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Pila, Laguna

Pila, Laguna

I wanted to visit another heritage town soon after seeing Taal last January. Most of those I have asked around suggested visiting Vigan Heritage Town. Well, if that place is just a stone throw’s away from our home then I would definitely include it on top of my priority list. Browsing through net, I have discovered Laguna’s very own: Pila Heritage Town.

According to Wikipedia: Pila is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The town of Pila is site for some well-preserved houses dating back to the Spanish period as well as the old Saint Anthony of Padua Parish Church, the first Antonine church in the Philippines.

Don Felizardo Rivera, who donated his lands to the church and municipal government, is the recognized founder of Pila. He is the ancestor of prominent families in Pila surnamed Rivera, Relova, Agra and Álava.
The National Historical Institute of the Philippines declared the town plaza and surrounding ancestral houses a National Historical Landmark on May 17, 2000. Two years later, on July 9, 2002, the Diocese of San Pablo proclaimed the parish church of San Antonio de Padua de Pila as the Diocesan Shrine of St. Anthony. According to Philippine historian, Dr. Luciano Santiago, it is the only town in the Philippines that is formally recognized as a historical site by both the church and the state.

We arrived here at about one in the afternoon. The unforgiving sun followed us wherever we went. The town plaza was almost deserted except for the NHI marker I have found smacked right in the middle. I almost did not see it since it was sort of lying down and was even surrounded by a rusting white fence. It would have been better if this was just erected standing up, planted near the church or near the Municipal Hall. But then, placing it at the heart of the town would have had some significance.

Pila Old Houses | La Noble Villa de Pila


Jose Agra / Rosario Villarica House

Casto Maceda / Concha Monserrat House

I was attracted to see Pila’s Municipal Center ever since I have seen a picture of it taken by Mr. Ivan Henares. However, it has already been repainted to an off-white and beige combination, giving it a subdued aura. A dark contrast to the flaming red skin it donned before.

Pila Municipal Center

Pila Church

Adjacent to Pila’s Church one can not miss Pila Museum. According to Mang Anselmo, the museum’s caretaker, this used to be an old school which was converted to the present museum and several government offices.
Pila Museum

We gladly thanked Mang Anselmo for opening the museum for us even though it was a holiday.

We walked around the small town and took photos of every old house we met. Each has its own unique architecture and intricate design. Walking along these wonderful homes further fueled the imagination I have of long ago events. Their windows mute witnesses of what has been. Pila is a truly remarkable town, worthy to be called La Noble Villa de Pila.

10 thoughts on “Pila, Laguna”

    • Yes. It is a very beautiful, quaint town. You can find solitude here and the best thing is it isn't that far from the metropolis. BTW, they will have a festivity of some sort from April 11-15. I just failed to remember what they call it. A local said that there will be stalls placed in the plaza perhaps showcasing different Pinoy goods. If you notice the Municipal Hall is being transformed into a stage. 🙂

    • Pinoy A. super ganda dito. Yung huling house gamit sa shooting sa isang teleserye sa ch. 2. :-). Gusto ko na ngang kumatok at pumasok masilip man lang mga bahay parang nung nagpunta ako sa Taal Heritage town eh. 🙂

    • Hi Melvin! Yep much nearer if you're from the Laguna area. 🙂

      Ma-traffic kayo sa bandang Calamba-Los Baños, after nun…it's just breeze reaching this place.

      Have fun visiting the place!

  • very pleased to see unusually good pictures of the old homes. I came from Canada. 5 years ago, i picked this town to be my retirement home, i am proud to call this special town my town 🙂 glad you came and then share with others.

    • Thank you Sir/Madam for the compliment. When it's my time to retire, I'd love to live in one of these homes too! 🙂

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