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Laguna, Philippines is becoming a popular tourist destination. That’s not surprising given its hidden gems, delectable delicacies, and hospitable locals.
Lake Pandin, San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines
Speaking of locals, if you are from Laguna, there are certain things, traits, places and words, only we can understand. I am pretty sure there’s a lot, but I asked my friends which ones are the most famous. If you can relate to any of these “SIGNS YOU GREW UP IN LAGUNA” or if you can add more, feel free to comment and share! It’s about time that we open our world to other people and culture.
1. Your friends are expecting you to bring Buko Pie as ‘pasalubong.’
If you grew up in Laguna and you work or study in a different province or Manila, your officemates or classmates would expect you to bring Buko Pie. They would always subtly remind you to do so! You don’t like the ones sold in buses because (admit it), these aren’t the best kinds. Instead, you would fall in line and wait for several minutes at the Original’s Buko Pie. It’s a bit of a hassle most especially if you are taking public transportation. But hey, your friends love the Buko Pie, and you want to make them happy, so you do it anyway.
2. You visited Jose Rizal’s home in Calamba at least once, as part of your school field trip
The Rizal Shrine, as most people refer to it, is a reproduction of the original two – story house where the national hero was born. By today’s standards, Rizal’s house is still massive, and only those who are rich can afford to build such. It is fascinating to visit the home of one of the most popular icons of the country. It’s a learning adventure one shouldn’t miss.
3. You swear that Mer Nel’s chocolate cake will always be the best!
You tried a lot of cakes, but nothing beats your local favourite – chocolate cake from Mer Nel’s! For us, people of Laguna, it is better than the expensive and gourmet cakes we see all over the metro. It melts in your mouth – and you don’t feel guilty after finishing the entire cake. For you, IT WAS WORTH IT! The best part about it, it is not expensive. Oh boy, I’m craving now.
4. When people ask you if you always go to Enchanted Kingdom and Splash Island
Reality check, some of us haven’t been to Enchanted Kingdom and Splash Island. Enchanted Kingdom, also known as EK, is a theme park in Santa Rosa Laguna while Splash Island is known to have huge slides that will fill your thirst for aqua adventures.
It’s really funny when people assume that we know the entrance fees for these places! Or sometimes they would invite you to join, hoping that there are discounts and promos for locals. Nice try, though!
These are really cool spots to enjoy your weekend. It’s not far from Manila too, and I don’t think you have to endure excruciating traffic to go here.
5. When you say, ‘nakain, naulan, nakain, natakbo’!
I thought these words were pretty normal until I left the province and other people made fun of my language. What the heck! I still use it, and I think these are beautiful!
6. Your ‘house slippers’ are from Liliw
Why would we buy Havaianas or Ipanema which will burn our pockets if we can buy awesome slippers at Liliw? Their slippers are so affordable and so comfortable. In fact, a lot of my friends overseas would ask their relatives in Laguna to send slippers from this humble town. Also, their sandals and shoes are of quality. Some of us even resell the products to our friends in the metro, because you know, it means extra cash for us!
7. When your friends assign you to look for a private resort in Pansol
How many times have your friends planned for a weekend getaway at Pansol? You understand this because it’s an ideal choice if you live in Manila as you just have to drive a little over an hour to reach your destination. Now, for every planning session, they would assign you to look for a private resort thinking that you know the place too well. Thank God these resorts are visible online. Otherwise, your task would be harder.
8. When ‘hot springs’ don’t excite you that much
And so your friends are excited for the weekend. While, you, on the other hand, would like to suggest a different destination next time. Well, who can blame them for choosing Laguna? It is beautiful, and for sure, it will always be on your friend’s list on their next ‘outing’.
9. Class dismissed? We all say, “Awasan na!”
Again, we have a slightly different vocabulary and instead of saying “Uwian na” after classes, we say, “Awasan na!” And boy, that is the best phrase you can hear when you are a student.
10. When you are proud with Laguna’s old churches
During the Holy Week, some places in Laguna gets overcrowded. This happens when a town has a nice old church and people from different provinces are doing their ‘Visita Iglesia’. Visita Iglesia is a Holy Week practice where Catholic devotees pray in at least seven different churches. Since Laguna has a lot of nice churches, it is the perfect province to do the religious activity. Some of the popular towns that house amazing Catholic structures are Nagcarlan, Liliw, Majayjay and Pagsanjan.
