The province of Batangas has always been a go-to for tourists who want a quick out-of-town trip. Not only is it a mere two to three-hour drive away from Manila, trying its local cuisine, enjoying its natural attractions, and checking out its historical structures do not cost much, either.
In fact, only Php 3,000 of pocket money is enough for you to explore what the province has to offer.
Here are the attractions that have reopened to tourists and how much you’ll need to shell out for the experience.
Olo-Olo Mangrove Forest and Eco-Park
Brgy. Olo-olo, Lobo, Batangas
A 400-peso bus ride from Cubao, Alabang, or Buendia can take you to the municipality of Lobo, where Olo-Olo Mangrove Forest and Eco-Park is located.
This eco-park was revived after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stepped in, limited logging in the area, and funded local eco-businesses. As a result, it is now home to a flourishing 21-hectare patch of mangrove species such as palapat and pipisik, as well as endemic animals.
You can stay overnight and enjoy various recreational activities such as fishing, bird and bug watching, fish feeding, or even a stroll through the mangrove forest.
More active pursuits such as snorkeling, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and kayaking are also available. Entrance fee is Php 750.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ilovelobo
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Pasalobong Souvenir + Cafe
An eight-minute ride away from the eco-park is the local government unit-operated shop, Pasalobong. As the Lobo-based store’s name suggests, it sells a Filipino travel staple—pasalubong or souvenirs. From local delicacies to handicrafts, the shop has it all.
Pasalobong is also a cafe, offering affordable food and drinks. One of its must-tries include hot chocolate from locally-produced tablea, a chocolate mass made up of 100 percent cocoa usually dissolved in water or hot milk. Barako coffee, a variety of Liberica species famously grown in Batangas, is also available here for cheaper prices. All items cost around Php 65-Php 380.
- Contact Information: +63916 366 9661
Liam’s Lomi House
Recenos Compound, Sabang, Gen. Luna St, Lipa
A five-hour bus ride worth Php 300 can take you to Lipa where you can try lomi. This noodle dish is a thick noodle soup that has liver, fish balls, kikiam, cabbage, spring onions, and topped with a whisked egg.
Lipa has many establishments that serve this hearty dish. One such place is the award-winning Liam’s Lomi House along General Luna Street, which has grown significantly since starting out as a small nipa hut in 2008.
You can get a filling meal here for about Php 150 per person. Apart from lomi, porkchop lomi, sisig, and the special fried rice are also must-tries.
Meal prices range from Php 70-Php 150, available from 6 AM – 7 PM, Saturday to Sunday.
- Facebook/Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/Liams-Lomi-House-206982389331281/https://www.instagram.com/liamslomihouse_official/
- Contact Information: (043) 756 5743 / email@example.com
Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian – Lipa Cathedral
C.M. Recto Ave, G Solis St, Lipa
Before you leave Batangas, pass by what the locals refer to as the Lipa Cathedral, which is just a little over a kilometer away from Liam’s Lomi House.
As its formal name suggests, the Cathedral was built in honor of Saint Sebastian, and was governed by the Augustinians from the 17th to 19th centuries. The structure features stained glass windows, a painted ceiling with a domed center, and a grand altar lit by round glass panes in front.
The Cathedral used to stand along the ridge of Bonbon Lake, but this original structure was damaged because of the 1754 Taal explosion. Reconstruction efforts for the transplanted church started in 1779 and was completed sometime between 1865 to 1894.
The church, open to visitors from Monday to Sunday, 5AM – 7 PM, does not charge an entrance fee.
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The grand total of your Batangas adventure? Around Php 2,400 to Php 3,050 all-in-all—not bad for a packed itinerary.
All of these establishments require strict adherence to health and safety protocols to help prevent the spread of the virus in these localities. Wearing face masks, and constant hand disinfection and washing are a must.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore.