The Province of Batangas is one of the treasures that the Philippines has to offer to the world.
Batangas lies at the southern tip of of Luzon, abutting the pristine waters of the West Philippine Sea. Also known as the Land of Rolling Hills and Wide Shore Lands, the province is a collection of small mountains and a shoreline that is the envy of the many beaches all over the world.
At nearly 3,120 square kilometers, Batangas is also one of the bigger provinces. It is the eight most populous province, boasting a population of 2.7 million.
Batangas is also rich in history. In the pre-Hispanic times, it already had a thriving culture and was formerly known as Kumintang. In fact, Kumintang had a rich trading culture with China and India, and as such had a deep impact in the formation of a thriving pre-colonial civilization there. Because of this, a great many archeological finds were obtained in several sites all over the province. It was actually contended that Batangas and not nearby Manila that was the real heart of Luzon.
During the Spanish period, Batangas remained very significant. When the Spaniards initially colonized Batangas, it was named the Province of Bonbon but was subsequently changed to the Province of Balayan in 1581. The town of Nasugbu became an important trading post in Spanish times, contributing much to inter-island trading.
As represented in the eight rays of the sun in the Philippine flag, Batangas was also one of the first provinces to join the Philippine Revolution in 1896. This is also why it received the moniker "Lalawigan ng mga Magigiting" or the Province of Warriors.
This history of armed struggle continued even during the Philippine-American war where the province was the site of a prolonged retreat before General Miguel Malvar surrendered - the last general to surrender to the Americans.
During Japanese times, it was one of the first provinces bombed due to strategically important Batangas Airport. It was also one of the first provinces fully occupied by Japanese forces.
Today, Batangas has a strong economy. With a robust agricultural industry, the province is home to one of the largest animal husbandry locations in the country. Most of the beef in the country is actually sourced from Batangas and is known locally as Batangas Beef. This is why the region is also famous for Bulalo, a beef stew made with the bone marrow and soup bones of a cow.
Pineapple is also one of the biggest cash crops in the province. The sweet and juicy fruit is prized by Manilenos. But what makes it interesting is that from the fibers of the pineapple leaves, jusi thread is obtained which is used to make the world famous Barong Tagolog, the national costume of the Philippines.
Another important industry is that of metalworking. Balisongs or fan blades are made there and are extremely popular among knife aficionados the world ever. The balisong was actually featured in several Hollywood movies and today still remains an iconic fixture in Batangas.
The people of Batangas are a people of moral conviction. In fact, many heroes hail from Batangas which the province proudly proclaims. In Batangas, you will find a warrior spirit that is unrivaled in the country.
However, this does not mean that Batanguenos are fierce and unwelcoming. You will find many a warm smile here and open home to welcome you.
Tagalog is the spoken language in Batangas but with a few differences from the Tagalog spoken in other regions. The Batangueno version of tagalog are sentences which usually end with the phrases eh or gah and are stressed for emphasis. Also, most tagalog words that start with the letter D are replaced with the letter R in Batangas.
WHERE TO GO
Batangas offers much to any traveler. With such a close proximity to Manila, Batangas remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, drawing in thousands upon thousands of tourists every year.
Just the name alone evokes images of pristine beaches. Nasugbu is famous as a resort town where you will also find the Hamilo Coast, one of the most beautiful beaches in the wield. Off the coast of Nasugbu, you will find Fortune island, where you will find spectacular Grecian style ruins and an unobstructed view of the West Philippine Sea. The town of San Juan is also another resort town, where sun-kissed beaches await you.
Batangas is also a delight for mountaineers. In Nasugbu, you can find Pico De Loro and Mt. Batulao from where you see a clear view of Balayan Bay. In Santo Tomas, you will find an easier trek with Mount Manabu. Also in Batangas is Mount Gulugud Baboy or the Pig's Spine which is named because of the shape of the mountain.
No list however will be complete with majestic Taal Lake, home of the world's smallest volcano. There travellers can charter trips to volcano which is still very much active. Visitors will then travel via horseback to the summit of Taal Volcano.
For those looking for a different experience, you can go to The Farm at San Benito in Lipa City. Boasting some of the best holistic therapies, one can find a way to put your mind at ease. Here you can also find some of the best vegan cuisine in the country.
Any visit to Batangas though is incomplete without eating at a lom-i restaurant. The thick noodles, cooked in a thick saucy broth, with different ingredients is a sure treat for any foodie out there.
History buffs also have something to do in Batangas. Mabini Shrine in Tanauan is a museum dedicated to Apolinario Mabini, the Sublime Paralytic who was known to be the brains in the Philippine Revolution. Casa De Segunda Katigbak on the other hand is a beautiful stone house dating back to the Spanish Era. The Punta De Santiago Lighthouse is also a Spanish Era edifice that s
Beautiful Batangas is a must-see destination for visitors to the Philippines. Rich in history, with a strong-willed and proud population, and a thriving tourism industry, you can find in Batangas one of the most beautiful provinces in the country today.