BRIEF DESCRIPTION

A province that’s famous for high-quality dive internet sites and therefore the world’s lowest volcano, Batangas goes nowhere but up. It is a thriving traveler vacation spot replete with open seashores and sheltered coves, hidden caves and deep harbors, a preserved heritage, and brave guys in history.

Found within the province is world-known Anilao and its many dive sites that are ideal for poking around and observing marine life, and outstanding for macro photography. Multi-hued crinoids are prolific. the variability of nudibranchs is unmatched. Night dives are especially nice and sometimes reveal unusual creatures like sea hares, sea goblins, catfish eels, ghost pipe fishes, blue-ringed octopuses, mandarin fishes, and snake eels. The area’s best known dive site, coral-covered Cathedral is spectacular in the dark . one among the prettiest dives within the area, Sepok has nice coral gardens and a vertical wall.

Taal Lake and Volcano in Batangas is Southern Luzon’s centerpiece attraction destination. Known to be the smallest within the world, it’s a volcano within an islet within a lake within a crater within a volcano. The town of Taal reigns together of the two most culturally preserved sites of the Spanish colonial era; the opposite is Vigan in Ilocos Sur. The place in Taal conforms to the old town layout combining the municipal hall, school, church, and houses.

Between the multitude of popular tourist activity to be had within the province is the heritage tours, pilgrimage tours, skin diving, shopping, hiking and trekking, swimming, and snorkeling. Batangas is found only 110 kilometers south of Metropolitan Manila and is extremely accessible from the capital by land.

GEOGRAPHY

The province of Batangas is bounded on the north by Cavite and Laguna, on the south by the Verde Island passage, on the east by the provinces of Quezon and Laguna, and on the west by South China Sea. It’s a complete acreage of 316,580 hectares, 50% of which features a grade of but 15 degrees. The terrain is usually rolling while the remainder is mountainous and hilly.

CLIMATE

Batangas features a naturally cold climate. It experiences two sorts of seasons: dry from November to April and wet for the remainder of the year. Mean annual rainfall’s at its maximum in July, at 1.5 to 2.5 meters. March is that the driest month. The mean monthly temperature is 82 degrees Fahrenheit. February is that the coldest month, averaging 69 degrees Fahrenheit, while May is that the hottest, at 96.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

POPULATION

The population of the province totals 1,905,348 as of May 2000.

LANGUAGE / DIALECTS

Batangueños are bilingual, with Tagalog and English as the basic languages used in businesses, government agencies , schools, and everyday communication.

SUBDIVISION

The province is composed of 32 municipalities. Capital is Batangas City.

Batangas History…

Founded in 1581, Batangas used to be a bigger province, which was composed of the present Batangas, Mindoro, Marinduque, and the present southeastern portion of Laguna. It used to be called Balayan, with the town of Balayan as the capital.

In the beginning of the 17th century, Marinduque and Mindoro were made into separate provinces. In 1732, the capital was transferred to Taal. Finally, in 1754, the capital was transferred to Batangas and the province was thereafter named after the new capital town.

Batangueños are known for being adventurous, business-minded, industrious, friendly, and hospitable. They also happen to have a long-standing reputation for bravery, owing to the Balisong, a Philippine handmade fan-knife native to the province. To add to the perception, Lipa in Batangas, known as Coffee Granary of the Philippines, produces the popular Kapeng Barako, strong coffee considered fit only for strong men.

Batangas Is Famous For…

Anilao

It is not only ideal for poking around and observing marine life but also outstanding for macro photography. Multi-hued crinoids are prolific. The variety of nudibranchs is unmatched. Night dives are especially nice and often reveal unusual creatures like sea hares, sea goblins, catfish eels, ghost pipe fishes, blue-ringed octopuses, mandarin fishes, and snake eels.

The area’s best known dive site, Cathedral, is two large mounds with a cross in between at 50’. It is a well established fish feeding station. Covered with corals, the site is spectacular at night. Sombrero has a shallow wall of about 60’ with some good coral growth; offshore but nearby are Beatrice Rock and Bajura. Schools of triggerfishes and sometimes jacks and surgeons swim by, and they appear to have the market on anthias.