Signs You Grew Up in Laguna, based from our Readers
- “My colleagues were fascinated with the term ‘likdang likdang’ (skipped pages) and ‘liban’ ( crossed the street / overpass ) when i used them on my sentences… And yeah, they were too nosy with ‘na-‘ phrase.. i become an instant Filipino teacher explaining to them that na- phrase is a present participle term.. LOL…” – Pam Miranda
- ‘We use the words “adyo” when climbing a tree and “akyat” when going up the stairs. We also sing-song “Tao po?”and “pabile!”, basically, when we are calling somebody who’s inside. Also.. we tend to cut our sentences like: kuni (kunin mo), bigi (ibigay mo), palti (palitin mo), walisi (walisin mo), buksi (buksan mo), etc.. etc.. we also add “ih” at the end of our phrases like “hindi ih”, “a a naman ih” (when being bullied), “talaga naman ih” (when trying to insist on the truth. The beauty of Tagalog.” – Chie Sune-Santos
- “In our town of CAVINTI, we have a lot of words you cannot hear even here in some nearby towns, in fact we have our very own languages we called ” usapang pAOWIN”. Are you guys curious bout usapang paowin… come-on, just come and visit my town CAVINTI and find it for yourselves our funny talks. Guess these words: lipautan, mananakyod, mareseb, indoni, maribok, bulausan… well this were just examples of our native words that only Cavitiin can understand but i gauranty you guys this really tagalog words.’ – Carlot Oliveros Villanueva
- ‘Wood curves from Paete Laguna, itlog ng itik sa Victoria at mga lumang bahay at ilog ng Pagsanjan” – Ofelia Vibar Detalla
- “When I was a Student at the University of Sto Tomas, my classmates would always request me almost everyday to bring PUTO BIÑAN!!! Ewan ko mas matagal pa yung biyahe ko mula Binan hanggang UST, in just a matter of 2-3 minutes ubos na agad isang bilaong Puto. Biñan! At kahit halos araw – araw akong magdala, hindi sila nagsasawa! Kaya ang tawag nila sa akin si PUTO! Hahaha!” – Victor Escueta
- ‘The well known liquor of laguna LAMBANOG can’t miss this when growing up in laguna you would try it once or twice and the tsinyelas capital of Laguna Liliw, attended its tsinyelas festival and the very old and historical UNDERGROUND CEMETERY in Nagcarlan Laguna…..’ – Joe S. Ref
- “Well, whatabout the Capital Embroidery of the Philippines?
Only in Lumban Laguna – where you can find and discover the intricate designs and artistry of making Gowns and Barong Tagalog. The sequences were made “more of” by hand and machine embroidery with the combination of hand painting. Plusssss the reasonable price compared to the Market. – Joy Yasto Arroyo
- “We use the word “hawhaw” to rinse off utensils and dishes which is different from “anlaw” to rinse off soap suda from laundry; “pinaw” to get dried clothes from the “sampayan”; ” lamog” referring to soiled clothes for laundry.” – Maria Lourdes Rivera Menorca
- ‘How about “Kesong puti” from bagumbayan and bibingka “bugok na itlog” in Sta. Cruz. Anyone? I grew up eating these, and people from other provinces have no idea these food exist. Lol ” – Bryan Acu Mercado
- “of course there’s the pinyang Calauan
then you say “baga” instead of “ba” . ex. ah ganun baga? umadyo ka when climbing, umisod isod ka( move a little) , umigib ng tubig, maglandi ng tubig( when playing with water ) and yes awasan na!” – Susie Larona
If you live in Laguna, consider yourselves as blessed. Imagine – you get to experience and enjoy the fresh air, the wonderful structures, great delicacies and warmth of the people in the province. Plus, going to Metro Manila is a breeze. Just a few hours on the road and you are already in the airport, in Makati or in Ortigas where most corporate jobs can be found. When you grew up in Laguna, you have the best of both worlds. The culture is still intact while the lives of the locals are better given the advancement of technology.