Batangas

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Batangas: One of the Well-liked Tourist Destinations in the Country

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Overview

Batangas is a first class province of the Philippines located on the southwestern part of Luzon in the CALABARZON region. Its capital is Batangas City and it is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north and Quezon to the east. Across the Verde Island Passages to the south is the island of Mindoro and to the west lies the South China Sea. Poetically, Batangas is often referred to by its ancient name Kumintang.

Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Metro Manila. The province has many beaches and is famous for excellent diving spots including Anilao in Mabini, Sombrero Island in Tingloy, Ligpo Island in Bauan, these areas more popularly known as Anilao. Matabungkay in Lian, Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Calatagan and Laiya in San Juan. With its alluring shores, Batangas turns out to be a principal player in the tourism of the Philippines.

Batangas is also where Taal Volcano, one of the Decade Volcanoes is located. It is also where the Taal Heritage town lies, a small picturesque town that has ancestral houses and structures dating back to the 19th century.

Etymology

The first recorded name of the Province was Kumintang, after the Datu who inherited the dominion from Datu Balensusa. Its centre, the present day Balayan, was the most progressive town of the Province and the traditional centre of governance. Later, as the eruption of the Taal Volcano destroyed a significant portion of the town, the provincial centre was transferred to Taal, which was then called Bonbon and the name of the province was changed after that of the town.

The term batangan means a raft, the people used so that they could fish in the nearby Taal Lake. It also meant the numerous logs found in the Calumpang River, the body of water that runs through the northeastern portion of the town and assumes the shape of a tuning fork.

Physical Features

Batangas is a combination of plains and mountains, including the world's smallest volcano, Mt. Taal, with an elevation of 600 meters, located in the middle of the Taal Lake. Other important peaks are Mt. Makulot with an elevation of 830 m, Mt. Talamitan with 700 m, Mt. Pico de Loro with 664 m, Mt. Batulao with 811 m, Mt. Manabo with 830 m, and Mt. Daguldol with 672 m.

The Municipality of Nasugbu is the home of the plantation of Central Azucarera Don Pedro, the Philippines' largest producer of sugar and other sugarcane products.

Batangas also has many islands, including Tingloy, Verde Island(Isla Verde), Fortune Island of Nasugbu.

Flora and fauna

Although attached to the big Island of Luzon, Batangas boasts of flora and fauna that is distinctively theirs. The local tree malabayabas is endemic to the province alone while the endangered flying fox thrives there without fear. Batangas is also home to the kabag (Haplonycteris fischeri), one of the world's smallest fruit bat. In the Municipality of Nasugbu, wild deers are still inhabiting the remote areas of Baranggay Looc.

But although Batangas has these land flying mammals, marine wildlife remains to be the province's crowning glory. In fact, in the second half of 2006, scientists from the United States discovered that the Sulu-Sulawesi Triangle has its centre at the Isla Verde Passage, a part of the province. According to this study, made by the American Marine Biologist Dr. Kent Carpentier, Batangas Seas host more than half of the world's species of coral reefs. It is also home to dolphins and once in a while, a passage of the world's biggest fish the whale shark or the butanding, as the locals call it. The Municipality of San Juan, as a matter of fact, has a resident marine turtle or pawikan. Pawikans were also prevalent in the Municipality of Nasugbu during the 1970s.

Natural Attractions

Lobo, Batangas

Gerthel Beach is one of the finest beaches of the area. The one-kilometer stretch of white sand beach has a gradually sloping ocean floor of up to about two hundred meters before the drop off.

Lobo, Batangas

The garden consists of living corals near the shore of one of the beaches of Lobo. It can be clearly seen during the early mornings, when the water is clear and the tide is low.

Laiya, San Juan, Batangas

Located in the town of San Juan, the area has white sand and a living colony of corals.

Barangay Hugon, San Juan, Batangas

The white sand of Hugon Beach is one kilometer long. Some parts of the sea floor have smooth rocks but most are sandy. There is a sudden drop-off of about ten meters from the beach. The waters of the beach are also good for snorkeling.

