Calamba is a city in Laguna, Philippines, a major economic, transportation, and tourist hub in the Calabarzon region. It is the birthplace and ancestral location of the Philippines' National Hero, Jose Rizal, and one barangay, Pansol, is home to various hot spring resorts near Mount Makiling.
Calamba City is a regional center for Laguna and the Calabarzon region; it lies 50 km (31 mi) from Manila and houses many businesses, tourist attractions, colleges and universities, transport stations, and industries. The city houses the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal's mansion, and Pansol, a barangay with many private hot spring resorts at the foot of Mount Makiling.
The city's history is traced back to the Spanish era. Calamba is formed from the barrio of Sucol of Tabuko (present-day Cabuyao), and in the 1800s, the Dominican friars divided up their hacienda and gave it to locals, including Jose Rizal's family. Calamba was also a scene of a Japanese war crimes during World War II: 2,000 civilians were murdered and raped by Japanese soldiers in the barrio of Real and St. John the Baptist Parish church was burned down. The city gained cityhood in 2001 after president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Calamba City Charter Act (Republic Act 9024) and locals won a majority in the following plebiscite.
The city is divided into 54 barangays, including 7 forming the Poblacion. Calamba's Poblacion is the commercial heart of the city; the congested Calamba Crossing between Maharlika Highway and Calamba-Santa Cruz-Famy Road (or National Highway locally) lies there. Barangay Pansol, near the boundary of Los Baños is home to many private resorts, both big and small. Canlubang, a large residential barangay, has, the majority of the Nuvali mixed-use development (the remainder lies in Cabuyao and Santa Rosa), Camp Vicente Lim, and two industrial parks.
Calamba is a major stopover for buses headed for South Luzon
- 1 JAM/Philtranco, Maharlika Highway, Turbina, ☏ . A large, covered bus station which primarily serves JAM, Philtranco and Amihan buses. The station is undergoing renovations to add air-conditioned lounges, showers, further retail space, and rooms for overnight stays.
In addition to the JAM/Philtranco bus station, there are also other bus companies with stops at Turbina, all not far away from each other. The terminals themselves are only used for southbound buses, and northbound, buses stop at the Flying V gas station across the highway from the JAM bus terminal
- Bobis Liner/Elavil Tours.
- DLTBCo. (near Shell), ☏ .
- JAC Liner/LLi (Directly in front of Angel's Nest). Stop also serves ALPS, Ceres, Dela Rosa, Gold Star, JAPS and P&O Transport buses. Stop has a simple waiting area and restrooms.
- Superlines, Purok 2, Turbina (Beside Petron), ☏ .
If getting down directly at the city proper, around the Crossing:
- HM Transport, National Hwy cor Carnation St, Barangay 1 Poblacion (Directly in front of Joy Hotel).
- JAPS, National Hwy, Real (Beside CMC).
- Saint Rose, Km 50 National Hwy, Barangay 1 Poblacion (Beside Teodora Building). Has one large shelter with an attached Ministop
- SM City Calamba Transport Terminal, National Highway, Calamba Crossing (Part of SM City Calamba (see #Buy).).
From Manila, you can take either the traditional T420 or the 414 jeepney routes, both starting from Alabang. Both routes terminate at Alabang, and take the expressway.
Philippine National Railways has a station in Calamba, on the South main line from Manila. Unfortunately, service are limited to evening and morning commuter trains, and travel by train is not practical until the existing railway line is modernized.
- 2 Calamba station, Rizal Street. Served by several air-conditioned trains between Manila and Los Baños (IRRI), and a night train from Manila. Long-distance services are cancelled since 2015. It is also the future terminus of the new electrified mainline running up to Malolos in Bulacan, Clark International Airport in Pampanga, and Capas in Tarlac
Calamba is a major crossroads; it serves as an important junction for South Luzon Expy (SLEX, E2), Maharlika Hwy (Route 1), and Calamba-Santa Cruz-Famy Rd (Rte 66, or just National Hwy locally). SLEX has four exits: Silangan (exit 45), Canlubang/Mayapa (exit 47), Batino (exit 49), and Calamba (exit 50); the section between the Calamba toll plaza and Ayala Greenfield toll plaza has no exit toll gates. Calamba-Santa Cruz-Famy Road, while it is divided into two sections with different route numbers (route 66 from Calamba to Pagsanjan, and route 602 from Pagsanjan to Famy), runs through eastern and central Laguna and terminates at Calamba. Maharlika Highway, the older toll-free highway paralleling SLEX, runs through the centers of the cities in northwestern Laguna and enters Batangas at Santo Tomas. SLEX and Maharlika Hwy from Turbina forms the Asian Highway 26 route.
Jeepneys serve most areas along the Maharlika Hwy and National Hwy, including Crossing and Pansol. There are also jeepneys to Canlubang, but are impractical for travel to Nuvali.
There are plenty of tricycles around downtown and the Crossing area. Trips generally cost ₱9 per kilometer, but it can cost ₱40 if you catch one alone (or a "special" trip), for example, on a trip from Crossing to the Rizal mansion.
Anywhere in Pansol can be reached by tricycle, with stands near the subdivision entrances.
Traveling by car within the city proper is inadvisable. Traffic jams are common at the Crossing, Pansol and Real, and parking. That said, most malls, the City Hall, and the City Park have free parking, the resorts at Pansol are more conveniently accessed by car.
- 1 Jose Rizal Shrine (Rizal Shrine), J.P. Rizal Street, Barangay 5 (Poblacion). The birthplace of the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal. It houses the restored colonial-era mansion of Jose Rizal, which contains his memorabilia.
- 2 The Plaza, Chipeco Avenue Extension, Real (In front of the Calamba City Hall). A park built to commemorate Rizal's 150th birthday. Opened in 2011, it houses a 6.7-meter (22-feet statue) statue of Jose Rizal, formerly the tallest.
- 3 St. John the Baptist Parish, J.P. Rizal Street, Barangay 5 (Poblacion) (Beside Rizal Shrine). The oldest Roman Catholic church in Calamba, built in Baroque style
- 1 Republ1c Wakepark, West Diversity Avenue, Canlubang (inside Nuvali). A new wakeboarding park inside the Nuvali development in Canlubang
- 1 SM City Calamba, Maharlika Highway, Poblacion, ☏ . 10AM-10PM daily. Huge SM mall, providing a refuge from the cacophony of the Calamba Crossing area.
- 2 Walter Mart Calamba, Maharlika Highway, Real, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 10AM-8PM, F-Su 10-9PM.
- 3 Walter Mart Makiling, Km. 54 Maharlika Highway, Makiling, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 10AM-8PM; F-Su 10AM-9PM. Another Walter Mart mall, with some fast food restaurants and shops, a Uno department store, and supermarket.
- 1 Ippon Yari, Maharlika Highway, Turbina, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-2:30PM (lunch) 5-11PM (dinner); Su 11AM-2:30PM (lunch), 5-9:30PM (dinner). Authentic Japanese dining, including common Japanese fare like bento, ramen, sushi and tempura, shochu. Tables have tatami mats.
- 2 Samaral Seafood, National Highway, Halang (Near railway crossing), ☏ . Usual Filipino seafood fare, served on bamboo and nipa cottages
- Rockpoint Hotsprings Resort-Hotel and Spa, 119 Alamat Road, Maria Makiling Hot Springs Village, Pansol, Calamba City,, ☏ , . This beautiful resort is located in the hot spring province of the Philippines. You can treat your body to its natural hot spring swimming pools, an outdoor Jacuzzi, and spa treatments all in just one resort. If you wish to stay, you can check-in to their private air conditioned guestrooms. From ₱1550.
The city serves as a tourist hub to other destinations in Laguna like:
- Los Baños - Bordering university and resort town, noted for the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus, the International Rice Research Institute, and hot springs
- Pagsanjan - Home to Pagsanjan Falls
|Routes through Calamba|
|Alabang ← Cabuyao ←||N S||→ END|
|Manila ← Biñan ←||N S||→ Los Baños → Lucena|
|Manila ← Biñan ←||N S||→ Los Baños → Lucena|
|Manila/Alabang ← Cabuyao ←||N S||→ AH26 exits SLEX and follows → Santo Tomas → Lipa/Batangas City (via )|
|Santa Rosa ← Cabuyao ←||N S||→ Santo Tomas → Lucena|
|Merges with ←||W E||→ Los Baños → Santa Cruz|