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City of Lucena
Lucena City Government Complex.jpg
LucenaCityCathedralVillajf7406 10.JPG
Quezon Provincial Capitol, Lucena City.jpg
Lucena City Central Business District.jpg
Port of Lucena (2).JPG
Quezon Monument in Lucena City.JPG
Clockwise from top left: Lucena City Government Complex, St. Ferdinand Cathedral, Quezon Avenue, Quezon Monument, Port of Lucena, Quezon Capitol Building
Official seal of Lucena
  • "LC"
  • "Biofuel City"
  • "Cocopalm City of the South"
  • "The Gateway to the South"
  • "Entertainment Capital of Southern Luzon"
Sama-Sama sa Bagong Lucena!
Anthem: Ang Lungsod ng Lucena
Map of Calabarzon with Lucena highlighted
Map of Calabarzon with Lucena highlighted
Lucena is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 13°56′N 121°37′E / 13.93°N 121.62°E / 13.93; 121.62Coordinates: 13°56′N 121°37′E / 13.93°N 121.62°E / 13.93; 121.62
ProvinceQuezon (geographically only)
District 2nd district
FoundedNovember 3, 1879[1]
CityhoodJune 17, 1961
Cityhood (Formal Inauguration)August 20, 1961
Highly urbanized cityJuly 1, 1991
Barangays33 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
 • MayorRoderick "Dondon" A. Alcala
 • Vice MayorPhilip M. Castillo
 • RepresentativeDavid C. Suarez
 • City Council
 • Electorate163,736 voters (2019)
 • Total80.21 km2 (30.97 sq mi)
61 m (200 ft)
Highest elevation
1,687 m (5,535 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (2020 census) [3]
 • Total278,924
 • Density3,500/km2 (9,000/sq mi)
 • Households
 • Income class2nd city income class
 • Poverty incidence5.89% (2015)[4]
 • Revenue₱1,129,522,851 (2017)
 • Assets₱2,786,764,572.89 (2020)
 • Expenditure₱1,186,281,076.90 (2020)
 • Liabilities₱892,656,344.64 (2020)
Service provider
 • ElectricityManila Electric Company (Meralco)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
4300, 4301
IDD:area code+63 (0)42
Native languagesTagalog

Lucena, officially the City of Lucena (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Lucena), is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the Calabarzon region of the Philippines. It is the capital city of the province of Quezon where it is geographically situated but, in terms of government and administration, the city is politically independent from the province. For statistical and geographical purposes, Lucena is grouped with the province of Quezon. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 278,924 people. [3]


Early history[edit]

In the 1570s, Captain Juan de Salcedo first explored what was the province of Tayabas. The Franciscan priests Juan de Plasencia and Diego de Oropesa between 1580 and 1583 founded its town, also named Tayabas. Tayabas was organized by the Spaniards through the Franciscan missionaries and Lucena was just one of its barrios.

The Spaniards of the 16th century called the area "Buenavista" because of its scenic beauty; several years later, the barrio was renamed "Oroquieta". A century later, Muslim pirates began terrorizing the entire Philippine coastline, and Oroquieta was not spared from the notorious raids. The barrio folks built forts along the seashores to defend it against the attacking pirates along the coast, particularly in the present-day Cotta and in Barangay Mayao, though these structures are no longer extant. Hence, the place became known as Cotta, the Spanish form of the Tagalog "kuta" ("fort"). The growth of local maritime trade facilitated in the Cotta port and the final defeat of Moro pirates plying the Luzon and Visayan waters, afforded the growth of Lucena as a town which eventually led to its being the capital of Tayabas, Quezon province in 1901.

Finally on November 5, 1879, the Orden Superior Civil officially adopted the name "Lucena" in honor of a Spanish friar by the name of Father Mariano Granja in Andalucia, Spain. Fr. Granja was responsible for the development of the barrio that became a Parish in 1881. Lucena became an independent municipality on June 1, 1882.

During the 1896 Philippine Revolution, the people of Lucena showed their brand of patriotism. José Zaballero led the local revolutionists who were under the barrage of Spanish muskets. Later, Miguel Arguilles with Jose Barcelona as president formed a revolutionary government in Lucena.

After Aguinaldo proclaimed the nation's independence on June 12, 1898, in Kawit, Cavite, Gen. Miguel Malvar, as Commanding General for Southern Luzon, took over Tayabas Province on August 15, 1898. Don Crisanto Marquez became Lucena's first elected Municipal president during the first Philippine Republic.

