Magdalena is a small town in the southern part of Laguna (which is my favorite and soon-to-be province, ehem). As per Wikipedia, it was once a barrio of Majayjay and has an area of approximately 34 km2 (Majayjay, Laguna has an area of about 69 km2, can you imagine how big it was back then?). Magdalena is surrounded by other Laguna towns namely Santa Cruz, Pagsanjan, Majayjay, and Liliw.
If you go to the Internet to check about this town, two of the most popular attractions here are the white water rafting and the church of Saint Mary Magdalene which is situated in the town plaza. But since I usually Lakbay Xiomai (yes, it’s now a verb) alone, I was only able to visit the church and other attractions surrounding it on the day I resumed Lakbay Xiomai–or better call it paglalakwatsa. Aaand I’m not a fan of water adventures, so I would not try white water rafting even if I was with a company.
So, how did end up going here, anyway? Well, first, thanks to the Holiday declared for our Muslim brothers and sisters–the Eid al-Adha–I had a whole day of wandering off to places I had never been to. Second, to the jeepney I rode on going to Sta. Cruz, Laguna where I had my lunch–it was from Magdalena as the back of its sign board suggested. Third, to my very reliable wanderlust instinct–I just knew Magdalena would surprise me.
According to the history plaque you can find outside of the church, Saint Mary Magdalene Church was built in 16 separate years, between 1829 and 1955. While other additions to the church such as the bell tower and convent were built in later years. The materials used to build the church were all gathered from the nearby river by the townspeople.
The church also played an important role in our history–or at least involving one of our Katipuneros–not just because it is a church built in the Spanish Era. Emilio Jacinto was said to have been brought here when he was wounded from an encounter with the Spanish forces. They say his bloodstain is still visible inside the church–unfortunately, the church was closed when I visited so I did not see it.
ALAM MO BA: The recent hit film Heneral Luna was shot in this very church–that (supposed) Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija scene where Heneral Luna was killed. (Updated Jan 2016)
Magdalena, Laguna is also dubbed as the Little Hollywood of Laguna hence the “Walk of Fame” where you can find tiles (or stars) with the names of some big Filipino actors, and an altar that celebrates its being the Movie Capital of the Philippines.
HOW TO GET THERE?
1. Bus to Sta Cruz – P148
2. Jeepney to Magdalena – P20
You can easily find the church, actually. You will see the back of the church when you get off the jeep at the terminal, and its bell tower. Here’s a tip, never lose sight of the bell tower while walking around and you will not get lost. Also, there is a small park and a structure that looks like a covered court (you can see in the picture above) near the terminal, and the church is near a school.
Well, what say you, a great addition to your next Visita Iglesia during Semana Santa or lakwatsa, eh? That’s Laguna–and it never ceases to amaze me. My next stop is, Bay, Laguna.