EVOCATION OF LOVE AND SHADOWS: The Flora and Fauna of the 19th Century

From valley to valley and always traveling between a savage and exuberant vegetation, among small houses situated at certain distances from each other, the dwellings of farmers or the shelter of travelers, we reached the heights of the Bridge of the Princess (Tulay ng Prinsesa, so named after the Princess of Asturias), from which a strong odor of rotten eggs indicated to us that we were in the vicinity of a sulfuric spring. As we advanced, the odor became stronger and finally we noted on that same plateau some shallow furrows impregnated with mineralogical residues carried by the water...

The landscape that can be admired from the Bridge of the Princess is the most beautiful landscape which nature can ever create. The river runs between two hills in which the

Great Creator has spread out one of the most beautiful scenes; all the shades and colors of flowers, all the mysteries of the forest, all the grandeur of the intertropical vegetation, are exhibited in those heights, in which the strident shriek of the monkey, the divining sound of kalaw or hornbill, the sad groans of the bato-bato or the quail, the monotonous peep of the solitario or thrush and the merry warble of the bajaro del sol are heard. All of these factors together, almost always overlaid with a layer of mystic clouds, predispose one to melancholy. I cannot imagine myself laughing while I pass over the Bridge of the Princess.

That panorama oppresses the soul, those heights encircle the spirit with sadness, and the mists that spread out from the fissures of Banahaw endow fantasy with life, transforming them into foreboding shadows.
How sad, how savage and at the same time how beautiful is all this!

Source: Alvarez Guerra, Juan De Manila a Tayabas, 2nd Ed. 1887 Madrid Ch.5 p.62-63


Geological setting signifies occurrence of non metallic mineral deposits with high economic potential. Huge quantities of cement raw material and lime stone are present in the vicinity of Ibabang Palale, a barrio south-east of Tayabas.

Forest Products

Forest area measures 2804 hectares and the bigger part is located in Mount Banahaw, a Vulcan de Agua or Water Volcano; 473 of which are identified as Multiple Use Zone, 2331 are Protected Area.

Flora ( Plants )

There are 358 species of trees, 19 species of vines, 15 species of palms, 39 species of ferns, 15 species of grasses and 42 species of fungi.