Batangas, a first-class province in the southern Luzon region, has always been among the most popular tourism destinations near Metro Manila. What many tourist do not know is that the Taal Volcano is located in Batangas, but can be viewed from Tagaytay due to it's high altitude. Batangas has also been noted for its numerous beaches and magnificent diving spots. It is also replete with sheltered coves, deep harbors, subterranean caves, and preserved heritages that symbolize the natural bravery of its men.
Among the many tourist activities facilitated in Batangas are heritage tours, scuba diving, pilgrimage tours, mountain climbing and trekking, shopping, swimming, and snorkeling. It helps that the province is easily accessible from Metro Manila by land.
The entire province is a combination of interesting plains and mountains. It has a long shoreline, facing South China Sea. Through the years, the province has earned the title, ‘The Land of the Rolling Hills and Wide Shorelands.’ Batangas is boasting of a diverse flora and fauna that it claims is distinct in itself. Marine wildlife is still its crowning glory.
A recent international study has found that Batangas Seas are host to more than 50% of the world’s coral reef species. Dolphins and whale sharks also pass the provincial seawaters during specific periods of the year. Pawikans or marine turtles are prevalent in the town of Nasugbu.
Local and international tourists rave about Batangas’ climate. The province is naturally cool. The area has two distinct seasons, namely, dry from November to the middle of May and wet for the remaining months of the year. March is the driest and hottest month, perfect for swimming in its beaches.
Batangueños are noted for being creative in making novelty and important souvenir items. Tourists are almost always awed by the fan knife, locally called balisong. Because of this popular product, Batangueños have earned a reputation of being courageous so that other people from other provinces are advised not to mess with a Batangueño.
Taal Volcano is undoubtedly the most popular tourism spot in Batangas. The small volcano is different from all other volcanoes around the world. That is because it is technically an active small volcano sitting comfortably within the crater of another larger, but dormant (inactive) volcano. The frequently erupting volcano is a natural geologic wonder. The nearby town of Taal has used the volcano as a portal to gain tourism appeal. Aside from boasting its preserved Spanish structural architectures, the town is also a good site to shop for fine-quality products like knives, sausages, and hand embroideries.
Batangas is a land of festivities. Every town stages its own festival. Barangays, especially in the remote areas, are regularly holding annual fiestas in various dates as a form of thanksgiving for the prosperous bounty. Every May, the whole month is spent for the peoples’ devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the nightly vigils. Flores de Mayo is a spectacular event during the month when some of the most beautiful ladies dress up and ramp in parades in their most fascinating and flamboyant gowns representing the Virgin Mary in various Bible occasions.
The grand Foundation Day celebration – held annually every December 8 at Batangas City, the provincial capital. The province is currently more than 425 years old.
Parada ng Lechon – is another controversial and interesting festival held at the town of Balayan to coincide with the feast day of the town’s patron saint, St. John the Baptist. The festival is unique in that roast suckling pigs are adorned and displayed in a parade in accordance with the fiesta theme.
How to get there
Batangas is easily and conveniently accessible by land. It is just about an hour away from Metro Manila. Hundreds of buses regularly go from the Metro to key destinations in Batangas 24 hours a day via South Luzon Expressway.