Often called Quezon Province to distinguish it from Quezon City, Quezon has culture, nature and history to provide. It is quite off the beaten track over its neighbors in the Calabarzon region, but its festivals, hidden beaches, and historical monuments are things worth visiting.
- 1 Lucena City - Provincial capital, but is an independent city administratively. It is rather more of a traveller's stop than a destination, but you can visit the few of its sights or shop here if you can buy enough time.
- 2 Lucban - A small municipality near Mount Banahaw, and home of the Pahiyas Festival and Kamay ni Hesus pilgrimage site.
- Sariaya - Little heritage town, housing numerous historical houses.
- Tayabas - Former provincial capital, also lends its name to the former name of the province. This city houses a heritage downtown that rivals Vigan or Taal.
- Jomalig – White sand beaches facing the Pacific, rediscovered by backpackers.
- 1 Mount Banahaw - The highest mountain in Quezon, and the CALABARZON region. It has been closed to mountaineers since 2004 to allow local flora to rebound.
- 2 Polillo Island - Tropical island off the Pacific coast of northern Quezon.
Quezon is generally an odd-the-beaten-path destination, skipped by many foreign travellers, but this province has many places worthy for a visit. From heritage towns, colourful festivals, to untouched nature, Quezon also boasts a potential to be another major tourism hotspot. The offshore islands of Polilio and Jomalig has white sand beaches facing the Pacific. The provincial government is promoting ecotourism to boost its economy and raise its reputation as another tourist spot in southern Luzon.
What is now Quezon is areas in the current provinces of Batangas, Laguna, and Nueva Ecija. The boundary of the current province is formally defined as the Spaniards, under Juan de Salcedo, entered the Philippines. The province, originally named Kalilayan, has its first provincial capital at the present-day town of Unisan, but it is moved inland to Pagbilao after its destruction and pillaging by Moro pirates. In 1749, the capital is moved to Tayabas, which also have become its name until its renaming in 1946.
Because of the oppressive rule by the Spaniards, Quezon (then Tayabas) also witnessed uprisings against the colonial authorities, most notably the rebelion led by mystic Hermano Pule (real name, Apolinario de la Cruz). Quezon, at the end of the 19th century, are one of the eight provinces that led the revolution against the Spanish authorities.
American and Japanese occupation
As the United States purchased the Philippines from Spain, Quezon became ruled by a civil government, and the capital is moved to Lucena. The Americans quelled remaining rebellions led by Filipinos in Quezon, as the province served as a supply point for rebels in Batangas and Laguna. Marinduque became part of Tayabas between 1902 and 1920. In December 1941, the Japanese arrived in Quezon, and stayed until their surrender in 1945.
Quezon gains its current name after a law is passed to name it after Manuel Quezon in 1946. Aurora is carved out as a smaller province in Quezon, until it was separated officially in 1979. A failed attempt to divide the province is held in 2007.
Quezon has a climate generally characterized by an almost equal distribution of rainfall through the year, but it goes beyond that. The western parts inland have dry and wet seasons, but the duration is not fixed. The eastern parts facing the Pacific Ocean are of a rainforest climate, characterized by more frequent rainfall.
Unlike the rest of CALABARZON, Quezon continues to be a conservative province, dominated by the National Unity Party and National People's Coalition. Locally-hated fossil fuel power plants continue to grow despite opposition from locals and environmentalists. The 2nd District (Lucena, Candelaria, Dolores, San Antonio, Sariaya, Tiaong) is more liberal, and developments to promote ecotourism continue, like the Eco-tourism Road which runs near the coast up to Lucena. That said, the politics of the province does not affect the travel, and there remain other hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
Quezon is regularly served by buses from Metro Manila and also Batangas City. Most bus traffic through Quezon are bound for Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and also, Mindanao. Some companies operate bus service that terminate in the province, terminating at Lucena.
The Maharlika Highway (Manila South Road, or Route 1) passes through Quezon and serves as a major transport backbone. Most motor traffic in the province passed through Maharlika Highway, but it has been experiencing major bottlenecks in the most important towns, resulting to the construction of bypasses. Other entry points when travelling by car are the new Quezon Eco-Tourism Road (Route 422), the Batangas-Quezon Road (Route 435) and Pagsanjan-Lucban Road (Route 605).