Daang Ibaan, Batangas City

The falls is about 30 meters high with at its base as a swimming area. It is semi-developed with concrete steps built for easy access.

  • Munting Buhangin Falls

Nasugbu, Batangas

This small cove has become a favorite haunt of local and foreign tourists, and offers water enthusiasts with a fine stretch of powdery white sand beach, fringed with foamy blue waters.

  • Natipuan Beach

Nasugbu, Batangas

Natipuan Beach bears a resemblance to Munting Buhangin, with off-white sand and refreshing waters. It is located in another cove, which is similarly accessible.

Taal, Batangas

Taal Lake and Volcano in Batangas is one of Southern Luzon’s centerpiece attraction. The gateway for most visitors is through the town of Talisay or Tagaytay City whose ridge gives a panoramic view of Volcano Island. The volcano is known to be the smallest in the world. Surrounded by a lake, the volcano is situated on an 8.8-kilometer islet, lapped by the 27-kilometer-long lake. Both the lake and the volcano are situated at the crater of an extinct volcano. The Volcano Island is also ideal for trekking.

Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas

It is a two-kilometer long white sand beach situated in the town of Lian, facing the China Sea. The area is ideal for water sports, such as swimming, boating, yachting, fishing, and skin diving. Dotting the shoreline are several summer cottages.

Cuenca, Batangas

One of the highest and most prominent mountains in the province, Mt. Maculot is one of the favorite sites of mountain trekkers. It is said that the mountain was the last stronghold of the Japanese Imperial Army. Several tunnels built by the Japanese soldiers are present in the area. The name “Maculot” (meaning “kinky”) was derived from the curly-haired aborigines of the place.

Brgy, Calijon, Malvar, Batangas

This tourist attraction consists of two major falls and two smaller ones. One of the bigger falls is about 10 meters high with a great volume of clear water gushing down to a shallow pool. The other one (also about 10 meters high) resembles a bridal gown. One of the two smaller falls is shower-like, while the other one forms a series of small cascades.

Brgy. Pulang Bato, San Juan, Batangas

Mainit Hot Spring offers therapeutic mineral waters and a refreshing dip for bathers. The spot is ideally located at the foot of a huge mountain with thick vegetation.

Isla Verde, Batangas

Located on Isla Verde, Mahabang Buhangin has an extensive stretch of shoreline with a vast ribbon of fine white sand.

  • Tinalunan

Isla Verde, Batangas

This is a spot where wind-tossed waves surge against the rocky cliff supporting a long plateau. From atop the plateau, one can catch a breath taking view of the seascape, when the weather is clear and sunny.

  • Cueva Sitio

Isla Verde, Batangas

The site is an ideal place for picnics. Its main attraction is a rock shelter that has provided cool shade for visitors.

  • Ilijan Falls

Brgy. Ilijan, Batangas City

Ilijan is a set of waterfalls with water coming from a big spring on top of a mountain gracefully flowing from one bowl to another. It has seven huge stone bowls carved naturally and beautifully arranged like a flight of stairs.

  • Sepok Point

Maricaban/Tingloy Island, Batangas

Located on the southwestern part of Maricaban Island, Sepok Point has white sand and shores typical of a tropical cove; a good place for swimming and snorkeling.

  • Bulalacao Falls

Bulaklakan, Lipa City

The area has about three small falls enclosed in a canyon, the highest of which is about 10 feet high, with water coming out of the mouth of a small cave.

Diving Point

  • Ligpo Island

Bauan, Batangas

Coral formations of different types and huge gorgonians abound in the area. It is on the west side of the island.

  • Cathedral

Brgy. Anilao, Mabini, Batangas

Approximately 75 feet south of the Dive 7000 Resort area and about 450 feet, lies a giant rock formation that looks like an underwater amphitheater. Originally virtually barren, the cathedral has been seeded and restored with coral from other sites. Throngs of eager fish gather around visiting divers waiting to be fed.

