Quezon Adventure: Atimonan

Our next adventure takes us 173 kilometers southeast of Kilometer 0 in Manila, Atimonan is a beautiful first-class coastal municipality in the province of Quezon -my mom's hometown.

Atimonan History

The municipality of Atimonan was founded on February 4, 1608. However, there are several conflicting stories on how Atimonan got its name. Some believe that the name Atimonan came from a tree known as Atimon. These trees are now extinct and that made the claim hard to prove.

Simeona Mangaba's statue found in Zigzag Park.

The famous siko, located on the Zigzag Road

Others believe that the name came from the phrase Atin Muna which probably is a policy or motto that bolsters the spirit of unity among the residents of the town.

Simeona Mangaba's statue can also be seen in front of the new municipal hall.

The most popular version (and probably the locally accepted one) is the story of Simeona Mangaba. Fondly called Ate Monang by her town mates, Simeona Mangaba founded the town on February 4, 1608, when she along with several families settled along the banks of the Maling River, now called Atimonan River. The story goes that a company of Spanish Colonial soldiers passed by the area and asked a young boy about the name of the town. The child, probably scared of the new faces, ran while shouting "Ate Monang!" repeatedly. Because of that incident, the town was called Atimonan.

They need to put a little more art to that Welcome Arch of Atimonan.

Nuestra Senora De Los Angeles watching over the municipality of Atimonan.

Sadly, history wasn't that kind to the town of Atimonan. It didn't escape the horrors of the time when the Dutch raided and burnt the town. Not only that, but the Moro pirates also added a share of pain and suffering to the townsfolks by continually harassing and raiding the town. Finally, the town silently witnessed the bloody occupation of the Japanese and the more bloody liberation of the town by the Filipino guerrillas and the American forces. 

FYI one of the first Japanese landings in World War 2 were on the shores of Atimonan, Quezon

These events, no matter how terrible they were, just made the townsfolks of Atimonan or the Atimonanin stronger and more unified. Today, Atimonan is a very lively, clean, and beautiful place. The town is known for its gray sand beaches, friendly people, and lush green forests.

A common sight on the road around Atimonan. Guess what he's doing!

Atimonan! Atin Muna

To date, Atimonan is my most visited municipality in the Southern part of Luzon. It's simply because it's my mom's hometown. Hence, it would forever be close to my heart.

Check out the places to visit in Atimonan

Places I've visited in Atimonan:

Quezon National Forest Park

Atimonan Zigzag Park

Atimonan Church -Atimonan Church Part 2

Iskong Bantay Watchtower

Port of Atimonan

The new Atimonan Municipal Hall

Atimonan Artificial Reef in Lamon Bay

De Gracia Beach Resort

Floating cottages in Lamon Bay

Scenic farms of Barangay Sapaan

Sirena ng Atimonan

Cueva Santa

Blood Red Trees of Pinaglabanan

Mt. Mirador/ Pinagbanderahan

Buenavista Spot (Zigzag Road)

Quezon Herbal Pavilion

Catholic Cemetery of Atimonan

Atimonan Public Market

Atimonan Aglipayan Church

Maling River / Atimonan River

Atimonan Baypark

Places for foodies:

Dennis and Volet Carinderia

Glory's Refreshments (Sells the best halo-halo in town)

Other Places you might want to visit:

1. Leon Guinto Boulevard
2. Magsaysay Waterfalls
3. Bantakay Falls
4. Malusak Cave
5. Palanyag Caves
6. Kilait Lubi Falls
7. Pangaw
8. Lumiliay River Waterfalls


1. Overspending by listing down your expenses.
2. Accidents by observing traffic and establishment rules. (Don't forget to be very vigilant.)

Atimonan Itinerary:

Day 1

5:30AM Departure from Manila
9:00AM Arrival at Grand Terminal Lucena City
9:20AM Departure from Lucena City
11:00AM Atimonan proper
11:15AM Visit Atimonan Church
11:30AM Visit Iskong Bantay Watch Tower
11:50AM Visit the new Municipal Hall
12:00NN Lunch at any local carenderia (food is great)
1:00PM Ride a tricycle and ask the driver to make a stop near the famous Sirena statue
1:15PM Head to De Gracia Resort*
*you could have your lunch in the floating cottages owned by the resort
1:30PM onwards: 
Option 1: Swim at Lamon Bay
Option 2: Snorkle or dive at Atimonan Artificial Reef
Option 3: Go whale-shark watching (depending on the season)
4:00PM: Go back to town and check out the other food stalls 
6:00PM Walk around town; Visit Leon Guinto Boulevard
7:00PM Munch on some street food. Check the nightlife in the town
8:00PM Head back to De Gracia Resort. You could go night swimming if you want or sing some songs in the videoke.

