Eliodoro E. Marasigan Foundation
Home                       Site Map                       Links

Batangas Province

Batangas is a province of the Philippines located on the southwestern part of Luzon in the Calabarzon region. Its capital is Batangas City and it is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north and Quezon to the east. Across the Verde Island Passages to the south is the island of Mindoro and to the west lies the South China Sea.

Map of Batangas, Philippines

Founded on March 10, 1917, with a population of approximately 1,905,348, Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Metropolitan Manila. The province has many beaches and famous for excellent diving spots only a few hours away from Manila. Some of the more notable ones are Anilao in the Municipality of Mabini, Matabungkay in the Municipality of Lian Punta Fuego, Calatagan and Laiya in the Municipality of San Juan.

Found in the province is world-known Anilao (Mabini) and its many dive sites that are ideal for observing marine life, and outstanding for macro photography. Located only 110 kilometers south of Metropolitan Manila, it is very accessible by land or by sea.

Batangas is also where Taal Volcano, one of the Decade Volcanoes is located. The volcano has a water-filled crater and sits on an island in the center of Taal Lake, which geologists believe is an ancient caldera.

The town of Taal is famous for its hand embroideries, knives, and sausages; and it reigns as one of the two most culturally preserved sites of the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines.

Before the province came to be called Batangas, it was known in ancient times as the town of Bonbon. When it's Capital Town was declared to be Taal, the province also changed its name to Taal. After some time, the Capital was transferred to the Town of Batangan, later Batangas City, and the Province changed its name once more after the Capital.

The term batangan means a raft, the people used so that they could fish in the nearby Taal Lake.

People and culture

The Province of Batangas is most famous for their production and market of the 'Balisong' or Filipino Butterfly knife.

Batangas is the 'Heart of the Tagalog Language' as the dialect of Tagalog spoken here closely resembles the Tagalog spoken before the arrival of the Spanish.

Linguistically Batangueños are also known for their unique affectation of often placing the particles e or ga (equivalent of particle ba Filipino), usually as a marker of stress on the sentence, at the end of their spoken sentences or speech; for example: "Ay, oo, e!" ("Aye, yes, indeed!"). Some even prolong the particle 'e' into 'ala e', though it really has no meaning in itself.

Religion also plays an important part in the daily lives of Batangueños, as it is home to the Archdioces of Lipa, one of the most powerful centres of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.

According to historians and musicologists, Batangas is also the home of the Kumintang, an ancient Filipino war song, later evolved to be the Kundiman, the paramount of Filipino Art Songs. Aside from the Kundiman, the province is also the origin of the lively Balitao or Balitaw (though the province of Cebu may argue) and the worship dance Subli.

As music forms an integral part of Batangas history, Batangueños are frequently heard singing the Huluna (a Tagalog lullabby, so taxing because of its lengthy mellismas), the Duplo and Karagatan (a debate made by singing), the Pasyon (a narrative of the passion and death of Jesus Christ) and many other song forms.


   * Batangas City
   * Lipa City
   * Tanauan City


   * Agoncillo
   * Alangilan
   * Alitagtag
   * Balayan
   * Balagtas
   * Banaba Center
   * Banaba East
   * Banaba South
   * Banaba West
   * Balete
   * Bauan
   * Calaca
   * Calatagan
   * Catandala
   * Cuenca
   * Kumintang Ilaya
   * Kumintang Ibaba
   * Ibaan
   * Laurel
   * Lemery
   * Lian
   * Libjo
   * Lobo
   * Mabini
   * Malvar
   * Mataas Na Kahoy
   * Nasugbu
   * Padre Garcia
   * Rosario
   * San Jose
   * San Juan
   * San Luis
   * San Nicolas
   * San Pascual
   * Santa Teresita
   * Santo Tomas
   * Taal
   * Talisay
   * Taysan
   * Tingloy
   * Tuy


Long before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines, large centers of population already thrived in Batangas. Native settlements lined the Pansipit River, a major waterway. The province had been trading with the Chinese since Yuan Dynasty until first phase of Ming Dynasty in the 13th and 15th century. Inhabitants of the province were also trading with Japan and India.

The present Batangueños are descendants of the Bornean datus, Datu Dumangsil and Datu Balensusa, who sailed from Borneo to Panay Island as far as Taal Lake. They organized the first Malay settlement at the mouth of Taal River. They eventually set up their own settlement in the place and founded the town of Taal in 1572. The towns of Balayan, Lipa, and Batangas were founded later.

In 1570, Spanish generals Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo explored the coast of Batangas on their way to Manila and came upon a Malay settlement at the mouth of Taal River. In 1572, the town of Taal was founded and its convent and stone church were constructed later.

Batangas was founded in 1581. Originally, it was composed of the present provinces of Batangas, Mindoro, Marinduque, southeast Laguna and Camarines. After several devastating eruptions of Taal Volcano, the old Taal town site was buried. The capital was eventually transferred to Batangas (now a city) in 1754 where it has remained to date.

The name 'Batangas' was derived from the word 'batang,' which is a term of the natives for the numerous logs found in the Calumpang River, the body of water that runs through the northeastern portion of the town and assumes the shape of a tuning fork.

Batangas was also among the first of the eight Philippine provinces to revolt against Spain and also one of the provinces placed under Martial Law by Spanish Governor General Ramon Blanco on August 30, 1896.

During the Spanish-American War, many Batangueños made their mark on history. Most notable of them are Apolinario Mabini, also known as the sublime paralytic and 'Brains of the Revolution'; Marcela Agoncillo who made the present Philippine flag, and General Miguel Malvar who was recognized as the last Filipino general to surrender to the United States in the Philippine-American War.

Batangas first came to be known as Bonbon. It was named after the mystical and fascinating Taal Lake, which was also originally called Bonbon. Some of the earliest settlements in Batangas were established at the vicinity of Taal Lake.

In 1534, Batangas became the first practically organized province in Luzon. Balayan was the capital of the province for 135 years from 1597-1732. In 1732, it was moved to Taal, then the flourishing and most progressive town in the province.

Batangas was also one of the few provinces in the country which can boast of having a distinctive culture of its own. The song and dance repertoire called 'kumintang' is of Batangas origin. Because of this, it came to be known as 'La Provincia del Cumintang.'

Copyright © 2007 EEMF, Inc. - All rights reserved