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Batangas
Province of Batangas
Batangas Provincial Capitol in Batangas City
Crater lake of Taal Volcano
Taal Basilica
Felipe Agoncillo Ancestral House in Taal
Punta de Malabrigo Lighthouse in Lobo
From left-to-right, top-to-bottom: Batangas Provincial Capitol; Taal Volcano; Taal Basilica; Agoncillo–Mariño House; Malabrigo Point Lighthouse; view from Mount Batulao
Official seal of Batangas
Nicknames: 
  • Land of Rolling Hills and Wide Shore Lands.
  • Lalawigan ng mga Magigiting
Motto: 
"Rich Batangas!"
Anthem: Himno ng Batangan (Batangas Hymn)
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
OpenStreetMap
Map
Coordinates: 13°50′N 121°00′E / 13.83°N 121°E / 13.83; 121
CountryPhilippines
RegionCalabarzon
FoundedDecember 8, 1581
CapitalBatangas City
Largest cityLipa City
Government
 • TypeSangguniang Panlalawigan
 • GovernorHermilando I. Mandanas
(PDP–Laban)
 • Vice GovernorJose Antonio S. Leviste II
(PDP–Laban)
 • LegislatureBatangas Provincial Board
Area
 • Total3,119.75 km2 (1,204.54 sq mi)
 • Rank44th out of 81
Highest elevation1,090 m (3,580 ft)
Population
 (2020 census)[2]
 • Total2,908,494
 • Rank7th out of 81
 • Density930/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
  • Rank6th out of 81
Divisions
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities
 • Municipalities
 • Barangays1,078
 • DistrictsLegislative districts of Batangas
Demographics
 • Ethnic groups
Time zoneUTC+8 (PHT)
ZIP code
4200–4234
IDD:area code+63 (0)43
ISO 3166 codePH-BTG
Spoken languages
Websitewww.batangas.gov.ph Edit this at Wikidata

Batangas, officially the Province of Batangas (Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Batangas IPA: [bɐˈtaŋgas]) (Spanish: Provincia de Batangas), is a first class province of the Philippines located in the southwestern part of Luzon in the Calabarzon region. Its capital is the city of Batangas, and 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. Poetically, Batangas is often referred to by its ancient name, Kumintáng.

The province of Batangas was billed as the second richest province in the Philippines by the Commission on Audit by the year 2020. It has been the second richest province in the country for two consecutive years. In 2020, its provincial government posted a record high of ₱25.2 billion worth of assets, the largest in Calabarzon and the whole Luzon.

Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Metro Manila. It is home to the well-known Taal Volcano, one of the Decade Volcanoes, and the small nearby town of Taal which keeps ancestral houses, churches, and other architecture dating back to the 19th century. The province also has numerous beaches and diving spots including Anilao in Mabini, Sombrero Island in Tingloy, Ligpo Island and Sampaguita Beach in Bauan, Matabungkay in Lian, Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, the municipality of Calatagan, and Laiya in San Juan. All of the marine waters of the province are part of the Verde Island Passage, the center of the world's marine biodiversity.

Batangas City has the second largest international seaport in the Philippines after Metro Manila. The identification of the city as an industrial growth center in the region and being the focal point of the Calabarzon program is seen in the increasing number of business establishments in the city's Central Business District (CBD) as well as numerous industries operating in the province's industrial parks. Lipa City has passed Batangas City as the most populous city in the province.

Etymology

The name Batangas is derived from the term batangan, which has two definitions: a log found in the Calumpang River, and rafts used to fish in Taal Lake.

The Batangas dialect of Tagalog closely resembles the Old Tagalog spoken before the arrival of the Spanish. This is why the Summer Institute of Linguistics calls this province the center of the Tagalog language. The strong presence of Tagalog culture is evident to this day.[3]

Batangas also has one of the highest literacy rates in the country at 96.5%, with men having a slightly higher literacy rate at 97.1% compared to women at 95.9%. The combined average literacy rate is 96%.[4]

Historical precedents

"Kumintang" redirects here. For the Taiwanese political party, see Kuomintang.

The first recorded name of the province was Kumintáng, whose political center was the present-day municipality (town) of Taal, prior to moving to the municipality of Balayan. Balayan was considered the most progressive town of the region. An eruption of Taal Volcano destroyed a significant portion of the town, causing residents to transfer to Bonbon (now Taal), the name eventually encompassing the bounds of the modern province.

History

Early history

Large centers of population already thrived along the coasts and rivers of present-day Batangas. Barangays lined the Pansipit River draining Bombon Lake (now Taal), a major waterway. The area was a major site for the Maritime Jade Road, one of the most extensive sea-based trade networks of a single geological material in the prehistoric world, operating for ~3,000 years from ~2000 BCE to ~1000 CE.[5][6][7][8] Trading relations with other Philippine peoples, Borneo, Chinese, Japanese, among others were maintained.

Archaeological findings and written accounts by the Spanish explorers in the mid-16th century show that pre-colonial Tagalogs have long histories in complex, stratified societies with trade networks encompassing Southeast and East Asia. This was shown by certain jewelry, made from a chambered nautilus shell, where tiny holes were created by a drill-like tool. The ancient peoples of present-day Batangas were influenced by trade with Indianized states and to a lesser degree China, as shown in many loanwords from Sanskrit and unearthed tradeware ceramics primarily from China and present-day Vietnam and Thailand. A Buddhist image unearthed in Calatagan was reproduced in mould on a clay medallion in bas-relief. According to experts, the image in the pot strongly resembles the iconographic portrayal of Buddha in Siam, India, and Nepal. The pot shows Buddha Amithāba in the tribhanga[9] pose inside an oval nimbus. Scholars also noted that there is a strong Mahāyānic orientation in the image, since the Boddhisattva Avalokiteśvara was also depicted.[10]

One of the major archaeological finds was in January 1941, where two crude stone figures were found in Palapat, also in Calatagan. They were later donated to the National Museum. One of them was destroyed during World War II.

Eighteen years later, a grave was excavated in nearby Punta Buaya. Pieces of brain coral were carved behind the heads of the 12 remains that were found. The site was named Likha (meaning "create"). The remains were accompanied by furniture that could be traced as early as the 14th century. Potteries, as well as bracelets, stoneware, and metal objects were also found in the area, suggesting that the people who lived there had extensive contact with people from as far as China.

The presence of dining utensils such as plates or "chalices" found with the remains also suggest that prehistoric Batangueños believed in the idea of life-after-death. Thus, the Batangueños, like their neighbors in other parts of Asia, have similar customs of burying furniture with the dead.

Like the nearby tribes, the Batangan or the early Batangueños were a non-aggressive people. Partly because most of the tribes in their immediate environment were related to them by blood. Some weapons Batangans used included the bakyang (bows and arrows), the bangkaw (spears), and the suwan (bolo).

Being highly superstitious, the use of agimat (amulet or talisman) showed that these people believed in the presence of higher beings and other things unseen. The natives believed that forces of nature were a manifestation these higher beings.

The term 'Tagalog' may have been derived from the word taga-ilog or "river dwellers" referring to the Pasig River located further up north of the region. However, Wang Teh-Ming in his writings on Sino-Filipino relations points out that Batangas was the real center of the Tagalogs, which he then identified as Ma-yi or Ma-i. According to the Chinese Imperial Annals, Ma-yi had its center in the province and extends to as far as present-day Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Bataan, Bulacan, Mindoro, Marinduque, Nueva Ecija, some parts of Zambales, and Tarlac. However, many historians interchangeably use the term Tagalog and Batangueño.

Henry Otley Beyer, an American archaeologist, also showed in his studies that the early Batangueños had a special affinity with the precious stone known as the jade. He named the Late Paleolithic Period of the Philippines as the Batangas Period in recognition of the multitude of jade found in the excavated caves in the province. Beyer identified that the jade-cult reached the province as early as 800 B.C. and lasted until 200 B.C.

Spanish colonial period

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 settlement at the mouth of Pansipit River. In 1572, the town of Taal was founded and its convent and stone church were constructed later.

Officially, the Province of Bonbon was founded by Spain in 1578, through Fr. Estaban Ortiz and Fr. Juan de Porras. It was named after the name that was given to it by the Muslim natives who inhabited the area.

In 1581, the Spanish government abolished Bonbon Province and created a new province which came to be known as Balayan Province. The new province was composed of the present provinces of Batangas, Mindoro, Marinduque, southeast Laguna, southeast Quezon, and Camarines. After the devastating eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754, the old town of Taal, present day San Nicolas, was buried. The capital was eventually transferred to Batangas (now a city) for fear of further eruptions where it has remained to date.

In the same years that de Goiti and Salcedo visited the province, the Franciscan missionaries came to Taal, which later became the first Spanish settlement in Batangas and one of the earliest in the Philippines. In 1572, the Augustinians founded Taal in the place of Wawa, now San Nicolas, and from there began preaching in Balayan and in all the big settlements around the lake of Bombon (Taal). The Augustinians, who were the first missionaries in the diocese, remained until the revolution against Spain. Among the first missionaries were eminent men, which included Alfonso de Albuquerque, Diego Espinas, Juan de Montojo, and others.

During the first ten years, the whole region around the Lake of Bombon was completely Christianized. It was done through the preaching of men who had learned the first rudiments of the language of the people. At the same time, they started writing manuals of devotion in Tagalog, such as novenas, and had written the first Tagalog grammar that served other missionaries who came.

