Lipa is one of the major cities in Batangas. It is located between Mount Malarayat and Mount Makulot, making the city a low-risk area for typhoons as the mountains break the wind and rainfall. It is also a prime destination for vacations due to its proximity to major highways, airports, and ports. Lipa also has some of the biggest establishments in the province, making it a center for industries, education, and entertainment.
Lipa is visited by pilgrims because of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian, the seat of the Archdiocese of the Lipa. Construction of the church began in 1779, but it underwent numerous renovations until it was fully completed in 1894. It was built in Romanesque architecture and design, with ceiling paintings and sculptures.
Near the church is the Casa de Segunda or the Luz-Katigbak House, the ancestral home of Doña Segunda Solis Katigbak, the first love of Dr. Jose Rizal. The house was constructed in 1880 and was given to Doña Luz by her father, Don Norberto Katigbak. Casa de Segunda is a Spanish-inspired house with a terrace and a courtyard, and is one of the oldest surviving structures in the city. It was declared a National Heritage House by the National Historic Institute.
BluRoze Farms Parks and Wildlife is the perfect getaway destination for the whole family. The nature park is peppered with trees, making it the perfect place to breathe in some fresh, clean air. Visitors can also lounge in cottages and benches or watch the animals in the mini zoo.
Lipa City is easily accessible from Manila via land transportation. There are several buses that ply the Manila–Lipa route on a daily basis, and they’re usually found along Metro Manila’s major roads and highways. Bus lines like Alps the Bus and JAM Transit offer trips between both cities. Their terminals are located in Cubao in Quezon City and in Pasay City near the EDSA–Taft MRT Station. Travel time from Manila to Lipa takes about two hours.
If you want to go on a road trip with friends or loved ones to Lipa instead, you’d delighted to know that driving to this city is very manageable, especially since the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Expressway is easily connected to the South Luzon Expressway. The Lipa Exit is fourth after Malvar Exit.
How to Get Around
The public jeepney is the main mode of transportation in Lipa. There are also buses, vans, tricycles, and multicabs that can take you from one place to the other. There is a grand terminal beside SM City Lipa, which serves as the main transportation hub in the city.
What to See
Lipa City is known as a pilgrimage and a heritage destination, given its multitude of iconic old-world structures that date back to as early as the 17th or 18th century. The city is home to quite a number of beautiful chapels and grandiose churches that speak of the strong faith that the people of Lipa possess. In fact, the city is actually known as the “Little Rome of the Philippines.”
The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian is one of the notable churches in Lipa. Its construction started in 1779 and was completed in 1865. It has suffered damages brought about by both man-made and natural disasters, but it has withstood the test of time to serve as the seat of the Archdiocese of Lipa. The church features beautiful Romanesque architecture. It also has a grand pipe organ—the only one in Batangas and one of the 59 units in the entire Philippines.
Another fascinating church in Lipa is Mount Carmel Church. This religious structure is known for the miraculous apparition of the Our Lady of Mediatrix in 1948. From then on, more miraculous events transpired, including the showering of rose petals—the most recent of which happened in 1991. The church, however, features simpler architecture and interiors. It is tucked in a quiet portion of the city, so you can really feel the solemnity of the place and revel in its peace and serenity.
Other religious sites in the city that are worthy of a visit include the Monastery of Saint Benedict, the Shrine of San Vicente Ferrer, and the Divino Amor Chapel.
Lipa City is also where the Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House is found. Also known as Casa de Segunda, this bahay na bato was built in 1860 and was the home of Segunda Katigbak, who is said to be the first love of Dr. Jose Rizal. The house was declared as a national heritage house and now serves as a museum where furniture, books, and other possessions of the Luz-Katigbak family have been well-kept.
Another ancestral home, the Luz-Bautista House, is a must-see when in the city. It was completed in 1881, with the construction lasting for ten years. Unlike Casa de Segunda, the Luz-Bautista House is not open to the public. However, records show that the interior of the house boasts opulence and grandeur, with most furniture and fixture imported all the way from Europe.
The Malipunyo Mountain Range spans the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon. The area within Batangas, however, is more popularly known as Mount Malarayat though calling the mountain range as such would be incorrect. Regardless, Mount Malipunyo is one of the favorite destinations for a hiking and mountain climbing in the province. The mountain is considered as a minor climb with a three out of nine level of difficulty. Reaching the summit can take about three to five hours, where you can enjoy a fascinating view of verdant greens and the cool forest air that pervades the area.
