Calamba is a city in Laguna, Philippines, a major economic, transportation, and tourist hub in the Calabarzon region. It is the birthplace and ancestral location of the Philippines' National Hero, Jose Rizal, and one barangay, Pansol, is home to various hot spring resorts near Mount Makiling.
Calamba City is a regional center for Laguna and the Calabarzon region; it lies 50 km (31 mi) from Manila and houses many businesses, tourist attractions, colleges and universities, transport stations, and industries. The city houses the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal's mansion, and Pansol, a barangay with many private hot spring resorts at the foot of Mount Makiling.
The city's history is traced back to the Spanish era. Calamba is formed from the barrio of Sucol of Tabuko (present-day Cabuyao), and in the 1800s, the Dominican friars divided up their hacienda and gave it to locals, including Jose Rizal's family. Calamba was also a scene of a Japanese war crimes during World War II: 2,000 civilians were murdered and raped by Japanese soldiers in the barrio of Real and St. John the Baptist Parish church was burned down. The city gained cityhood in 2001 after president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Calamba City Charter Act (Republic Act 9024) and locals won a majority in the following plebiscite.
The city is divided into 54 barangays, including 7 forming the Poblacion. Calamba's Poblacion is the commercial heart of the city; the congested Calamba Crossing between Maharlika Highway and Calamba-Santa Cruz-Famy Road (or National Highway locally) lies there. Barangay Pansol, near the boundary of Los Baños is home to many private resorts, both big and small. Canlubang, a large residential barangay, has, the majority of the Nuvali mixed-use development (the remainder lies in Cabuyao and Santa Rosa), Camp Vicente Lim, and two industrial parks.
Calamba is a major transport hub for provincial buses; many buses bound for different parts of southern Luzon stop here.
- 1 Turbina bus station, Maharlika Highway, Turbina. Major bus station owned by Jam and Philtranco, this serves as stopover for many buses bound for Batangas, Quezon, and Bicol Region. Manila-bound buses stop at the Flying V gas station in front, at the opposite side of Maharlika Highway.
- SM City Calamba Transport Terminal, National Highway, Calamba Crossing. Stopover for buses to Santa Cruz or Pagsanjan, with transfers to jeepneys and tricycles. Part of SM City Calamba (see #Buy).
- ALPS - Buses regularly depart from Buendia (Pasay), Cubao (Quezon City), and Alabang (Muntinlupa) to Batangas City, with some interisland service to Caticlan via Batangas and Mindoro.
- DLTB - Buses leave at their Cubao and Buendia terminals and stop at Turbina (for Batangas City, Lipa, Lemery, Lucena of Bicol) or SM City Calamba (for Santa Cruz)
- Jac Liner and LLi (Lucena Lines) -Provides service from Buendia to Lucena or Santa Cruz.
- Jam - Batangas, Lipa, Lemery, and Lucena-bound buses regularly stop at Turbina bus station.
- N. Dela Rosa Liner - Operates all-A/C buses between Alabang, Cubao, or Buendia and Batangas City or Lucena. Most services to and from Batangas City skip Turbina.
- Philtranco - Operates buses from Manila to points in Visayas and Mindanao.
- Saint Rose - Has bus service between Lawton in Manila and Calamba Crossing via Mayapa.
- Southern Carrier (SCCI, formerly branded as RRCG) - Provincial bus brand by RRCG Transport, operates all-A/C buses from Alabang to Batangas City.
- Superlines - Has buses between Manila or Calamba and various locations in Bicol.
- Worthy Transport and HM Liner - Provides provincial services between Alabang or Buendia and Pagsanjan.
Philippine National Railways has a station in Calamba, on the South main line from Manila. Unfortunately, service are limited to evening and morning commuter trains, and travel by train is not practical until the existing railway line is modernized.
