Southern Luzon, the Philippines: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Situated in the south-central area of Luzon, the crowded capital of the Philippines, Manila, features a good assortment of attractions, from historic landmarks like the walled city of Intramuros, to the modern street markets of Chinatown. The influence of many different cultures can be well observed in Manila. The Chinese influence makes itself best noticed through the extravagant Chinese Cemetery built for wealthy Chineze citizens and the oldest Chinatown in the world, while the remnants of the old Spanish colonial era still stand strong. Mania has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from, while its proximal areas offer nice beaches.
South of Manila is the volcanic island of Taal, where the popular town of Tagaytay attracts many holiday-goers. The town is famous for its food and the area around Tagaytay offers good outdoor activities. One of the main features of the island is the Taal Volcano, with its many lakes. The Santa Rosa Lagoon, to the south of Tagaytay, features an ecological area with wonderful wildlife and many bird species.
The hearth-shaped island of Marinduque, south of Luzon Island, is home to one of the friendliest groups of Filipino people. A traditional place as well as a tourist spot, Marinduque hosts several yearly events. Adding to its sparkling beaches and verdant inland areas with endemic vegetation, are a couple of museums, a cathedral and a series of bathing pools known as the Malbog Hot Springs. The islands offers great mountain activities, like hiking and climbing, as well as water activities, like diving and kayaking.
Lucena City lies at the core of southern Luzon and is the regional capital of the Quezon province. This bustling city offers several historic and natural attractions, as well as modern amenities. A primary feature of Lucena are the many 16th century churches, built during Spanish occupation. The city has a nice botanical garden and eco-park worth visiting, and holds a yearly fun festival in May, promoting tourism.