Despite the rapid urbanization of Lipa, there are still areas where locals and tourists alike are can commune with nature. Bluroze Farms Parks and Wildlife was once a poultry farm and piggery but is now a sprawling property that boasts fascinating flora and fauna. The park treats its guests with nature tripping and a respite from the hustle and bustle of life in the city.
Then, there are the museums: Museo de Lipa and Museo ng Katipunan are perfect for history buffs who want to learn more about the past, art, and culture of Lipa.
Also in the city is The Farm at San Benito, the premier wellness resort in Lipa that offers luxurious spa retreats for those who need a rejuvenating experience for the mind, body, and soul.
Events and Festivals
If you head to Lipa in September, you just might find yourself in the midst of the city’s annual Lomi Festival. Lomi is one of Batangas’ most famous delicacies, and the festival was established so that both locals and tourists can learn more about the significance of this savory dish.
Where to Eat
Fast Food Chains
Lipa has numerous fast food restaurants: there’s McDonald’s, Jollibee, and KFC. But the city also has quite a few unique restaurants that serves some of the distinct but good-tasting dishes that truly represent Batangueño cuisine.
Lomi King is a must try when in town. This restaurant serve steaming bowls of lomi that has this distinct Batangueño taste you can’t find anywhere else. Other incredible offerings are their pancit dishes, especially the miki bihon. Lomi King is also known for the affordability of its dishes.
For those who are craving for Filipino dishes, then Hapag Kainan is the perfect place for you. Their array of sumptuous dishes comes highly recommended and is well-loved among the locals, which must be true considering they have been in the business for almost 30 years.
Another favorite restaurant in the city is Casa Marikit, which has a good selection of Italian dishes; their salads and pastas are some of the best sellers. Aside from the food, its cozy and homey ambiance provide the ideal atmosphere that guests love in any dining establishment.
For coffee, there is a branch of Starbucks in Lipa but try Café de Lipa instead for their kapeng barako, the signature brew of the province of Batangas. Their selection of pastries is also delectable, complementing the cups of coffee they offer. Another favorite coffee shop in the city is Jeaca Coffee & Co.
Where to Shop
Retail giants SM Supermalls and Robinsons Malls have set up shop in Lipa. SM City Lipa is the second SM Mall in Batangas and is the 27th nationwide. Meanwhile, Robinsons Lipa has been in the city for more than a decade. These shopping centers have all you want for in a mall: numerous stores and boutiques, dining establishments, and recreational centers.
Fare: PHP 150.00 to PHP 200.00
A bus ride from Manila to Lipa will cost you anywhere between PHP 150.00 to PHP 200.00. Once you have arrived in Lipa, the base fare for a jeepney ride costs PHP 7.00. A tricycle ride, on the other hand, costs PHP 20.00 at the minimum.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 300.00
There are a variety of fast food chains in the city where you can already have a satisfying meal for just PHP 100.00. There are also many restaurants in Lipa that offer pocket-friendly meals: a bowl of special lomi from Lomi King is just PHP 65.00. For upscale restaurants, set a budget of PHP 300.00 to PHP 500.00 per meal.
Shopping: PHP 50.00 to PHP 500.00
Key chains and ref magnets in Lipa costs about PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 apiece. Souvenir shirts are also available; depending on the design, it can cost anywhere between PHP 150.00 to PHP 200.00. On the other hand, the prices of merchandise in the malls in Lipa are similar to the ones found back in the metro. A shirt can cost PHP 300.00, while a pair of jeans can cost you PHP 500.00 at the minimum.
Accommodations: PHP 1,500.00 to PHP 10,000.00
Basic rooms for the budget travelers go for as low as PHP 1,500.00 a night. The high-end hotels, on the other hand, could go for as high as PHP 10,000.00 a night.
Activities: PHP 100.00
Most of the attractions in the city don’t charge entrance fees. For those that do, expect to pay as much as PHP 100.00 per person.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
When dining at restaurants, a service charge is usually added to your bill so tipping is no longer needed. But if you still wish to leave a little amount, PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 would already come highly appreciated.