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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Navigating Laguna Loop: Pila

Pila is one of the towns near in the Laguna de Bay. It is surrounded by the towns of Victoria in the west, Santa Cruz in the east and Nagcarlan in the south. The town is popular because of its heritage houses preserved from the Spanish period as well with the Saint Anthony de Padua Church, the first Antonine church in the country.

Pila and other towns in Laguna de Bay is one of the oldest settlements in the Philippines according to archaeologists where they retrieved potteries and artifacts from the Tang Dynasty. Then in 1578, Spaniards evangelized the town of Pila by the Franciscan friars. They named the town with an exceptional title of La Noble Villa de Pila because of nobility and mildness of characters among the inhabitants. During the time, the demesne of Pila includes Victoria, Laguna and Jala-jala, Rizal. In addition, Don Felizardo Rivera who donated lands in the town was considered the founder of Pila where he is the ancestor of families in the town such as Alava, Rivera, Relova and Agra.

I went there as a part of my travel in the Laguna Loop. From Victoria, you will pass the arch welcoming you to Pila followed by different houses and establishments, rice fields and lush trees as you go along the way to the town proper. Then you will see the junction where you can go to the town proper.
The old houses along with the urbanization and progress in the town of Pila.
Pila Municipal Hall
Pila Church and a basketball court in Pila Heritage Town.

The school beside the church, Liceo de Pila
Pila Museum

The heritage houses along with the urbanization in the town of Pila
A popular convenience store in the town, Pila Delights.

Plaza Delights is a popular restaurant and coffee shop in Pila.

When I was in the Pila Heritage Town, the place truly reminds me of the society during the Spanish period. The church and the town hall are near with each other which shows the unity of Church and State during the Spanish era in the Philippines. Then, the heritage houses dating back from the Spanish era where those families lived in these houses near in the plaza are members of the elite society. There are also places there which you can visit such as the Pila Museum where you can see the memorabilla of different things from the town and we also have a convenience store called Pila Delights where you can buy your stuff at affordable price. Beside the store, there is also Plaza Delights where you can enjoy your coffee break and eat your favorite delicacy. Aside from old houses, Pila is known for its industry of fishing and farming.

Today, although Pila goes with the progress in the modern period, the heritage town is still preserved in order for us to have a glimpse from the past as well with the urbanized but clean ambiance of the town of Pila.
Pila Municipal Hall
Pila Church
Today, Pila goes in the flow of urbanization. However, the old houses and buildings as well with the cleanliness of the plaza remain, that is why the town is peculiar in some ways. 

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