%042 / Pop 51,475
Tucked away in the foothills of Mt Banahaw, the pleasant mountain town of Lucban boasts an impressive stone church ( GOOGLE MAP ; A Racelis Ave) surrounded by usually quiet cobbled streets. It comes alive for Pahiyas, the annual harvest festival and feast of San Isidro Labrador. Locals compete for a prize by covering their houses in fruit, vegetables and wildly elaborate multicoloured rice-starch decorations called kiping. Giant papier-mâché effigies are marched through the streets to the town church.
Colonial-style Patio Rizal Hotel ( GOOGLE MAP ; %042-540 2107; [email protected]; 77 Quezon Ave; d incl breakfast P2300-3500, ste from P3700; aW) is one of Lucban’s best, with a decent range of rooms with cable TV, friendly staff and a super-central location (parking can be a problem). There’s an excellent streetside cafe and bar overlooking a small plaza.
Cafe San Luis ( GOOGLE MAP ; %042-540 2122; cnr San Luis & Regidor Sts; mains from P190; h8am-midnight) is an attractive open-air garden bistro in Lucban’s backstreets serving Filipino dishes, pizza and cold beers. Regular live music on weekends.
Pick up regular jeepneys or minivans from the central stop on A Racelis Ave to Lucena (P30, 45 minutes), from where frequent buses go to Manila, Batangas and Naga. Jeepneys also run to Pagsanjan (P45, one hour).
%042 / Pop 236,500
Lucena, capital of Quezon Province, is a southern transport hub and the closest city to the departure point for ferries to Marinduque island. It’s a congested, gritty place with no particular attractions, but the Dalahican port for Marinduque is actually 5km south of the city proper (Manila–bound buses meet the boats) and the main highway skirts to the north, so unless you get stuck or lost it’s unlikely you’ll even need to venture in.
Fresh Air Hotel & ResortHOTEL$
( GOOGLE MAP ; %042-710 2424; Tagarao St, Isabeng; r P400-1100; aWs)
Popular with family day trippers for its pools and kids’ playground, this is a fading but inexpensive resort out on the road towards Batangas. Rooms and cottages are passably clean and there’s a restaurant with a limited menu.
Queen Margharette HotelHOTEL$$
( GOOGLE MAP ; %042-373 7171; www.queenmargharettehotel.com; Diversion Rd, Domoit; d incl breakfast P1200-2900, ste from P3500; aWs)
About 2km from the bus station on the outskirts of town, this is one of Lucena’s best value deals. The large complex features rooms well back from the road, a pool area with slide, a day spa, a bar and a restaurant serving buffet breakfast. The standard rooms are eminently affordable and clean. There’s a second branch in the city centre.
Quezon Tourism Office ( GOOGLE MAP ; %042-373 7510; Merchan St; h8am-5pm Mon-Fri) Provincial tourist information.
8Getting There & Away
Getting in and out of Lucena can be slow going but the extension of the South Luzon Expressway from Santo Thomas, which was expected to start in 2017, could cut travel time from Manila to less than two hours.
Boats to Marinduque depart from Dalahican port, 5km south of Lucena. Your nostrils will tell you that Dalahican port is not only a major port for travellers, but also for fishing. There’s a P30 terminal fee.
At the time of research there were no longer fast-craft ferries, only roll-on, roll-off. Starhorse Shipping ( GOOGLE MAP ; %0948 548 0767) has four departures to Balancan (P260, 2½ hours) in Marinduque, while Montenegro Lines ( GOOGLE MAP ; %047-373 7084) has eight departures. Montenegro also has an inconvenient 2am ferry to Cawit (P350) on Tuesday and Saturday. Kalayaan Shipping has two weekly ferries (Sunday and Wednesday) to Romblon (P700, 17 hours).
JAM Liner and JAC Liner buses meet ferries, then head to Manila’s Buendia LRT stop in Pasay (P176, 3½ hours).
From Grand Central, 5km north of town on Diversion Rd (National Hwy), Lucena Lines ( GOOGLE MAP ; %0922 852 2096)and JAC Liner head to Manila (Pasay, P210 to P258, four hours) every 20 minutes. There are also frequent buses to Daet (P315, five hours) and Legazpi (P480, eight hours).
Jeepneys (P8) connect Grand Central with Lucena’s centre, from where you need to catch another string of jeepneys via SM Mall to Dalahican port. A tricycle to the port from Lucena costs from P50 to P75.
On the road to Batangas, near the Fresh Air Hotel & Resort, you can flag down frequent ordinary Supreme Lines buses to Batangas
Originally posted 2021-05-05 22:09:07.