CALABARZON is one of the regions of the Philippines. It is also designated as Region IV-A and its regional capital is Calamba City in Laguna. The region is composed of five provinces, namely: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon. The region’s name is an acronym of the names of these provinces.

CALABARZON and MIMAROPA were previously combined together as Southern Tagalog, until they were separated in 2002. Palawan was subsequently moved from Western Visayas to the more logical Western Visayas, turning the former into MIMARO.

Executive Order No. 246, dated October 28, 2003, designated Calamba City as the regional center of CALABARZON.

In the late nineteenth century the Philippines became one of the world’s leading sources of coffee, and Batangas was heavily given over to coffee cultivation, but the coffee blight of the eighteen-eighties eventually overleapt quarantine measures and devastated the Philippine crops. The Philippines would not again export coffee for almost a century. The stately homes of the coffee planters still stand. Batangas was home to several early nationalist leaders, and contains museum-monuments to General Malvar, the last military leader in the Philippine-American War (Philippine Insurrection) to surrender to the United States, to Apolinario Mabini, to President José P. Laurel, and to Marcela Agoncillo, who made the first official Philippine flag during the insurrection against the Spanish.

Batangas offers a number of vacation destinations, including Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest, on an island in Lake Bombon. Dive spots are extremely numerous, and there is a “submarine garden” of coral, visible at low tide, at the town of Lobo. The first balisong, or Philippine butterfly knife, was made in Taal, Batangas, in 1905, and the province is still a center for their manufacture. It produces rice, maize, coconuts, sugar, pepper, fruits, vegetables, poultry, cattle, horses, other livestock, and fish, and has a considerable variety of light and heavy industries, from garments to electronics to steel. It is also a shipping center.

What is now the Province of Cavite in the Philippine Republic has a long history of resistance to Spanish rule. It was known for generations as “Madre de los Ladrones,” the mother of bandits–the way an imperial power usually describes resistance forces. (I do not know Spanish, and am open to correction on this interpretation.) In 1859 a battle involving cannon was fought at the Julian Bridge in Imus between Philippine and Spanish forces. In 1872 two hundred Filipinos working at the naval arsenal at Cavite mutinied. This mutiny was put down, and three Catholic priests, José Burgos, Mariano Gomez, and Jacinto Zamora, who were implicated in the uprising were executed. I believe the city of Trece Martires is named for them. In 1896 the last uprising against Spain began, and Cavite was swiftly secured for the rebellion. General Emilio Aguinaldo, president of that first Philippine Republic, was a native and resident of Cavite. One of the towns in the province now bears his name. The province also includes the island of Corregidor famous from World War II. Also in Imus is a monument commemorating the Battle of Alapan; this includes a ninety-foot-tall flagpole from which the Philippine flag flies, and a statue of a woman carrying a Philippine flag. The province is very liberally supplied with historical monuments, resorts, noteworthy churches, and places of religious retreat. Its economy seems to be more industrial than agricultural, though it produces rice, coffee, fruits, vegetables, and seafood.

Regional Center: Calamba City, Laguna

Population: 9,320,629

  • Density:  574.3 per km²

Area: 16,228.6 km²


  • Provinces 5
  • Cities:  11
  • Municipalities:  131
  • Barangays:  4,012
  • Cong. Districts:  19

Language/s: Tagalog


Province /Capital/Population/Area

  • Batangas/Batangas City/1,905,348/3,165.8
  • Cavite/Trece Martires City/2,063,161/1,287.6
  • Laguna/Santa Cruz/1,965,872/1,759.7
  • Quezon/Lucena City/1,463,030/8,706.6
  • Rizal/Antipolo City/1,707,143/1,308.9
  • Lucena City — 196,075/56.3

Component Cities

  • Antipolo City, Rizal
  • Batangas City, Batangas
  • Calamba City, Laguna
  • Cavite City, Cavite
  • Lipa City, Batangas
  • San Pablo City, Laguna
  • Santa Rosa City, Laguna
  • Tagaytay City, Cavite
  • Tanauan City, Batangas
  • Trece Martires City, Cavite

Footnote: Lucena City is a highly urbanized city; figures are excluded from Quezon Province.



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