedro, Biñan, Santa Rosa, Cabuyao, Calamba and San Pablo accounting to 68.85% of the population of the province. Laguna is the 3rd most populous province in the Philippines and also the 3rd densest. Laguna has a median age of 24.9 years.[49]

Being in the middle of the Southern Tagalog Region, almost all people in Laguna speak Tagalog, with 99.2% of the population being fluent in it. There is a minority of people fluent in Ilocano, Bicolano and Waray. A significant portion of the workforce in Laguna can read and speak English and Filipino.[50] In 2000, literacy in Laguna was at 96.22%.[49]


Laguna was historically one of the first provinces in the Philippines to have been visited by Christian missionaries. Today, the province, like the rest of the country, is predominantly Christian, with most being a part of the Roman Catholic Church. The Diocese of San Pablo is the only Roman Catholic diocese in Laguna. Other Christian denominations present in Laguna are the Philippine Independent Church, the Iglesia ni Cristo, Baptists, Ang Dating Daan and other Mainline Protestants. Most non-Christians in Laguna practice Islam, Anitism, animism, or atheism.


Present-day Laguna shows a thriving economy. With a population of 3,382,193 (2020 census),[4] and a total area of 1,760 km2 (680 sq mi) of land, Laguna produces millions of pesos worth of coconuts, rice, sugar, citrus fruits, lanzones and other products. Tourists flock to its beauty spots, especially Pagsanjan Falls, Calamba and Los Baños hot springs, Mount Makiling, Caliraya Lake and many others. Levels of development vary. The towns near Metro Manila have become industrialized whereas the inner towns continue to engage in agricultural production or pursue agri-based industries and cottage and small-scale industries.[12] In 2015, Laguna was reported to have an equity of PHP 4.474 billion, the second highest in the region behind Cavite.[58]

Laguna is labeled as the Detroit of the Philippines because of the presence of major vehicle manufacturers in the city of Santa Rosa. It is also considered as the Silicon Valley of the Philippines because of the vast number of electronic and semi-conductor companies operating in the province. Laguna is also the Resort Capital of the Philippines for it houses more than 700 hot spring resorts in the areas of Calamba and Los Baños.[59][36]

Natural resources

The main natural resources of Laguna are in its agriculture and fisheries, owing to its position near the Laguna de Bay and the surrounding lowlands.

There are about forty rivers in Laguna with a total area of almost 0.5 km2 (0.19 sq mi). The Laguna de Bay has an approximate area of 3,800 square kilometers (1,500 sq mi) broken down into 2,900 square kilometers (1,100 sq mi) of land and 900 km2 (350 sq mi) of lake proper with 220 kilometers (140 mi) shoreline. The shores of Laguna de Bay provide fishing grounds capable of producing 41,000 metric tons (41,000,000 kg) of fish, or roughly two-thirds of the fresh water fish requirements of Metro Manila.[36]

Laguna has an estimated 300,000,000 US gallons (1,100,000 m3) of underground water. At least seven principal water basins in the province with a total of 5,773 square kilometers (2,229 sq mi) drainage area and 1,316 square kilometers (508 sq mi) level area provide an estimated 9.238 square kilometers (3.567 sq mi) total run-off annually.[36] There are two major watershed reserves in Laguna, the Malabanban Cabunsod Watershed Forest Reserve in San Pablo, and the Caliraya-Lumot River Watershed Forest Reserve, which spans the municipalities of Paete, Cavinti, Kalayaan, and Lumban. Overall, these two watersheds span an area of 11,164.71 hectares (27,588.6 acres).[60]

Laguna has a relatively small mining industry compared to the other provinces in the region, with only 11 non-metallic mines registered in the region, and only 8 of which are operating. These mines are found in Santa Cruz, Magdalena, Siniloan, Lumban, and San Pablo. A total of 39.7823 ha (0.397823 km2) are used for mining purposes.[61] Aggregates make up the largest amount in Laguna's mineral industry, with a value of 16,995,923. Overall, Laguna's mining economy contributes 8.87% to the region's total mining economy.[62]

Agricultural activities

Rice field in Mabitac

Laguna has 60,624 hectares (149,810 acres) of alienable and disposable agricultural land. About 41,253 hectares (101,940 acres) or 23.44% of Laguna's total land area is forest land.[36] In 2002, there were 38,445 farms in Laguna. The top five crops produced in Laguna are rice, maize, coconuts, mangoes, and bananas.[49] Other crops grown in the province include Robusta coffee,[63] pineapple, lanzones, rambutan,[64] and sugarcane.[65] Calamba was once the site of a sugar cane mill, although the decline of the sugar industry during the 1970s and 1980s resulted in its eventual shutdown.

