Lopez is a 1st class municipality in the province of Quezon, Philippines. It is located in the southern part of the province, 220 kilometers away from Manila, 83 kilometers away from Lucena City, 25 kilometers to Camarines Norte, 3 nautical kilometers to Alabat Island and bordered by the municipalities of Catanauan and General Luna on the south, Macalelon on the southwest, Calauag on the northeast, Gumaca on the west, Buenavista and Guinayangan on the east.
It is one of the largest municipalities in the province and has a total land area of 395.1 square kilometers representing 4.53 % of the total land area of the province of Quezon. It is composed of 95 barangays, 7 of which are urban and 88 are rural.
The terrain generally ranges from 345 to 399 meters above sea level with rugged mountain areas. Coastal areas deviate from plain to hilly terrains. Rivers, streams and springs abound throughout the municipality, but the most popular is the Talolong River.
There was a flourishing coastal settlement somewhere in the southern part of the municipality of Gumaca called Talolong. The settlement’s name was derived from the name of sturdy trees abundant in the place locally called Talolong with a scientific name Drypetes bordenii and wide known as Balikbikan.
The original location of the settlement was in the marshy mouth of a sedate river, which was founded by the descendants of Datu Dumangsil and Datu Balinsusa of the Kalilayan kingdom. Due to the frequent plundering and terrorism of the pirates, the colony was transferred to the present town’s location.
The settlement of Lakan Bugtali who founded the community of Gumaca was gone. Even a trace of its remains cannot be identified neither the vintages of the encomienda of Kalilayan nor a fraction of its 16th century glories. When it became a sitio through a papal bull, the village started to manage by her own.
Settlement areas in the municipality are highly scattered; population concentration is noticeable only within the poblacion, that is, the urban barangays of Burgos, Danlagan, Gomez, Magsaysay, Rizal, San Lorenzo Ruiz (Bocboc) and Talolong as well as the rural barangays of Mal-ay, Sugod, Pansol, Calantipayan, Manguisian, Del Pilar, Bebito, Canda Ibaba and Canda Ilaya which are traversed by the national highway. The rest of rural barangays are reached by other road networks which are accessible during dry and wet season. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 86,660., a quarter of which are in the urban areas and the rest are in the rural areas. Males outnumbered the females at a ratio of 105.34 : 100.
Lopez had a labor force of 56.99% in 2000 or 44,849. About 9,474 of the employed labor force were engaged in primary industries such as farming and fishing. Its economy is basically engages in agriculture, crops, poultry and livestock production. Around 17,778.57 has. representing 45% of the total land area planted to coconut trees, 2,300 has. are established to rice production, 628 has. to corn harvest. Growing around are natural materials for handicraft such as wild vines, buri, anahaw, tikiw, bamboo, cogon and talahib.Several cottage industries exist in the locality such as bamboo furnitures, bolo, baskets, rattan, anahaw and buri fan making, buntal and tikiw. It also has rich fishing grounds in the Lopez Bay area and a number of inland fishponds. Fish, shrimps, prawns, crabs and other sea products are abundant.
Rice is also a major staple crop, the municipality is also a major banana producer in the region. Other crops grown in the municipality are citrus, root crops, vegetables and industrial crops. Majority of the farmers are also raising livestock and poultry.
Lopez is dubbed as the educational center of Southern Quezon. Several educational institutions operate in the town serving not just its citizens but also those coming from the Bondoc Peninsula and the Bicol region. Very notable among these are the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Philippine Normal University (PNU), Eastern Tayabas College and the Lopez National Comprehensive High School. The Quezon Provincial Training Center of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is also located in the town. Furthermore, preparatory, primary and secondary education is no longer a problem since several schools have already opened their doors in the far-flung areas to serve the rural youth as part of town's mission of bringing the schools closer to the people.
Lopez is politically subdivided into 95 barangays.