Nagcarlan has always been part of our bucket list because of its nationally famous landmark. Although it is only a town away from our home, it took us 26 years to finally tick it off. Much thanks to its local government which invited well-known bloggers in the Philippines (us included) to explore the beauty it has to offer.
1.) Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
This is dubbed as the Philippines’ only underground cemetery. The place was built in 1845 exclusively for Spanish friars and elite town citizens. During the Philippine Revolution, it served as the secret meeting place of the Katipunan. There is no entrance fee for visiting this ‘nationally famous landmark’.
2.) Yambo Lake
Although the name may sound awful, the lake is impressively beautiful for adventure. We sailed around the lake using a bamboo raft and visited its neighbouring twin, Pandin lake. Our teenage siblings enjoyed the experience.
3.) Nagcarlan Forest Resort
There are a lot of forest and cold spring resorts in Nagcarlan. During our ocular inspection, we became much interested to Nagcarlan Forest Resort. It has a lot of big pools and has a direct access to the natural cold spring of the forest. Some of the hotel rooms were also designed like the traditional filipino houses. We would certainly come back to try the accommodation experience.
4.) Ana Kalang floats
The best time to go to Nagcarlan is from April 18 to April 22 when they celebrate their town’s Ana Kalang Festival. Annually, they set up float contests where each baranggay has to construct their creative versions of Ana Kalang. Ana Kalang is the name of the native who founded the town in 1665. She is well known for her affluence and charity. She funded the construction of the town’s first church and the Katipunero’s revolution against the colonisers.
5.) Nagcarlan Horses
For the reason that Nagcarlan is an agricultural and mountainous town, the folks love horses. During Ana Kalang Festival, one of the events is juego de anillo. They dress the horses with colourful materials and use the horses to catch a ring on a tree.
6.) Ana Kalang Festival Streetdance
During Ana Kalang Festival, apart from commemorating their founder Ana Kalang, they also celebrate the good year of harvest of their baranggays/villages. They normally dance on the streets showing their grateful smiles even under the heat of scorching summer and costumes made of their local products.
7.) San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church
The church was the film location of the 1974 hit-movie Kampanerang Kuba starring Vilma Santos and its 2005 Teleseries remake starring Anne Curtis.
8.) Coolest Councilor in Town
You must meet in person the coolest councillor in town who helped us coordinate with our tour guides and future collaborations with Nagcarlan’s resorts and restaurants. He said that just in case we get into trouble in his town, except committing a crime, we can just say the magic password– ‘Rexon Arevalo!’
Apart from Councilor Rexon Arevalo and the people of Nagcarlan, we are also delighted to thank Councilor Jason Susmerano Bisa, Tourism Officer Designate Rino Umali, and Mayor Nelson Osuna for all the warm hospitality that we received.
How to go to Nagcarlan: From DLTB Bus terminal in Cubao or Buendia, ride the bus going to Sta.Cruz, Laguna. Ask the driver to drop you off Sambat-Bubukal. From there, you can ride jeepneys going to Nagcarlan.
How to go to different places in Nagcarlan: To go to these must-sees, you just have to hire a tricycle. Our driver Mang Gadoy (mobile no. 09307737836) gave us a package deal wherein he toured us to the spots in Nagcarlan for a day for only 600 philippine pesos (12 US dollars).
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