The CALABARZON region is a melting pot of industries, residential areas, and tourist destinations. You’ll never run out of delightful spots to visit. You can learn about our country’s history and culture when you go to this southern respite. Take Calamba, Laguna as an example. While it is a booming city and a suitable suburban area for professionals braving the traffic of Metro Manila for growth opportunities, the city has plenty of exciting spots for tourists and locals to enjoy. And before you think about different hot springs resorts, take a look at these five destinations you should visit in Calamba.
Calamba’s name comes from the Tagalog word “kalamba,” which means water jar. And what best represents this etymology other than the enormous Calamba Claypot situated at the City Plaza.
At first glance, the giant water vessel provides a unique vibe for photos and social media posts. But if you delve into the city’s history, the clay pot serves as a landmark and repository of the city’s pre-colonial past. In a way, the giant clay pot reminds us of how our ancestors stored water, preserved food, and practiced burial rites for their deceased loved ones.
Rizal Ancestral Home
Calamba City is best-known for being the hometown of Dr. Jose Rizal and his family. Situated in the city’s Poblacion 5, the Rizal ancestral home is a typical Bahay-na-Bato, which was the popular type of residence for upper-class Filipinos during the Spanish colonial era. The house has undergone several reconstruction projects since it was demolished. However, it still contains the classic ventanillas, comedor, caida (receiving room), and garage for horse carriages. The overall design of the Rizal ancestral house is a hundred-year contrast to modern house designs, such as Camella Calamba’s modern Italian style.
Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve
Besides history, Calamba also has nature reserves for tourists who love hiking and surrounding themselves with trees, fresh air, and breathtaking sceneries. At the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, you’ll enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, bird watching, and nature gazing. Getting a glimpse of the majestic and mystical Mount Makiling might just induce the relaxation and Zen you need from the chaos of city living.
At the foot of the mountain reserve, near the borders of Barangays Real, Pansol, and Bagong Kalsada, are rows of ornamental gardens and shops. Plant lovers will surely enjoy exploring the vast array of plants, fertilizers, compost, tools, pots, and landscaping decor for sale.
Pettyjohn Pottery Studio
If you want to try making pottery after visiting the Calamba Claypot, head over to Pettyjohn Pottery and Studio to learn more about the art of making handmade jars. There, you’ll meet Tessy and Jon Pettyjohn, two premier Filipino pottery artists who have been making Asian-style ceramics cured in high fire kilns.
As a beginner, you might make uniquely shaped pottery that will add quirkiness to your home. Of course, you can also buy the already-made pots and jars available at the studio’s souvenir shop if you want more precise and beautiful ceramics.
Calamba’s Barangay Pansol is known for its many hot springs. While relaxing in the warm pool, you might get a glimpse of the mysterious Rockpoint. It is a granite cinder block that resembles an ancient arrow or spearhead and towers over the hills of the barangay. Take a photo of the massive rock formation to share such a beautiful sight to your social media friends.
Overall, Calamba City is home to a handful of tourist gems everyone should visit at least once. After the pandemic ceases, add these five spots to your itinerary and enjoy touring them solo or with loved ones at this historic and beautiful city.