Sta. Cruz, Laguna
Many would think that Sta. Cruz, Laguna’s capital, is unfortunate because it is not endowed with natural tourist spot and no wide area to develop a man made attraction, which cannot be said of its neighboring towns. But this fact is far from the truth. What Sta. Cruz lacks in natural resources it compensated for its people’s ingenuity and resourcefulness.
Located 96 kms south of Manila, the province’s capital is developed as the administrative, commercial and service center of the province. But aside from this, Sta Cruz has still a lot more to offer- it is the site of the famous Keso Festival.
In celebration of the town’s quadricentennial as a municipality in April, 2002, the Keso Festival came into existence. Kesong Puti is an authentic Filipino cheese which originated from Laguna. It is made from the freshest carabao’s milk and is made hard using a coagulating agent- either vinegar or rennet (part of the cow’s stomach). A small amount of salt is added to give it added flavor. It is said that kesong puti originated from Sta. Cruz, the reason why the municipal officials put up a festival in its honor.
The festival showcased parade participated in by the town’s officials and employees, candidates of Mutya ng Sta. Cruz pageant and members of civic and business groups and is made gay by jubilant street dancing. The nine-day celebration featured different native products of Laguna as well.