One of the prettiest dives in the area, Sepok has nice coral gardens and a vertical wall. Devil’s Point Twin Rocks, Coral Gardens, and Mainit are shallow dives with a wide array of invertebrates, especially nudibranchs. Bonete, Arthur’s, and Koala offer good dives for novices, with most to see above 50’. There is a good selection of hard and soft corals, anemones, and clownfishes, and goblinfishes at Arthur’s.

Apolinario Mabini Shrine

The national shrine is a memorial to the nationalism of Philippine hero Apolinario Mabini, known as the Sublime Paralytic, whose moral convictions and political principles illuminated the Filipinos in their search for national identity. It houses the remains and personal belongings of the late revolutionary hero who is also considered as the Brains of the Katipunan, the 1896 Filipino revolutionary movement against Spain. The shrine is located in Barrio Talaga, Tanauan, Batangas.

Taal Lake and Volcano

Southern Luzon’s centerpiece attraction is Taal Lake and Taal Volcano in Batangas. The gateway for most visitors is through Tagaytay City, from the ridge where a panoramic view of Volcano Island can be seen. The volcano is known to be the smallest in the world. Surrounded by a lake, it is situated on an 8.8-kilometer islet, lapped by the 27-kilometer-long lake. Both the lake and the volcano are situated on the crater of an extinct volcano. Volcano Island is also ideal for trekking.

Taal Heritage

Taal reigns as one of the two most culturally preserved sites of the Spanish colonial era; the other is Vigan in Ilocos sur. The village conforms to the old town layout combining municipal hall-school-church-houses. It consists of a number of tourist attractions, namely, the Leon Apacible Historical Landmark, Marcela Mariño Agoncilio Museum and Monument, Basilica of San Martin de Tours, Escuela Pia, and Church of Our Lady of Caysasay.

Basilica of San Martin de Tours / Taal Church

San Martin de Tours is the patron of Taal, in whose honor a fest is celebrated every November 11. The church was first built by Father Diego Espina in 1575 in San Nicolas. It was destroyed when Taal volcano erupted in 1754, rebuilt at the present site in 1755, and once more destroyed by an earthquake in 1849. Construction of the present church was started in 1856. Once noted to be the biggest in South East Asia, the church is unique in its combined patriotic, religious, and artistic influence. Writers point to its theatrical exuberance. Its façade is baroque and consists of a single mass of stone shaped into rich complex designs. The church, however, is a fusion of styles with arched openings, alternating segmental canopies and arches of assymmetric shapes.

Church of Our Lady of Caysasay

This church is one of the province’s distinct cultural artifacts for some of the priceless relics of the Spanish colonial period. Among the relics are the 27-centimeter image of the Virgin which was fished out of the waters in 1603, the Augustinian emblems engraved on the communion rails, the ornately carved holy water receptacle, and the few baroque motifs which remain on the external frieze. The church has been renovated but many interesting details of period art can still be appreciated.

Mt. Maculot

One of the highest and most prominent mountains in the province, Mt. Maculot is one of the favorite sites of mountain trekkers. It is said that the mountain was the last stronghold of the Japanese in the province before they were defeated. Several tunnels built by the Japanese soldiers are present in the area. The name Maculot, meaning kinky, was derived from the curly-haired aborigines found in the place.

Parada ng Lechon

The celebration held every June 24 in the town of Balayan coincides with the feast of St. John the Baptist. Lechons, or roast suckling pigs, coming from each barangay of the town are paraded, dressed in accordance with the theme of the fiesta. The parade is capped with a grand viewing of the lechons at the plaza. After the parade, the townspeople and guests partake of the fare as well as engage in water dousing.

Punta Baluarte, Calatagan

A nature resort set on the rolling hills of Hacienda Bigaa, Punta Baluarte offers first-rate accommodations, world-class golf course and facilities.

Balisong

Batangueños have a long-standing reputation for bravery, owing to the Balisong, a Philippine handmade fan-knife native to the province. Balisongs are an excellent buy from the myriad of shops that litter the province, showcasing the artistry of Batangueños.

