When summer break hits around the months of March, April, and May, local and foreign tourists alike become excited at the prospect of a vacation. Part of the challenge is narrowing down where to travel to, as well as what kind of vacation to enjoy: should it be the laid-back or the active kind, should it be tour-driven or independent, and should the setting be the beach or the mountains?
For variety, ease of travel, and a culture that most tourists will fall in love with, a top contender for best summer destination is the province of Batangas. In truth, Batangas is neither new nor secret in terms of its tourist appeal, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing left for travelers to discover. Despite the quick pace of urban development in other parts of Luzon, Batangas has retained its provincial charm, its heritage, and its wealth of natural resources.
Here are 7 reasons why Batangas is an ideal summer vacation, and why you should pack your bags for a quick trip there!
- It’s easy to travel to. Batangas is only a few hours away from the National Capital Region, and one can either take a leisurely drive or a bus trip to complete the journey. Once you’ve arrived in the vicinity, it won’t be hard to get to your chosen guest house, hotel, or beach resort in Batangas. Most landmarks are accessible via private vehicle, jeep, tricycle, or boat.
- It’s beautiful and peaceful. If you are looking to get away from the congestion of the city—i.e. the traffic, the noise, and the big crowds—the decision to head off to Batangas is likely a good one. In most parts of the province, life is the way you’ve dreamed it to be: quiet, peaceful, orderly, and secure.
- You can adjust your travel budget and still have the experience you want. There is something in Batangas for every vacation bracket. With a roomy budget, you can book accommodations in plush and exclusive resorts, and it will be worth every peso. But if you’re on the thriftier side, your vacation package can involve camping or staying in a guest house, and you won’t feel deprived.
- It’s a nature lover’s paradise. Batangas is a mecca for divers and snorkelers, as well as hikers, trekkers, and your average beach bum. Any traveler to Batangas will look forward to the clear and calm waters, soft sand, and lush forestry that are present in locations like Sepoc Island, Masasa Beach, Laiya, or Calatagan. Best of all, there are so many ways to engage the province’s natural bounty—from diving to island hopping—that you might want to come back a second or third time!
- It’s the perfect playground for the aqua sports enthusiast. Above the water’s surface, Batangas is also a prime location for sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, banana boating, and the like. You don’t have to put down thousands of pesos in airfare to travel somewhere farther and take part in the same aqua sports.
- There are delectable highlights in the local cuisine. Batangas is also an ideal location for a food crawl. Among the local delicacies that can fill you up are Batangas lomi (a saucy noodle dish loaded with toppings), bulalo (a savory oxtail soup), kaldereta (a hearty meat stew), bagoong balayan (a very strong fermented sauce made out of fish indigenous to Batangas, such as dilis and galunggong), and panutsa (peanut brittle loaded with caramel). Don’t forget to bring the famous coffee blend of Batangas, kapeng barako, back home to enjoy.
- You’ll fall in love with the local community. Some Filipinos assign character traits to particular provinces, and those that are associated with Batangueños are a smiling demeanor (palaumis), sweet manner (malambing), and piety (madasalin). Whether you’re at a Batangueño-owned beach resort, or being toured around a heritage landmark in Batangas, these characteristics will shine through and encourage you to immerse in the local community.
These are but 7 reasons to visit Batangas, but surely there are more. Expect discoveries like these—as well as ones of your own—when you set off to the province of Batangas this summer!