"Pila, Heritage Town of Laguna" Pila by cyndymc

Pila Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 33 photos

National Historical Landmark

On May 17,2000 this quaint town earned the honor of being declared a National Historical Landmark, having met the criteria of the National Historical Institute for a well-preserved Spanish Colonial Town with rich and varied architectural history. It showcases the planning system for the Indies where the town Plaza is surrounded on all sides by the church, tribunal, school and large houses. Pila's town plaza is surrounded on three sides by big heritage houses, the fourth side being the site of the well-preserved church. On the opposite side of the church is the Municipal Building. To date, there are 35 turn-of-the-century houses, 28 of which are said to be ancestral homes.

Pila can very well be likened to Calle Crisologo of Vigan,Ilocos Norte.

Blessed Town of Pila

Pila, Laguna is referred to by historians and locals as "Lupang Pinagpala" (The Blessed Land). A popular story is retold to generations, about the unexplainable incident that happened during the American Occupation. It is said that in their efforts to destroy the Japanese camps, the Americans bombarded some towns of Laguna. While on the air, the Americans saw only a vast body of water on the site, thus, Old Pila was saved from the havoc of war.

To this day, the town has well-preserved turn-of-the-century houses, mostly of Hispanic or American chalet-type designs.

Home of Diocesan Shrine of San Antonio de Padua

As in other towns in Laguna, the Franciscan Friars ministered to the town of Pila, then a part of Pagulangan (now known as Victoria). Led by Frays Juan de Florencia and Diego de Oropeza, a church made of bamboo and light materials was built, then a stronger structure made of stone was constructed in 1578 at Pagulangan. The construction was completed in 1618. However, severe floods from Laguna de Bay ravaged the streets and agricultural lands. The people moved out of Pagulangan in1880, and eventually the church was dismantled and transferred stone by stone to Pila and completed in 1803.

On July 9, 2002, the parish church of Pila was declared Diocesan Shrine of San Antonio de Padua. Two miraculous relics of St. Anthony are enshrined behind the tabernacle. Devotees flock to the Shrine for healing masses and for a chance to touch the miraculous relics.

Today, Pila Church is also one of the most popular destinations for Lenten Visita Iglesia.

  • Last visit to Pila: May 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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