Tanauan Aerial Sports

Accessible in less than two hours south of Manila, the small town of Tanauan is the skydiving capital of the Philippines. The drop zone, between Mt. Makiling and Taal Volcano, showcases some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. The Skydiving Center in Tanauan has a 1200m airstrip with several aircraft available to take you aloft for jumping. The standard equipment is state-of-the-art square parachutes, which all have Cypress automatic activation devices fitted for maximum safety.

Things to Do and see in Batangas…

Historical

General Malvar Museum and Library

A national landmark, it serves as a repository of the memorabilia of the last Filpino general who surrendered to the Americans. It also houses a collection of oil paintings.

Apolinario Mabini Shrine

The national shrine is a memorial to the nationalism of Philippine hero Apolinario Mabini, known as the Sublime Paralytic, whose moral convictions and political principles illuminated the Filipinos in their search for national identity. It houses the remains and personal belongings of the late revolutionary hero who is also considered as the Brains of the Katipunan, the 1896 Filipino revolutionary movement against Spain. The shrine is located in Barrio Talaga, Tanauan, Batangas.

Museo ng Batangas at Aklatang Panlalawigan

Not merely a repository of Batangas memorabilia, the museum is also an active entity engaged in keeping alive the cultural wealth and traditions of Batangas and the Batangueño spirit that has animated the fields of arts and the sciences, politics, economics and society in the country.

Batangas Memorial Foundation Museum and Library

Relics of a glorious past are displayed in the 18th century house on V. Ilustre Street. Taal. The house contains the Batangas Memorial Foundation Museum and Library. It endured two world wars and underwent two major renovations in 1870 and 1940, before it attained its present form. Its heavy doors, black and white marble tiles, and hardwood paneling are all reminiscent of 18th century architecture.

Jose P. Laurel Memorial Library

The personal property of the family of the late President Jose P. Laurel, it was donated to the Philippine government as a historical site and public library. The library is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

San Sebastian Library of the Arts

The library opened its doors on February 10, 1996 on the ground floor of SLD Bldg. on P. Torres St., near the Mt. Carmel Convent in Lipa City, starting with a modest collection of art books donated by Mr. Danilo L. Dolor.

Marcela N. Agoncilio Historical Landmark

The site marks the birthplace of Marcela Agoncilio, who made the first official Philippine Flag during the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish authorities. The different flags of the revolution are also prominently displayed on-site.

Casa de Segunda Katigbak

The ancestral home of the Katigbaks, a prominent Batangas family, the Casa is a typical “Bahay na Bato.” It is Spanish colonial yet tropical in style. It was named after Segunda Katigbak, reputed to be the first love of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the Philippine national hero. The Casa has been declared by the National Historical Commission as a heritage house for having harbored generations of artists, poets, and persons of learning and distinction.

Punta de Santiago Lighthouse

Built in 1890, it is one of the earliest lighthouses that still functions to date.

Cultural

Pastor House

Still a private residence of the Pastor family, it is an example of turn-of-the-century residential design. It was originally owned by Mr. Alejo Acosta, the Barrio Captain of Batangas in 1883.

Flights of Steps, Taal

Connecting the Taal Church and Caysasay Shrine is a flight of 123 rough-hewn marble steps. A path branches off the steps that leads to the Santa Lucia wells, where water is believed to be medicinal.

Santa Lucia Wells

About 500 meters off the Flights of Steps past a dried creek and gloomy undergrowth are the twin wells of Sta. Lucia in Taal. The present wells used to be a brook, the site of which is said to be one of the places where the Virgin of Caysasay performed her miracles. The people built a church near the well area but an 18th century earthquake caused the church to sink, although its façade, half immersed, remained intact. After the quake, spring water gushed out of the twin doors.

Msgr. Clemente G. Yatco Museum

The museum was built in memory of the late parish priest who started to work for the creation of the museum. It is found within the compound of the Basilica, located at the city proper.

Ilagan Ancestral House

It is a well-preserved residential structure constructed in the late Spanish period. It is still used by the descendants as a private residence. Visitors are accommodated only by special arrangement with the present-day owners.

Taal Heritage

Taal reigns as one of the two most culturally preserved sites of the Spanish colonial era; the other is Vigan in Ilocos sur. The village conforms to the old town layout combining municipal hall-school-church-houses. It consists of a number of tourist attractions, namely, the Leon Apacible Historical Landmark, Marcela Mariño Agoncilio Museum and Monument, Basilica of San Martin de Tours, Escuela Pia, and Church of Our Lady of Caysasay.

