Thursday, November 08, 2018

Roaming Laguna

Roaming Laguna led me to the historical and film and television favorite setting, Magdalena and to the Tsinelas Capital of the Philippines, Liliw. I get to visit these two municipalities on my latest visit to this province that is situated on the southern shores of Laguna de Bay where it is named after. Known as the "Resort Capital of the Philippines" because of its numerous spring water resorts, I roamed Laguna for many times but this trip is more about appreciating its history, art, culture and local discovery. A different face of Laguna is what I saw on this trip yet still filled with adventures and journeys for a travelling feet. Roaming Laguna this time was an unusual but a delightful trip as I get to explore its other charms from the usual.

Roaming Laguna led me to this charming landmark of Liliw.
My best friend who is residing in Magdalena municipality of Laguna province invited me for a visit while she's on vacation in their hometown. I just meet her there as I have been there 3 years ago. This municipality is quite one of the farthest municipality of the province. You have to take a bus to Santa Cruz then hop on a jeepney to Magdalena for a total of 4 hour travel from Manila.

Santa Maria Magdalena Church or simply known as Magdalena Church is the main sight to visit in Magdalena. This is a Roman Catholic Church built during the Spanish colonial era in 1829. It is mainly made of sandstone and completely built in 1855. One of the biggest church that I saw yet in Laguna, unfortunately it was close during my visit. And so I failed to explore its inside architecture and just contented in its outside Baroque-style facade.
Magdalena Church.
The outside facade is mostly colored in gray sandstone - which made it look dull in appearance but extravagant in its massive built and height. The church is located in central town plaza with the municipal hall of Magdalena just across it. What also make this church special is that it holds a special relic for revolutionary leader, General Emilio Jacinto who said to have take refuge in the church's convent after a revolutionary fight encountered in Magdalena. Jacinto has been coined as Brains of Katipunan and has an honored monument in the municipality's plaza.

The municipality of Magdalena is said to be a favorite setting of local movie classics that made the town famous by the late actor Fernando Poe, Jr where he shot Santiago (1970) and Sanctuario (1974) in the town. A Robin Padilla and Sharon Cuneta starrer romantic comedy film Pagdating ng Panahon (2001), Emilio Aguinaldo biopic film, El Presidente (2012) and Chito Rono's Spirit Warriors: The Shortcut (2003) was also shot here. The most recent film shot in Magdalena was the biopic film Heneral Luna (2015) and TV series like Wild Flower (2017).

Magdalena is a sleepy town in the province of Laguna. It is quiet, clean and time is not always in a hurry. I would be glad to explore the other sights of this town in the future.

Close-up view for architecture appreciation of Magdalena Church.
So many Filipino movies have been shot inside and outside of Magdalena Church.
Liliw is a 4th class municipality of the province of Laguna. It is popularly dubbed as Tsinelas Capital of the Philippines being tsinelas or slippers as the municipality's pride town product. In the main town, you will see a lot of slipper stores everywhere! It was hard to choose the right store to shop as most were quality slippers. They also sold quality shoes as well that can rival Marikina's own shoes products. I got my own pair of soles at Badong Foortwear. I love its design, quality and color plus its durability. Actually, I want to buy a lot shoes in Liliw since most of the shoes were truly in good quality and design!

Liliw Church also known as Saint John the Baptist Parish Church.
From the shopping of slippers and shoes, I my foot led to one of its main attraction site - Liliw Church. Saint John the Baptist Parish Church also known as Liliw Church is a Roman Catholic church known for its distinguish red bricked facade in baroque style architecture. Built in 1643, it was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist with a feast day celebrated every August 29. The red brick walls and columns of the church makes its striking appearance that is perfect for travel photography and architectural appreciation. 

Inside the church, you will feel its old yet rich cultural value. The high ceiling is colored white adorned with gold line accents and lamps. The altar is dominantly colored in gold while the side walls are predominantly in red brick walls. While the windows are colored glass of images of saints which gave the church a vibe of grandeur and vintage feel.

Interior corridor of Liliw Church.
Prayer candles at Liliw Church.
Lovely interiors of Liliw Church.
Close-up view of main altar. Feels grand...
Striking red bricks made up the whole building of Liliw Church. It is also its unique characteristic.
I recommend to buy quality slippers and shoes at Badong Footwear.
Shoes everywhere in Liliw!
Liliw - Tsinelas Capital of the Philippines!
Before I left Liliw Church, I did not just took a lot of souvenir photo of its beautiful facade but I also made prayer while lighting colorful prayer candles. I made a thankful prayer that I made it here in Laguna not just to get a good catch-up with my long-time friend but also I had a great time exploring the other side of the Laguna province.

How to reach Magdalena.
Ride a JAC Liner bus to Santa Cruz - Capital of Laguna in Buendia, Pasay Terminal. Travel time is 4 hours and fare is 140PHP as of January 2018. When you alight at the terminal, just cross the street and catch a jeepney ride with a signboard Magdalena. You also have the option to take a special tricycle ride to Magdalena from Santa Cruz but fare is expensive yet faster than jeepney ride. Travel time from Santa Cruz to Magdalena via jeepney is 45 minutes and via tricycle is 30 minutes. 

How to reach Liliw.
From Magdalena, take a jeepney at the plaza bound for Liliw. Travel time is 15 minutes and fare is 000 as of January 2018. The return trip to Magdalena is via taking a jeepney ride bound to Magdalena at Liliw's town jeepney terminal.

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