Batangas: Rediscovering My Hometown

“You’re the weirdest Batangueno I have ever met!” declared my friend Andre after learning that I didn’t know how to swim. We were on the way home.

“Wow, jumping to conclusions,” I objected.

“Well, for starters, you don’t have the accent,” he explained. “Batangas is known for beaches and dive sites; you don’t even know how to swim. Batangas produces the best beef in the country; you dislike beef. Batangas is home to kapeng barako; you’re not a coffee fan. You haven’t even been to the Taal Volcano.”

Hmmm. As hard as it was to admit, he was right. (Except for the coffee part. I love Kapeng Barako.)

But that single declaration from a friend who always told me the most brutally honest words had a huge effect on me. It got me thinking about and reflecting on my being Batangueno. I always say that I am a proud Batangueno but Β I started to wonder how much of Batangas I had explored, how much of the culture I truly appreciated, and how much of our heritage and history I was familiar with.

Asia's largest basilica --- Basilica de San Martin de Tours in Taal, Batangas

Cape Santiago Lighthouse in Calatagan

I spent most of my life in Batangas, in the small town of Lemery. I had traveled to many islands in the country, from Ilocos to General Santos, and even abroad a couple of times. Admittedly, other than neighboring Balayan, Calaca, Lian, and Taal, I had not “experienced” other parts of my home province. Β Such a shame.

After that conversation with Andre, I quietly planned a trip to Batangas. I wanted to see, really see, and experience other municipalities and cities, not just the usual passing-through journey.Β One weekend. A good start. And so it happened.

Gen. Miguel Malvar Monument and Library in Santo Tomas, Batangas

Apolinario Mabini Shrine in Tanauan, Batangas

The coffin that carried Mabini's body and his handwriting

The Lipa Cathedral (San Sebastian Cathedral) is one of the many religious places we visited in Lipa City

Casa de Segunda in Lipa City, house of Segunda Katigbak (Jose Rizal's first love)

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and Plaza Mabini in Batangas City

Casa Rap, a hidden gastronomic paradise in San Jose, Batangas. We had breakfast here!

Tapang Taal from 'Casa Rap' (San Jose) and Bulalo from 'Rose and Grace' (Sto Tomas)

Kapeng Barako by Cafe de Lipa (Lipa City) and Seafood Bilao by Kainan sa Dalampasigan (Nasugbu)

Ancestral houses in Taal, Batangas

Immaculate Conception Parish in Balayan, Batangas

Beaches in Calatagan, Batangas

Kainan sa Dalampasigan in Nasugbu, Batangas

These are just some of the places we visited in the three days that we toured Batangas. I will be narrating my experiences at each place in detail on my travel blog. I just need to find time to write.

So, does this weekend trip make me a better Batangueno? Hmmm. Maybe. I don’t know. But I’m sure of one thing — Batangas is more beautiful than I imagined. And it made me prouder.

Comments

  1. OMG, batangueno ka? Geez! Im the main writer and editor of wowbatangas.com and i would like to offer you a space in our magazine’s maiden issue. It would be great to have you in our offline magazine. πŸ™‚

  2. Hehe naalala ko nung nag-Pangasinan tour din kami. Dun ko lang na-try yung Island Hopping sa Hundred Islands 0_0 I want to go back sa Batangas to do some sightseeing. Sa Tanauan ako nag-holy week once, pero di ko napuntahan yung kina Mabini. Nag-Lipa na rin ako pero more on staycation ang ganap that time hehe. Lakwatsa tayo nina Rob dyan soon pls! πŸ˜€

  3. I don’t really get to explore Batangas that much, and I didn’t know there’s an Immaculate Conception parish in there, too (I live in Pasig, and we have such parish). If only I have all the money and time in the world to travel…

    And you being a “weird Batangueno”… my family’s Ilocano, yet I don’t have the accent and I barely know any word from their dialect. The effects of living in the capital. πŸ˜›

  4. Batangas is huge! I want to visit your beaches there πŸ™‚

    Wahhhh bulalo from Rose and Grace? Swabe sarap kumaen nun doon! We always eat there! Along highway, near slex kasi XD

  5. This is so nice!!! I was wondering if you were able to hike Mt. Maculot na? I believe its near sa hometown niyo sa lemery! πŸ™‚

  6. It’s lovely to see photos of the place. I have an aunt who lives in Batangas. It’s been years since we’ve visited her. I love the kapeng barako! You’re so blessed to have Batangas as your hometown. Nice place, friendly people.

  7. What i Love Most about Batangas? Everything my Family and i am glad to see them soon and have some bonding Time with them!

  8. Pag Batangas, di lang beach pati kabundukan din. Pasok ang Mts. Batulao, Maculot, Daguldol, Talamitam, Gulugod Baboy at Taal Volcano syempre! Andaming natural attractions ang probinsyang to, sana maalagaan! πŸ™‚

  9. San Juan de Nepomuceno Church in San Juan and Acuatico Beach Resort in Laiya will always have a special place in my heart. The place where I ended the me myself and i and celebrated the us – almost a year now =)

  10. Taga Talisay ang tatay ko pero laking Manila dahil sa school,summer lang nakakapunta.Bulbok sa Aya ang hangout namin.Oh ang sarap ng Tawilis ,maliputo and don’t forget apta na may pigang kalamansi my oh my ang sarap.Daming santol, sineguelas, makopa,manga duhat at kung anu ano pa.Namamangka sa bulkan.,marami pang experiences.How I miss Talisay and family and “love” ones.

  11. Hi Yanna! So sorry for the late reply. Hmmmm. That’s a really tough question. I guess it’s a matter of taste. But as far as my taste is concerned, haha, I’d pick Batangas City. It’s just much closer to beaches, and it matters to me a lot.

    • It’s alright, we’re still gathering our thoughts regarding the move. I very much appreciate the fact that you replied, even if my post is already weeks old. Thank you! 😁

      PS. Being near to the beaches = good point 😊

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