LUZON is the largest of the Philippine Islands. It stretches more than 10,000 kilometers, its northernmost tip almost touching Taiwan and its southwestern finger reaching out to Borneo.
|Hispanic Vigan City|
Luzon is where Manila, the vibrant national capital, and Makati the booming financial center are situated. The island is connected by a network of modern roads and bridges that traverse cities like Laoag in the north or Naga in the Bicol region with their old churches and modern airports and hotels; historic places like Vigan in Ilocos Sur with horse-drawn carriages, Antillan houses and Hispanic delicacies.
|Makati Business District|
Next to Manila is Bulacan, site of the Barasoain Church where the Revolutionay Congress drafted the first Philippine Constitution more than 100 years ago. A little farther north is Pampanga, famous for carved wooden furniture and giant Christmas lanterns. Also near the capital city are the provinces of Rizal, home to Filipino artists, Cavite and Batangas with their historic towns and museums, and Laguna with its string of resorts and springs with healing powers.
|Christmas lantern of Pampanga|
In the Laguna, Batangas and Quezon provinces are the enchanting Mt. Makiling and mystical Mt. Banahaw of the Sierra Madre.
Stroll along Roxas Boulevard to watch the world famous and undoubtedly breathtaking view of the Manila Sunset. Across the Manila Bay stands Corregidor,the island fortress that played a prominent role in the Pacific War.
North of Manila is Baguio City, the cool, mountain haven of pine trees and flowers perfect for the dry months of March, April and May. From this "Summer Capital", one can visit the Banaue Rice Terraces, an engineering marvel considered the Eight Wonder of the World.
|Banaue Rice Terraces|
South of Manila is Tagaytay, an equally cool and popular resort city in Cavite with a spectacular view of Taal Volcano, the world's smallest active volcano. Taal, a volcano within a lake within another volcano, is in Batangas, where the St. Martin of Tours Basilica, the largest church in the Far East, is located. Batangas is also a diver's paradise.
Stretching along the eastern coast is Quezon, with its fine beaches and coconut plantations. Farther south in the Bicol region is Albay, with its perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano.
Sowuthwest is Palawan, the country's last frontier with the forbidding limestone cliffs of El Nido, the subterranean caverns and river of St. Paul, the safari island of Calauit and Tubbataha reef, the most beautiful dive site this side of the world.
|Puerto Princesa Subterranean River|