Day 2

6:00AM Breakfast at De Gracia Resort
7:00AM Prepare for check out/ buy souvenirs.
8:00AM Check out head back to town proper.
Option 1: Head to Brgy Sapaan and go on a nature walk or look for caves
Ride a jeepney heading to Brgy Sapaan. Tell the driver to drop you at the drop off point for the trek to Palanyag Cave. 
Option 2: Head to Atimonan Zigzag Park
Ride a jeepney heading to the park or rent a tricycle to bring you to the park. From there you could take a picture of the park, visit the ruins of the old resort, then trek going to Pinagbanderahan. You could also contact the Atimonan Rock Climbing group and try out your skill in this extreme adventure.
12:00NN Departure to Manila

Other itineraries/tour packages courtesy of Atimonan.gov.ph*


DAY 1:

0500 -Take SM-Lucena bound bus from Manila (JAC Liner/Buendia Taft)
0900 - At SM-Lucena take Atimonan-bound van
1000 - ETA Quezon National Forest Park Picnic Area –Jump- Off Pinangbanderahan
1030 - Cueva Santa Explore
1100 - Resume Trek
1120 - ETA Pinagbanderahan Summit
1150 - ETD Pinagbanderahan Summit
1230 - Back at QNFP Picnic Area/Lunch
1330 - Jump-Off to a resort
1400 - ETA Resort Check-inSnorkeling/Diving/Fish Feeding/Boating
1730 - Side Trip to Poblacion Public Market/Church Plaza/Walk at Atimonan Port
1900 - Dinner/Socials

DAY 2:

0500 - Wake-up call
0530 - Breakfast-Jump-off to Brgy. Sta. Catalina-Take busbound to Lucena or Manila
0630 - ETA Brgy. Sta. Catalina/Start Trek
0830 - ETA Bantakay Falls - Site Exploration/Heavy Snacks
1000 - ETD Bantakay Falls - Resume Trek
1100 - ETA Bantakay Cave - Cave Exploration
1200 - ETD Bantakay Cave
1300 - Back at Bantakay Falls/Lunch
1330 - Start Descent
1530 - Back at Sta. Catalina/Clean-up 
1600 - ETD for Manila by bus


Quezon National Forest Park-Pinagbanderahan
0600 - Take SM-Lucena bound bus from Manila (JAC Liner/Buendia Taft)
1000 - At SM-Lucena take Atimonan-bound van
1100 - ETA Quezon National Forest Park Picnic Area Site Exploration/Lunch
1230 - ETD -Pinagbanderahan
1300 - Cueva Santa Exploration
1400 - Resume Trek
1430 - ETA Pinagbanderahan Summit
1530 - ETD Pinagbanderahan Summit
1630 - Back at QNFP Picnic Area/Clean-up/Snacks
1700 - ETD to Manila by bus


Bantakay Falls/Cave
0500 - Take Gumaca/Calauag-bound bus from Manila (Buendia, Cubao)or take Lucena-bound bus from Manila and transfer to Gumaca/Calauag/Guinyangan-bound bus at Lucena Grand Terminal
0930 - ETA Brgy, Sta. Catalina - between KM 157-158/Take-off Bantakay Falls
1130 - ETA Bantakay Falls - Site Exploration/Lunch
1230 - Resume Trip to Bantakay Cave
1330 - ETA Bantakay Cave-Cave Exploration
1500 - Start Descent
1730 - Back to Sta. Catalina/Clean up
1800 - ETD to Manila by bus

*Contact the local government to avail of the tour package

Contact Details:
Atimonan official website: http://www.atimonan.gov.ph
Email Address: lgu_Atimonan@yahoo.com
Telefax No: +6342 3166905

Ms. Cecilia T. De Torres
Tourism Officer

Estimated Budget: P2500- 3000
Bus from Manila -Lucena City: P250-300
Bus from Lucena to Atimonan: P150-200
Tricycle budget for 2 days: P300
Food budget day 1: P500*
Food budget day 2: P500*
Bus from Atimonan to Manila: P450-500

*optional (budget can be lower or higher depending on your needs)

This blog entry is dedicated to Mrs. Dulce Villamena Esguerra (my beloved Lola) 1934 -2013


Overall ratings


  1. This made me cry! Nice blog pinsan...

    1. It's really great to read a comment from you pinsan. We miss you here. =*)

  2. Hi, ask ko lang kung may matutulugan ba dyan sa Atimonan na medyo swak sa backpacker or solo motorider. PLanning to visit the place this coming holy week :) TIA

    1. Hi po! marami pong resorts sa beach area ng Atimonan. Maisusuggest ko po ung De Gracia pero marami pa pong iba na maaaring mas mura.

  3. Diyan kami tumira noong 1970s kasi nagtrabaho ang tatay ko sa bayan na iyan. Di ko makakalimutan ang simbahan ng Atimonan. Salamat sa pagpost nito.

  4. Gusto ko pumunta sa dyan! One day makakarating din ako sa Atimonan :)

    1. Masarap magroadtrip sa Atimonan. The best din ang pagkain.

  5. Atimonan just stays in my heart. I reached this lovely town in 1986. The relatives of my fathers wife lived there and in near by Tabugon.

    1. I hope you still visit Atimonan once in a while. =)


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