Quezon Travel Guide and Itinerary – Quezon, officially the Province of Quezon (Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Quezon), is a province in the Philippines located in the Calabarzon region on Luzon. Kalilayan was the first known name of the province. It was later renamed Tayabas. In honor of the former governor of the province who later became the second president of the Philippines and the first to be freely elected, Manuel L. Quezon, the province’s name was then changed to Quezon. Lucena, the provincial capital, seat of the provincial government, and the most populous city of the province, is governed independently from the province as a highly urbanized city. To distinguish the province from Quezon City, it is sometimes called Quezon Province. Quezon is southeast of Metro Manila and is bordered by the provinces of Aurora to the north, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Batangas to the west and the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur to the east. Part of Quezon lies on an isthmus connecting the Bicol Peninsula to the main part of Luzon. The province also includes the Polillo Islands in the Philippine Sea. Some marine parts of the Verde Island Passage, the center of the center of world’s marine biodiversity, are also in the province.
A major tourism draw to the province is Mount Banahaw. The mountain is surrounded by spiritual mysticism with many Anitist adherents, Christian cults, and Christian organizations staying on the mountain. The mountain was also one of the most sacred sites for pre-colonial Tagalog people before the arrival of the Spanish. Numerous pilgrims visit the mountain especially during Holy Week. Quezon, east of Metro Manila, is the 8th largest province in the Philippines having an area of 8,989.39 square kilometers (3,470.82 sq mi). It is the largest province of Calabarzon, comprising 879,660 hectares or 53.21% of the total land area of the region. Of this area, 513,618 hectares is categorized as agricultural land.
The northern part of the province is sandwiched between the Sierra Madre mountain range and the Philippine Sea. The southern part consists of the Tayabas Isthmus, which separates the Bicol Peninsula from the main part of Luzon Island, and the Bondoc Peninsula which lies between Tayabas Bay and Ragay Gulf. Because of this, majority of towns in the province have access to the sea. The province is bounded by the provinces of Aurora, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte. It is bounded to the east by the Pacific Ocean and to the south by Tayabas Bay. The province is said to be characterized by a rugged terrain with patches of plains, valleys and swamps.
The major islands of Quezon are Alabat Island and Polillo Islands. Mount Banahaw, an active volcano, is the highest peak at 2,169 meters (7,116 ft). It supplies geothermal power to the Mak-Ban Geothermal Power Plant. The province has a total of 1,066.36 km of coastline and has several bays including Burdeos Bay, Lamon Bay, Calauag Bay, Lopez Bay, Ragay Gulf, Pagbilao Bay and Tayabas Bay. The Infanta Watershed has extensive and highly productive aquifers while Mauban and Atimonan have no significant groundwater. According to the DENR, in 2003, Quezon had 231,190 hectares of forest cover. However, due to rampant illegal logging as well as kaingin, these forests are constantly threatened.