Serving as the capital of Quezon, Lucena City is an economic and educational hub south-east of Manila. It’s home to grand government buildings and a 19th-century cathedral and is a major gateway on Luzon for accessing the island of Marinduque.
Things to do
Admire the Neoclassical architecture of the 1908 Quezon Provincial Capitol, which is listed as a National Historical Site. It overlooks the greenery of Lucena Perez Park, a leafy space named in honour of the former governor, Don Filemon E. Perez. Explore the walking paths that lead to its surreal rock sculptures and children’s playground or coincide your visit with one of the regular festivals and community events that are held here.
At the heart of Lucena City stands the Cathedral of Saint Ferdinand, an elegant Catholic landmark named in honour of the city’s patron saint. Originally established in 1882, the current cathedral was constructed in 1887 following a devastating fire. Attend one of the regular Masses to experience the interior of the cathedral in all its glory, with a highlight being its elaborately painted main altar.
The Cathedral of Saint Ferdinand plays a central role in the Pasayahan sa Lucena, a carnival-style festival that’s celebrated as part of the feast of Saint Ferdinand each year. Reflecting the interconnectedness between man and nature, it features extravagant costumes and lavishly designed floats being paraded through the streets.
Lucena City is around 3.5 hours’ drive from Manila, or you can take the train from Espana station to Calamba, then hop on a bus from Turbina terminal to Lucena City. Ferries to and from Marinduque Island depart from the Dalahican Ferry Terminal. Jeepneys are the main means of getting around Lucena City, with tricycle taxis also available for short journeys.