Rice farming is an important part of Laguna's agriculture, with approximately 30,619 ha (306.19 km2) of land used for cultivating 130,904 metric tons (130,904,000 kg) of rice.[49] Los Baños is also the site of multiple research institutions specializing in rice, such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) and the Southeast Asian Regional center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), among others.[36]

Laguna de Bay, with a surface area of 900 kilometers (560 mi), is the province's main fishing ground producing 410,000 metric tons (410,000,000 kg) of fish. Carp and tilapia fingerlings are also being grown in inland ponds and freshwater fish pens. There are a total of 457 operators utilizing an area of 1,839 ha (18.39 km2) for fish pens and fish cages. Aside from the Laguna de Bay, approximately 12% of the area in the Seven Lakes of San Pablo is being used for aquaculture.

Industry and commerce

Calamba Premiere International Park, one of the industrial areas in Laguna

Laguna is home to twenty-one economic zones as registered under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.[66] Most of these economic zones are located in Santa Rosa, Biñan, and Calamba. The largest economic zone in Laguna is the Laguna Technopark, located in Santa Rosa and Biñan, with an area of 337.215 hectares (3.37215 km2). Laguna is home to a large automotive industry, with Toyota Motor Philippines, Nissan Motor Philippines, Honda Philippines Incorporated, and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines all having plants in Santa Rosa.

Laguna has a growing business process outsourcing industry, with companies such as IBM and Convergys establishing offices in Santa Rosa. PEZA lists 4 IT parks and 1 IT Center in Laguna.[66] Business districts and shopping malls continues to arise bringing opportunities and attractive places to dine and relax.


Road network

The South Luzon Expressway connects Laguna with Metro Manila and Batangas

Laguna has a total of 348 kilometers (216 mi) of national roads, all paved.[67] Daang Maharlika/Manila South Road (Route 1, AH26), Calamba–Pagsanjan Road (Route 66) and Manila East Road (Route 601, Route 602), Pagsanjan–Lucban Road (Route 603) and Bay–Calauan–San Pablo Road (Route 67), form the highway network backbone, and secondary and tertiary national roads interconnect most municipalities, with Magdalena only connected by provincial road. Provincial roads serves as a supplement to the national roads, and connects barangays and municipalities not connected to the main network. The highway network is interconnected with nearby provinces and Metro Manila.

The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) passes through Laguna. The Cavite–Laguna Expressway begins in Mamplasan, Biñan and aims to connect the province with Cavite. A public-private partnership initiative of the national government include plans to build a circumferential road along Laguna de Bay shoreline, the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike (or C-6 Extension),[68] from San Pedro to Siniloan. Some of the proposed road networks include the Calamba–Los Baños Expressway.[36][69]


Three power generating plants are operating in the province.[36]

  • Botocan Hydro-electric Plant (25MW) — Majayjay
  • Caliraya Hydro-electric Plant (23.5 MW) — Kalayaan
  • Mak-Ban Geothermal Plant (20MW) — Bay

Meralco, the main electricity distributor of Metro Manila, has also the franchise for most of Laguna.[36] Most of the municipalities on the 4th District, however, are franchise areas of First Laguna Electric Cooperative (FLECO).


Ramil Hernandez
Vice Governor
Katherine Agapay
Laguna Provincial Capitol

The seat of the provincial government of Laguna is Santa Cruz, and has been the capital since 1858. Historically, the provincial government was seated in Bay (1581-1688) and Pagsanjan (1688–1858) before setting in Santa Cruz.

The provincial government is organized under a governor and vice governor, as well as the Laguna Provincial Board. Laguna is divided to four districts for the purposes of electing members of the provincial board. On a municipal level, the province is governed by mayors and their own legislatures, the Sangguniang Panlungsod and Sangguniang Bayan for cities and municipalities, respectively. Each municipality is further composed for barangays, which are headed by a Punong Barangay and legislated by a Sangguniang Barangay.

Provincial government

The governor of Laguna is Ramil Hernandez, who is a member of PDP–Laban, since 2014.

  Ramil Hernandez
Vice Governor
  Katherine Agapay
Provincial Board
1st District Magtangol Jose Carait (PDPLBN) Danzel Rafter Fernandez (Aksyon) Wilfredo Bejasa Jr. (PDPLBN)
2nd District Christian Niño Lajara (Aksyon) Peewee Perez (PDPLBN) Tito Fortunato Caringal II (NP)
3rd District Alejandro Yu (PDPLBN) Karla Monica Adajar-Lajara (Lakas)
4th District Joseph Kris Benjamin Agarao (NUP) Francis Joseph San Luis (Aksyon)

House of Representatives

On the legislative level, the province is divided into seven legislative districts, each of which elect their own representative to the House of Representatives.

