Batangas Neighborhood Guide

Situated in the southwestern part of Luzon, the first-class province of Batangas is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north and Quezon to the east. It’s one of the top tourist destinations near Metro Manila, home to breathtaking beaches and nature hotspots, such as the Taal Volcano. 

Aside from natural wonders, the province boasts of rich heritage, being one of the first of eight provinces that pushed back against Spanish rule. This resistance is represented in the Philippine flag, one of the eight rays of the sun symbolizing Batangas. Interestingly, one of the principal seamstresses of the Philippine flag was a native of the province, Marcela Agoncillo.

The economy of the province is fast-growing. In 2020, it was hailed as the second richest province in the country, totaling 20.7 billion in total assets. The locale has been consistently topping the list of wealthiest provinces in the Philippines for the past years.

Because of its natural beauty, historical charm, and vibrant economy, Batangas is quickly becoming an enviable residential address. Amid the pandemic, it emerged as one of the most in-demand hotspots on Lamudi, with property seekers looking at different kinds of properties in the province.

Natural Wonders

The Batangas province teems with breathtaking natural attractions, from volcanoes and mountains to islands and beaches. The Taal Volcano is the most popular destination, stretching across the towns of Talisay and San Nicolas. It’s an active volcano, with its most devastating eruption recorded in January 1911. 

The most popular mountains in the province are Mount Batulao, Mount Gulugod Baboy, and Mount Maculot, famous hiking spots for outdoor adventurers. Similarly, Batangas is the go-to destination for pristine beaches near Metro Manila. Laiya Beach, Nasugbu, and Masasa are some of the most visited. Fortune Island and Isla Verde boast untouched, exquisite beaches.

Rich Heritage

During the Spanish occupation, the town of Nasugbu in Batangas was a vital trading center. It was a harbor for merchants selling different goods in the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade. On top of this booming commerce, the province was teeming with vibrant religious activities, a result of the colonizer’s introduction of Christianity to locals. Because of this religious influence, Batangas has been home to age-old churches, including the Taal Parish, Batangas Parish, Bauan Parish, Lipa Parish, and Balayan Parish. These places of worship carry the long history of Catholicism in the locale.

Booming Economy

As the second richest province in the country in 2020, Batangas is a major contributor to the economic prosperity of the Calabarzon region. The strongest enterprises in the area are agriculture and fisheries, with the province being home to abundant pineapple fields, tuna farms, and sugar plantations. Similarly, manufacturing, logistics, and banking enterprises are booming that there are several industrial parks in the area.

Its capital, Batangas City, registered the highest revenue in 2020, amassing almost P3B in income. The district is known as the Industrial Port City of Calabarzon, as it is classified as one of the fastest-growing urban cities in the country. Lipa was the second wealthiest city in Batangas, while Tanauan ranked third. 

MORE ABOUT BATANGAS

Economic Background

The second richest province in the Philippines hosts various economic activities that contribute to its growing wealth. These enterprises ultimately benefit the locals, as they generate employment and business opportunities.

Agriculture and Aquaculture Sector

With vast agricultural lands, Batangas is a major producer of several tons of crops. Pineapples are the most abundant. Aside from the actual fruit, the leaves of the crop are used to create a cloth called jusi, an important design element of the country’s national costume, the Barong Tagalog.

The rural region boasts of a thriving livestock industry as well. Local farmers expertly breed premium cattle species that the province earned the title bakang Batangas. The towns of San Juan, Padre Garcia, and Bauan are popular auction sites for cattle. 

Similarly, the fishing industry is flourishing in Batangas. Taal Lake is a rich source of freshwater fishes. In fact, it’s home to the only freshwater sardine in the world called tawilis.

Sugar production is likewise an established industry in Batangas. For one, it hosts Central Azucarera de Don Pedro, the Philippines’ largest sugar producer. Hacienda Luisita, another major player in the industry, is also in the province.

Industrial Sector

Batangas hosts several industrial parks, which have been accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). The largest industrial park is the LIMA Technology Center, a 700-hectare estate that hosts over a hundred locators. These locators are light-medium industries, both local and global companies, employing over 50,000 individuals. Located in the Lipa-Malvar area, it is a half-hour away from the Batangas International Port.

The First Philippine Industrial Park is another business zone in the province, stretching over 500 hectares. Situated along the Pan-Philippine Highway in Santo Tomas, the estate is highly accessible to businesses and professionals. Its locators are diverse, from manufacturing companies to banking institutions to food processing corporations, generating almost 65,000 local jobs. 

