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Region 4 - Southern Tagalog
With 10 provinces in all, Southern Tagalog is the largest and most diverse among all the regions. This province is also the birthplace of many of the country's heroes and martyrs, and includes some of the most famous tourist attractions. Region 4A consists of CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Region 4B consists of MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan).
Region 4A - CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon)
Batangas is known as the birthplace of many leading nationalists in the country, thus many historical attractions are found there including the General Malvar Museum and Library in Santo Tomas, the Apolinario Mabini Shrine in Tanauan and the Jose P. Laurel Memorial Library in Tanauan. Beautiful churches include the Basilica of San Martin de Tours, the Church of Our Lady of Caysasay, Lipa Cathedral, and the Church of San Jose, built in 1788 by Augustinian Friars. Batangas is also home to the Taal Volcano, believed to be the smallest active volcano in the world. Beaches include the Gerthel Hugon, Matabungkay and Nasugbu beaches, while Anilao is best known for its dive spots.
Cavite is the birthplace of General Emilio Aguinaldo. The main attractions include several first class resorts like the Island Cove Resort and Leisure Park. Historical sites include the Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum in Kawit, Andres Bonifacio House in General Trias, Battle of Alapan and Battle of Julian Bridge Markers, Fort San Felipe and the House of Tirona. Churches include the Imus Cathedral, and the Shrines of Our Lady of La Sallette in Silang. Natural sites include Cabag Caves, and Malibedibic and Balite Falls.
Laguna is considered the resort capital of the Philippines for its lakes, hot springs, white water, waterfalls and Mt. Makiling. Among them include Laguna de Bay, Lake Caliraya, Pagsanjan Falls and Hidden Valley. Historical sites include the Rizal Shrine in Calamba. Other points of interest include the National Arts Center in Los Baños that has an auditorium, seminar and convention facilities, a ballet studio and a library. Churches include St. Gregory, Majayjay, San Santiago Apostol, Paete, Mabitac Church and the San Pedro de Alcantara Church, Pakil.
Rizal Province, named after the national hero, Jose Rizal, is known for its large unspoiled forests and impressive views of Metro Manila and Laguna de Bay. It also has a strong artistic tradition with galleries that include the Rafael Pacheco Finger Painting Gallery, Nemiranda Arthouse Artelier Gallerie, Angono Artist Village and Tiamson and Blanco Art Galleries. Religious sites include the St. Jerome Church and Our Lady of Antipolo Shrine. Another interesting site is a cave in Angono and Binangonan containing petroglyphs carved during the Stone Age.
Quezon Province was named after the late Philippine President Manuel Quezon. Its natural attractions include Mt. Banahaw, Puting Buhangin Beach and Baluti Island. Historical landmarks include shrines of National Heroes Claro M. Recto and Hermano Pule, the San Diego de Alcala Fortress, Alitao Bridge and Quezon Museum in Lucena City. Churches include the St. Michael Archangel Minor, Tayabas and the Church of St. Louis of Toulouse, Lucban.
Tagaytay City is considered the second summer capital in the nation. Foreign and local visitors are especially attracted to the cool air of the highlands and the magnificent view of the Taal Lake and the Taal Volcano, which features a lake within a volcano within a lake within a volcano. It is also the "Center of Spiritual Retreat" with its many convents, seminaries, retreat and seminar houses. Flower and vegetable gardens are also prevalent in Tagaytay.
Region 4B - MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan)
Marinduque is known for the Moriones Festival, a passion play about the Roman legionnaire, Longinus, held every Easter. Natural attractions include several quality beaches like Torrijos, Salomague Island, Maniwayan Island, Tres Reyes Islands, Bathala Caves and Molbog Hot Springs. Other attractions include the Boac Cathedral, built in 1656, and the Boac Museum. Local handicrafts include basketware and carved wooden ornaments.
Like its counterpart in Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro has large virgin forests and plenty of dive sites and islands. Natural attractions include North Pandan Island, Mangyan Villages, Calawagan freshwater pools and Mt. Iglit, where the tamaraw, a variation of the carabao, is located. Dive spots include Apo Reef, considered one of the best dive spots in the country. White sand beaches include the islands of Ilin and Ambulong.
Oriental Mindoro is the western part of Mindoro Island, and is largely mountainous and undeveloped with untouched tropical islands and beaches. It is also home to the native Mangyan people. Natural sites include Mt. Halcon, the 4th highest mountain the the country, and Naujan Lake. The most famous site is Puerto Gallera, with its white sand beaches and dive spots. Other attractions include Sabang Beach, Tamaraw Falls, the Marble Cross and the Mangyan Villages.
Palawan is considered the nation's 'Last Frontier' as most of its natural environment has been untouched. Puerto Princessa is known for its subterranean underground river, virgin jungle and beautiful beaches. Coron and El Nido are known for their jagged, limestone cliffs and world-class beaches and dive sites. Tubbataha Reef has the most diverse collection of marine life in the Philippines. Port Barton and the islands of Honda Bay are famous around the world for their white sand beaches. Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary has imported non-carnivorous African animals like giraffes, zebras and gazelles. Migratory birds rest in Ursula Island. Tabon Caves are known as the "Cradle of Philippine Civilization" after the discovery of the remains of a 22,000 year old Tabon Man. Palawan also has historical attractions like the remains of Spanish forts at Taytay and Cuyo.
The three major islands in Romblon Province include Romblon, Sibuyan and Tablas. Historical attractions include the twin forts of San Andres and Santiago Hill and the lighthouses at Sabang and Apunan. Natural attractions include Lugbung and Cobrador Islands, Tiamban, Bonbon Beaches, Sibuyan Island, waterfalls such as Dubduban-bita, Mablaran and Lambigang Falls. Adventure sites include Cresta de Gallor Island for divers, and Mt. Guiting-Guiting for climbers. Tablas Island also has attractive sites like the Cajboaya Ruins, the Bitu Falls and the Tinagong Dagat Salt Lake.
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