Foundation of important parishes followed throughout the years: 1572, the Taal Parish was founded by the Augustinians; 1581, the Batangas Parish under Fray Diego Mexica; 1596, Bauan Parish administered by the Augustinian missionaries; 1605, Lipa Parish under the Augustinian administration; 1774, Balayan Parish was founded; By the end of the 1700s, Batangas had 15,014 native families and 451 Spanish Filipino families;[11]: 539 [12]: 31, 54, 113  1852, Nasugbu Parish was established; and 1868, Lemery Parish too.

The town of Nasugbu became an important centre of trade during the Spanish occupation of the country. It was the site of the first recorded battle between two European Forces in Asia in Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Batangas. In the late part of the 20th century, the inhabitants of Fortune Island discovered a sunken galleon that contained materials sold in the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade.

Batangas was also among the first of the eight Philippine provinces to revolt against Spain and one of the provinces placed under Martial Law by Spanish Governor-General Ramon Blanco on August 30, 1896. This event was given distinction when Marcela Agoncillo, also a native of the province, made the Philippine Flag, which bears a sun with eight rays to represent these eight provinces.

American invasion era

Map of Batangas in 1918

When the Americans forbade the Philippine flag from being flown anywhere in the country, Batangas was one of the places where the revolutionaries chose to propagate their propaganda. Many, especially the revolutionary artists, chose Batangas as the place to perform their plays. In an incident recorded by Amelia Bonifacio in her diary, the performance of Tanikalang Ginto in the province led not only to the arrest of the company but all of the audience. Later, the play was banned from being shown anywhere in the country.

General Miguel Malvar is recognized as the last Filipino general to surrender to the United States in the Philippine–American War.

Japanese occupation era

After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Japanese sent their planes to attack the Philippines, launching major air raids throughout the country. The bombings resulted in the destruction of the Batangas Airport located in Batangas City, of which nothing remains today.[13] Batangas was also a scene of heavy fighting between the Philippine Army Air Corps and the Japanese A6M Zero Fighter Planes. The most notable air combat battle took place at the height of 3,700 metres (12,000 ft) on December 12, 1941, when 6 Filipino fighters led by Capt. Jesús Villamor engaged the numerically superior enemy of 54 Japanese bombers and fighter escorts which raided the Batangas Airfield. Capt. Jesús Villamor won the battle, suffering only one casualty, Lt. César Basa who was able to bail out as his plane was shot down, only to be strafed by the Zeroes.[14]

When Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered the overall retreat of the American-Filipino Forces to Bataan in 1942, the province was ultimately abandoned and later came under direct Japanese occupation. During this time, the Imperial Japanese Army committed many crimes against civilians including the massacre of 328 people in Bauan, 320 in Taal, 300 in Cuenca, 107 in San Jose, and 39 in Lucero.[15]

Liberation

XIV Corps of 158th RCT, 11th Airborne Division and 1st Cavalry Division campaign in Batangas and nearby province.

As part of the Philippines Campaign (1944–45), the province's liberation began on January 31, 1945, when elements of the 11th Airborne Division, part of the U.S. Eighth Army went ashore at Nasugbu, Batangas.[16] However, Batangas was not the main objective of the invasion force. Instead, most of its units headed north to capture Manila, and by March 3, the capital was completely secured.

Liberation of Batangas proper by American forces began in March 1945 by the 11th Airborne Division and the 158th Regimental Combat Team (RCT).[17] The 158th, stationed in Nasugbu, was tasked to secure the shores and nearby towns of Balayan and Batangas. The 11th Airborne, from the Tagaytay Ridge, would attack the Japanese defenses north of Taal Lake and open the Lipa corridor. By March 11 the 158th RCT had reached Batangas City.[17] In order to secure the two bays, the 158th needed to capture the entire Calumpang Peninsula near the town of Mabini, which was still held by some elements of the Japanese 2nd Surface Raiding Base Force. Fighting continued until March 16 when the whole peninsula was finally liberated.[17]

Afterwards, the 158th RCT turned northward to meet the Japanese Fuji Force defenses at Mt. Maculot in Cuenca on March 19. The 158th disengaged from the Japanese on March 23 and were relieved by the 11th Airborne's 187th Glider Infantry Regiment. Another 11th Airborne Division task force, the 188th Infantry was ordered to dispatch troops around Batangas City and its remaining frontiers.[17] Meanwhile, the 11th Airborne's 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment had begun the opening of the Lipa corridor at Santo Tomas and Tanauan before being relieved by the 1st Cavalry Division and moving via Tagaytay to Bauan and San Jose.[17]