Meanwhile, the Light Industry & Science Park IV covers 170 hectares of industrial area at the heart of Malvar. It’s situated along the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), allowing convenient access to and from the capital region’s commercial business districts, as well as the Batangas International Seaport. A project of the Science Park of the Philippines, Inc. (SPPI), the live-work estate has a dedicated area for commercial, institutional, and residential properties. Its locators include companies from the food, manufacturing, and consumer goods industries.

Real Estate Sector

Batangas boasts of various vibrant residential communities. Prominent property company AboitizLand has a few developments in the province, namely Seafront Residences and The Villages at Lipa. The former is located in San Juan, while the latter is in Lipa City. 

The Mansions at PonteFino, an upscale, exclusive residential community developed by PonteFino Estates, is located in the province’s capital, Batangas City. 

One of the joint venture projects of trusted local developer PA Properties and Japanese brand Hankyu Hanshin is also in Lipa, Batangas. Idesia Lipa features the best of Filipino and Japanese home design. 

Similarly, a development by Megaworld subsidiary Suntrust Properties is in Lipa. An Italian-themed community, Siena Hills attracts young and growing families alike.

Pueblo de Oro Development Corp. (PDO), the real estate arm of the ICCP Group, will be building Townscapes Malvar, a community with a live-work concept. 

FUTURE PROJECTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Lobo-Malabrigo-Laiya-San Juan Road

This 23-kilometer road connects the towns of Lobo and San Juan in Batangas. It’s set to promote tourism in the region, as the municipalities are home to breathtaking beaches that tourists from Metro Manila frequently visit. The project is under the Department of Tourism (DOT) – Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Convergence Program. 

Star Tollway-Pinamucan Bypass Road

This thoroughfare stretches 19 kilometers, connecting emerging hotspots in Batangas, namely Pinamucan in the capital city and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road. Serving as an alternate access road, the project is expected to ease the road congestion in the city. At the same time, it will cut travel time between the two destinations by 50 minutes.

Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX)

Covering 50 kilometers, this expressway will promote easy travels from Batangas to Cavite and the capital region. It will traverse Nasugbu in Batangas and the growth centers of Silang, Tagaytay, Amadeo, Mendez, Alfonso, and Magallanes in Cavite. Once completed, it will have the following interchanges: Silang, Pook, Aguinaldo, Amadeo, Mendez, Alfonso, Magallanes, and Nasugbu.

PIT STOPS IN BATANGAS

Top-Notch Schools

Home to prestigious academic institutions, Batangas features both public and private schools that have been instrumental in shaping young minds. These are some of the notable learning centers in the area:

  • University of Batangas  
  • Batangas State University 
  • Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas 
  • Colegio ng Lungsod ng Batangas
  • Batangas College of Arts and Sciences, Inc.
  • St. Bridget College
  • Golden Gate College 
  • Westmead International School 

Premier Hospitals

The province hosts plenty of outstanding medical centers, providing excellent healthcare to Batangas residents. These are some of the premier medical institutions in the area:

  • Batangas Provincial Hospital 
  • Batangas Regional Hospital 
  • Batangas Medical Center 
  • Bauan General Hospital 
  • Bauan Doctors General Hospital 
  • Santo Tomas General Hospital 
  • Sto. Tomas Doctors Hospital and Medical Center, Inc.
  • United Doctors of St. Camillus de Lellis Hospital

Popular Shopping Centers

The modern retail hubs in Batangas help residents experience convenience when doing errands. Living here, you can easily shop grocery essentials, do bank transactions, and indulge in retail therapy in these malls:

  • SM City Batangas 
  • Waltermart Batangas 
  • Shopwise Batangas City 
  • Nuciti Central Mall 
  • Bay City Mall 
  • Xentro Mall Batangas

Excellent Dining Spots

Known for its unique dishes, the province of Batangas is a go-to destination for food lovers. The residents, on the other hand, are treated every day to the best flavors. Here are some of the excellent dining spots in the area:

  • Café de Lipa Origins 
  • Park View Lomi House 
  • Kainan sa Dalampasigan 
  • The Beehive Farm and Kitchen
  • Entree Restaurant
  • Ka Sebbya
  • Irene’s Bulalo sa Kubo
  • Batangas Taste

HOW TO MOVE AROUND IN BATANGAS

Residents in Batangas are able to enjoy various transportation options to reach different places in the province. The most common means is via jeepneys. They ply through towns and cities. Buses are likewise popular, which often travel from one town or city to another. Some offer rides to neighboring provinces and Metro Manila. The Batangas City Grand Terminal is where most buses stop and wait for passengers. Students and senior citizens get discounts when riding jeepneys and buses. 