Modern history[edit]

Lucena's fertile soil became soaked with the blood of many Filipinos and Americans[tone] at the outbreak of the Filipino-American War in 1899. The foreigners established a civil government in the country, and on March 12, 1901, the provincial capital was transferred from Tayabas to Lucena.

During the Second World War, the Japanese Imperial Force occupied Lucena on December 27, 1941, 19 days after they set foot on Philippine soil. But the underground resistance movement was so tenacious in Lucena that by January 25, 1945 (even before the Americans have returned), the Hunters ROTC guerrillas penetrated into the town and successfully drove out the Japanese. The rest of Quezon Province (new name of Tayabas Province) had to wait for the American Liberation forces and the Philippine Commonwealth troops to hand freedom on April 4 of that same year.

On June 17, 1961, by virtue of Republic Act No. 3271, Lucena was made into a chartered city through the efforts of then Congressman Manuel S. Enverga. It was officially inaugurated on August 19, 1962, during the 84th anniversary of Manuel L. Quezon. On July 1, 1991, Lucena became a highly urbanized city, thereby making the city independent from the province.


Iyam River in Cotta

It is situated 132 kilometers (82 mi) south of Manila. The city proper is wedged between two rivers, Dumacaa River on the east and Iyam River on the west. Seven other rivers and six creeks serve as natural drainage for the city. Its port on the coast along Tayabas Bay is home to several boat and ferry lines operating and serving the sea lanes between Lucena and the different points in the region and as far as the Visayas.

There exists a Lucena Airport (known locally as 'Landing') located 300 meters west of AMA College Lucena Campus but is no longer usable. Light aircraft can no longer make use of it as a road was built as an intersection during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Being the provincial capital, Lucena is host to most of the branches of governmental agencies, businesses, banks and service facilities in the Southern Tagalog region.


Lucena is politically subdivided into 33 barangays.

  • Barangay 1 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 2 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 3 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 4 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 5 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 6 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 7 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 8 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 9 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 10 (Poblacion)
  • Barangay 11 (Poblacion)
  • Barra
  • Bocohan
  • Cotta
  • Gulang-Gulang
  • Dalahican
  • Domoit
  • Ibabang Dupay
  • Ibabang Iyam
  • Ibabang Talim
  • Ilayang Dupay
  • Ilayang Iyam
  • Ilayang Talim
  • Isabang
  • Market View
  • Mayao Castillo
  • Mayao Crossing
  • Mayao Kanluran
  • Mayao Parada
  • Mayao Silangan
  • Ransohan
  • Salinas
  • Talao-Talao


Climate data for Lucena
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28
Average low °C (°F) 22
Average rainfall mm (inches) 146.2
Average rainy days 22 16 14 10 16 18 20 20 21 24 26 26 233
Source: World Weather Online[5]

Lucena falls under Type III of the Corona's climatic classification system.[6] It is characterized by no pronounced wet and dry seasons. Generally, the wet season is from June to November and sometimes extends up to December when the southwest monsoon is predominant. The dry season is from January to May but is sometimes interrupted by erratic rainfall. The annual mean temperature is 27 °C (81 °F), with February as the coldest month with temperatures dropping to 20 °C (68 °F), and May as the warmest month with temperatures reaching up to 35 °C (95 °F). Habagat monsoon winds pass through the province from June to October while northeasterly winds or Amihan blows through the islands from December to February.


Population census of Lucena
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 9,375—    
1918 12,108+1.72%
1939 21,675+2.81%
1948 33,092+4.81%
1960 49,264+3.37%
1970 77,006+4.56%
1975 92,336+3.71%
1980 107,880+3.16%
1990 150,624+3.39%
1995 177,750+3.15%
2000 196,075+2.13%
2007 236,390+2.61%
2010 246,392+1.52%
2015 266,248+1.49%
2020 278,924+0.92%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[7][8][9][10]


Retail and commerce[edit]

Downtown M.L. Tagarao Street in Poblacion (Bayan)

Economic activities in Lucena are heavily concentrated in the poblacion (bayan) and other suburban barangays where the highly dense and constricted central business district (CBD) is home to a large cluster of different business enterprises. As population grows in tandem with new and promising business prospects, business activities spill over adjoining barangays, thus forming mini satellite commercial areas.

Other commercial strips are located in the poblacion and suburban barangays where both retail and wholesale trade, including other essential services, are being engaged in. SM City Lucena is the biggest mall in the city located in Ibabang Dupay, which is one of the first SM Malls in Luzon. Other Shopping Centers Include: SM Savemore Agora, Super Metro Lucena, Pacific Mall Lucena and many more.