Lipa after being Liberated by the Allied Forces

The last major offensive for the capture of the Lipa Corridor began when 188th Infantry Task Force from Batangas City left for Lipa on March 24.[17] The same that day, the 187th Infantry Task Force launched an attack against the remaining Japanese positions in Mt. Maculot. Heavy fighting continued until April 17. The final capture of Mt. Maculot came by April 21.[17]

The 188th Infantry met stiff resistance from Fuji Force's 86th Airfield Battalion on March 26. To the north, the 1st Cavalry attacked the remaining Japanese defenses in the towns of Santo Tomas and Tanauan and succeeded in linking up with the advancing 187th and 188th task forces from the south.[17] Lipa was captured by the 1st Cavalry on March 29. The final defeat of the Fuji Force came at Mt. Malepunyo at the hands of the 511th on May 2.[18]

With the capture of Lipa and Mt. Malepunyo, organized resistance ended in the province. Some elements of the 188th Infantry Task Force were left to clear the Batangas mountains located southeast of the province from the remaining Japanese.[17]

Throughout the battle, recognized Filipino guerrilla fighters played an important key role in the advancement of the combined American and Philippine Commonwealth troops, providing key roads and intelligence on the location of Japanese defenses and movements. The 11th Airborne and attached Filipino guerrillas had 390 casualties, of which 90 were killed. The Japanese, however, lost 1,490 men.[17] By the end of April 1945, Batangas was liberated and fully secured under Allied control, thus ending all hostilities.

The movements of the military general headquarters and military camps of the Philippine Commonwealth Army happened from January 3, 1942, to June 30, 1946, and included the province of Batangas. During the engagements of the Anti-Japanese Imperial Military Operations in Manila, southern Luzon, Mindoro, and Palawan from 1942 to 1945, (including the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro, and Palawan), units of the Philippine Constabulary, with the local guerrilla resistance joined with the U.S. liberation military forces against the Imperial Japanese armed forces.[clarification needed]

Under the Southern Luzon Campaign, local Filipino soldiers of the 4th, 42nd, 43rd, 45th, and 46th Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and 4th Constabulary Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary joined the battle for the liberation of Batangas.[clarification needed]

Philippine independence

After Douglas MacArthur made his famous landing in the Island of Leyte, he came next to the town of Nasugbu to mark the liberation of Luzon.[citation needed] This historic landing is remembered by the people of Batangas every last day of January, a holiday for the Nasugbugueños.

Former official seal of Batangas Province, designed and in use since 1950. It was replaced in 2009 during Vilma Santos's tenure as governor.

After the United States of America relinquished control of the Philippines, statesmen from Batangas featured prominently in the government. These include the legislators Felipe Agoncillo, Galicano Apacible (who later became the Secretary of Agriculture), Ramon Diokno, Apolinario R. Apacible, Expedito Leviste, Gregorio Katigbak, Teodoro Kalaw, Claro M. Recto, and José Laurel, Jr.

It is also notable that when President Manuel L. Quezon left the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation, the Japanese government in the Philippines chose the Batangueño José Laurel, Sr. to be the president of the Japanese-sponsored Second Philippine Republic.

Under the Marcos Presidency

Batangueños were not spared the social and economic turmoil that began during the second term of President Ferdinand Marcos, including his 1971 suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, his 1972 declaration of martial law, and his continued hold on power from the lifting of martial law in 1981 until his ouster under the People Power Revolution of 1986.

Prominent Batangueño Senator Jose W. Diokno was one of the first people Marcos imprisoned without charges,[19] because according to then-Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, the regime found it necessary to "emasculate the voices of the opposition."[20]

In 1981, Marcos used his Presidential “power of eminent domain” to convert 167 hectares of agricultural lands in San Rafael, Calaca, for industrial use, paving the way for the construction of the Semirara Calaca power plant regardless of its health and environmental impact.[21]

Among the later victims of the regime were student leaders Ismael Umali, Noel Clarete, and Aurelio Magpantay from Western Philippine Colleges in Batangas City, who disappeared after a protest rally in March 1984, and whose mangled bodies were later discovered abandoned in nearby Cavite province.[22]

Contemporary

After the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos and the creation of the Fifth Philippine Republic, numerous Batanguenos took up prominent positions in government - most prominently Salvador Laurel, who became Vice President of the Philippines under the first Aquino administration, and Renato Corona, who became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.[23]

Geography

Political division
Taal Volcano

Batangas' landscape is largely of plains dotted by mountains, including one of the world's smallest volcanoes, Mt. Taal, with an elevation of 600 metres (2,000 ft), located in the middle of the Taal Lake. Other important peaks are Mount Macolod with an elevation of 830 metres (2,720 ft), Mt. Banoy with 960 metres (3,150 ft), Mt. Talamitam with 700 metres (2,300 ft), Mt. Pico de Loro with 664 metres (2,178 ft), Mt. Batulao with 693 metres (2,274 ft), Mt. Manabo with 830 metres (2,720 ft), and Mt. Daguldol with 672 metres (2,205 ft).

