The Department of Tourism – Region IVA has its flagship domestic program with the Green Corridor Initiative. This aims to boost sustainable tourism in and around Calabarzon. Its role is to maintain regional biodiversity, improve environmental quality, and offer economic resilience opportunities. Recently, the Department of Tourism’s Calabarzon office invited Village Pipol Magazine on a two-day trip for a Calibrated Tourism Circuit Validation and Assessment in the province of Batangas, showcasing attractions in Farm, Faith, Museum, and Industry.
DOT-Calabarzon features Batangas Inland Tourism Circuit showcasing attractions in Farm, Faith, Museum, and Industry
The validation of the identified tourism circuit became one of the essential steps in its development. It considers the specific measures of readiness and quality of tourism products that will remain promoted and marketed under the Green Corridor Initiative. Batangas features tourist attractions and destinations in Sto. Tomas City, Malvar, Lipa City, and Ibaan, as its program’s second phase tourism circuit model.
The participating tourism industry stakeholders in the validation are the following:
- Representatives from Batangas Province Travel and Tours Association (BAPTTA)
- Media Representatives from Philippine Information Agency (PIA)
- Media Influencers and Content Creators from the Tourism Industry
- Provincial and City/Municipal Tourism Officers
- Office of Market and Product Development (OPMD)
- Tourism Promotions Board (TPB)
Rose and Grace Restaurant
Rose and Grace Restaurant is one of the most iconic food places in Batangas. Located in Sto. Tomas, the restaurant serves affordable Filipino comfort food with large portions in a cozy atmosphere.
Museo ni Miguel Marval
Born in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, General Miguel Malvar grew up to be an industrious businessman and farmer. He would later join the Katipunan. During the Philippine Revolution, he participated in battles in Batangas and Cavite. The Museo ni Miguel Marval has three galleries.
Gallery 1: Batangas in the 19th Century features a map of Batangas. This, then, gives a glimpse of its life and culture at the time. Gallery 2: Miguel Malvar as Family Man and Revolutionary features his personal life through memorabilia, archival photographs, sculptures, and paintings. Gallery 3: Batangas during the War against the United States features facsimiles of letters, news clippings, and old photographs. This provides witness accounts of events in Batangas during the war against the United States.
The newly renovated museum also features new areas for tourists and locals to visit. This includes an e-learning room for online lessons on Philippine history. It also has a multi-purpose area for exhibits and public programs. Aside from that, it also has a garden offering vegetables, herbs, and other local produce. And, one of the most iconic parts is a museum café. Meanwhile, anyone can go on a mini virtual tour of the museum through this link.
Parish and National Shrine of St. Padre Pio
Aside from the stories behind the miraculous Saint, Padre Pio Shrine in Batangas also remains popular because of its architectural structure. Composed of different areas with a consistent design of driftwood, bamboo, indigenous materials, sawali, stones, and nipa leaves. Under the influence of Rev. Fr. Jojo Gonda, the church features a no-door style. This, then, was created to show that the church is open to anyone who wants to enter.
Rexperience dubs Nas Kape as a coffee shop with the best view in Sto. Tomas City, Batangas. And, to be honest, we can’t help but agree. Last October 17, Nas Kape celebrated its first anniversary. They offer affordable coffee both hot and cold, pasta, sandwich, snacks, and other beverages. We tried out one of their sandwiches and it tastes delectable as they dipped it in eggs.
Rene Robles Museum
Rene Robles is esteemed as a senior and major Filipino artist. He has proven this through several decades of active and prolific art making, producing works ranging from portraiture, still lifes, nudes, landscapes, murals, figuration, and abstraction. His paintings often question the art and the role of the artist. You can see more of his works in the Rene Robles Museum in Sto. Tomas City, Batangas.
Mando and Elvie’s Lutong Bahay
Mando and Elvie’s Lutong Bahay has very spacious with many seating capacities. It has an open area and private places for events. The restaurant offers quality Filipino comfort food like bulalo, sisig, baked bangus, and so much more. They also offer delicious and affordable foods for any type of occasion. They have Pan To Go, Bilao Orders, Inihaw sa Balao, and Prito sa Bilao. Available every day, you can order it through certain numbers and their Facebook page for delivery.
SM Sunrise Weaving Association
Located in Ibaan, Batangas, SM Sunrise Weaving Association is one of the community projects of the Women’s Association of Sitio Sta. Margarita in Ibaan, Batangas. They weave bags, bed sheets, coin purses, face masks, blankets, shawls, rectangle and rounded mosquito nets, leis or sashes, sling bags, sablays, and table runners.
