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Batangas Travel Guide

Itinerary, Things to do, How to get there and more

Taal Volcano. Butterfly knives or better known as “balisong.” Delicate embroideries. ‘Kapeng barako’. All are synonymous with Batangas, one of the provinces located in CALABARZON area. It was called as “Kumintang” during the olden times; the name Batangas came from the word ‘batang’, these are in reference to the abundant logs floating in Calumpang River. Historically, Batangas is one of the eight provinces to rise up against the Spanish rule. With a number of important people who helped shape the country’s history, it is called as the “cradle of heroes and nationalists”. The province is a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to Metro Manila and is well-known for its several beaches and diving spots. The entire marine waters of Batangas are part of the Verde Island Passage, scientifically entitled as the “center of the center of world’s marine biodiversity”. Aside from the beautiful beaches, Spanish architecture is prevalent in the province in the form of basilicas and old houses. Indeed, nature and man-made creations will vie for your attention when visiting Batangas Province.

Where to go in Batangas

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How to Get Here

GETTING HERE
Batangas is just 2.5 to 3 hours away from Manila and can be up to 4 hours of travel, depending on which part of the province you are going. The combined route of SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) and STAR Tollway gives 1 hour of travel time to reach Batangas City; while those who are going the Nasugbu, Lian and Calatagan towns, have to take the usual Tagaytay route.

For those who are travelling via public transit, there are air-conditioned and ordinary buses as well as vans going to Batangas. Here is a list of some bus companies that travel to and from the province of Batangas, with fare of less than Php 200.00 one way:

· Alps Bus
· Jam Liner
· Crow Transit
· BLTB
· Celyrosa Bus Line
· Ceres Transport

FX bound for Batangas have terminals in Cubao, Buendia and Alabang; fare depending on your point of origin and destination.

Passenger jeepneys and tricycles abound all over the province.

Popular Food

A breakfast staple in the town of Taal, tapang taal or jerked pork is a must-try when in the Land of the Valiant. Best served with hot fried rice, fried egg and pickled papaya. Kapeng barako, an exotic and rare kind of coffee grown in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite, is the best choice of beverage for this savory dish.

(c) @xivhalisyuz / instagram.com

Batangas lomi is quite different from the other lomi found in other parts of the country. Batangas lomi is thick and a bit slimy – in a good way. It has no vegetables, but filled with a variety of meat ingredients like chicken or pork, kikiam, homemade meatballs and hard boiled egg, to name just a few. It is also topped with a generous amount of crushed chicharon and paired with soy sauce, calamansi and chilli.

(c) @benipisyo / instagram.com

Originated in Taal, adobo sa dilaw uses chicken or pork and is cooked not with soy sauce, but rather with turmeric or ‘luyang dilaw’ that gave the dish a yellowish color and added flavour.

(c) @rachelsummer14 / instagram.com

Found only in the waters of Taal Lake is the small fish called ‘tawilis’. It is usually deep-fried and served with vinegar, rice and green mango or mango-tomato salad.

(c) @lutongbahayninanavereng / instagram.com

Best Time to Go

BEST TIME TO GO
Batangas is a good place to go all year round. Unless there is a typhoon, the towns are worth exploring wearing tropical garments, slippers and a hat. May, June and April are the hottest months, while lower chance of rains in the province are the months of February, March and up to April.

The province boasts of a number of festivals; each town has their own merry celebration and vibrant festivity. But it is during the month of June when throngs of people go to Batangas to take part in the anticipated ‘Parada ng Lechon’. Held every June 24, Parada ng Lechon in Balayan is an exciting celebration which highlights the lechon or roasted pig, dressed in different costumes, to the delight of everyone.

What to Do

Beach bum
Considering its nearness to Manila, Batangas is the number one beach destination for the city dwellers who just want to relax under the sun and play in the sand for a day or two. From soft, sandy beaches to raw, rocky coasts, Batangas has it for all the beach bum out there. There are first class resorts as well as budget-friendly accommodations to choose from.
Explore underwater
Scuba diving is another popular thing to do in the 8th most populous Philippine province. Anilao, known as “Luzon’s premier dive destination” and considered as the “birthplace of scuba diving in the country” is the best diving spot in Batangas, along with Bauan, also in the town of Mabini. Anilao has an impressive marine biodiversity that can excite even the seasoned divers.
Admire the architecture
Old houses, colossal basilica and lighthouses. Not to mention the rich history that goes with the things that was mentioned beforehand. The ancestral houses that speak interesting past, grand historical churches that command attention and reverence, beautiful lighthouses that stand the test of time and the rich history of each town that gives Batangas good reasons to see and experience over and over again.
Gormandize in local cuisine
From bulalo to goto to lechon to fried tawilis... The list is long. Batangas prides itself for the many mouth-watering dishes one should try.
Conquer a mountain
The province has mountains perfect for the beginner and experienced mountaineers. Teeming with 14 peaks of different climbing degrees, Batangas mountains can be one’s weekend getaway to commune and appreciate Mother Nature.

Estimated Costs

Transportation
Bus fare varies depending on the bus company and the place one is going to. But, one way in an airconditioned bus usually starts at Php 120.00. There are also vans going to Calatagan (it being famous for beaches) from Pasay City, and fare is PHP 180.00 per person. If using private transportation, be ready to prepare for tollway fees.
Accommodation
Batangas has budget-friendly accommodation that starts from Php 700.00 and can go as high as Php 5,000.00 a night, depending on the room type. For raw and underdeveloped beach getaway, one can bring a tent and pay for a minimal fee for staying overnight.
Food
Depending on the place to eat, Php 150.00 to P180.00 is enough to satisfy that hunger. For a little luxury, a meal could cost Php 380.00 - Php 450.00 per head.
Tourist attraction entrance fee
Local museums doesn’t have entrance fee but donations are highly encouraged. For beaches, depending on its category if it’s developed or not, a fee usually starts at a nominal price of Php 30.00 and an environmental fee of Php 100.00.
Jeepney Fare
Minimum Php 8.00
Tricycle Fare
P20.00
Average price per day
Php 800.00 - Php 1,000.00

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