Batangas has several islands, including Tingloy, Verde Island (Isla Verde), and Fortune Island of Nasugbu.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest island in a lake on an island is situated in Batangas (particularly at Vulcan Point in Crater Lake, which rests in the middle of Taal Island in Lake Taal, on the island of Luzon).

Flora and fauna

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The malabayabas, or Philippine teak, is endemic to Batangas. The province is also home to the kabag (Haplonycteris fischeri), one of the world's smallest fruit bats. In the municipality of Nasugbu, wild deer still inhabit the remote areas of barangays Looc, Papaya, Bulihan, and Dayap.

In the second half of 2006, scientists from the United States discovered that the Coral Triangle has its centre at the Isla Verde Passage, a part of the province. According to the study made by American marine biologist Dr. Kent Carpenter, Batangas seas host more than half of the world's species of coral. It is also home to dolphins and once in a while, the passage of the world's biggest fish: the whale shark or the butanding, as the locals call it may be observed. The municipality of San Juan has a resident marine turtle or pawikan. Pawikans like the Olive ridley sea turtle, leather back sea turtle, and green sea turtle can be seen in Nasugbu up to the present.

Administrative divisions

Batangas comprises 29 municipalities and 5 cities. In land terms, Nasugbu is the largest municipality in Batangas with over 278.51km² while San Nicolas is the smallest municipality with 22.61 km². In population density, Taal is the most densely populated with over 2,066 people per km² but Lobo is the least densely populated with over 230 people per km².

Climate

Batangas falls under two climates: the tropical savanna climate (As/Aw) and the bordering tropical monsoon climate (Am), under the Köppen climate classification. The same geographical divide is also labelled as Type I and Type III, respectively, under the PAGASA climate classification. Most of the province belongs to the tropical former, with well-defined dry and wet seasons, while parts lying to the east belong to the latter, with unpronounced dry and wet seasons influenced by the monsoons. Batangas City, the provincial capital, belongs to the tropical savanna climate, but is strongly influenced by the bordering monsoon climate, characterized by short dry seasons and longer wet seasons. Typhoons are a periodic occurrence especially during the southwest monsoon (habagat).

Demographics

Population census of Batangas
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 257,715—    
1918 340,199+1.87%
1939 442,034+1.25%
1948 510,224+1.61%
1960 681,414+2.44%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1970 926,308+3.11%
1975 1,032,009+2.19%
1980 1,174,201+2.61%
1990 1,476,783+2.32%
1995 1,658,567+2.20%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2000 1,905,348+3.02%
2007 2,245,869+2.29%
2010 2,377,395+2.09%
2015 2,694,335+2.41%
2020 2,908,494+1.52%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[25][26][27]

The population of Batangas in the 2020 census was 2,908,494 people,[2] with a density of 930 inhabitants per square kilometre or 2,400 inhabitants per square mile.

Tagalogs are the predominant people in Batangas, being the native settlers in the province, distantly followed by Bicolanos, Visayans, Kapampangans, Pangasinenses, and Ilocanos, as well as Maguindanaons, Maranaos, Tausugs and other ethnolinguistic groups from Mindanao.[28]

Batangas also has one of the highest literacy rates in the country at 96.5%, with males having a slightly higher literacy rate at 97.1% than females with 95.9%. Combined average literacy rate is 96%.[citation needed]

Language

Main article: Batangas Tagalog

The dialect of Tagalog spoken in the province closely resembles the Old Tagalog spoken before the arrival of the Spanish. Hence, the Summer Institute of Linguistics [1] called this province the heartland of the Tagalog language. A strong presence of the Tagalog culture is visible up to the present day. Many educated Batangueños speak a version of Tagalog from the Spanish colonial era but with English terms, as in modern Filipino or standard Tagalog, because of mass media and modern versions of the Tagalog Bible.

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

English is widely understood in the province. Spanish is also understood to some extent, especially by older-generation people in the towns of Nasugbu, Taal, and Lemery, which still have Spanish-speaking minorities. Bicolano, Kapampangan, Ilocano, Visayan, Maguindanaon, Maranao and Tausug are also spoken by a minority due to the influx of migrants from the Bicol Region, Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Religion

The majority of Batangas' population are religiously affiliated with Roman Catholicism, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Iglesia ni Cristo, and evangelicalism.[29] Other major religions include Islam, Buddhism, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide, Protestantism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Economy

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The province of Batangas was billed as the second richest province in the Philippines by the Commission on Audit by year 2020. It has been the second richest province in the country for two consecutive years. In 2020, its provincial government posted a record high of ₱25.2 billion worth of assets, the largest in Calabarzon and the whole Luzon.

