THE PROVINCE OF BATANES is located on the southwestern part of Luzon in the CALABARZON region. Its capital is Batangas City, bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna in the north side and Quezon to the east. Batangas is just a few hours away from Manila and is one of the most popular tourist destinations with its numerous beaches and ideal diving spots like Anilao, Matabungkay and Punta Fuego. The province is also known for the Taal Volcano, hand embroideries, knives, and sausages.
The province was earlier known as kumintang settlement. The natives were of Malay ancestry at the mouth of Taal River. Archeological findings in the province shows proof that natives in earlier times were already trading with the Chinese, Jaoan and India during the 13th and 15th century.
In 1570, Spanish explorers came and in the year 1572 Taal settlement was established and Taal church was built and Augustinian missionaries Christianized most of the settlers. Batangas was founded in 1581 but after several devastating eruptions of Taal Volcano, the old Taal town site was buried. The capital was eventually transferred to Batangas in 1754. The name Batangas was derived from the word “Batang” which means logs found in the Calumpang River. On August 30, 1986, the province was placed under Martial law by the Spanish government due to revolutionary movements. The event was given distinction when Marcela Agoncillo, also a native of the province, made the Philippine Flag. During the American colonization, Americans forbade the Philippine flag from being flown anywhere in the country as well as revolutionary stage plays. However, as years goes by more prominent people who are Batangueños themselves served most in the Philippine Government.
The Province is noted for its plains, mountains and wide shorelines with a total land area of 316,580 hectares or 3,185.8 square kilometers. In terms of population, Batangas currently has 1,905,348 people with 2.35% growth rate. Generally, Batangueños are bilingual with Tagalog and English predominantly used for everyday communication. There are also a few who can speak Spanish.
Batangas has a naturally cool climate with two types of seasons which is the dry season commencing from November to April, and wet season for the rest of the year. The driest month is March, the coldest month is February and the hottest month is May.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN BATANES
The province have continuously been a premier growth area since it became a focal point of the CALABARZON program that led to the increase of business establishments, investments and employment generation in the city's Central Business District (CBD).
Currently, Batangas City International Port undergoes a 4-phase development program and the South Luzon Expressway Extension will be directly linked from Batangas City International Port to Metro Manila. Additional growth investment comes from sugar plantation, aquaculture, agri-business and tourism.
ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN BATANES
Batangueños has a high level of civilization even during the early years due to various archeological finds in the province such as jewelries made from shell, ancient potteries influenced by India, a Buddhist image molded on a clay medallion and crude stone figures. In Punta Buaya, a grave was excavated with pieces of brain coral carved behind the heads of the remains that were found, as well as furnitures, potteries, bracelets, stoneware and metal objects. Early Batangueños also has a special affinity with precious jade stones.
The people of Batangas believe in various beliefs, superstitions and customs and are believed to be heavy-drinkers especially in far-flung barangays. They also like sweet foods and strong coffee known as “Kapeng Barako” or stud’s coffee. Batangueños also celebrates various festivities all year round:
YEARLY SPECIAL EVENTS
Foundation Day of Batangas Province
History and Culture Consciousness Week
Stations of the Cross
National Arts Month
Carera de Paso
Foundation Anniversary of Lobo
Paskuhan sa Maraykit (San Juan)
Coffee Festival (Lipa)
Pabasa ng Pasyon
Holy Cross Festival
Tapusan Festival (Alitagtag – May)
Parada ng lechon (Balayan - June)
Subli-An sa Batangas (Batangas – July)
Anihan Festival (Lobo)
Fluvial Procession at Pansipit River (December)
The province is known for its “bagoong” making, embroidery, mosquito net, wood carvings, sculptured work, cutlery and “balisong” or fan knife from various sizes, sweetened tamarind, pickles, peanuts, candies, ceramics, lambanog, twine and leather products.
Pineapples are also common in the province in which the leaves are processed to be a kind of cloth known as “gusi” and further processed to become the Barong Tagalog which is of course the National Costume of the Philippines. Batangas also makes “Lambanog”, popular liquor processed out of tuba.
MUNICIPALITIES OF BATANES
Batangas has 31 municipalities and 3 cities:
CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES
NO. OF BARANGAYS
Mataas Na Kahoy
Apolinario Mabini Shrine
The national shrine was built in honor of the Philippine hero Apolinario Mabini, known as the Sublime Paralytic. It houses the remains and personal belongings of the late revolutionary hero who is also considered as the Brains of the Katipunan, the 1896 Filipino revolutionary movement against Spain.
Batangas Memorial Foundation Museum and Library
This is located in V. Ilustre Street, Taal and has 18th century architecture.
This tourist attraction consists of two major falls and two smaller ones.
Casa de Segunda Katigbak
This is the ancestral house of the Katigbaks.
General Malvar Museum and Library
This library houses memorabilia’s and collection of oil paintings.
Mainit Hot Spring
The spring offers therapeutic waters and a refreshing dip for bathers.
Marcela N. Agoncillo Historical Landmark
The site marks the birthplace of Marcela Agoncilio, who made the first official Philippine Flag during the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish authorities.
The beach is ideal for water sports, such as swimming, boating, yachting, fishing, and skin diving.
This is a favorite site for mountain trekkers.
Museo ng Batangas at Aklatang Panlalawigan
This museum highlights the culture and traditions of Batangas.
Punta de Santiago Lighthouse
The lighthouse was built in 1890 and still functions.
Santa Lucia Wells
The wells are said to be miraculous.
The church was first built in 1575 in San Nicolas. However it was destroyed when Taal volcano erupted in 1754 rebuilding in 1755 at the present site, and again destroyed by an earthquake in 1849. Construction of the present church was started in 1856. Its façade is baroque and consists of a single mass of stone shaped into rich complex designs.
Taal Flights of Steps
The 123 steps connects to the Taal Church and Caysasay Shrine.
Taal Lake and Volcano
The volcano is known to be the smallest in the world, surrounded by a 27-kilometer-long lake. This is also ideal for trekking.
Other places to visit:
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
ANCESTRAL HOUSES AND LANDMARKS
Jose P. Laurel Memorial Library
Marcela Agoncillo Museum and Monument
Msgr. Clemente G. Yatco Museum
San Sebastian Library of the Arts
Ilagan Ancestral House
Leon Apacible Historical LandmarkPastor House
BEACH / RESORTS / FALLS
Carmelite Convent of Lipa
Church of Our Lady of Caysasay
Church of San Guillermo of Talisay
Church of San Jose
Church of the Immaculate Concepcion of Bauan
Gerthel Beach (Lobo)
Mahabang Buhangin Beach (San Juan)
Munting Buhangin Falls
Punta Baluarte, Calatagan
The province of Batangas is 110 kilometers south of Metro Manila, accessible via commercial buses of BLTB, JAM, Tritran, Batangas Express Liner, Triftman Liner, Biñan transportation, ALPS, and CJC Transit.