- 2 Calamba station, Rizal Street. Served by several air-conditioned trains between Manila and Los Baños (IRRI), and a night train from Manila. Long-distance services are cancelled since 2015. It is also the future terminus of the new electrified mainline running up to Malolos in Bulacan, Clark International Airport in Pampanga, and Capas in Tarlac
Calamba is a major crossroads; it serves as an important intersection for the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX, E2), Maharlika Highway (Route 1), and Calamba-Santa Cruz-Famy Road (Route 66, or just National Highway). SLEX has four exits: Silangan (exit 45), Canlubang (exit 47), Batino (exit 49), and Calamba (exit 50); the section between the Calamba toll plaza and Ayala Greenfield toll plaza has no exit toll gates. Calamba-Santa Cruz-Famy Road, while it is divided into two sections with different route numbers (route 66 from Calamba to Pagsanjan, and route 602 from Pagsanjan to Famy), runs through eastern and central Laguna and terminates at Calamba. Maharlika Highway runs through the centers of the cities in northwestern Laguna and enters into Batangas at Santo Tomas; it is the main artery of Calamba and the toll-free alternative paralleling SLEX. SLEX and Maharlika Highway from Turbina forms the Asian Highway 26 route.
Jeepneys serve most corners of the city found along the major thoughfares. Most services run outwards from Calamba and the short-distance equivalent to buses.
There are plenty of tricycles around downtown and the Crossing area. Trips generally cost ₱9 per kilometer, but it can cost ₱40 if you catch one alone (or a "special" trip), for example, on a trip from Crossing to the Rizal mansion.
Anywhere in Pansol can be reached by tricycle, with stands near the subdivision entrances.
Calamba has its cacophonous traffic; traffic jams are a frequent occurrence, especially in the Real, Crossing and Pansol areas. When bringing a car with you, better hire a driver; the city's traffic is always a nightmare, even when going to the resorts. Downtown parking is rather scarce, and the area is rather best accessed by tricycle or on foot. «»
- 1 Jose Rizal Shrine (Rizal Shrine), J.P. Rizal Street, Barangay 5 (Poblacion). The birthplace of the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal. It houses the restored colonial-era mansion of Jose Rizal, which contains his memorabilia.
- 2 The Plaza, Chipeco Avenue Extension, Real (In front of the Calamba City Hall). A park built to commemorate Rizal's 150th birthday. Opened in 2011, it houses a 6.7-meter (22-feet statue) statue of Jose Rizal, formerly the tallest.
- 3 St. John the Baptist Parish, J.P. Rizal Street, Barangay 5 (Poblacion) (Beside Rizal Shrine). The oldest Roman Catholic church in Calamba, built in Baroque style
- 1 SM City Calamba, Maharlika Highway, Poblacion, ☏ . 10AM-10PM daily. Huge SM mall, providing a refuge from the cacophony of the Calamba Crossing area.
- 2 Walter Mart Calamba, Maharlika Highway, Real, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 10AM-8PM, F-Su 10-9PM.
- 3 Walter Mart Makiling, Km. 54 Maharlika Highway, Makiling, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Th 10AM-8PM; F-Su 10AM-9PM. Another Walter Mart mall, with some fast food restaurants and shops, a Uno department store, and supermarket.
- 1 Ippon Yari, Maharlika Highway, Turbina, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-2:30PM (lunch) 5-11PM (dinner); Su 11AM-2:30PM (lunch), 5-9:30PM (dinner). Authentic Japanese dining, including common Japanese fare like bento, ramen, sushi and tempura, shochu. Tables have tatami mats.
- 2 Samaral Seafood, National Highway, Halang (Near railway crossing), ☏ . Usual Filipino seafood fare, served on bamboo and nipa cottages
The city serves as a tourist hub to other destinations in Laguna like:
- Los Baños - Bordering university and resort town, noted for the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus, the International Rice Research Institute, and hot springs
- Pagsanjan - Home to Pagsanjan Falls
|Routes through Calamba|
|Alabang ← Cabuyao ←||N S||→ END|
|Manila ← Biñan ←||N S||→ Los Baños → Lucena|
|Manila ← Biñan ←||N S||→ Los Baños → Lucena|
|Manila/Alabang ← Cabuyao ←||N S||→ AH26 exits SLEX and follows → Santo Tomas → Lipa/Batangas City (via )|
|Santa Rosa ← Cabuyao ←||N S||→ Santo Tomas → Lucena|
|Merges with ←||W E||→ Los Baños → Santa Cruz|