At the Nagcarlan Underground CemeteryAfter discovering the magnificent heritage village of Pila, Laguna, I decided to go further south to the towns of Nagcarlan and Liliw.
Nagcarlan is known to be the recipient of the first seeds of wheat in the country in 1583 under Fr. Tomas de Miranda. It was also in this town that Fr. Juan de Plasencia wrote “Doctrina Christiana” in 1593. Years later, he was said to have written “Relacion de las Costumbres de Los Tagalos” which, according to Franciscan documents, served as a guide for the alcaldes mayores for effective and righteous governance.
From the vestiges of the battle between the Spanish colonizers rose a new community through the help of a highly placed native called Kalang Panalangin. She converted to Christianity and was baptized Ana Panalangin, but was called Ana Kalang by the villagers. To honor Ana Kalang, who helped rebuild the village though her wealth and acts of charity, the parish priest named the place after her. Years later, the name became “Nagkarlang” and, much later, “Nagcarlan.”
The town’s main industries are making candy and fine delicacies such as ube, espasol and preserved macapuno; coconut production; mineral water processing; and vegetable farming.
I rode the LRT from the Monumento station and alighted at the Gil Puyat station, then walked to the JAC Liner bus terminal near the intersection of Gil Puyat and Taft avenues. I rode a bus with a placard that says “Lucena,” which passes by San Pablo, Laguna
I reached San Pablo in two hours. Even though it was not a part of my itinerary, I visited two structures nearby: San Pablo Cathedral and the Seminario Menor de San Francisco de Sales (Liceo de San Pablo).
I rode a jeepney near the San Pablo City Library Hub and alighted in front of the historic Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery along the highway.
It is the only one of its kind in the Philippines, a burial site located inside a church. The church was built and designed for funeral masses in 1845 by Fr. Vicente Velloc, who also oversaw the construction of the graveyard below the church in 1851.
During those times, only rich and influential people were buried inside. When the Spanish regime ended, the government opened up the cemetery to locals and people from nearby towns.
Following a brief overview of the place courtesy of the caretaker, he emphasized that flash photography is not allowed inside the chapel and in the underground crypt.
The crypt also played an important role in Philippine history. Throughout the revolution of 1896 and the Filipino-American War, Filipino patriots used the crypt as a secret hideout. Similarly, it became a safe house for guerrillas during World War II.
I rode a tricycle to the St. Bartholomew Parish Church in Nagcarlan. The church was built in 1583 using light materials. In 1752, the second church was built using bricks and stone but was partly destroyed by a fire in 1781. In 1845, the church was reconstructed and a choir loft was added by Fr. Velloc, who also built the cemetery.
I then rode a jeepney to the town of Liliw, founded in 1571 by Gat Tayaw.
Along the main street, Gat Tayaw Ave., you could see a multitude of footwear outlets. Liliw is considered the “Footwear Capital of Laguna” due to its thriving footwear industry.
Around 90%-95% of the footwear being sold here is locally made and the prices are very affordable. For those who fancy imported stuff, this place is not for you!
As I turned right to 7th St., I saw the St. John the Baptist Parish Church, founded in 1605. The original church and convent were badly damaged in 1880 by a strong earthquake, while the reconstructed church was partly burned in 1898.
Going back to Gat Tayaw Ave., I came across the monument of Gat Tayaw, and this ended the Liliw site trekking.
I then hopped on a jeepney to San Pablo and caught a JAC Liner bus back to Manila. (Excerpted from http://larga-bista.blogspot. com) . (Story/Photos by: Gerbs de Castro)