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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Magnificent Heritage Town of Pila, Laguna

I never knew that there is a town in Laguna called Pila until a month ago. One of my colleagues in the photography club invited us to the recent 3rd Pailah Festival in Pila, Laguna. He told us that Pila, Laguna is a heritage town similar to Vigan in Ilocos Sur. I went with them to Pila, Laguna last Friday to attend Day 2 of the 3rd Pailah Festival and I was amazed at how fascinating and beautiful the town is.


The town of Pila, Laguna as seen from the roof deck of Sleepy Knights Bed & Breakfast.

Aside from Vigan, I’ve never seen a town center that is well preserve like Pila, Laguna. Starting from the Parish Church, dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, to the Municipal Hall, 7-11 and restaurants, almost all the old houses in the town center were preserved.

Our generous host during the Pailah Festival was Cora Relova, one of the town’s prominent citizens. She told us the reason why there are so many heritage houses in Pila. According to her, some citizens of Pila believe that the town was miraculously saved by their patron, St. Anthony of Padua, during the bombing of Luzon in World War II (where Manila was the center of devastation). Others believe that it was just poor luck that the town is not on the list of specific towns to be bombed.

Whatever the reason, the town of Pila, Laguna should definitely be on every photographer’s list. It’s very accessible from Manila. It’s between the towns of Victoria and Sta. Cruz. I’m very thankful that I was able to see this magnificent town. Take a look at some of the houses in Pila, Laguna.


Another view of Pila, Laguna from Sleepy Knights Bed & Breakfast.


I love the design of this house, which I believe is in the 1900s.


I loved how 7-11 was incorporated in this house. It really maintained the old design of the house.


I love the color scheme of this old house.


I wish that other old houses in the country would be preserved as well.


The Church of Pila otherwise known as the Diocesan Shrine of San Antonio de Padua


The heritage house of Cora Relova. The Relovas are one of the most prominent families in Pila, Laguna.


The Municipal Hall of Pila, Laguna is all dressed up for the 3rd Pailah Festival.


This is where the judges for the 3rd Pailah Festival stayed and watched the street dancing competition.


Wide windows are prominent features of the Bahay-na-Bato.


Spectators lined up to watch the street dancing competition up close and personal.


Details of a century old house in Pila, Laguna.


One of the numerous heritage houses in Pila, Laguna.


Even stores adapt to the over-all character of the town center.


Other old houses in Pila, Laguna.


I heard Daniel Padilla’s latest tele-novela was shot in this house.


Church of Pila a.k.a. Diocesan Shrine of San Antonio de Padua


Even if the owner of this house decides to rebuild the house, they should still retain the original design of the house. I hope they’ll get a seminar on house preservation.


The house of Cora Relova, a prominent citizen of Pila, Laguna.


This modern home is a threat to the existing ambience of the town. The Municipal Government of Pila, Laguna should enact a law that would prohibit a modern house design at least in the area around the church.

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