OLD TAYABAS. Tayabas is an old town located at the foot hills of the mystical Mount Banahaw. From 1749 to 1946, Tayabas was the capital of Tayabas Province which then comprises the present-day provinces of Quezon, Aurora and Marinduque. In 1946, President Manuel Roxas changed the name of the province from Tayabas to Quezon in honor the president of the Commonwealth, Manuel Luis Quezon.
Although we find the towns in this part of Quezon like Dolores, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, Lucban to have similar history and share common traditions, legends and landscape, Tayabas is distinct for its century-old bridges, tribunal and church.
CASA COMMUNIDAD. The town’s old tribunal is a famous landmark in Tayabas. First built by Gobernadorcillo Francisco Lopez in 1776 with makeshift materials, it was made into a grand edifice in 1831 by then Gobernadorcillo Don Diego Enriquez. The structure was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1978.
It was in this tribunal where Apolonio de la Cruz known as Hermano Pule was sentence to death by firing squad in 1841 for leading the first major revolt in the country, based on religious freedom. Hermano Pule founded the brotherhood Cofradia de San Jose that excluded the Spanish as members. Spanish religious authorities condemned the brotherhood for heresy.
TRIBUNAL MUSEUM. The tribunal houses some function rooms, a library and a museum. Interesting displays in the museum are the old blocks stone shaped for a specific function like the stone press and crosses.
The stone press was used to flatten pandan to make banig. The grass is laid on the curved stone bed and flattened with repeated motion of the stone press. Another is a high-relief stone crosses used a “pwesto” for prayers during Santacruzan.
BASILICA MINORE DE SAN MIGUEL ARCANGEL. The basilica is the longest Spanish colonial church in the country and of course one of the oldest. First built by the Franciscans in 1585 on indigenous material and repaired in 1590 by Pedro Bautista (later became a saint).
The church was later built using bricks in 1600 however it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1743. In 1856, the church was enlarged, building a transept and cupola.
The belfry has an eighteenth century clock that chimes every thirty minutes, the only one of its kind in the country back then. The church has antique organ and balcony over the altar that adds to its well maintained interior.
The church was conferred as a minor basilica in October 18, 1988.
MALAGUNLONG BRIDGE There are a number of century-old bridges in the town but the five-span 445 foot long Malagunlong Bridge is the oldest bridge in Quezon province. It was built by the Spanish Franciscan Antonio Mateus in 1841 using adobe stone, limestone and molasses.