Mabitac, Laguna is my first stop. After a 2-hour ride from Manila, and a PhP40 tricycle ride, I reached the “poblacion”, which is just approximately 2 kilometers away from the bus stop. And with this, I learned a hard lesson: as much as possible, do not settle for tricycle rides because they will charge you the steepest price especially when you’re a newcomer. 😦
According to my research, Mabitac’s name was derived from the word “bitag” (or trap) which describes the numerous caves. I didn’t went to those caves, though.
And the first thing I noticed is the clean air. Of course, 100 kilometers away from Manila, and within the Sierra Madre mountain range, what do you expect? It was 10:30, here in Manila, it’s already scorching hot, but here, the cool wind serves just right.
The Mabitac Church seats on the top of a hill. From the side of the road near the municipio, there’s a plight of stairs going to the church (127 steps all in all). When I reached the church, I noticed that there’s no one inside. I shoudn’t be surprised; there are only a few people in the streets of Mabitac.
I can’t give you information regarding the church since there’s no local inside. But looking at the bell tower, I assume that this church is also from the Spanish era.
If there’s a church that’s quiet, serene, devoid of the noise, hustle and bustle of the devotees flocking each and every church in the Philippines, try to visit Mabitac Church.
Historical Footnote on Mabitac
This place was a former battleground of Filipino and American soldiers during the Philippine-American War. The historical marker said we won the battle here. This is located after the Mabitac church.
How to get to Mabitac, Laguna?
From Manila, ride a Raymond Transportation bus going to Infanta, Quezon. There are two bus terminals you can choose from. One is from Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao, Quezon City, and the other one is in Sampaloc, Manila, near the Lacson interchange. (I went to the latter). Tell the bus conductor to drop you at the Mabitac Junction. Then, take a jeepney ride to Siniloan, Laguna and tell the driver to drop you off to Mabitac church.
Take note of this: the location of Mabitac church in Google map is wrong. It says that you turn left from Mabitac Junction. WRONG!!! It’s a right turn going the direction of Siniloan town proper.
By, Panalong Kuha