Products

Batangas is known for its butterfly knives, locally known as balisong, with its manufacture also becoming an industry in the province.

Agriculture and fisheries

Pineapples are also common in Batangas. Aside from the fruit, the leaves are also useful such that an industry has been created from it. Pineapple leaves fibers are processed to form a silk-like fabric known as piña, from which the barong tagalog, the national costume of the Philippines is made.

Livestock as an industry also thrives in Batangas. The term bakang Batangas (literally "Batangas cow") is associated with the country's best species of cattle, and are widely sought throughout the country. Cattle raising is widely practiced in Batangas such that every Saturday is an auction day in the municipalities of San Juan, Bauan and Padre Garcia.

Fishing plays a very important part of the economy of the province. Although the tuna industry in the country is centered in General Santos, Batangas is also known for the smaller species of the said fish. The locals even have their own names for it. Some of them are bigeye tuna (tambakol), yellowfin tuna (berberabe), tambakulis, Pacific bluefin tuna (tulingan), bullet tuna (bonito) and another species also called bonito but actually Gymnosarda unicolor. There is also an important industry for the wahoo (tanigi).

Aside from the South China Sea, Taal Lake also provides a source of freshwater fishes to the country. The lake is home to Sardinella tawilis or simply tawilis, a species of freshwater sardine that is endemic to the lake. Taal Lake also provides farmed Chanos chanos or bangus. There is also a good volume of Oreochromis niloticus niloticus and Oreochromis aureus, both locally called tilapia. It is ecologically important to note that neither bangus nor tilapia are native to the lake, and are considered an invasive species.

Sugar is also a major industry. After Hacienda Luisita, the country's former largest sugar producer, was broken-up for land reform, the municipality of Nasugbu has been the home of the current largest sugar producing company, the Central Azucarera de Don Pedro. Rice cakes and sweets are also a strong industry.

Some towns (those adjacent to Laguna) have a prosperous bamboo based industry, where several houses and furniture are made of bamboo. Natives say that food cooked in bamboo has an added scent and flavor. Labong, or bamboo shoots, is cooked with coconut milk or with other ingredients to make a Batangas delicacy.

Industries

Batangas houses 5 industrial parks registered under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which are concentrated along the route of STAR Tollway and Jose P. Laurel Highway. The largest of those industrial parks are LIMA Technology Center, a 500-hectare (1,200-acre) commercial and industrial zone oriented to tech companies at Lipa and Malvar, and the First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP), with over 350 hectares (860 acres) at Santo Tomas and Tanauan, and Light Industry and Science Park IV (LISP IV), a live-work community with 170-hectare industrial area located at the heart of Malvar, Batangas.

Batangas City and the nearby municipalities of San Pascual, Bauan, and Mabini also have large-scale industrial activity connected with their seaside location, including power generation, oil and gas processing and transhipment, and ship repairs.

Government

The Provincial Capitol of Batangas

With the provinces in the island of Panay, Ilocos Sur and Pampanga, Batangas was one of the earliest provinces established by the Spaniards who settled in the country. It was headed by Martin de Goiti and since then has become one of the most important regions of the Philippines. Batangas first came to be known as Bonbon. It was named after Taal Lake, which was also originally called Bonbon. Some of the earliest settlements in Batangas were established in 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 to 1732. In 1732, it was moved to Taal, then the flourishing and most progressive town in the province, it wasn't until 1754 that the capital was destroyed by the Great Taal Eruption of 1754. It was in 1889 that the capital was moved to the present, Batangas City.

Batangas has been called by some Philippine historians as the "Cradle of Noble Heroes", citing the notable number of people from it who were declared Philippine national heroes and those who became leaders of the country. Among them are Teodoro M. Kalaw, Apolinario Mabini, Jose Laurel, and Felipe Agoncillo.

Incumbent officials

Representation Name Name
First District Carlo Roman G. Rosales (NP/One Batangas) Armie Marie C. Bausas (NP/One Batangas)
Second District Arlina B. Magboo (Aksyon/One Batangas) Wilson Leonardo T. Rivera (NP/One Batangas)
Third District Alfredo C. Corona (NPC/One Batangas) Rodolfo M. Balba (NP/One Batangas)
Fourth District Jonas Patrick M. Gozos (NP/One Batangas) Jesus H. De Veyra (NP/One Batangas)
Fifth District (Batangas City) Ma. Claudette U. Ambida-Alday (NP/One Batangas) Arthur G. Blanco (NP/One Batangas)
Sixth District (Lipa City) Lydio A. Lopez, Jr (NP/One Batangas) Aries Emmanuel D. Mendoza (NP/One Batangas)
Philippine Councilors League President Melvin V. Vidal Padre Garcia
Liga ng Mga Barangay President Fernando R. Rocafort City of Lipa
Sangguniang Kabataan Provincial Federation President Voltaire Aedrian P. Pua City of Lipa