Leon Apacible Historical Landmark

A national landmark, the ancestral house of Leon Apacible houses the family collection of relics and memorabilia.

Marcela Mariño Agoncilio Museum and Monument

This ancestral house belonged to Marcela Agoncilio, the distinguished Taaleña matron who helped sew the first Philippine flag.

Basilica of San Martin de Tours / Taal Church

San Martin de Tours is the patron of Taal, in whose honor a fest is celebrated every November 11. The church was first built by Father Diego Espina in 1575 in San Nicolas. It was destroyed when Taal volcano erupted in 1754, rebuilt at the present site in 1755, and once more destroyed by an earthquake in 1849. Construction of the present church was started in 1856. Once noted to be the biggest in South East Asia, the church is unique in its combined patriotic, religious, and artistic influence. Writers point to its theatrical exuberance. Its façade is baroque and consists of a single mass of stone shaped into rich complex designs. The church, however, is a fusion of styles with arched openings, alternating segmental canopies and arches of assymmetric shapes.

Escuela Pia

This centuries-old Spanish edifice used to be an educational institution in Hispanic times. It is now an imposing architectural legacy left standing in the plaza compound.

Church of Our Lady of Caysasay

This church is one of the province’s distinct cultural artifacts for some of the priceless relics of the Spanish colonial period. Among the relics are the 27-centimeter image of the Virgin which was fished out of the waters in 1603, the Augustinian emblems engraved on the communion rails, the ornately carved holy water receptacle, and the few baroque motifs which remain on the external frieze. The church has been renovated but many interesting details of period art can still be appreciated.

Natural

Gerthel Beach

Located in the town of Lobo, it is one of the finest beaches of the area. The approximately one-kilometer stretch of white sand beach has a gradually sloping ocean floor of up to about two hundred meters before the drop off.

Submarine Garden

The garden consists of living corals near the shore of one of the beaches of Lobo. It can be clearly seen during the early mornings, when the water is clear and the tide is low.

Mahabang Buhangin Beach

Located in the town of San Juan, the area has white sand and a living colony of corals.

Hugon Beach

The white sand of Hugon Beach is one kilometer long. Some parts of the sea floor have smooth rocks but most are sandy. There is a sudden drop-off of about ten meters from the beach. The waters of the beach are also good for snorkeling.

Tingga Falls

The falls is about 30 feet high with a pool made into a swimming area at its base. It is semi-developed with concrete steps built for easy access.

Munting Buhangin Falls

This small cove has become a favorite haunt of local and foreign tourists, and offers water enthusiasts with a fine stretch of powdery white sand beach, fringed with foamy blue waters.

Natipuan Beach

It bears a resemblance to Munting Buhangin, with its off-white sand and refreshing waters. It is located in another cove, which is similarly accessible.

Taal Lake and Volcano

Southern Luzon’s centerpiece attraction is Taal Lake and Volcano in Batangas. The gateway for most visitors is through Tagaytay City, from the ridge where a panoramic view of Volcano Island can be seen. The volcano is known to be the smallest in the world. Surrounded by a lake, it is situated on an 8.8-kilometer islet, lapped by the 27-kilometer-long lake. Both the lake and the volcano are situated on the crater of an extinct volcano. Volcano Island is also ideal for trekking.

Matabungkay Beach

It is a two-kilometer long white sand beach situated in the town of Lian, facing the China Sea. The area is ideal for water sports, such as swimming, boating, yachting, fishing, and skin diving. Dotting the shoreline are several summer cottages.

Mt. Maculot

One of the highest and most prominent mountains in the province, Mt. Maculot is one of the favorite sites of mountain trekkers. It is said that the mountain was the last stronghold of the Japanese in the province before they were defeated. Several tunnels built by the Japanese soldiers are present in the area. The name Maculot, meaning kinky, was derived from the curly-haired aborigines found in the place.

Calijon Falls

This tourist attraction consists of two major falls and two smaller ones. One of the bigger falls is about 10 feet high, with a great volume of clear water gushing down to a shallow pool. The other one, also about 10 feet high, resembles a bridal gown. One of the two smaller falls is shower-like while the other forms a series of small cascades. All the falls are located in an area of about 300 square meters.