District Representative
1st District   Ann Matibag
2nd District   Ruth Hernandez
3rd District   Loreto Amante
4th District   Jam Agarao
Lone District of Biñan   Marlyn Alonte-Naguiat
Lone District of Calamba   Charisse Anne Hernandez
Lone District of Santa Rosa   Dan Fernandez

Arts and culture

Mural at the St. James the Apostle Parish Church

Laguna is a major contributor to the development of arts in the Philippines. Paete is known as the Woodcarving Capital of the Philippines[70] for the murals found in the Saint James the Apostle Parish Church. The church houses three murals created by Luciano Dans depicting images of Heaven, Earth, and Hell, as well as other murals of Saint Christopher. Some of these murals, however, need restoration as they have been infested by termites. Manuel Baldemor is an internationally acclaimed woodcarver born in Paete. Another famous icon in Laguna is the Our Lady of Turumba, found in Pakil.

Much like the rest of the country, Laguna celebrates multiple feasts and festivals throughout the year. Each barangay has their own fiesta in homage to a patron saint. Some of Laguna's famous festivals include the Turumba Festival in Pakil, the Pinya Festival in Calauan, and the Tsinelas Festival in Liliw.


Laguna has a large tourist industry, owing to its historical and natural resources. The Department of Tourism currently accredits two hotels, one inn, six resorts, one establishment, one restaurant, four tour operations, four tour guides, and two museums in the province.[71] Laguna also has a total of 239 accredited tourist attractions, the second largest in the region behind Batangas. Tourism in Laguna is large, although most of the visitors to tourist spots are foreigners, as opposed to other provinces in Calabarzon.[72]

Rizal Shrine

Owing to its long history, Laguna has a host of sites that showcase the different periods of history in Laguna. The Rizal Shrine in Calamba is the ancestral home of the Philippines' national hero, José Rizal. Other historical sites include the Alberto House in Biñan, the Cuartel de Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, the Pagsanjan Municipal Hall, the Pagsanjan Arch, the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery, the ancestral homes and Pinagbayanan crematorium in Pila, Emilio Jacinto Shrine in Santa Cruz, the Baker Memorial Hall in UP Los Baños, and the Tipakan in Luisiana.

Other historical markers include the Japanese Garden in Cavinti and the Homma-Yamashita Shrine in Los Baños, both of which commemorate the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during the Second World War, the memorial sites of the Battle of Sambat in Pagsanjan and the Battle of Mabitac in Mabitac, and the Bantayog ng Kagitingan, Bantayog ng mga Bayani, Trece Martires Monument, and the Bonifacio Monument in San Pablo.[73]

There are multiple historical and educational museums in Laguna in addition to its historical sites, such as the Pila Memorial Museum in Pila, the Salvador Laurel Museum and Library in San Pedro,[74] the Museo de Santa Rosa in Santa Rosa, the Danilo Daleňa House of Paintings in Pakil, the Bahay Laguna in Magdalena, and the Monterola Museum in Nagcarlan.[75] Los Baños is home to multiple museums, such as the IRRI Riceworld Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the Wildlife Collections of Dr. Dioscoro Rabor, and the Entomology Museum.[76]

Laguna is home to some of the oldest churches in the Philippines, dating back to the end of the 16th century. The St. James the Apostle Parish Church in Paete, and the Saint Gregory the Great Parish Church in Majayjay are considered to be some of the oldest in the province, dating as far back as 1578 and 1571, respectively.

Other historical churches in the provinces include the Saint Paul the First Hermit Cathedral in San Pablo (the see of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Pablo), the Transfiguration of our Lord Parish Church in Cavinti, the Nuestra Señora de Candelaria Parish Church in Mabitac, the Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Los Baños, the Saint John the Baptist Church in Liliw, the St. John the Baptist Church in Calamba, where Rizal was baptized, the Saint Peter of Alcantara Parish Church in Pakil, which houses the Our Lady of Turumba painting, the Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Santa Cruz, St. Polycarp Church and the Diocesan Shrine of San Vicente Ferrer in Cabuyao, Santa Rose de Lima Parish Church in Santa Rosa, and the Diocesan Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulchre (Lolo Uweng) and the San Pedro Apostol Parish Church in San Pedro. Lolo Uweng Church was known as the Quiapo Church of the South.[77]