  • Caban Cove

Brgy. Anilao, Mabini, Batangas

This dive site is fairly sheltered. There are no exotic coral formations, but there are plenty of small tropical fish and an interesting drop-off that goes down in graduated steps. A good choice for shallow dives.

  • Layag-Layag Point

Brgy. Anilao, Mabini, Batangas

There are coral heads teeming with marine life and the water is usually crystal clear.

  • Sombrero Island

Mabini, Batangas

The island’s external appearance resembles the shape of a hat. However, underwater, its profile makes its name sombrero even more appropriate. In certain areas, water is fairly shallow on the rim, down to about 50 feet.

  • Sepok

Tingloy Island, Batangas

The rim of the drop-off west-southwest to Sepok Point is a very good dive site, with varieties of marine life.

  • Batalan

Mabini, Batangas

This area breaks the surface and then drops down to about 80 feet. This is a marvelous area for both wide angle and macro-photography because of the abundant and varied coral formations and fish life.

  • Merriel’s Rock

Tingloy, Batangas

There are types of corals numerous enough to fascinate even a marine biologist.

  • Papaya Point

Tingloy, Batangas

There is a drop-off topped by a wide variety of coral and inhabited by lots of small reef fish.

  • Verde Island

Batangas City

The most popular dive sites here are the drop-off (0-300 feet) and the remains of a Spanish galleon, which ran aground in 1620.

  • Maricaban / Tingloy

The island contains a cave at 125 feet, accessed by the tunnel, which makes for challenging adventure. There are excellent coral formations, abundant pelagic fish, and other outstanding photographic opportunities.

Golf

  • Evercrest Golf Club and Resort

Nasugbu, Batangas

This membership golf club with a resort operates a golf shop and a restaurant that overlooks the beautiful golf course.

  • Calatagan Golf Club

Calatagan, Lian Batangas

The golf club holds a unique distinction: it is located in an arboretum where over 3,000 trees of local and foreign species are planted.

 

Mountain Climbing and Volcano Trekking

One of the highest and most prominent mountains in the province, Mt. Maculot is one of the favorite sites of mountain trekkers. It is said that the mountain was the last stronghold of the Japanese in the province before they were defeated. Several tunnels built by the Japanese soldiers are present in the area. The name “Maculot” (meaning “kinky”) was derived from the curly-haired aborigines of the place.

Taal Lake and Volcano in Batangas is Southern Luzon’s centerpiece attraction. The gateway for most visitors is through the town of Talisay or Tagaytay City whose ridge gives a panoramic view of Volcano Island. The volcano is known to be the smallest in the world. Surrounded by a lake, the volcano is situated on an 8.8-kilometer islet, lapped by the 27-kilometer-long lake. Both the lake and the volcano are situated on the crater of an extinct volcano. The Volcano Island is also ideal for trekking.

Gallery

Batangas Provincial Capitol

Taal Basilica

SM City Batangas

Plaza Mabini (Batangas City)


Munting Buhangin Beach Camp

Town of Nasugbu, Batangas

Taal Lake Yatch Club

Faro de Punta de Malabrigo

Anilao, Batangas

Malabrigo Sanctuary

Panorama of Taal Volcano Crater Lake

Lobo, Batangas

Shopping

Taal town is popular for its age-old embroidery crafts. Filipiniana attire for men and women features intricate embroidery cutwork and crochet insertions. Balisong (Philippine hand-made fan-knife) as well as rattan, bamboo, and woodcrafts are also excellent buys.

Nightlife

In Lipa and Batangas Cities, some business establishments open after sundown, offering an array of activities to include dining, ballroom dancing, live bands, piano bar, videoke singing, and other forms of after-dinner entertainment.

Aquasports

Most resorts offer a wide range of watersports, such as jetski, hobbycat, boardsailing and windsurfing.