Mainit Hot Spring

The spring offers therapeutic waters and a refreshing dip for bathers. The spot is ideally located at the foot of a huge mountain with thick vegetation.

Mahabang Buhangin

Located on Isla Verde, Mahabang Buhangin has an extensive stretch of shoreline with a vast ribbon of fine white sand.

Tinalunan

This is a spot where wind-tossed waves surge and slam against the rocky cliff supporting a long plateau. From atop the plateau, one can catch a breath-taking view of the seascape, especially when the weather is fine.

Cueva Sitio

The site is an ideal place for picnics. Its main attraction is a rock shelter that has always provided a cool shade for visitors.

Ilijan Falls

It is a unique waterfalls with water coming from a big spring on top of a mountain and gracefully flowing from one bowl to another. It has seven huge stone bowls carved naturally out of the mountainsides and beautifully arranged like a flight of stairs.

Sepok Point

Located on the southwestern part of Maricaban Island, Sepok Point has white sand and shores typical of a tropical cove. It is a good place for swimming and snorkeling.

Bulalacao Falls

The area has about three small falls enclosed in a canyon, the highest of which is about 10 feet high, with water coming out of the mouth of a small cave.

Religious

Basilica of Saint Martin de Tours / Taal Church

Reputed to be the largest in Asia, Taal Church stands 96 meters long and 45 meters wide on a plateau in the heart of Taal. The Augustinian Missionaries started construction in 1756, and it took a century for the church to achieve its present form. The façade resembles that of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Its tabernacle is made of silver, the only one of its kind in the Philippines.

Church of Our Lady of Caysasay

The Caysasay shrine in Taal is a tribute to the image of the Virgin fished out by a resident from the Pansipit River in 1603. Legend has it that the image enthroned in Taal Church used to wander through the village, performing miracles. It has become an object of annual pilgrimage, especially among the Roman Catholic devotees.

Church of San Jose

This church was built by the Augustinian friars around 1788. It has a single-aisled interior, which offers an unobstructed view of the large main altar. The altar is massive, with six rounded columns encircling the image of St. Joseph. Outside, a multi-tiered belfry stands, which was built in the later 19th century. A bridge offers passage to the church over the Malaquing Tubig River.

Tanauan Church

This church was built in 1881, along the Romanesque lines of churches in Europe, but local builders incorporated neo-classic lines, especially along the external sides of the church. Rounded arches tapering down to the strong pillars harmonize with uncluttered lines of the central ceilings. The church is remarkable for its wide-open central naves and circular niches.

Church of San Guillermo of Talisay

The construction of the church was begun by the Spanish friars in 1892 but it suffered heavy damage in 1898. Restoration has enabled the structure to be functional until today.

Church of the Immaculate Conception of Bauan

First constructed in 1700, it was built around neo-classical lines, with its walls broken by the Gothic lancet windows. The altar has a tri-centered arch, with a niche containing the statue of the Virgin Mary. The façade of the church features both geometric and circular forms. It has a bell tower, which is hexagonal, and rests on a base decorated with coupled columns. Topped by a campanile, the church is arcaded with capiz shell windows on the upper level.

Carmelite Convent of Lipa

This convent of the contemplative order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was the site of a mysterious “shower of petals” to a visionary nun after World War II.

Lipa Cathedral

Built in the Romanesque tradition with a circular dome, massive walls and balconies, the cathedral is the center of worship in the historic town of Lipa, Batangas. Lipa Cathedral was originally built to honor St. Sebastian. Its first grand concept was completed in 1865 but, after the devastation of WWII, it underwent massive reconstruction. This beautiful church has an architecture in which columns and light play. The domes of the church and the bell tower have intricate moldings and arched stained-glass windows. The body of the church is barred-vaulted and now illuminated by modern chandeliers. The church also features a winding stairway to the choir loft.

San Jose Church

This church was built by the Augustinian friar, Fr. Manuel Blanco, in 1812. It has a large one-aisle interior and is remarkable for its restored main altar, ceiling frescoes, and flowery capital on the columns. The church is an interpretation of Baroque architecture in the Philippines, and combines this with the neo-classical lines of the adjacent convent. The pulpit and canopy are a study in intricate carvings of local flora.

