Heritage Series: Pagsanjan Arch in Laguna

Friday, 29 January 2021

The historic and breathtaking Pagsanjan Arch is one of the must-see heritage structures when you travel to Pagsanjan town in Laguna.

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That Pagsanjan Arch, also known as Calle Real, signals the entrance to the town of Pagsanjan in Laguna. The Pagsanjan Arch is grand and stands out as a testament to the town’s faith as well as its historic past.

Pagsanjan Arch in Laguna
The Pagsanjan Arch

Heritage Series: Pagsanjan Arch in Laguna

    I saw Pagsanjan Arch after our trip to Caliraya and I remarked how beautiful it was. I was just glad that I was quick enough to pull my camera out so I was able to take a snapshot. I was in awe because it was able to survive time and modernization, in fact, the roads passing through it was already paved with concrete.

    The history of the Pagsanjan Arch


    The Pagsanjan Arch is one of the last few remaining arches of its kind that was built during the Spanish era. It was assembled by the townspeople themselves between the years 1878 and 1880 in honor of the town patroness, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe). 

    It was said that a year before the Pagsanjan Arch was built, a group of bandits tried to attack the town of Pagsanjan and a lady in white wielding a sword appeared in the exact place where the Arch was built.

    The Pagsanjan Arch is made of adobe stones and lime and was constructed under the supervision of Father Cipriano Bac and Father Miguel de la Fuente. Further enhancements were made during the years 1972 to 1975 and in 2014 to 2015.

    How to go to Pagsanjan


    If you are coming from Manila, you can go to the HM Transport terminal in Cubao, Quezon City. Alternatively, you can also go to the Green Star Express bus terminal in Buendia, Pasay City.

    Take a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna and just ask the conductor to drop you off at Pagsanjan town. When you are already in Pagsanjan, you can take a tricycle or a jeepney to the destination of your choice.

    If you are taking a private vehicle, drive all the way to the South Luzon Expressway, San Pedro, Binan, Santa Rosa, Calamba, Los Banos, Santa Cruz, and, finally, Pagsanjan.

    5 top things to do in Pagsanjan


    Aside from visiting the Pagsanjan Arch, here are also some of the best things to do in Pagsanjan, Laguna:

    1. Take a trip to the Pagsanjan Falls


    Pagsanjan Falls
    Pagsanjan Falls (credits to GFHundCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

    The town is most probably known also for the majestic Pagsanjan Falls. One of the most exciting activities to do in Pagsanjan Falls is shooting the rapids, which is a boat ride through the Pagsanjan River until you reach the falls. The ride is not for the faint-hearted but there’s nothing to worry about because the boat is manned by accredited and skilled local boatmen.

    2. Enter Devil’s Cave


    The Devil’s Cave is located behind Pagsanjan Falls and can be reached by riding a bamboo raft. The cave is dark, which adds all the more to the thrill of entering it.

    3. Visit the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church


    The beautiful centuries-old Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is home to the town patroness, the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. There is a museum on the side of the church containing religious items.

    4. Try the food in a local restaurant


    Try the best cuisines in town by eating in a local restaurant. You can enjoy delicious Filipino favorites like sinigang, nilaga, bulalo, local vegetables, and kesong puti or white cheese in a restaurant in Pagsanjan.

    5. Go on a heritage tour


    The town of Pagsanjan is old, as such, expect to see antique houses and buildings around the municipality. You can contact the Pagsanjan Tourism Information Center through their telephone number (049) 808 4057 if they can help you arrange a tour.

    Alternatively, you can rent a tricycle to take you around town. If you do decide to take photos of the houses and buildings, be sure to ask permission to do so.

    Epilogue


    Pagsanjan Arch is grand and stunning, it’s a historical structure that every visitor must include in their itinerary when visiting the town of Pagsanjan. 

     The Pagsanjan Arch is something that travelers would seldom see because most town entrances these days are marked with modern arches.

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    History of Pagsanjan Church

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