Big factories and warehouses are present in these suburban barangays like San Miguel Brewery, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., PepsiCo Philippines, Inc., Asia Brewery, Inc. Nestlé Philippines, and Ginebra San Miguel, Inc. (formerly La Tondeña Distillers Inc.), do business in sales, distribution, and transport of assorted business products in bulk.

Of the total 8,316.90 hectare land area of Lucena City, 19 percent or 1,651.77 hectares cover the existing built up area. Almost 3% of this or 46.62 hectares cover the industrial section, located in different barangays of the city. These areas are home to significant industrial and manufacturing activities.

Industry in Lucena produces a sustainable amount of agro-industrial-based products, dried and smoked fish, distilled liquors, bamboo and rattan furniture, ornamental flowers/plants, vegetable as well as meat products.

Lucena is also known as the "Cocopalm City of the South". Nestled midst a wide expanse of coconut lands, Lucena has coconut oil mills which produce oil-based household products like cooking oil, soap, lard, margarine, and oil-based medicines. Exora Cooking Oil and Vegetable Lard, and Miyami Cooking Oil are proudly made in this city. Tantuco Industries, JnJ Oil Industries, Inc., and Monaco Oil Company are some of the well-known coconut oil companies in the city.

Car assembly and manufacturing plants have also established in the city, while Manila-based car shops are starting to put up some branches like Isuzu-Lucena, SFM-Lucena, and Foton Motor.

San Pedro Shipping Yard(Subsidiary of MSLI) is also located in Dalahican.

Places of interest[edit]

Road network provides access from all key cities and towns in the island of Luzon to this highly urbanized city. Well-paved radial and by-pass routes criss-crossing in and out of the city facilitate the transport of unlimited assortment of merchandise, supplies, and raw materials to and from the city on a round-the-clock basis.

Over the years, it was observed that a growing number of visitors from other places come to Lucena. Travelers of various types and sizes are drawn to Lucena because of modern facilities and good amenities that could be found in the city such as the Quezon Convention Center when the City of Lucena hosted the 2004 SEABA Under-18 Championship qualifying tournament for the 2004 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in India, Kalilayan Civic Centre, Sentro Pastoral Auditorium, Alcala Sports Complex a two time host of a Palarong Pambansa (1976, 1989), Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation Gymnasium, Sacred Heart College Gymnasium, and Marcial Punzalan Gymnasium.

Religious landmarks[edit]

  • Saint Ferdinand Cathedral, Barangay V
  • Saint Jude Thaddeus Parish Church, Barangay Cotta
  • Our Lady of Carmelite Monastery, Barangay XI
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church, Barangay Ibabang Iyam
  • Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish Church Diocesan Shrine, Hermanas Capistrano Subdivision, Barangay Gulang-Gulang
  • St. Alphonsus Regional Seminary, Barangay Isabang
  • St. Andrew The Apostle Chapel, Camp Guillermo Nakar, Barangay Gulang-Gulang
  • Church of the Holy Face of Jesus, University Village (Site), Barangay Ibabang Dupay
  • St. Raphael The Archangel Parish, Barangay Dalahican
  • St. Isidore Labrador, Barangay Ibabang Dupay
  • Holy Family Church, Centro Pastoral Compound, Barangay Isabang
  • Our Lady Of Miraculous Medal Chapel, Barangay IX

Natural attractions[edit]

  • Botanical Garden
  • Orchids Country Farm
  • Perez Park
  • Eco Park


during the Pasayahan sa Lucena 2013 Street Dance Competition

Pasayahan sa Lucena was conceptualized to showcase the natural and ecological interrelationship and independence between nature and man. It also promotes the ways of life inherent among the people of Lucena. All these find exquisite and appreciative expressions through a mammoth gathering of colors, outlandish costumes and symbolic floats reminiscent of Mardi Gras in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. Originally intended as three days of spirited merrymaking in the streets, the event has become weeklong tourist attraction, culminating on May 30 in time for the celebration of the Feast of St. Ferdinand, the patron saint of Lucena.

Another feast highlighting the entire celebration is the Chami Festival that would feature Lucena's very own pansit delicacy. The traditional Chami Festival has a contest of who can cook the most delicious chami. The contestants line up along Quezon Avenue, the city's main road, armed with their cooking utensils and will be provided free chami noodles, meat and other condiments for the cooking fest. All participants were also given cash incentive, gift packs from various sponsors. After the cooking, the spectators were given a chance to eat for free the different taste of chami. They wanted that through this chami cooking festival this city will become a destination of our local and foreign tourists every merry month of May.