What to Do

  • Swim. The reef is carved to create small swimming areas at the foot of the ladders.
  • Kick back, relax, and soak up the tropical ambiance. That's what this place is all about!
  • Basilica Minor of St. Martin of Tours, located in the Taal section of Batangas, one of the biggest catholic churches in all of southeast asia.
  • lots of beaches, resorts with swimming pools, and restaurants.
  • Swimming and snorkeling around Ligpo Island, Sombrero island to see the corals. Beautiful colors!
  • Scuba diving in the entire strip of Balayan Bay is home to the most diverse species of marine life in the world being in the world's coral triangle. Try scuba diving with experience programs for first timers using reputable dive operators.
  • Explore the mountains on a mountain bike with the Batangas Mountain Bikers, a group of local cyclists based in Batangas City.
  • You may also go to Taal Batangas where it is rich in Pre Hispanic Houses, and Taal Batangas is also known to have lots of Beach Resort. - You can visit yhe Best of Taal Batangas.

Where to Sleep

The reputation of Batangas as a tourist destination has resulted in the sudden growth of one-stars, numerous bungalows over the water accessed by boardwalks, with wooden stairs leading down to the sea, and three-stars that are cheap by international standards.

  • Lima Park Hotel, Lima Technology Center, Malvar
  • Canyon Cove Resort, Far East Road, Piloto Wawa, Nasugbu
  • Lago De Oro Cable Ski Park and Resort, Bo. Balibago, Calatagan
  • Days Hotel Batangas (Days Hotel Batangas), Pastor Village, Pallocan West
  • Anilao Outrigger Resort, Solo, Anilao, Mabini
  • Chateau Royale, Km 72 Batulao, Nasugbu
  • Evercrest Golf Resort, Batulao, Nasugbu
  • Microtel Inn & Suites, First Philippine Industrial Park, Sto. Tomas
  • Matabungkay Beach Resort, Brgy. Matabungkay, Lian
  • Hotel Pontefino, Pastor Village, Gulod Labac
  • Cintai, Balete/Lipa City
  • Hotel La Corona, Lipa City
  • Mount Malarayat Hotel and Suites, Dagatan, Lipa City
  • The Coral Beach Club, Matabungkay, Lian
  • Club Punta Fuego - Nasugbu.
  • Taal Imperial Hotel and Resort  - Brgy. Tulo, Diversion Road, Taal, Batangas, Batangas, Philippines
  • Canyon Woods Resort Club - Diokno Highway, Lauurel, Laurel, Batangas, Philippines
  • San Roque Paradise Hotel  - (21.76 km from Batangas City Hall of Justice)
  • The Alpa Hotel and Restaurant - Brgy. Kumintang Ibaba, , Batangas, Batangas, Philippines

Getting In

Batangas City is 2 1/2 hours away from Manila when using the old inter town route. Using the STAR Tollway route, one can reach Batangas City for just 1 1/2 hour. Tanauan City is about 1 hour away and in between Tanauan City and Batangas City, one will find Lipa City. ALPS The Bus, Inc. is one of the many bus companies that travels the said route.

Travellers can take air-conditioned buses in going to Batangas City. Those who want to go to Nasugbu, Calatagan and Lian towns (Matabungkay) can pass via the Tagaytay route.

Travellers going to Puerto Galera can take direct air con buses from Manila (Cubao) to Batangas pier. The best services are BLTB (every hour) and JAM transit (also every hour) from the Kamuin Cubao bus station. Sometimes, esepcially during peak hours, buses run every 30 minutes. The last stop is a Batangas pier (ask the conductor before hand) from where one can take a ferry to [Puerto Galera]

When driving one's own vehicle to Tanauan-Lipa-Batangas City, travelers will pass through the South Luzon Expressway, then the STAR Tollway and can just follow the directional signs along the highway.

For short trips in the desired destinations, passenger jeepneys abound, and then tricycles.

Getting Around

You can use passenger jeepneys to go to different parts of the province, but you can use tricycles for short trips. Tricycles could take you to the exact place that you want to go because jeepneys have routes like buses do. However, tricycles are small and cramped, and could only comfortably accommodate three passengers (2 if the passenger is over six feet tall).

A Minimum rate fare for each passenger for the first kilometer traveled. Senior citizens, students, and differently abled passengers enjoy a discount for each.