Gumaca is a town in the province of Quezon with a lot of interesting history, culinary heritage and places to visit. The town has an estimated population of about 74,000 divided into 59 barangays.
Here are the 7 Interesting Places to Visit in Gumaca
The Parish of San Diego de Alcala was established in 1582 in its present site and was transferred to Silangan in the island of Alabat in 1638. It was burned by Dutch invaders in 1665 and reconstructed at its present site in 1846.
The church, now a cathedral, located at the town proper of Gumaca, is the biggest in the province of Quezon. In 1685, the church was burned again by the Dutch.
Reconstruction of the church began in 1690 and was finished in 1747. The church edifice and the adjoining convent was renovated in 1846. During the big earthquake that hit Gumaca in 1937, the uppermost portion of the church belfry toppled down and was constructed and completed in 1999. The choir loft was added later on during the time of Msgr. Jose Oliveros. Renovations continued and Msgr. Ramon C. Tiama initiated and took the responsibility of all the major repairs and constructions left behind, inside and outside the cathedral since 2002, up to the present, like the dome, the long-span roofing with the four dormer windows for ventilation and lightnings, the whole ceiling, and the sanctuary including the much bigger sacristy.
Gumaca National High School is a fine example of a two-story building built in Gabaldon style. The building is carefully preserved and had a small museum.
Kutang San Diego
Kutang San Diego also known as San Diego De Alcala Fortress was recognized by the National Historical Commission as a national treasure in 1981. This fortress was constructed by the Spaniards under the leadership of the Franciscan Father Francisco Coast. It was erected to help guard the town against sea pirates.
There used to be an existing tunnel between the fortress and the San Diego De Alcala Church, now a cathedral.
Gumaca Town Hall is one of the best preserved buildings. There is also an old well within the municipal hall.
The town hall is festooned with fruits and vegetables in time for the San Isidro de Labrador festival.
Plaza Rizal and Dr. Jose Rizal Monument. The park and the monument were built in 1935 during the incumbency of Eriberto Caparros. By 1982, it was modernized, renovated, and lighted. It is located at Barangay Rizal in the town’s poblacion. It features Rizal standing on a pedestal.
Gumaca Chinese Chamber of Commerce has an old building located within the town.
Bosque Cave is one of the caves within the vicinity of the municipality. There are also several waterfalls located within the town.
The municipality has a nice waterfront area in which one can admire the town and the sea.
Araña’t y Baluarte Festival. The festival is celebrated every 15th of May, in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. This is also a thanksgiving feast for the bountiful harvest given to the farmers every year. Being an agricultural town, this is one of the most extravagant and well-attended festival of the town. The name means chandeliers (araña) and bastion (baluarte) or fort.
This festival is different from Pahiyas in Lucban – instead of houses being decorated with local produce, baluartes are decorated with various agricultural products like bananas, vegetables, coconuts, pineapples,root crops and vegetables some are beautifully arranged in arañas.
Once the parade passed through the the arches, the vegetables and fruits are given to the visitors and passers-by. There are also native kakain which visitors can taste.
Mr. Allan Martinez organizes a yearly tour within Gumaca and nearby towns in time for the annual festival. The 3-day tour attracted more than 50 participants composed of bloggers, photo enthusiasts, students and participants from different parts of the country and foreign tourists.
Photos are courtesy of Mr. Allan Pardilla Martinez and a member of the Quezon Heritage Council.