Festivals

Foundation Day of Batangas Province

A program and the selection of “Mutya ng Batangas City” are the main activities during the celebration.

History and Culture Consciousness Week

A celebration depicting the history and culture of the Batangueños, it includes a photo exhibit, on-the-spot painting competition, and “Paligsahan sa Kasaysayan.”

Harana

It is a typical practice of courting a woman in the rural area. The man relays his message to his beloved through songs.

Stations of the Cross / Penetensiyahan

It provides a glimpse of the 14 stations at the foot of the mountain at Poblacion Rosario, Batangas. Christian devotees hold pilgrimages to this place during the Lenten Season.

National Arts Month

It is an annual activity aimed at showcasing the talents of Batangueños in singing, dancing, painting, and photography.

Birth Anniversary of Late President Jose P. Laurel

It is a yearly celebration commemorating the birth of the late President Jose P. Laurel.

Carera de Paso

It is held during Lent, on Holy Wednesday, in the poblacion at Calaca, Batangas. It is different from the province’s other racing competitions because only local horses from the different barangays of Calaca may join the competition.

Pabasa ng Pasyon

It is a traditional celebration of reading the “pasyon” that depicts the life and death of Jesus Christ.

Salubong / Holy Cross Festival

It is a festive celebration involving the meeting of the Holy Cross of Bauan and the Holy Cross of Alitagtag at Binukalan Shrine come 8:00 A.M. The celebration is highlighted by a program and the singing of praises to the Holy Cross, accompanied by street dancing. Finally, come 2:00 P.M., the Holy Cross of Bauan is brought back to the Parish Church of Bauan, where the jubilation culminates.

Tapusan Festival

(May; Alitatag, Batangas). It is an impressive festival during which the Holy Cross is honored on the last of May. Flowers are offered during the afternoon ceremonies, before an old cross in the town church. The observance peaks on the 31st of May with a colorful procession, during which the cross is mounted on a gaily decorated float, together with other floats bedecked with flowers carrying other Marian images. All the floats are radiantly lighted and drawn along the principal streets of the town.

Parada ng Lechon

(June 24; Balayan town, Batangas). The celebration coincides with the feast of St. John the Baptist. Lechons, or roast suckling pigs, coming from each barangay of the town are paraded, dressed in accordance with the theme of the fiesta. The parade is capped with a grand viewing of the lechons at the plaza. After the parade, the townspeople and guests partake of the fare as well as engage in water dousing.

Subli-an sa Batangas

(July 23; Batangas City, Batangas). It is held in line with the city’s Foundation Day. The festival, a brainchild of the Batangas City Cultural Affairs Board, aims to revive the centuries-old tradition of dancing the Subli, a dance indigenous to Batangas. The festival has evolved to include street dancing.

Buwan ng Wika

It is a month-long activity to campaign for the use of the Filipino language, as promoted in streamers and during a short program.

Foundation Anniversary of Lobo

Activities include street dancing, float parade and contest, the selection of Mutya ng Lobo, and cultural shows.

Birth Anniversary of Gen. Miguel Malvar

It is a commemorative event to honor the birth anniversary of the last general to surrender to the Americans.

Anihan Festival

The festival showcases the various products of the different barangays in the town of Lobo. The barangay representatives go street dancing, dressed in beautiful costumes made out of the products harvested. A search for the best costume is mounted, with fabulous prizes at stake for the winner.

Paskuhan sa Maraykit

The traditional yuletide celebration at Maraykit, San Juan, Batangas, includes the “juego de anillo,” lantern making competition, and search for the best decorated house.

Fluvial Procession at Pansipit River

(December 8-9). The Taaleños begin the celebration of their two-day town fiesta by converging at the bank of Pansipit River, where several bancas are anchored. The image of Our Lady of Caysasay is carried by the devotees in a fluvial procession on the river, through the streets of Taal, and finally, to the Basilica of Taal. On the following day, the images of Our Lady of Caysasay and St. Martin de Porres, the patron of the basilica, join the evening-long procession. During the procession, girls dressed in white stop at street corners and hail the Virgin Mary by reciting “luwa,” or praises, until the procession rends at the basilica, where it is welcomed by spectacular fireworks and different bands.

