Larga Na! A hidden heritage called Sariaya

Quietly concealed from the tourist radar around 120 kilometers from Manila is a quaint town in the Province of Quezon called Sariaya. A first class municipality brimming with loads of ancestral houses, most of which were constructed in Art Deco architecture and considered as the Heritage Town of Quezon, Sariaya is definitely worth a closer look for the curious heritage traveler.

St Francis of Assisi Church

Coming from Manila, this town proudly opens its curtains with its first landmark seen along the Pan-Philippine Highway, the Saint Francis of Assisi Church, which was first constructed in 1599. For those bringing private vehicles, they can conveniently park inside the compound.

St. Francis of Assisi Church

Within the said area, tourists can visit the Saint Francis of Assisi Devotional Park on the inner courtyard, which includes the Parlor of Saints, The Last Supper, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Candle Shrine.

Beside the Church, one could view the impressive façade of the Natalio Marquez Mansion, which is owned by former Tayabas Governor Natalio Enriquez. This house was designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro, son of the famous Filipino painter Juan Luna.

The Natalio Marquez Mansion

A few steps from the Marquez mansion is, based on my observation, the most famous ancestral house frequented by travelers, the 19th century Don Catalino Rodriguez Heritage House. Renovated in 1922 and presently known as Villa Sariaya, this Bahay na Bato-designed residence is now a museum, and guests can have the golden opportunity of being photographed wearing various rented period clothing at a reasonable price.

The Don Catalino Rodriguez Heritage House
Photo-op in period costumes

For additional nostalgic feels, do drop by the Sariaya Town Park to view the Sariaya Municipal Hall, the Jose Rizal monument, and the Glorita.

Enjoying pancit habhab

For beach lovers, refresh yourselves at the Villa Del Prado Pool and Beach Resort in Barangay Bignay 1. Lastly, never ever leave a town in Quezon without tasting their Pancit Habhab, a popular stir-fried noodle dish that originated in Lucban, Quezon province.

Villa Del Prado Pool and Beach Resort

Sariaya may not be a one of the bucket-list places for an avid traveler, but it definitely deserves a place in a heritage advocate’s heart.

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