What makes the city of Calamba a popular tourist destination? For one, it is home to an array of hot spring resorts nestling at Barangay Pansol. Second, it reconnects people to memories of the Filipino’s national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, at JP Rizal Street.
If you are pursuing a historical visit, you may consider seeing three interesting places along JP Rizal Street.
The Rizal Shrine
Tour around the bahay na bato, which served as the birthplace of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal (1861-1896). The ancestral house, which was preserved into a museum by the local government for years, is a haven of information about the Laguna province, the town of Calamba, Rizal’s family, his memoirs and writings. The museum opens from Tuesday to Saturday, 8:30AM-4:30PM. There are no entrance fees, but donations are accepted.
Have a quick tour of the Rizal Shrine here.
St. John the Baptist Parish
The christening of Dr. Rizal was held in this church by Fr. Rufino Collantes on June 22, 1861. Fr. Pedro Casanas became one of Rizal’s godfathers. The church is just a few walks next to Rizal Shrine.
Calambanga (Calamba’s Giant Clay Pot)
This landmark is situated at the city plaza near the church and the Rizal Shrine. The giant claypot was built in 1937 and completed in 1939, with the names of the barangays of Calamba inscribed on it. It has a viewdeck for a grand view of the church and the shrine, and a resting place under it. The giant clay pot is featured in the official logo of the city.
The claypot symbolizes how the city got its name. Calamba was derived from the words kalan and banga, which means clay stove and clay pot, respectively. Here’s an excerpt from wikipedia.org about its etymology:
“According to legend of early settlers, two guardia civil or Spanish soldiers approached a young woman who was carrying a jar of water and a stove. One of the Spanish soldier asked the woman for the name of the town. Since the woman cannot understand Spanish, she thought that the soldiers were asking her what she was carrying. She utterly answered, “kalan-banga” which means clay stove and clay pot. The Spaniards who was unable to pronounce Tagalog correctly, assumed that the place is named Kalambanga. Later on, Kalambanga was shortened to Calamba.”
How to get there (via commute):
From Metro Manila
- If you are coming from Manila, ride a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna such as Jack Liner, HM Transport, Lucena Lines, Saint Rose and Green Transit (approximately P80.00). These buses will pass by the Calamba crossing, and travel time to Calamba takes 1 to 3 hours, depending on where you are coming from.
- Alight at the tricycle station near Waltermart-Calamba. Take a trike going to JP Rizal Street (P15.00/person). After your tour, hail a tricycle back to the city proper (P15.00/person).
From Dasmarinas City, Cavite
- If you are coming from Dasmarinas City, take a van at the terminal beside the Terraza (beside Robinsons Mall) in Pala-pala (P60.00). Travel time is 30-45 minutes.
- Alight at the tricycle station near Waltermart-Calamba. Take a trike going to JP Rizal Street (P15.00/person).
- After your tour, hail a tricycle back to the city proper (P15.00/person). Drop off at the van terminal in SM City-Calamba.