Nagcarlan is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 48,727 people in 10,708 households. It is 21 kilometers northeast of San Pablo City, or 99 kilometers south of Manila, Philippines. Its coordinates are N14°07.93' E121°24.93' at 229.0 meters above sealevel.
It was in Nagcarlan where Fr. Juan de Placencia, a Franciscan missionary, wrote the first Diccionario Hispanico-Tagalog in 1579. His manuscript, Costumbres de los Tagalog which was written ten years later, was used as a guide by the alcalde mayores for effective and righteous local governance. It was in 1851 when the famous Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan was built.
Nagcarlan has a total population of 55,697 and a total land area of 11,489.4 hectares which consists of 3 urban barangays and 49 rural barangays. Total agriculltural area is 10,015 hectares or 87.17% of the total land area. Basic crops are coconut, rice, lanzones, coffee, bananas, root crops and vegetables.
Its climatic condition is characterized by two pronounced seasons: Dry from February to April and Wet from May to January. Temperature is slightly higher than Baguio City. The coolest months are from November to February.
There are a numbers of elegant resorts which offers near-complete amenities for comfort and pleasurable stay. Equally remarkable to see is the grandeur of the age-old Underground Cemetery and Roman Catholic Church.
Not to be missed is the splendor of country living and religious beliefs of rural folks every Friday morning at "Kapilya ni San Jusep". Visit Barangay Sinipian and experience tasting different "kakanins" and other native delicacies.
And finally, explore the bounty and magnificence of eight mountains: Mt. Atimla, Mt. Mabilog, Mt. Nagcarlan, Mt. Malauban, Mt. Lansay, Mt. Bayaquitos, Mt. Cristobal and Mt. Banahaw. There is also a lake we call Yambo and numerous crystal-clear bodies of water such as rivers and great waterfalls. The most prominent waterfall are the famous Bunga Falls of Nagcarlan.
The municipality of Nagcarlan is located 103 kilometers from Manila through San Pablo. It can also be reached via Sta. Cruz, the capital town of Laguna. It is bounded on the north by the municipalities of Victoria, Pila and Liliw; on the east by municipality of Liliw; on the south by the municipalities of Rizal,Calauan and San Pablo.
Nagcarlan town proper or poblacion is accessible to all types of land vehicles plying from Sta. Cruz, Laguna and San Pablo City, and fairly accessible from Calauan and Lucban roads as well.
The ending rains in October always bring the townspeople of Nagcarlan in a huddle of excitement as it prepares them for a festive mood to celebrate Pestibal ni Ana Kalang, Nagcarlan's commemoration of bountiful harvest from their argo-industrial products.
Started in 1987, with the cultural and artistic inclination of then Mayor Demetrio T. Comendador and the Nagcarlan Community Development Council (NCDC), it continuously proliferate and became an integral part of the distinct culture of Nagcarlan.
From the first Wednesday of October each year, Nagcarlan town in Laguna becomes the first of merry-making as both young and old folks join in this five-day revelry starting off with the competitive and challenging construction of Agro-trade fair's booths and Giant Statues whose festival leitmotif showcasing unique folk art where different fruits and vegetable or any indigenous available material are used for its parts. The statues, usually ten feet high made by different schools, communities, establishments or private individuals competitively vie for a big prize given by the municipal government. A few years ago, some changes were made moving the start of the celebration from the first to the third Wednesday of October.
They are then exhibited in front of the Municipal Government's Building with the organizer's artists adding colorful concoction and supportive background that will magnify its general panorama.
Giant statues are commonly called in Nagcarlan as "kalang-kalangs", from which the name of the festival (and the palace itself) is derived from.
Ana Kalang according to a myth was known for her tremendous wealth, kindness, piety, and generosity. During her time, she was always around to help her townmates whenever in trouble that even among the Spaniards, her popularity is truly acknowledged.
Street dancing and colorful "kalang-kalang" are the major attraction during the grand parade which is held in the afternoon of the final day. Street dancers dressed in spectacular native costumes dance in the street side by side with the giant "kalang-kalangs" as people scramble merrily over several lechons offered for free to any bystander. The music of the drum and lyre corps from different schools fills the air, as beautiful minorettes in elegant uniforms dance to its rhythm.
Another special feature of the festival is the "Sunduan", meaning "to fetch". Sunduan is an old Filipino fiesta ritual that pays tribute to the Filipina's unique Asian beauty. This is participated in by the muses and escorts of the town's different communities. These muses are then fetched by their escorts with the town Mayor accompanying them from the farthest end of the town to the festival site. All garbed in native costumes, these muses then vie for the "Bb. Ana Kalang" title.
Straddling across the foot of Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal, Nagcarlan is considered the biggest of the upland towns of Laguna. Its approximately more than 43,000 inhabitants can always be deemed industrious, as seen in the abundance of rice, coconuts and lanzones (in fact the biggest supplier of sweet lanzones in the Metropolis).
Even during festival, Nagcarleno's skills in handicraft-- making and basket-weaving are duly recognized and appreciated as showcased in booths in the Agro-Trade exhibits. Secondary agricultural crops like fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee and root crops, which are grown the whole year-round, are also exhibited and are for sale both to local and foreign visitors and folks from neighboring towns.
The captivating smiles of fair maidens, good old stories from elder citizens, the crisp laughter of the children, fresh bountiful harvest everywhere add up to the genuine feeling of camaraderie and belongingness of the Nagcarlenos, evident in the hospitable and accommodating traits of the Filipinos as a people.
During the five-day festivities, competitions in the traditional Filipino games, "kundiman" singing, original native cooking, painting, drum and lyre presentations and folk-dancing takes place in the town's various public arenas and social hall. In the evening, cultural shows are presented, well prepared for and participated in mostly by the youth. Other highlights of the festival include tours in the town's historical and scenic spots, livelihood seminars, antique exhibit, garden show and ballroom dancing.
So many unusual things to do here, peculiar places to visit and interesting people to be with, making Nagcarlan just the place to go to for a brief breakaway.
Nagcarlan is politically subdivided into 52 barangays.