Local government[edit]

Pursuant to Chapter II, Title II, Book III of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991,[17] the city government is to be composed of a mayor (alkalde), a vice mayor (bise alkalde) and members (kagawad) of the legislative branch Sangguniang Panlungsod alongside a secretary to the said legislature, all of which are elected to a three-year term and are eligible to run for three consecutive terms.

City Government of Lucena
David "Jayjay" Suarez (NP)
Roderick "Dondon" A. Alcala (LP)
Vice Mayor
Philip M. Castillo (PDP–Laban)
Sangguniang Panlungsod Members
Anacleto A. Alcala III (LP) Nicanor G. Pedro Jr. (LP)
Rhaetia Marie C. Abcede-Llaga (LP) Danilo R. Zaballero (LP)
William M. Noche (LP) Benito J. Brizuela (LP)
Rey Oliver S. Alejandrino (Independent) Nilo Q. Villapando (UNA)
Ramil C. Talaga (UNA) Victor U. Paulo (LP)
ABC President
Jacinto A. Jaca (LP)

List of Mayors of Lucena City[edit]

Head of the Municipality during the Spanish Occupation:

  • Jorge Zaballero (1896) (Captain Municipal)
  • Crisanto Márquez (First Municipal President of Lucena)

Municipal Presidents during the American Civil Government:

  • Gabriel Cord (1902–1903)
  • Gregorio Márquez (1903–1904)
  • Juan Carmona (1904–1906)
  • Venancio Queblar (1906–1910)
  • Feliciano Zoleta (1910–1912)
  • Fortunato Álvarez (1912–1916)
  • Pedro Nieva (1916–1919, 1919–1922)
  • José Nava (1922–1925)
  • Venancio Queblar (1925–1928)
  • Domingo Gamboa (1928–1931)
  • Fernando Barcelona (1931–1934)

Mayors under the Commonwealth Government:

  • Federico V. Márquez (1940–1943)
  • José Mendoza (1943–1944)
  • Teotimo Atienza (1944–1945)

Acting Mayors (After World War II):

  • Julian Zoleta (April 1945)
  • Federico Márquez (May 1945)
  • Honorio Abadilla (October 1946)

Elected Mayors:

  • Amando Zaballero (1947–1952)
  • Honorio Abadilla (1952–1955)
  • Casto T. Profugo (1955–1960, 1961–1963)
  • Mario L. Tagarao (1963–1967, 1967–1971, 1971–1981,1981–1986)
  • Euclides Abcede (May 1986 – November 1987) (appointed)
  • Romeo Mendoza (December 4–7, 1987) (appointed)
  • Julio T. Alzona (December 8, 1987 – February 7, 1988) (appointed)
  • Cesar Zaballero (February 8, 1988 – June 1992)
  • Ramon Y. Talaga, Jr. (1992–1995, 1995–1998)
  • Bernard G. Tagarao (1998 – May 12, 2000)
  • Ramon Y. Talaga, Jr. (May 13, 2000 – June 30, 2010)
  • Barbara “Ruby” C. Talaga (2010 – October 2012)[a]
  • Roderick “Dondon” A. Alcala (November 2012 – present)[20]
  1. ^ Substitute candidate for the position of Mayor in lieu of her husband Ramon Y. Talaga. As per Supreme Court's en banc decision, the high tribunal refused to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would stop the Comelec from executing a ruling ordering her removal from office (RUBY TALAGA v. COMELEC and RODERICK ALCALA) G.R. No. 196804. The Comelec ruling orders Vice Mayor Roderick Alcala to take over as mayor by order of succession under the Local Government Code.[18][19]



Lucena City has a central transportation hub called the Lucena Grand Central Terminal located in Barangay Ilayang Dupay, just midway through the Bicol Region and back. New and modern buses ply the route Buendia/LRT1-Lucena, EDSA Pasay-Lucena, Cubao/Kamias-Lucena and Alabang/Starmall-Lucena or UV Express Van to Taytay, Rizal Via Antipolo, Manila East Road, Pililla Wind Farm and Laguna East, Lucban, Tayabas. It serves not only Manila -bound buses but also buses going toward the upland and far-flung areas of Quezon province, particularly Bondoc Peninsula towns. Bus companies such as JAC Liner, Lucena Lines, JAM Liner, DLTBCo and N. Dela Rosa Bus Lines bring passengers to Manila and Lucena back and forth. Lucena also has a wide network of jeepney routes, all emanating from the city proper (Bayan) and reaching out to the major barangays of the city, as well as nearby towns. Thousand of tricycles also roam the streets of the city, bringing passengers right at their point of destination. These tricycles usually are the mode of transport when night falls. The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Toll Road 4 (TR-4) Extension from Santo Tomas, Batangas will end in Lucena City at the connection of Maharlika Highway at Barangay Mayao. It is supposed to be finished by 2019 but moved to 2022.

