History and Culture

Quezon is the largest province in the CALABARZON region and is primarily agricultural in nature. It is the 8th largest province in the country, with a total land area of 8,706.60 Sq. Km.

It was originally called Kaliraya/Kalilayan, after its capital town (now Unisan) upon its creation 1591. However, around the middle of the 18th century, the capital was transferred to the town of Tayabas which then also changed the name of the province to Tayabas. The territory which now constitutes the province was at one time under the jurisdiction of various provinces. The southern and central portions were under the province of Bonbon, sometimes called Balayan, in 1585. The northern portion was divided between Laguna and Nueva Ecija.

History records this province was explored by Juan de Salcedo in 1571 and 1572 during his expedition from Laguna to Ambos Camarines. He also visited the twns of Baler, Casiguran, and Infanta. Like many other provinces, Tayabas suffered from Moro depredations. In 1798, a fleet of some 25 or more boats harassed the towns of Casiguran, Palanan, and Baler where 450 captives were taken. The towns along the southern coasts of Bondoc Peninsula were also at their mercy. These depredations continued almost to the end of the Spanish rule.

Another important event in the annals of the province is the famous Revolt of the Cofradia in 1841. This revolt was led by Apolinario de la Cruz, a native of Lucban, and once a lay brother in the San Juan de Dios Hospital. The rebellion spread to a few towns in the neighboring provinces of Laguna and Batangas. Apolinario de la Cruz was called by his followers as “The King of the Tagalogs”. Tayabas was the first province to join the revolution. On August 5, 1898, General Miguel Malvar took possession of Tayabas in the name of the Revolutionary Government. On March 12, 1901, a civil government was organized with Lucena as its capital. The following year, the districts of Principe and Infanta, including Polillo, formerly a dependency of Laguna were annexed to Tayabas.

With the advent of the Japanese occupation, the Japanese Imperial Army first set foot along the shores of Atimonan on Dec 23, 1841. This province was not spared, and the people suffered under the brutalities and atrocities of the Japanese soldiers for 4 years. Finally, on April 4, 1945, the American forces marched triumphantly into Lucena, which marked the formal liberation of Tayabas, now Quezon Province.

Tayabas province was changed to “Quezon Province” by virtue of Republic Act No. 14 as signed by the late President Manuel Roxas on September 7, 1945, as a gesture of homage and respect to one of the distinguished sons of this province, the late President Manuel Luis Quezon, the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth.