Lucena is the capital city of Quezon province in the Calabarzon region. The bustling metropolis is also known as the “Cocopalm City of the South” and the “Entertainment Capital of Southern Luzon,” among several other monikers.
Lucena ranked second in a study of the most liveable cities in the Philippines conducted in 2020. The research cited its good governance, thriving economy, and social dimension as the top factors that make living here a breeze. Read on to learn more about why this lively city has earned its glittering reputation among residents and visitors alike.
A Vibrant Metropolis
Lucena City is a multifaceted metropolis that also boasts several agricultural areas. It’s known for its rice varieties and coconut crops, as well as its heavy industrial facilities that specialize in metal fabrication, shipbuilding, chemicals, paper products, and iron and steel.
Besides big business, the city is also fond of celebrations. There are four major festivals to look forward to here, namely the Pasayahan sa Lucena, Feast of San Isidro Labrador, Ugat Lucena, and City Fiesta.
An Emerging Economic Zone
Lucena was first designated as a chartered city in August 1962 on the 84th birthday anniversary of President Manuel L. Quezon. Since then, it has developed into a highly-urbanized city and an emerging Economic Zone. The city boasts over 6,000 registered business establishments, according to DTI records in 2019. These businesses posted over P1 billion worth of revenue for the city’s LGUs.
A City with Religious Roots
Lucena City’s earliest appearance in historical records was between the years 1580 to 1583 when it was founded by Franciscan priests Diego de Oropesa and Juan de Plasencia under the name Tayabas. Its name was changed by the Spaniards to Buenavista in the 16th century as a reference to the city’s gorgeous scenery. It was then renamed Lucena in 1879 to honor the Spanish friar named Father Mariano Granja, who played an important role in the development of the barrio.
MORE ABOUT LUCENA CITY
The Biofuel City
National and local agencies based in Lucena are required to use two percent biodiesel and 10 percent ethanol blend on their vehicles. Delivery trucks, government vehicles, and gasoline stations are compelled to obey the Biofuels Law lest they face penalties as stipulated in the Biofuels Law and Clean Air Act (R.A. 8749). As a result of these efforts, Lucena City is considered the first Biofuel City in the Philippines, and a major player in the biodiesel industry.
Cocopalm City of the South
Lush coconut lands cover the expanse of Lucena City. For this reason, coconut is a major crop here, while products like coconut milk, lambanog, and coconut husks are the city’s main imports and exports. The city’s coconut oil mills also produce several oil-based products like soap lard, cooking oil, margarine, and oil-based medicines.
Southern Luzon’s Industrial and Manufacturing Center
Lucena City’s reputation as a coastal city means that a large portion of its economy is reliant on aqua fishing, agriculture, and marine-related businesses. Heavy industries also make up a significant part of the city’s financial resources, particularly the metal fabrication, shipbuilding, automotive and parts, and iron and steel sectors.
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN LUCENA CITY
South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Toll Road 4 Extension
The SLEX Toll Road 4 Extension will start at Santo Tomas, Batangas and terminate in Lucena City by connecting Maharlika Highway in Barangay Mayao. This will cut the travel time between the two cities in half and decongest traffic in surrounding areas.
Philippine National Railways (PNR) Manila-Bicol Line
PNR is currently in the process of rehabilitating the Baguio-Bicol Railway and Manila-Bicol Line. Once completed, it will include stops in the Quezon province, namely the PNR Lucena station, which is considered a key transportation option for those heading to Metro Manila.
PIT STOPS IN LUCENA CITY
Lucena City is filled with plenty of places to visit and sights to see. Below are just a few of the best spots residents and visitors alike can visit while in the area.
- Pacific Mall Lucena
- SM City Lucena
- Ocean Palace Mall
- Metro Lucena
- Krystal Shopping Mall
- Savemore Market Agora Lucena
- ShopRite Center
- Southern Luzon State University – Lucena Campus
- Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation
- Philtech Institute of Arts and Technology
- STI College Lucena
- City College of Lucena
- Sacred Heart College Lucena
- Mary Hill College
- Lucena United Memorial District Hospital
- Mt. Carmel Diocesan General Hospital
- St. Anne General Hospital
- Lucena MMG General Hospital
- Lucena United Doctors Hospital and Medical Center
- Quezon Medical Center
- Quezon MMG Medical Plaza
Historical Sites & Tourist Attractions
- Orchids Country Farm
- Quezon Convention Center
- Saint Ferdinand Cathedral
- Perez Park
- Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church
- Talaba Eco Park
- Lucena Botanical Garden & Arboretum
HOW TO MOVE AROUND LUCENA CITY
Lucena City’s main transportation hub is the Lucena Grand Central Terminal, which serves Manila-bound and provincial buses, PUVs, and jeepneys. Getting into the city and navigating its streets is easy thanks to the numerous transportation options available, from tricycles to taxis.
The city also boasts two key ferry terminals with roll-on, roll-off (RORO) vessels to transport passengers from Tayabas Bay to Masbate. These terminals include the Lucena Passenger Ferry Terminal and the Port of Lucena.
WHAT TO DO IN LUCENA CITY
Unwind at Perez Park
Perez Park is a lush public park with landscaped gardens and a playground area with a fish pond, rock garden, jet fountain, and dining establishments. It’s an excellent place to unwind and center yourself amongst nature, especially in a big city like Lucena.
Admire the Saint Ferdinand Cathedral
The Saint Ferdinand Cathedral is a decades-old historical church first built in the 19th century. The structure features a gorgeous Baroque style of architecture, and is a recognizable symbol of the city’s illustrious history. You’ll also find numerous eating places around the cathedral.
Shop Until You Drop at SM City Mall Lucena
SM City Mall is a popular shopping mall along Maharlika Highway. It’s considered the first SM supermall in Quezon province. Not only does the mall boast a wide range of retail stores, but it also has an impressive collection of dining establishments and leisure facilities. It’s a great place to spend some quality time with friends and family.
Take Great Photographs at the Botanical Garden
The Lucena Botanical Garden is a beautiful arboretum that features flowers, trees, and leisure facilities for visitors of every age to enjoy. There are numerous walking trails and an impressive fountain for older visitors to admire, while children can have fun at the playground and open spaces. The garden’s gorgeous environment is ideal for making memories and taking photographs you’ll cherish forever.
Buy Fresh Fish at the Lucena Fish Port Complex
Lucena Fish Port Complex is a multi-storey complex that specializes in fresh seafood. You’ll find some of the most delicious organic seafood at a great price for your home meals or business. Purchasing fish in this location helps local fishermen and the local seafood market thrive.
POPULAR NEIGHBORHOODS IN LUCENA CITY
Ibabang Dupay is the most populous barangay in Lucena. It’s in this neighborhood where you’ll find SM City Lucena and top-notch schools such as Lucena City National High School and Southern Luzon State University, making it an incredibly convenient residential location.
Ilayang Iyam is known as the location of the Lucena City Promenade and Heroes Drive. There are also numerous subdivisions and residential properties in the area that can accommodate growing families and retirees seeking a quiet place to put their roots down.
The poblacion area of Lucena City comprises 11 different barangays. Most of the economic activities of the city are located in these communities, especially in the central business district which boasts numerous business establishments, essential services, and commercial areas.