Representatives

Main article: Legislative districts of Batangas

From top to bottom: 1st district to 6th district

List of former governors

Main article: Governor of Batangas

Infrastructure

Transportation

Roads

The STAR Tollway that connects the Municipality of Santo Tomas to Batangas City
STAR Tollway in Tanauan. Since 2010, STAR Tollway has been interconnected with the South Luzon Expressway to Metro Manila

Batangas has a total of 556 kilometers (345 mi) of national roads, mostly paved.[37] The Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway, officially numbered E2), Maharlika Highway (N1 and AH26) and Jose P. Laurel Highway (N4) forms the highway backbone of the province, and a network of secondary and tertiary national roads links most of the municipalities. The provincial government maintains a network of provincial roads to supplement the national roads and connect municipalities and barangays not connected directly to the main highway network.

Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Company Incorporated (BLTBCo.) is one of the oldest bus transport companies in the Philippines has routes within Southern Tagalog region. The company has historical roots in Batangas and has been founded in 1918. At present, the routes have been incorporated with Del Monte Land Transport Bus Company (DLTBCo).

The Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas (CTBEX) is a proposed expressway from the municipality of Silang, Cavite up to the town of Nasugbu. CTBEX is to connect with the Cavite–Laguna Expressway (CALAEX). Once opened, this will provide motorists a faster route to the resort towns of Nasugbu, Lian and Calatagan in the western part of the province.

Water transport

Photo of the Batangas Seaport Terminal, a modern passenger terminal, owned by the province of Batangas.
Batangas Port, the starting point of the western route of the Western Nautical Highway and also a principal port.

Batangas Port in Batangas City is the principal port for ferry access to Mindoro, Tablas, Romblon, and other islands. Montenegro Lines is the largest of a number of passenger shipping companies operating out of Batangas. Condensate tankers offload at Batangas in sizeable quantity. Batangas Port is expanded in 2008 to house facilities for container ships.

Being an entry point to the rest of the archipelago, Batangas has roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ferry connections with Mindoro and Visayas. The western portion of the Nautical Highway starts at Batangas, and connects with Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. Batangas Port serves as another principal port, along with the Manila International Port for inter-island and international cargo shipping, as well as interisland passenger shipping.

Electricity

Poles of the Batangas II Electric Cooperative in Lipa. Batangas II Electric Cooperative is one of three major power distribution utilities in Batangas, along with Batangas I Electric Cooperative and Meralco.

Electric power in Batangas is mostly distributed by electric cooperatives, namely the Batangas I Electric Cooperative (BATELEC-I) and Batangas II Electric Cooperative (BATELEC-II). The former serves the western part of Batangas, like Nasugbu, Calatagan, Balayan, Lemery, and Taal, while the latter serves the eastern part, like Lipa, Tanauan, Talisay, San Jose, and Rosario. The municipalities of Bauan and Ibaan, and LIMA Technology Center are served by local utility companies. Santo Tomas, the First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) in Tanauan, San Pascual and Batangas City, however, are served by the Metro Manila-based electric company, Meralco. Some large industrial customers are supplied by the 69,000 volt grid, operated by National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), BATELEC-II, and Meralco.

Batangas houses three power plants that provide the bulk of power used in Luzon. Power plants include the 600-megawatt (MW) Calaca Coal Fired Power Plant in Calaca, the 500 MW, 1000 MW, and 414 MW San Lorenzo-Santa Rita-San Gabriel Combined Cycle Power Plant,[38] and the 1251 MW Ilijan Power Plant, both in Batangas City. The Calaca Power Plant is originally built with nameplate capacity of 600 MW, is being expanded to generate 1300 MW, with an addition of 2x350 MW (700 MW) capacity in a second power plant, constructed under an agreement between Semirara Mining and Meralco.[39]

Most power plants in Batangas, however, use fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, and are the subjects of environmental grievances because of their effects on ecosystems. One power plant to be built at Mabacong, Batangas City, is facing opposition from environmentalists and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa, owing to its effect on residents and the aquatic ecosystem on Verde Island Passage.[40]

Culture

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Way of life

Maria Kalaw Katigbak, a Filipino historian, was quoted to call the Batangueños the Hybrid-Tagalogs. One particular custom in the Batangas culture is the so-called Matanda sa Dugo (lit. older by blood) practice wherein one expresses respect not because of age but because of consanguinity. During the early times, the custom of having very large families were very common. Thus, a particular person's uncle could be of the same age, or even younger than himself. Because of the custom, the older person would still address the younger one with an honorary title such as tiyo/tio or simply kuya if they can no longer establish the actual relationship or add the honorific ho / po in their sentences when addressing the younger instead of the other way around. This often draws confusion from the other provinces who are not accustomed to such practices. This practice exists until today.