St. James The Greater Parish Ibaan
Fr. Manuel Grijalbo founded the St. James the Greater Parish in Ibaan, Batangas in 1832, placing it under the patronage of Saint James the Apostle. When the outbreak of revolution came, Spanish friars left the country and several Filipino priests took turns in taking care of the parish. Upon the arrival of the first OSJ missionaries in 1915, the parish was entrusted to Fr. Eugenio Gherlone, OSJ. Today, the parish remains famous for its Easter tradition of Bati and Dagit.
Just beside the parish is the Ibaan Tourism Center and Pasalubong Center. For the 190th anniversary of the town, the Ibaan local government opened the Cultura de Ibaan at the people’s park. This acts as a pasalubong center and a museum, aiming to introduce Ibaan to the town’s visitors. They showcase different products of the town and things that make it unique.
JET Hotel boasts comfort in convenience. Only an hour away from Manila, the hotel is located in Lipa City, Batangas. It remains accessible to malls, hospitals, and nearby essential establishments. They have clean and cozy rooms that follow IATF health protocols to ensure a safe and comfortable stay. They offer complimentary Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast. Aside from different kinds of rooms, they also offer adjoining rooms that remain perfect for traveling families.
Lipa Grill Restaurant offers Filipino comfort food. And, their crispy pata is a favorite among all attendees. It’s crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Aside from that, their sinigang warms the insides — perfect for those chilly nights. They offer dine-in, takeouts, and deliveries through calls. Aside from that, anyone can also order platters or party trays for celebrations at home.
LOMIKING is perfect for breakfast. We ate classic lomi, mixed noodles, fried rolls, and pansit palabok. They also have seafood lomi — the first-ever in Lipa, Batangas which they started to offer in 1960. This was our breakfast for the second day of our trip all around Batangas and it was definitely an experience that tourists and locals should have.
The Old Grove Farmstead
The Old Grove Farmstead is a five-hectare development owned by Jeffrey Columna and Sherill Umali Columna. With Batangas being one of the most accessible places to visit from Manila, discovering this beautiful Insta-worthy spot has picturesque views. Established in 2018, The Old Grove Farmstead opened in 2019. Dubbed the Netherlands in Lipa, Batangas, it has a windmill, a red barn, a man-made lake, a hanging bridge, a cafe, and a relaxing swimming pool among others. The farmstead also has the Old Grove Village which consists of different rooms serving as accommodations for those who want to stay overnight.
The restaurant is strictly open upon reservation only and no walk-ins would be accommodated. Their cafe, on the other hand, is open daily from 9 AM to 9 PM. Chef Chateau allows visitors to experience their romantic and idyllic place as they serve top-quality and delectable food that would savor anyone’s appetite. Their location is pleasing to the eyes and has four kinds of serving: intimate, sharing, semi-buffet, and full buffet for special requests.
The Square Lipa
The Square Lipa is a haven for food enthusiasts. There is coffee from Nitoro; plates of pasta, salads, and wines from Antonio’s Trattoria; Italian cuisine from Tess Marias Rotisserie; pastries and ice cream from Uniqo Pâtisserie; pizza from, Antonio’s Pizzeria; and all kinds of pasalubong from Joel Joe’s Markt. One of the things I loved about the haven is the hand-crafted coffee boasts less acidity due to the infusion of nitrogen. The pizzas and pasta taste delectable. And, the pastries were top-notch.
Loghouse Cafe feels so much like Taylor Swift’s Folklore album cover. Surrounded by tall pine trees, it’s a cozy cabin-like cafe nestled in the city of Lipa. So, if you’re looking for a new cafe to try out with a relaxing ambiance, Loghouse Cafe is definitely perfect for you. The cafe offers both indoor and alfresco seating. Aside from the relaxing ambiance, the aromatic smell of brewing coffee will definitely soothe your soul. It used to be a 20-year-old family home which later turned into a cafe. Their menu starts from Php 120 to 245 which makes Loghouse Cafe an affordable find.
Again, thank you Department of Tourism-Region IVA for touring us around Batangas Inland Tourism Circuit attractions. We would love to go back again and bring our friends and family to these destinations!
Angela Grace P. Baltan has been writing professionally since 2017. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. Aside from that, she has an affinity for writing anything under the sun. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, the LGBTQIA+ community, and mental health among others.