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Batangas

Batangas

Batangas is home to white beaches, diving spots, historical sites, and colonial churches.
By Kristy Texon

Overview

Batangas is an ideal province for people fond of the water. Just a few hours from Manila, Batangas offers an easily accessible getaway. It is known for its nice beaches, and among the notable ones are Punta Fuego, Anilao, Laiya, and Calatagan. There are also several good diving spots in Batangas, and Anilao is one of them. The province is home to Taal Lake, where the famous Taal Volcano is located. The Batangas Port is also a jumpoff point to Puerto Galera, Romblon, Calapan, and even Boracay.

History

  • The natives had a high level of civilization even before the Spaniards came. They already had a concept of religion, traded with the Chinese and Japanese, and made art pieces like pottery and jewelry.
  • Datu Puti founded the Media-As Confederation, but later left that under Datu Sumakwel's rule. Datu Puti--together with Datu Balensusa and Datu Domangsil--founded the area near the Taal Lake with Balayan as the center and commercial hub. Tanauan was the center of governance and Lipa was the center of worship. The crown was then eventually passed on to Datu Kumintang, and the kingdom was named Kumintang.
  • During the Spanish period, Batangas became the first settlement area of the missionaries. After a decade, Batangas was among the most important religious centers in the Archipelago.
  • Batangas was one of the first eight cities to organize a revolt against Spain. The province was also put under Martial Law, which eventually led to a Batangueña, Marcella Agoncillo, spearheading the sewing of the first Philippine flag.
  • During the American occupation, Batangas became a gathering place for revolutionaries. Artists also performed their political plays in the province.
  • Air raids during the Japanese occupation destroyed structures in Batangas, including the Batangas Airport. The Japanese rule resulted in a large number of civilian casualties.
  • The liberation of Luzon took place in Nasugbu, with General Douglas McArthur declaring the liberation.

Travelers' Attractions

  • Beaches and dive spots make Batangas a great place for vacations. Anilao is a top choice for divers because of its accessibility and marine biodiversity. Punta Fuego, Laiya, and Calatagan are also popular beaches in Batangas.
  • Because Batangas became a religious center during the Spanish occupation, many churches dot the province. Some of the area's newer churches and chapels are also quite popular, including the Caleruega Church, a picturesque church that is the site of many weddings.
  • Travelers can trek Mount Maculot--from the peak, one can get a good view of the Taal Volcano and Lake. There are also camping grounds in the area.

Getting There and Away

  • Batangas is approximately two hours from Manila. Bus lines that ply the Manila-Batangas route are Philtranco, Bachelor Express, JAM, ALPS The Bus, Batangas Express Bus, Celyrosa Bus, CROW Bus, and Tritran.
  • When driving to Batangas, travelers will pass through the South Luzon Expressway and the STAR Tollway.
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