There is an expressway project to Bicol were planned to extend the South Luzon Expressway to Matnog, Sorsogon as SLEX Toll Road 5.[21]

There exists a Lucena Airport, but no commercial flights come to the city. Even light aircraft can not make use of the facilities.

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) is on the process of rehabilitating the existing Manila-Bicol and Baguio-Bicol Railway Line, which includes stops in Quezon province, including PNR Lucena station, which traditionally then is a major loading & pick-up point for passengers and cargoes alike when the railway system was once the primary transportation mode going to Manila. Modern air-conditioned coaches will ply this route.

Port of Lucena (2).JPG

The Passenger Ferry Terminal in Lucena has RORO vessels that transport passengers across Tayabas Bay to Marinduque, Romblon and Masbate.

The Port of Lucena, located 130 kilometres (81 mi) southeast of Manila, is known as the gateway and melting pot city of Southern Luzon. The port complex is built along the fishing village of Barangay Talao-Talao, a kilometer away to the east of Dalahican Fishing Port. The total port area of TMO Lucena is 5,174.75 square metres (55,700.5 sq ft). Operational area of 576.00 square meters and commercial area of 4,598.75 square meters as delineated under Executive order No. 199 dated September 20, 1994 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos. The port is accessible via the paved provincial road connecting the Dalahican Road and a rough causeway leading to the port. It is 27 nautical miles to Dalahican, and 57 nautical miles to Batangas City and sea distance to Manila is 150 nautical miles. Passenger ferry services include Montenegro Shipping Lines and Star Horse Shipping Lines.[22]


Lucena City is served by landline and mobile phone companies like the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Digitel Telecommunications (PLDT-Digitel). Major mobile phone providers in the area include Globe, Smart, and Sun Cellular.


Lucena has private and public hospitals that are capable of providing most common and advanced medical services, as well as in handling medical emergencies. Both types of institutions are considered to provide the same standard of healthcare and services, differing mainly with the medical and diagnostic facilities at hand.

These are staffed with qualified medical practitioners that are well-versed in English. The doctors are graduates of the many top reputable medical schools in the Philippines; most have pursued further studies and training in the United States. Likewise, the nurses are the products of the many credible nursing schools in the country. These same institutions have produced the many Filipino nurses working in the United States, Europe, Middle East, and other parts of the world.

  • Lucena United Memorial District Hospital, 178 Merchan Street
  • Lucena MMG General Hospital, Maharlika Highway, Ibabang Dupay
  • Mt. Carmel Diocesan General Hospital, Allarey Extension
  • Lucena United Doctors Hospital and Medical Center, Barangay Isabang
  • St. Anne General Hospital, 51 Gomez Street
  • Quezon Medical Center (Quezon Memorial Hospital), QMC Compound, Quezon Avenue
  • St. Mary's Hospital, Quezon Avenue
  • Quezon MMG Medical Plaza, Quezon Avenue


The main building of Quezon National High School

In 2006, the city had a literacy rate of 98.6 percent. It has numerous tertiary and secondary schools, including public and private. The tertiary education system in Lucena provides instruction and training in fields of study, both for baccalaureate degrees and vocational courses. Institutions offering degree programs including liberal arts, arts and sciences, engineering, and information technology include the Lucena Campus of Southern Luzon State University, STI College Lucena along Quezon Avenue cor. Don Perez St., ABE International College of Business and Economics along Quezon Avenue, Philtech Institute of Arts and Technology Inc. (PIAT), Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, City College of Lucena along the Maharlika Highway, Columbus College-Lucena, AMA Computer College-Lucena, Sacred Heart College (Lucena) (the oldest Catholic school in Quezon Province), and Maryhill College. Aside from tertiary schools, the city also has an expanse footprint on the pre-school, primary and secondary levels of education, both in public and private schools such as, Saint Philomena School, International School for Better Beginnings, and Holy Rosary Catholic School. There are numerous day-care centers found all over the city.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]


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External links[edit]