Lucena City

The City of Lucena (FilipinoLungsod ng Lucena) is the capital city of the province of QuezonPhilippines.


Lucena was originally a barrio of Tayabas town, then the capital of the Province of Tayabas which was explored by Captain Juan de Salcedo in 1571 and 1572. Tayabas was organized by the Spaniards through the Franciscan missionaries.

One of the former names of Lucena was “Cotta” meaning a strong fort, because forts or cottas were built to defend it from Muslim piratical raids.Spanish records mention the existence of cottas (Tagalog: kuta) along the coast of Lucena, particularly in Cotta itself and in the Barrio of Mayao, though these structures are no longer extant. Finally, on November 5, 1878, pursuant to an Orden Real Superior Civil, the community was named “Lucena.” It became an independent municipality on June 1, 1879. The growth of local maritime trade facilitated in the Cotta port and the final defeat of Moro pirates plying the Luzon and Visayan waters, afforded the growth of Lucena as a town which eventually led to its being the capital of Tayabas province.

Popular knowledge attribute the origin of the name “Lucena” to the town of LucenaAndalucia where the late Reverend Mariano Granja, theFranciscan pioneer parish priest was said to have earlier served (some even say that he was from this town). The city was originally known as Eliossana, from the Hebrew אלי הושענא Elí hosanna, “God may save us”. Muslims called it اليشانة Al-Yussana. But according to the monumental work (Catalogo Biografico de los Religiosos Franciscanos de la Provincia de San Gregorio Magno de Filipinas) of a fellow Franciscan, Eusebio Gomez Platero, Fr. Granja was born in Paredes de Nava, diocese of Palencia, distant from Andalucia. Records also show that he had no previous post as priest of Lucena, Andalucia.

During the Philippine Revolution of 1896, the captain municipal of Lucena, Jose Zaballero, led the local revolutionaries. The local revolutionary government was organized by Manuel Argüelles, with José Barcelona as president. After the declaration of Philippine Independence, Gen. Malvar took over Tayabas Province on August 15, 1898. Don Crisanto Marquez was elected municipal president during the first elections.

Lucena was the site of bloody struggles at the outbreak of the Philippine–American War in 1899. Upon the establishment of a civil government in the Province of Tayabas by the Americans on March 12, 1901, Lucena was made capital of the province after a bitter debate between Tayabas-born and Lucena-based officials. The decision to make Lucena as capital was primarily based on its strategic location. Unlike the former capital town (Tayabas), Lucena has direct access to the sea.

During World War II, Lucena was not spared at the hands of the Japanese who occupied the city on December 27, 1941. Fortunately however, the city was not devastated by the war. The Hunter ROTC guerrillas succeeded in driving out the Japanese on January 25, 1945 and consequently,Quezon province was liberated by joint Filipino and American troops on April 4, 1945.

In 1957, the barrios of Ilayang Iyam and Ibabang Iyam were created.

On June 17, 1961 by virtue of Republic Act No. 3271, sponsored by Cong. Manuel S. Enverga and Cong. Pascual Espinosa, Lucena became a chartered city. The City of Lucena was inaugurated on August 20, 1962 after the occasion of the 84th birth anniversary of the late Pres. Manuel L. Quezon during August 19.

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