Lian, Batangas

The most famous beach resort in the early days is Matabungkay Beach. Matabungkay is a barangay in Lian Batangas and famous for the white sand beach just 2 – 3 hours away from Manila.
There are so many resorts in Matabungkay and one of the famous one is the Matabungkay Beach Resort and Hotel which celebrates the Balsa Festival. The festival became an annual event with different activities like Balsa Race Competiton, Balsa Décor and Cultural Dance.
Another place to visit in Lian Batangas is the town of Lian is the Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint John the Baptist. The patron saint of Lian is St. John the Baptist hence the town fiesta is celebrated every 24th of June.

Popular Destination in Tagaytay

Tagaytay is the summer capital of Southern Luzon because of the cooler climate provided by its altitude. It is the most popular holiday and weekend destination, with its close proximity to Manila and with a breathtaking view of Taal Volcano and Taal lake.

It is officially known as the City of Tagaytay in the province of Cavite. It is closest to the boundaries of Sta. Rosa, and parts of Canlubang in Calamba in Laguna and Talisay, Batangas.

Tagaytay’s Picnic Grove

This is the first place I’d been to in Tagaytay during my college days. We rented a van and went to Tagaytay with my first-year barkada in UST.
It is a picnic area in a scenic hilltop view of Taal Volcano. It has numerous picnic huts and tables. You can also enjoy horseback riding, zipline and cable car rides. It also has an eco-trail with a hanging bridge. It is located along Tagaytay – Calamba Road.

People’s Park in the Sky

It was originally named Palace in the Sky and a mountain top mansion during the Marcos era. It was left unfinished and it was turned into a park and became the most-visited destination in Tagaytay.
The Shrine of Our Lady. Mother of Fair Love is located in People’s Park. There’s also the Doppler weather station within the park. It is located in Mount Sungay in Tagaytay which is also near Silang, Cavite and Cabuyao Laguna.

Sky Ranch Tagaytay

Sky Ranch is an amusement park in the middle of Tagaytay City. It has different rides and attractions. The different rides are carousel, sky cruiser, trains, bumper cars, boats and race, city rail, coaster, mini Viking and the famous Sky eye.

Pink Sisters Convent

Adoration Convent of Divine Mercy or famously known as the Pink Sisters Convent is one of the places I often go to in Tagaytay. It is a Catholic church and a very solemn place in the hustle and bustle of Tagaytay City. It is along Emilio Aguinaldo Highway going to the narrow street of Arnoldus Road. Besides the convent is the Angels Hills Retreat and Formation Center.

Ina nang Laging Saklolo Parish

Another beautiful church in Tagaytay is the Ina nang Laging Saklolo Parish and is located along Tagaytay – Calamba Road.

Lucena City, Quezon

Lucena is the capital city of the province of Quezon and also a highly urbanized city. Lucena is also known as the “Cocopalm City of the South.”

The famous landmark in Lucena is the Saint Ferdinand Cathedral which is the heart of the city. It is also the seat for the Diocese of Lucena. It is a Spanish style church. There are 12 other churches in Lucena and is spread to the different barangays.

The Lucena Perez Park is a  park named after the Governor. It is sometimes called Quezon Park since it is in front of the Quezon Provincial Capitol Building. Across the street is the Manuel L. Quezon Monument.

Lucena also has the Quezon Convention Center and the Lucena Grand Terminal.

Famous Landmarks in Tayabas Quezon

Tayabas is officially called the City of Tayabas and it is nestled in some parts of Mount Banahaw. It used to be the capital of the Province of Tayabas (now Aurora and Quezon) and surrounded by the neighboring city and different towns of Quezon – Lucena, Sariaya, Lucban, Pagbilao and Mauban.
The city is known for its heritage houses and historical landmarks.

The famous attraction is the Minor Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel is the largest Catholic Church in the province of Quezon. The church is shaped like the key and the locals refer to it as Susi ng Tayabas.

Near the church is The Casa Comunidad, a centuries-old building. It is a national landmark that has a museum and the municipal library.
Since my ancestors came from Lucban, Quezon and we go there every summer, there is a famous resort along the Tayabas – Lucban road that we often visit. It is called Nawawalang Paraiso. It was the first resort near Lucban and we witnessed how the simple resort turned into the latest Nawawalang Paraiso Resort and Hotel.

One of the famous restaurants is the Original Palaisdaan just a few kilometers away from the resort. And between the resort is another restaurant called the Air Summit Gourmet.

Heritage Houses in Sariaya, Quezon

Sariaya is a town before the capital city of Quezon which is Lucena City. The Sariaya town is considered as the Heritage Town of Quezon and the Art Deco Capital of Southern Luzon. It is famous for its different ancestral houses. The three famous ones are declared Heritage Houses by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). The following Heritage houses are The Enrirquez – Gala Mansion, Gala – Rodriguez House along Rizal Street and Don Catalino and Luisa Rodriguez house which is also known as Villa Sariaya.
The Saint Francis of Assisi Parish Church is a stone church built along the National Highway.

The town is also famous for its beach resorts in the coastal area of Tayabas Bay. It is separated by the river called Malaking Tubig River with the town of San Juan Batangas. When I was younger, I went to Paraiso Beach Resort in Barangay Guisguis Talon.
Sariaya is also along the boundaries of Mount Banahaw where you can also enjoy trekking activities leading to the peak of the mountain.

