Saturday, June 1, 2019

6 Breathtaking Batangas Locations You Shouldn’t Miss

Wazzup Pilipinas!

As is the case with most popular tourist destinations, one may think that there’s a limit to Batangas’s charms. But the fact is, no matter how many times one may travel to the province—only a few short hours away from Metro Manila—there are many chances to see it in a different light.

The appeal of visiting Batangas goes beyond stepping foot on one beach, offering prayers in one church, or snapping photos in one heritage site. Here, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. First-time visitors and returning tourists alike can enjoy the province’s wealth of biodiversity, natural resources, and culture if they add more stops to their Batangas itinerary.

If you’re planning a trip soon and need recommendations, here’s a roundup of six sites that are guaranteed to take your breath away. Head to these locations to experience the singular beauty of Batangas province!

Anilao, Mabini

Anilao is considered one of the “scuba diving capitals” of the Philippines, and it is also home to many a famed Batangas beach resort. Clear ocean waters and stunning reefs aside, what drives Anilao’s tourism sector is its diving courses. There are classes and expeditions tailored to different levels of diving experience, which makes Anilao the ideal vacation spot for both beginning and intermediate divers.

How to Get There: From Metro Manila, you can take a public bus bound for Batangas City, go down at the bus terminal, and take a jeep to Mabini to Anilao Port. Alternately, you can travel to Anilao by car, or ask your chosen resort if they offer a shuttle service.

The View: Both above sea level and below it, your view in Anilao will be a feast for the eyes. While diving, you’ll encounter schools of colorful fish, vibrant coral reefs, and perhaps even a shipwreck site or two.

Laiya, San Juan

For a more laid-back group, there’s the Laiya strip of beaches in San Juan. If you mean to go to Batangas with a loved one on a romantic getaway, you can splurge on premium accommodation. If your goal is to swim, work fresh seafood on the grill, and knock off a few cold ones with friends, there are budget options there as well.

How to Get There: You can simply drive to San Juan, or you can take the bus and get down in front of San Juan’s municipal hall. There, you will be able to find jeeps and tricycles to Laiya.

The View: Beach revelers will enjoy soft sand, verdant coconut trees, and sparkling green-blue waters. It is the perfect scene for watching sunsets, partaking in romantic dinners, or stargazing.

Taal Volcano, Talisay

The mighty Taal Volcano has been named among the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior’s (IAVCEI) list of “Decade Volcanoes.” But even if you aren’t an earth scientist, you’ll be wowed by the natural scenery in Taal. The sand is marked a vibrant red in the Red Lava Trail, and the greenery seems endless all the way to the summit.

How to Get There: You will need to take a boat ride to get to Taal Volcano Island. Once there, you will need to register at Taal’s Tourism Office. From then on, you can hike up the trail or you can pay a guide to take you up on horseback.

The View: The weather may be hot, and the trail may be exhausting for some to complete. But once you reach the Taal Volcano’s viewing deck, the optics will be worth it. Take a picture or two as a keepsake of the moment.

Taal Basilica, Taal

Also known as the Minor Basilica of St. Martin of Tours, the Taal Basilica is a landmark site in the heritage town of Taal, which many people have campaigned for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is the largest Catholic church in all of Asia with such an ornate façade, it is likely also one of the most beautiful as well.

How to Get There: To get to the Taal Basilica, you can either drive or take the public bus to Lemery, Batangas. Get off at the Flying V station, where it will be easy to catch a jeep to Taal town.

The View: Batangueños are very much rooted in their Catholic faith, and the legacy of that faith is on show in the Taal Basilica. One need only to glance at the soaring arches, sculpted columns, and detailed visages of the saints in the Basilica to know that the Holy Spirit has been at work here for five centuries.

Fortune Island, Nasugbu

Fortune Island in Nasugbu never fails to fascinate visitors. Once the locus of development work for a luxury clientele, Fortune Island is now a curious mix of rolling cliffs, historic sites, and abandoned structures like the crumbling Parthenon-style ruins. Tourists who want to do something out of the ordinary can go cliff-diving, visit the museum built for the Spanish warship the San Diego, or stage a photo-op by the ruins.

How to Get There: The most efficient way to get to Fortune Island is to ride a bus to Nasugbu, take a tricycle to Fortune Island Resort in Barangay Wawa, and rent a boat from the mainland to the island proper. Be forewarned, however, that the waves here can get very strong.

The View: Every photo that you take here will tell a unique story. If you’re up for it, you can experience thrilling vertical drops, haunting scenery, and powerful currents at Fortune Island.

Malabrigo Lighthouse, Lobo

The Malabrigo Lighthouse is one of 24 lighthouses built by the Spanish to guide their maritime journeys. As luck would have it, however, the portmanteau of malabrigo means “bad shelter” in Spanish. That’s because Malabrigo Point was no safe haven for ships and small boats, and many had met their deaths there. Nevertheless, the striking Malabrigo Lighthouse is a well-preserved structure, and it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Visitors should go here early in the day in order to beat the heat.

How to Get There: Ride a bus to Balagtas Junction in Batangas, switch to the jeep that goes to Lobo Jeepney Terminal, ride another jeep to the Lobo town proper, and take a tricycle to the Malabrigo Lighthouse.

The View: Outside the Malabrigo Lighthouse is a picturesque view of the blue waters; inside, you can appreciate the old woodwork refurbished with a cheerful paint job. The lighthouse lives up to its landmark reputation.

This is just a taste of the views you’ll be able to achieve; come upon these wonderful sights, and many more, on your next trip to Batangas province!

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