The province of Quezon is a place rich in nature, culture, and history, and it is one of my most favorite places I’ve been that I am really looking forward to going back there soon with my little man, this time around! If in case you plan to visit this Southern Luzon province one of these days, you should not miss visiting the town of Sampaloc.
Sampaloc is situated right in a valley that is completely surrounded by hills in the heart of the Sierra Madre mountain range, just between the towns of Lucban and Mauban. The town was formerly known to local folks as Barrio Dingin of Lucban town, and consisted of only three sitios. It was later named Sampaloc after a big tamarind tree that stood in the center of the barrio. In 1902, Sampaloc was officially declared a town.
A visit to this town reveals various breathtaking sights: the scenery, the culture, its festivals and most especially its native delicacies. Sampaloc is a must-see and must-travel-to destination on your next trip out of town.
“I want Sampaloc to be known as a peaceful and progressive town” says Sampaloc Municipal Mayor Emmanuel Torres. “We are continuously doing a lot of projects to attract local guests and tourists to come and visit the town. We aim to make our municipality a must-see in the list of tourist destinations in the Philippines.”
This April, Sampaloc spreads out the red carpet with its Bulihan Festival simultaneously being held during the town fiesta. This has been going on for years now, but it was only in 2010 when Mayor Torres decided to promote the occasion.
“This is something I want to highlight in our municipality: the importance of the Bulihan Festival. Through this, we are able to promote tourism. I see this as a legacy I would like to leave to my constituents. For sure, future generations, especially the youth of our country, will really benefit from it,” says the mayor.
Now on its fourth year, the Bulihan Festival is a celebration of culture, creativity, fun, amusement and displays of native products and delicacies as concocted by the Sampalukins.
Guests are welcomed with a smile. The excitement is palpable when you watch the street dancing, as officials and townsfolk clad in costumes made of buri make merry as they parade around the town. Feast your eyes on amazing artworks of houses adorned with colorful buri products. Of course, the festival would not be complete without a showcase of authentic Sampaloc dishes and delicacies.
Torres has encouraged his constituents to invite their friends from around the country to drop by during the festival.
“There’s so much fun and excitement here. I hope they will visit us soon. Discover Sampaloc now,” he says.
When you go around the town, you will be witness to the rich cultural heritage that makes this town unique. The historic Tower House at the corner of Quezon Avenue and Gagan Street in Barangay San Isidro is made of yakal and adobe. It was a popular venue long time ago to host special guests visiting the town. Another landmark in Barangay San Isidro is the Old House originally built in 1924. It was one of the biggest houses in the town at that time. Japanese forces used it as a garrison during the Second World War.
Nature lovers have much to enjoy here, too. Hangga Falls in Barangay Bataan is one of the most popular sights in Sampaloc. The water flows from Maapon River in Lucban all the way to the town of Sampaloc. There are no vehicles to take you to Hangga Falls. It is a three-hour walk to get there and back. Other natural attractions include Buho Falls in Barangay Bataan, and Asedillo Falls in Barangay Caldong. For those who fancy old structures and architecture, the Spanish Arch Bridge and Spanish Road constructed in 888 should also be included in your destination.
A visit to Sampaloc will not be complete without the hair-raising experience of crossing Guinto Bridge, a wooden bridge that hangs solely by cables. What’s more, only three people are allowed to cross the bridge at a time for safety reasons. The sight of the rushing water of Maapon River, which runs under the bridge, is an exciting sight.
All these are reasons enough to visit the town of Sampaloc during the school break. All these sights and attractions will surely make your trip here a memorable one. Tour packages are also available for those who would like to visit with their families or group of friends.
Sampaloc Municipal Planning and Development Office
Contact Ms. Tina Poblete