It might just be an hour or two away, but the diverse topography and varied natural attractions make this region interesting. Beaches and dive spots. Forests and caves. Mountains and hills. Waterfalls and hot springs. It’s all here. This is the home of Laguna de Bay – the country’s largest freshwater lake. It also boasts of Taal Lake, which contains the world’s smallest active volcano.

Because of its proximity to the  national capital, CALABARZON has seen steady industrial growth and urbanization in recent years. But the local culture is still very much alive. Historical landmarks, monuments, old churches, and shrines dot the region’s landscape.

The area is rich in history. It’s where the Philippines’ independence from Spain was first declared in 1898. It’s the birthplace of national heroes such as Jose Rizal (from Calamba, Laguna), Emilio Aguinaldo (from Kawit, Cavite), Apolinario Mabini (from Tanauan, Batangas) and Miguel Malvar (from Sto. Tomas, Batangas).

CALABARZON is also rich in cultural traditions. Laguna is known for embroidery, wood carving, and papier-mâché (locally known as taka). Quezon has harvest festivals and flamboyantly decorated houses. Rizal has artisan villages and art galleries. It’s a colorful region.