First stop! Santa Rosa City, Philippines

Sta. Rosa is a lone congressional district in Laguna. It comprises of more than 300,000 people, located in the southern part of Manila, in between Biñan and Cabuyao which was recently became cities as well. Sta. Rosa is the smallest city in terms of size compared to  other cities in Laguna but it accounts to the second largest government in terms of population. It is considered to have the highest income due becoming industrialized, highly tourism status and fully developed business districts. 

It has also been the migration capital of Laguna because of demands of jobs from electronics to garments, food to construction, manufacturing to services such as hotels and FNB. Recently BPO companies has opened and cater public to work in the field of call center agents both inbound and outbound. 

Real estates has also become popular and it varies from low costs to most exclusive luxurious houses such as those in Nuvali and Santa Rosa Estates along Sta. Rosa- Tagaytay Road in the west area while low cost housing are scattered in almost all the barangay. The city government has opened many opportunity for people to buy houses to live at their own choice of homes. 

To enjoy Sta. Rosa, one must be ready to a hot yet joyful fun: 

Enchanted Kingdom … it was opened in 1995 and has been offering thrilling rides for it’s guests. Kids will truly enjoy the kiddy rides such as their famous Grand Carousell. They are the first and only theme park that offers a cyclone loops roller coaster and one of the tallest ferries wheel. It is also affordable, just make sure that you take advantage of all the rides that’s suitable for you. Bring along camera and extra shirt because there are rides that would make you wet like the Rio Grande. My personal favourite now is the Discomatic, a fun ride that turns around while sliding back and forth. EK as it is called continues to innovate by replacing some rides with new and interesting ones. 

The best thing to have a selfie is the entrace where EK mascot is visible and will give you an substance of being present in EK for a day! Don’t miss also the castle like entrance with the marker in the background. I actually have more photos in this place than any place inside. It’s like the final or for some, the initial line up for a ride. 

EK is very accessible to people who wants to go there, skipping so much less heavy traffic if it where in the city side. Luckily, it’s just about few hundreds meters from Sta. Rosa exit. Bringing of food is not allowed but you’ll still find good food inside. The last time I went there, I bought a tumbler but then, I lost it so I would probably come back and get another one. 

Nuvali and Paseo de Sta. Rosa … for a fancy place, this is the place to be. It comprised of hotels, watersports, low to high-end shopping , chill, eat, party and work. Here you can find things that you can’t find in central market or Balibago, at least for now. 

Going to these two place is quite easy as going to EK. They are on the opposite ways after exiting from southbound or northbouth from expressway. If your from Manila, you must turn right and left if you’re from Batangas. Approaching Paseo de Santa Rosa is quite a different feeling already, there’s  cleanliness, progress and amazing view though it’s been there for a long time, it kept it’s agenda of allure to the public. Development started I think somewhere in the year 2000. Prior to that, I’ve seen it so plain with bushes and heath. It’s actually scary when you go there at night. I remembered that the first establishment there was McDonalds comes to the opening of Bel-Air, a first class residential subdivision. 

From then and now, it continued to expand with more and more real estates, shops and stalls. Further way off Paseo is the Nuvali with Solenad 1 and 2. A bustling business district with more establishments than anywhere else in Laguna. Wake boarding can also be enjoyed here without going to Bicol or Pampanga. It’s roads are best for jogging and running, parks are good for playing and its ornamental designs are just right for the eyes. Commuters will have convinience transfering from one place to another. Jeepney, tricycles and pedicab are available throughout the city.

Other things… . There’s a mini port in Macabling to bring you to Talim Island where you can ride a small motorised boat. Plaza of Sta. Rosa right in front of Sta. Rosa de Lima Church surrounded with some food stalls. Adjacent to it was the Museum of Sta. Rosa with some portraits of arts and artifacts. You can buy here also the famous Yema cake at Barangay Tagapo though there has been some locations already available. You will never get tired of shopping at SM and Robinsons’ malls. Festivities like Sikhayan and Cityhood Day during every 10th of July. Barangay Fiesta also happen whole year round. 

Downsides (note: all based on my experience and opinion)… The city itself has been growing through the years and yet traffic seems to have not been attended properly, be aware of the heavy traffic along Rizal Street going and out downtown and Balibago area. The last time I went to Tagaytay, the road took me about an hour to escape from Arcillas Blvd to Nuvali. Road constructions took forever and became inappropriate parking afterwards. Shopping malls should have been link with sheltered walkway to keep the competition going between malls. The previous Robinsons’ Place now became a Market Place because of poor competition imposed. There’s an up coming stadium which used to be a sports complex turned a multipurpose hall. I think planning here has been tainted with corruption. But whatever is going on, it’s my city and I will continue to live here. I just need to believe and have faith for a more better, more safer and more secured City of Sta. Rosa specially with the new administration. 

Wishing you and enjoyable trip to Santa Rosa City!!!