History of Pila

Pila has been recognized as a center of culture and trade – as early as the Philippines’ pre-Hispanic period. Archaeological excavation in the 1960s yielded artifacts as rare glass beads, gold, tools, clay and porcelain potteries.

Reference to the town of Pila first appeared in Spanish records in 1575. It was conferred the title “La Noble Villa de Pila” in recognition of its people’s refined and mannered customs.

The Pila Municipal Hall is located in the middle of the plaza. It has been renovated many times since it’s construction in 1931
(Taken Pamana ng Pila, 2018)

The front cover of “Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala”, the very first Tagalog-Spanish dictionary. This dictionary was published in Pila, Laguna in 1613. (Taken from Pila Historical Society Foundation)

The ancient Pileños second settlement was named Pagalangan, literally a place of worship and reverence. Headed the Datu of Pila, it was this settlement that was discovered in 1571 Conquistador Juan de Salcedo
The Franciscans established the second printing press in the Philippines in 1611 in Pila, Laguna. The first Tagalog dictionary was printed here in 1613 Tomás Pinpín and Domingo Loag. The dictionary was 25 years older than the first book published in the United States.  
The local pastor Fray Pedro de San Buenaventura compiled the dictionary to facilitate the evangelization of the Tagalog region.

The land on which the present-day church, town and plaza were donated the
tres hermanos Rivera. As the new town’s Chief, Architect and dynamic leader, Don Felizardo was given the title “Fundador de Nueva di Pila“.

Pinagbayanan Crematorium is the oldest crematorium in the Philippines. It measured 330 cm wide 85 cm high and was dated to the thirteenth to fourteenth century.  (Taken from Pila Historical Society Foundation)

How to Get to Pila

By Public transportation:
  • Ride a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna either from Alabang, Cubao, or Buendia.
  • Tell the bus driver or conductor that you will get off at Pila, town proper.
By Private Vehicle:
  • From Manila, take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) then take the Calamba Exit.
  • Then, take the national highway road that will pass the towns: Los Banos, Bay, and Victoria.
  • Pila is the next town after Victoria, then turn left to the town proper.