Republ1c Wakepark in Nuvali, Calamba, Laguna

Laguna contains many natural tourist spots, owing to its geography and climate. Laguna is home to the Laguna Volcanic Field, a group of 200 volcanoes and maars. The highest feature of these fields is Mount Makiling, which is also considered to be a holy mountain. The Seven Lakes of San Pablo are also part of this field. The highest peak in Laguna is Mount Banahaw, which it shares with the province of Quezon. Laguna also features multiple waterfalls, such as the Pagsanjan Falls, the Buruwisan Falls in Siniloan, the Botocan and Taytay Falls in Majayjay, the Talon ng Aliw and the Hulugan Falls, both in Luisiana. Other attractions in the province include the Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex, the Simbahang Bato in Luisiana, the Dalitiwan River in Majayjay, and the Crocodile Park in Los Baños.[78]

There are also multiple man-made tourist attractions and parks located in Laguna. The Enchanted Kingdom theme park is found in Santa Rosa and is accredited by the Department of Tourism. Other parks in Laguna include the Valesol Haven, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines Camp, the Maria Makiling Park, and the Makiling Botanical Garden, all found in Los Baños; the Wawa Park in Paete, and the Public Plaza of San Pablo.

Calamba and Los Baños are famous for its resorts and hot springs, lending to it the title of Resort Capital of the Philippines. Other sites include the Turumba Swimming Pool in Pakil, the Caliraya Lake, Dagatan Boulevard in San Pablo, and the Sampaloc Lake Staircase.[79]


Highest Educational Attainment (2010, Non-Overseas Residents)
No grade completed
High school
College undergraduate
Academic degree holder
Post baccalaureate
Not stated
Highest Educational Attainment (2010, Overseas Workers)
No grade completed
High school
College undergraduate
Academic degree holder
Post baccalaureate
Not stated

Education rates in Laguna are high. In 2010 there were approximately 2,382,512 out of 2,669,847 people having attained some form of education. The literacy rate of Laguna in 2000 was 96.22%.[49] Most people in Laguna are high school graduates, while most overseas workers from Laguna have a college degree.

There are 586 public schools in Laguna, composed of 458 public schools and 128 secondary schools. The city of San Pablo has the greatest number of public schools with 79, while the municipality of Rizal has the least with four.[80]

Rizal Hall at Malayan Colleges Laguna

Laguna is home to multiple schools and universities. There are an estimated 18 universities and 37 colleges in the province. There are 3 state universities in Laguna with a total of 11 campuses: Laguna State Polytechnic University, Pamantasan ng Cabuyao, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and the University of the Philippines Los Baños. UPLB is also one of the oldest universities in the Philippines, having been established in 1909. The International Rice Research Institute can be found within the UPLB campus and is known internationally for its work in developing rice technologies.

There are also multiple private colleges in Laguna. Some colleges and universities with main campuses in Metro Manila have also established satellite campuses in Laguna, such as Lyceum of the Philippines University-Laguna, De La Salle University – Laguna Campus, Colegio San Agustin, San Sebastian College – Recoletos, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Malayan Colleges Laguna, National University Laguna, and Our Lady of Fatima University – Laguna Campus. Most recently, the University of Santo Tomas and University of the East have announced that they will establish their respective campus in Santa Rosa.

Notable alumni from colleges in Laguna include Teodoro Casiño, a former member of the House of Representatives; Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., the chairman of San Miguel Corporation; and Jerrold Tarog, film director.

Notable people

National heroes and patriots



  • Marcelo Adonay – Filipino church composer, musician, organist, musical director, and music teacher (Pakil)
  • José MacedaNational Artist of the Philippines for Music (Pila)
  • Tony Mabesa – National Artist of the Philippines for Theater. (Los Baños)
  • Jonas Baes – composer (Los Baños)
  • Celso Ad. Castillo – film director and screenwriter. (Siniloan)
  • Celso Al. Carunungan – writer, novelist, and film scriptwriter (San Pablo)
  • Bonifacio Ilagan – playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, journalist, editor, and activist (Los Baños)
  • Frank G. Rivera – playwright, actor and production designer. (Paete)
  • Edgar Calabia Samar – poet and novelist. (San Pablo)
  • Louie Ignacio – TV director (Pagsanjan)
  • Gerry Alanguilan – comic book artist, writer, and architect (San Pablo)
  • Manuel Baldemor – painter, sculptor, printmaker, writer and book illustrator (Paete)
  • Nena Saguil – modernist and abstract art painter (Santa Cruz)
  • Danilo Echavaria Dalena - modern and contemporary painter.[84][85] (Pakil)
  • Maria Carpena – stage actress and soprano singer. She was the first recording artist in the Philippine music industry. She was also dubbed as the country's “Nightingale of Zarzuela”.[86][87] (Santa Rosa)
  • HaveYouSeenThisGirl – author of the books Diary ng Panget, Voiceless and She Died (San Pablo)



Politics and Government

Sports and Beauty pageants


Other Personalities

See also


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