Nestled at the foot of Mount Banahaw-San Cristobal Reservation is rural Majayjay, Laguna’s last town before the province of Quezon. Founded by the Spaniards in 1578, Majayway was a favorite destination of Europeans and wealthy Manila families for its cool climate and natural sceneries, including a magnificent view of Laguna de Bay. But the difficult uphill treks coupled by its raging rivers caused many sighs to travelers, hence the town’s christening.
At the heart of Majayjay, the parish church dedicated to St. Gregory the Great remained steadfast since it was first constructed in 1616 and rebuilt after surviving a fire in 1660. Inspired by medieval European architecture, this Romanesque church was the Philippines’ largest in 1730. Today, it is enshrined as a National Cultural Treasure, Laguna’s only historical landmark bestowed with such distinction.
From Manila, Majayjay may be reached via San Pablo, Laguna. Commute from Manila to San Pablo aboard buses that ply to Lucena is approximately two hours. From San Pablo, take a 45-minute jeepney ride to the town of Liliw. Majayjay is the town after Liliw and accessible by jeepney or tricyle in about 20 minutes.