Coffee Festival

The festival was conceived to showcase the long reign of Lipa as the coffee granary of the Philippines. It includes a trade fair and tiangge, the Karera ng Tiburin, a search for the Barako ng Bayan, and parlor games.

Special Interest

DIVING

Ligpo Island.

Corals of different types and huge gorgonians abound in the area. It is on the west side of the island.

Cathedral.

Approximately 75 feet south of the Dive, 7000 Resort area lies a giant rock formation that looks like an underwater amphitheater. Originally virtually barren, Cathedral has been seeded with coral from other sites. Throngs of eager fish gather around visiting divers, waiting to be fed.

Caban Cove.

This dive site is fairly sheltered. There are no exotic coral formations, plenty of small tropical fish, and an interesting small drop-off that goes down in graduated “steps.” This is good choice for shallow dives.

Layag-Layag Point.

There are coral heads teeming with life and the water is usually crystal clear. There are also enough things to see to keep snorkelers interested.

Sombrero Island.

The island’s external appearance resembles the shape of a hat. However, underwater, its profile makes its name even more appropriate. In certain areas, water is fairly shallow on the rim, down to about 50 feet.

Sepok.

The rim of the drop-off west-southwest to Sepok Point is a very good dive site, with many varieties of marine life.

Batalan.

This area breaks the surface and then drops down to about 80 feet. This is a marvelous area for both wide angle and macro-photography because of the abundant and varied coral formations and fish life.

Merriel’s Rock.

There are types of corals numerous enough to fascinate even a marine biologist.

Papaya Point.

There is a drop-off topped by a wide variety of corals and inhabited by lots of small reef fish.

Verde Island.

The most popular dive sites here are the Drop-off (0-300 feet) and the Spanish galleon, which ran aground in 1620.

Maricaban / Tingloy.

The island contains a cave at 125 feet, accessed by the tunnel, which makes for a challenging adventure. There are excellent coral formations, abundant pelagic fish, and other outstanding photographic opportunities.

GOLF

Evercrest Golf Club Resort.

This golf club and resort features a deluxe hotel, lavished with world-class amenities, including stylish shops and a restaurant.

Punta Baluarte, Calatagan.

A nature resort set on the rolling hills of hacienda Bigaa, Punta Baluarte offers first-rate accommodations, world-class golf course and facilities.

Calatagan Golf Club.

Lauded as one of the best international championship courses in Southeast Asia, this golf club holds another unique distinction: it is located in an arboretum where over 3,000 trees of local and foreign species are planted.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING / VOLCANO TREKKING

Mt. Maculot.

One of the highest mountains in Batangas, Mt. Maculot has always been a favorite among mountaineers and trekkers alike. The name of the place was derived from “kulot,” meaning kinky, in reference the kinky hair of the people who lived in the mountains.

Taal Volcano.

The lowest volcano in the world is surrounded by a lake. It is accessible by boat from at least seven towns surrounding the lake. Tour agencies as well as some Tagaytay resorts offer tour packages to the lake. Jump-off point is Agoncillo, Batangas.

Shopping.

Department stores in the heart of Batangas City offer a myriad of goods, ranging from kitchenware and household appliances to fruits and handicrafts. The shops that litter the province showcase the artistry of Batangueños. In Taal town, the Barong Tagalog (local embroidered dress shirts for men made of jusi, piña, or pineapple fibers) features intricate cutwork and crochet insertions. The balisong (Philippine handmade fan-knife) as well as rattan, bamboo, and woodcrafts are also excellent buys.

Aquasports.

Most resorts offer a wide range of watersports, such as jetskiing, hobbycat, boardsailing, windsurfing, and the like.

Air Sports.

The Manny Barradas Air Strip is the official jump-off point of the Parachutist Association of the Philippines. The airfield features a parachuting field measuring a length of 1,800 feet, width of 45 meters, field elevation of 300 feet, and heading of 05 degrees to 23 degrees. Facilities include 11 single engine airplanes, 4 crop sprayers, 2 flying schools, and 5 charter planes. Airplane types include 6 Cessna 206, 2 Beechcraft Sundowners, and 3 Pipers.