Batangueños are very "regionalistic". When one learns that another in the room is also from Batangas, the two would be together until the end of the event. In workplace settings, a Batangueno may also express preference for another Batangueno as long as the workplace regulations allow. Thus, the running joke on the Batangas Mafia.

Batangueños are also known for high-toned conversations that seemingly sound like a heating argument to non-Batangueños but in fact, they are not always the case, as they are just normal conversations.

They also tend to live in a large extended family. It has been observed that a piece of land remains undivided until the family connection becomes too difficult to establish actual blood relations. Marriages between relatives of the fifth generation is still restrained in the Batangan culture even if Philippine laws allow it.

Batangueños have been known for their religious practices, where devotees of the Catholic religion perform rituals such as dances (subli) and chants (luwa/lua) to express their faith. One of these is the ritual called Pasión/Pasyon based on the passion of Jesus Christ in which religious chants are recited during the Lenten season. In May, the people of Bauan and Alitagtag celebrate the feast day of the Mahal na Poon ng Santa Cruz (lit. Lord of the Holy Cross), a ritual dance called the Subli is made to honor the Poon. In the town of Taal, they celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Caysasay and San Martin de Tours a two-day celebration where a procession begins from the shrine of the Virgin going towards the Pansipit River from which the fluvial procession and another procession towards the Basilica are made in honor of the Virgin Mary. Fiestas in other towns usually start in the month of May and last up to the first day of June, usually the plaza near the church becomes the center of activities.

Mythology and literature

Scholars also identified that the ancient Batangueños, like the rest of the Tagalog tribe, worship the Supreme Creator, known as Bathala. Lesser gods like Mayari, the goddess of the moon and her honorary brother Apolake, god of the sun, were also present. Dambana practices are also present in the province.

For literature, Padre Vicente Garcia came to be known when he wrote an essay to defend José Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.

In 2004, the province of Batangas gave Domingo Landicho (familiarly called Inggo by Batangueños) who was born in the province the Dangal ng Batangas (Pride of Batangas) Award for being the "Peoples' Poet".

Music

Further information: Filipino Traditional Music

Musicologists identified Batangas as the origin of the kumintang, an ancient war song, which later evolved to become the signature of Filipino love songs the kundiman. From the ancient kumintang, another vocal music emerged, identified as the awit. The huluna, a psalm-like lullaby, is also famous in some towns, especially Bauan.

During the Lenten Season, the Christian passion-narrative, called Pasyon by the natives, is expected in every corners of the province. In fact according to scholars, the very first printed version of the pasyon was authored by a layman from Rosario named Gaspar Aquino de Belen. Although de Belen's version was printed in 1702, it is still debated whether there were earlier versions.

Debates may also be done while singing. Batangueños are known for the duplo (a sung debate where each line of the verse must be octosyllabic) and the karagatan (a sung debate where each line of the verse must be dodecasyllabic.) The latter, whose literal meaning is "ocean", got its name from the opening lines. Always, the karagatan is opened by saying some verses that alludes the depth of the sea and comparing it to the difficulty of joining the debate. And as mentioned above, the debate must be sung.

Batangas is also the origin of the balitao. Aside from being a form of vocal music, the balitao is also a form of dance music. Together with the subli, it is the most famous form of dance native to Batangas.

Architecture and sculpture

Basilica de San Martin in Taal

As shown in its ancient churches, Batangas is home to some of the best preserved colonial architectures in the country, especially evident in the municipality of Taal.

Though not as popular as the carving industry of Paete, Taal is still known for the sculptures engraved in furniture. Sometimes, altar tables coming from Taal were called the "friars' choice".[citation needed]

According to Milagros Covarubias-Jamir, another Filipino scholar, the furniture that came from Taal during the colonial times was comparable to equivalent quality furniture from China.[citation needed] The build of the furniture was so exquisite, nails of glues were never used. Still, the Batangueños knew how to maximize the use of hardwoods. As a result, furniture made about a hundred years ago are still found in many old churches and houses even today.[citation needed]

Cuisine

Bulalo, lomi Batangas, goto, adobo sa dilaw, longganisang Taal, tapang Taal, sinaing na tulingan, taghilaw, sinigang na maliputo, sinunggaok or sampene, bagoong Balayan, tinapa ng Lemery, pupor, tamales ng Ibaan, sumang magkayakap ng Tanauan, kalamay kapit, nilupak, kapeng barako, tsokolate tablea (tsokolate eh and tsokolate ah), panutsa

Museums

Notable people

National heroes and patriots

Politics and Government

Arts and Sciences

Religion

Sports, Popular Culture and Entertainment

  • Dennis Datu - reporter, host of ABS-CBN News
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