San Pablo City, Laguna
City of Seven Lakes-this is what San Pablo City is known for, boasting of having seven lakes namely Bunot, Pandin, Palapakin, Yambao, Muhicap, Kalibato and Sampaloc. In addition to these natural wonders, San Pablo also takes pride in conducting 5 different festivals depicting the life, culture and heritage of its people. Located 87 kms. South of Manila, the city is accessible from the nation’s capital via the South Luzon Expressway making it a favorite resting spot for those who crave a little relaxation from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.
Coconut is one of the main products of the city. To make the most of the “Tree of Life”, and to show the world the talents and ingenuity of the local townsfolk, the Coconut Festival came into existence. Now on its 10th year, having its maiden year on January, 1996, the coco fest is held during the celebration of the city’s patron saint, St. Paul the First Hermit, which falls every 15th of January. The week-long celebration features the beer plaza, closing city’s main thoroughfare from vehicles and having along it food stalls and miniature restaurants with rock bands performing on make shift stages on different street corners. Cultural presentations featuring different schools, organizations and barangays are scheduled every night and is dubbed as Cultural Extravaganza. One of the most awaited events during this celebration is the Coronation Ball of the Mutya ng San Pablo, a dinner dance and fashion show featuring the candidates in gowns and terno creations by local cotouriers. A Foodfair and Exhibits is also a part of the festivities where the water treasures of San Pablo is cooked in coconut milk. The highlight of the celebration is the Street Dancing or Mardigras where different schools compete in the beat of themed music and the participants donned in costumes decorated with materials from coconut. This also includes the parade of floats decorated with coconut materials as well. The parade passes along the main thoroughfare wherein houses and establishments are adorned and decorated with coconuts. The festival is ended with the Fireworks on the evening of the 15th, the day of the fiesta.