Taal Heritage Site

Taal is a town in Batangas which is famous for its heritage houses. The ancestral houses are found along the streets near the famous Taal Church. Old houses are still visible in Taal’s Poblacion.
The heritage houses are found in Calle Del Castillo, Calle Gliceria Marella, Calle Jose Diokno, Calle Marcela Marino Agoncillo, Calle Ramon Diokno, Calle Antonio De Las Alas, Calle Conrando Sanchez.
The Augustinian friars founded the town of Taal. At the heart of the town is the Taal Basilica or known as the Minor Basilica of St. Martin de Tours within the archdiocese of Lipa. St. Martin de Tours is the patron saint and the fiesta is celebrated every November 11 and was founded in 1575.
The town of Taal was destroyed in the Taal Volcano’s eruption in 1754. And the church was rebuilt a year after but was again damaged in 1852 due to earthquakes. It was declared a Minor Basilica in 1954 and a National Shrine in 1974.

In front of the basilica is a park which includes Jesus’ shrine, and on the right side of the church is the Escuela Pia or Taal Cultural Center, which is considered to be one of the oldest educational institutions in the country. It was initiated by Taal Arts and Culture Movement Inc.

During our visit, we went to one of the famous restaurant called Don Juan BBQ . Taal is also famous for its balisong, barong and tapa. Other places to visit are the different museums: Galleria Taal, Museo nina Marcela Marino at Felipe Agoncillo and The White House: Gregorio Agoncillo Mansion.

Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas

Burot beach is a cove located in the secluded area in Calatagan, Batangas. The entrance going to the beach is along with the bushes, trees and dirt road. There are signages along the area. The cove is connected to the mainland by a narrow dirt road. You will find a guardhouse before going inside and he will ask you for an entrance fee and to sign a paper that I didn’t quite read except that they were not responsible for anything that will happen to you inside. It was said that it was already acquired by the SM Group of Companies. But as of the time of writing, the beach is not open to the public anymore.
Going inside was a little difficult because of the dirt road but when you see the beach, you’ll find a camping site and a beach where there are lots of tourists around. There was no electricity, no hotel or resort in Burot. For campers, tents can be rented, there are a bathroom and toilet and a sari-sari store inside during our visit.

Burot Beach is facing the Verde Island Passage and along the coast of Punta de Santiago Lighthouse. We explored the right side first, where there were rock formations along the coast and we get to see the view of the cove.

From the other side of the beach, a small sand bar is nearby the left side of the coast. They told us that it was the Puting Buhangin sand bar. Some other attractions near Burot beach are Pandac Island and Calumbayan Island, which are near the Calatagan port. There are so many other resorts near Burot Beach.

Caleruega Church – Chapel of Transfiguration

Before it became famous as a wedding church for lovers who will tie the knot, Caleruega church is known for all the Thomasian students or those who belong to the Dominican community as a house of prayer and renewal. The graduating students of the Thomasian community have their graduation retreat in the hills of Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas.

The breathtaking view of the Church on the hill makes it a charming venue for the wedding. It became a church for weddings because of close proximity to Tagaytay where there are so many venues for the reception after the wedding ceremony.

During the early days, the Caleruega Church has the Church on the hill, the main hall, pavilions, a large garden and the dormitories. After coming back numerous times, the place has been developed and attractions were added like cottages, a campsite, a hanging garden and the tent chapel.

Aside from weddings and retreats, the place is also a venue for different recollections, prayer meetings, and workshops, youth camps, religious gatherings and seminars.

Canyon Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas

Nasugbu Bay is the coastal area in Nasugbu Batangas and is very famous for the different coves. Most families go to these particular coves like Canyon Cove, Natipunan Cove and Kawayan Cove.

Canyon Cove is located in the Far East Road, Piloto Wawa, Nasugbu – Ternate Highway in Nasugbu Batangas. It has the whitest coastline in Nasugbu.

The resort is famous for big events like conferences, team buildings and venues for weddings and other events. The long stretch of white sand shoreline and the overlooking island called Fortune Island is the highlight of the resort. They also have the largest recreational swimming pool. The beach also has a breakwater that shields the waves preventing it to be huge.

Laiya Beach in Batangas

Laiya Beach is located in Laiya-Aplaya in San Juan Batangas. It is on the coastline of Tayabas Bay. It is already near the boundary of Batangas – Quezon.

Palm Beach Resort

The resort is located in the more secluded part of Brgy Hugom, San Juan, Batangas. There are spacious Casas on the beachfront with each casas boasting a unique design. The Casas have balconies that are overlooking the ocean.

Other amenities are the Marvi’s Dining Restaurant, an infinity pool, an air-conditioned function room, a Multipurpose pavilion and cabanas in front of the resort. You can also enjoy water sport activities like snorkeling, kayaking, speed boating, banana boating and disco boating.

La Luz Beach Resort

It is a small resort also located in Brgy Hugom and used to be a privately owned resort until it opened to the public. It is adjacent to the marine sanctuary and the rock formation on the right side. The rooms are good for 2 persons – Hilltop and Annex; 3 persons – Premier Room and for larger groups for 4 persons – Annex Dorm, 6 persons – Premier Loft Room and Annex Dorm Room and even up to 10 people in their Dormitory.

There are so many water activities that they offer like snorkeling, kayaking, jetski, windsurfing, banana boating, flying fish, disco boating, diving, riding a yacht and motorboat. Other activities also include biking and fat biking, hiking and even your own bonfire.

Acuaverde Beach Resort

It is in the Lobo – Malabrigo – Laiya Road. Acuaverde beachfront has the widest sandbar. The rooms are all modern designs and using local materials. There are different casas to choose from; Casa Brisa, Casa marina and Casa Montana.

There are two restaurants inside the resort. The first is Cocina Restaurant which offers either buffet or an ala-carte depending on the resort occupancy. Another one is the Al Fresco Bar where you enjoy a selection of different drinks.

The best part of the beachfront is the sun loungers where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the ocean or hear the crashing of waves during night time. Other activities are kayaking, jet skiing, flyboarding and Fly fishing.