Another common form of transportation in the province is UV Express. These are frequently used by professionals going to the capital region. Within barangays, tricycles are the most popular. They take locals to nearby establishments, such as the marketplace and schools. Thus, these are the places where you would most likely see these transportation options.

Since beaches are popular in the province, boats are likewise a frequently used means of transportation. To reach different islands, tourists and locals alike use motorized bangka.

WHAT TO DO IN BATANGAS

A province prominent for its beautiful destinations, Batangas offers plenty of recreational opportunities for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re a history buff or a nature wanderer, you’ll find activities that fit your leisure interests.

Here are some of them:

Visit Age-Old Homes

Although urbanized, the province of Batangas is filled with heritage homes, well-maintained to preserve the legacies and lessons of the past. One of the most popular is the Casa de Segunda in Lipa, the home of Segunda Katigbak and Manuel Luz. Katigbak, as you might recall from your history lessons, was the first love of our national hero, Jose Rizal. Luz is the man Katigbak was arranged to be married with. The home features a Spanish-era architectural style. 

Aside from Casa de Segunda, you can pay a visit to the historical home of Marcela Mariño de Agoncillo, the woman who weaved the first Philippine national flag. Like Casa Segunda, it now serves as a museum, where a section is dedicated to telling the story of how the first flag was made. You’ll find more age-old homes in Taal, most of them owned by prominent characters instrumental in the Philippine Independence from Spanish occupation.

Be a Pilgrim

Aside from heritage homes, Batangas is dotted with historic churches. Include in your itinerary Asia’s largest church, The Basilica de San Martin de Tours in Taal. Built in 1575, it’s one of the oldest Catholic churches in the province. It was originally in the town of San Nicolas but the eruption of the Taal Volcano in 1754 completely tore down the structure. It was then reconstructed and relocated to Taal. In 1954, the church was officially recognized as a minor basilica, the third to be honored in the Philippines.

Other churches you should include in your pilgrim tour are The St. Raphael the Archangel Parish Church in Calaca, The Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Joseph in San Jose, Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church in Lipa, and Caleruega Chapel of Transfiguration in Nasugbu.

Go Mountain Hiking

Batangas boasts of beautiful mountains that beginner and seasoned hikers love. One of the most famous is Mount Gulugod Baboy in Mabini. The peak of the mountain offers panoramic views of the natural wonders around, bays, hills, and mountains. You can even get a peek of the Taal Volcano. If you’re planning to take on a hiking adventure in Mount Gulugod Baboy, the main jumpoff point is at Philpan Dive Resort in Barangay Anilao.

Another popular hiking spot is Mount Batulao in Nasugbu. Its jumpoff point is at Evercrest Golf Course. An ideal choice for beginner mountain climbers, it features open trails and rolling slopes, the long trek rewarded with picturesque views of the province. Other must-visit mountains in the area are Talamitam, Daguldol, Manabu, and Maculot.

Explore the Pristine Beaches

Although there are many hills and mountains in the province of Batangas, it’s also known as a top spot for beaches, resorts, and islands. Fortune Island, a destination known for its iconic Grecian pillar ruins, is among the most frequently visited. It’s located in Nasugbu. 

Another beautiful attraction is Calayo Beach, also located in the same town as Fortune Island. Beach lovers will enjoy the blue-green waters and light brown sand in the community. The Bituin Cove, Pulo Island, Tali Beach, and Layag-Layag Beach are also in Nasugbu.

Other areas in Batangas that host coastal communities are San Juan, Calatagan, Mabini, Tingloy, and Lian. Some resorts in these towns attract travelers looking for luxury accommodations.

Go on a Food Crawl

With the different flavors offered by Batangas restaurants and eateries, you can have a great gastronomic experience in this province. As you visit the top dining spots mentioned in the last section, include in your must-eats the best of the province’s dishes, drinks, and delicacies. The soups should be at the top of your menu priorities: bulalo, lomi, and goto. When you visit Taal, don’t forget to have a taste of the tawilis and tapang Taal. 

If you want your food trip to be a dessert adventure, try the suman and nilupak, paired with tsokolate tablea. Kapeng barako is another must-try. Cafe de Lipa and Hills Cafe Batangas serve premium Batangas coffee.

POPULAR NEIGHBORHOODS

Batangas City

The capital city of the province is a highly urbanized area, dotted with various residential communities and other Batangas City neighborhoods. The locals benefit from the essential establishments that have sprung up in the area over the years. The big retail centers, SM City Batangas, Bay City Mall, and Nuciti Central, increased the convenience of living for residents in the city.

One of the popular Batangas City neighborhoods is The Mansions at Pontefino. A private, exclusive residential development by Pontefino Estates, the upscale neighborhood features large homes that suitably accommodate growing families. Aside from the huge space, homeowners are able to enjoy recreational amenities within the community, such as the clubhouse and the pool.

Another residential enclave in Batangas City is Camella Solamente, a project of Vista Land subsidiary Camella Homes. The houses in the neighborhood feature a Spanish-Mediterranean design. Within the themed community, you will find a clubhouse, a swimming pool, and a basketball court, all designed to promote leisure among residents.

Lipa City

Dubbed as the Little Rome of the Philippines, Lipa is home to several Catholic churches, namely the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Marian Orchard, Monasterio de Sta. Clara, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. But while the places of worship in the locale bear remnants of the past, the residential communities reflect modernity. 

The Villages at Lipa, a 49-hectare project by property giant AboitizLand, is one of the neighborhoods equipped with modern features and amenities. It has a clubhouse, a swimming pool, a multipurpose court, and a village plaza, among other recreational spaces. 

Idesia Lipa is another tranquil residential enclave in the city, developed by PA Properties – Hankyu Hanshin. Covering 11 hectares of land, the community boasts of facilities curated for homeowners’ comfort, namely the basketball court, tennis court, swimming pool, community garden, playground, and pet park. 

Meanwhile, inspired by the Roman ambience of the city, Siena Hills, another village in Lipa, features Italian design elements in its community amenities and houses. A project of Suntrust Properties, the community is built with a basketball court, a pool, a clubhouse, pocket gardens, jogging trails, and cabanas. Homeowners can easily reminisce memories of their Europe trips in this neighborhood.

Santo Tomas

Santo Tomas is a first-class component city that has vast residential lands. With the First Philippine Industrial Park located in the area, some locals are employed in the manufacturing, banking, and construction companies in the commercial zone. Several residential communities in Santo Tomas are projects of big property developers in the country.

Pueblo de Oro Batangas is one of the most popular. The 26-hectare neighborhood is composed of several residential enclaves, namely the La Aldea Del Monte, The Horizon Residences, and Park Place Batangas. 

In La Aldea Del Monte, you will find two-story, modern house models complete with essential rooms. Zen-inspired two-story, single-attached homes, meanwhile, are featured in The Horizon Residences. But if you’re interested in finding Contemporary Asian-inspired homes, Park Place Batangas will be the dream neighborhood for you.

The welcoming community of Avila Heights, developed by Suntrust Properties, is in Santo Tomas as well. Featuring different house models, the neighborhood accommodates families of different sizes. Young and growing broods are able to enjoy the best of recreation in Avila Heights, since it has a multi-purpose hall and a playground.

San Juan

San Juan is among the most prominent tourist destinations in Batangas. It has a lot of beautiful attractions that in 2010, then-President Gloria Arroyo signed Executive No. 904 designating the town as a priority area for tourism development. It’s no surprise that most of the modern subdivisions in the area maximize proximity to the pristine beaches in town.

Seafront Residences, a residential project of AboitizLand, is a 43-hectare beach community that features different kinds of property: house and lots, lots only, and villas. Since it’s in San Juan, it offers easy access to the famous Laiya Beach. Within the neighborhood, residents can already experience the best of beach life, doing activities at the beachfront clubhouse, diamond park, swimming pool, recreational room, and multi-purpose court.

Playa Laiya is another exclusive community in San Juan, a 128-hectare leisure and tourism estate. Developed by Landco Pacific Corporation, it’s filled with luxurious amenities. At the Beach Club, you’ll find an infinity pool, kiddie pool, and an outdoor jacuzzi, while treating yourself to a breathtaking view of the ocean. If you’re looking to build your second home in Batangas, you can take advantage of the available beach lots in this community, which come in different sizes.

Bauan

A first-class town in Batangas, Bauan is popular for being the home of the Neo-classical church Immaculate Conception Bauan Parish and the frequently visited Sampaguita Beach. While rich in heritage and natural beauty, Bauan is also a homeowner’s paradise. Modern, quiet residential communities are in this town. 

Amaia Scapes Bauan, a development of Ayala subsidiary Amaia Land, is among the most sought-after communities. The amenities and beautifully-designed houses are scattered across the 11-hectare land. The recreational facilities include the village pavilion, swimming pool, and basketball court. Ideal for young families, the housing units come at an affordable price.

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