Not to be confused with Batangas City.
"Kumintang" redirects here. For the Chinese political party, see Kuomintang.
Province of Batangas

Batangas Provincial Capitol



Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 13°50′N 121°00′E / 13.83°N 121°E / 13.83; 121Coordinates: 13°50′N 121°00′E / 13.83°N 121°E / 13.83; 121
Country Philippines
Region Calabarzon (Region IV-A)
Founded December 8, 1581
Capital Batangas City
  Type Sangguniang Panlalawigan
  Governor Hermilando Mandanas (UNA)
  Vice Governor Sofronio Ona (NPC)
  Total 3,119.75 km2 (1,204.54 sq mi)
Area rank 44th out of 81
Population (2015 census)[2]
  Total 2,694,335
  Rank 7th out of 81
  Density 860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
  Density rank 6th out of 81
  Independent cities 0
  Component cities
  Barangays 1,078
  Districts 1st to 6th districts of Batangas
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 4200–4234
IDD:area code +63(0)43
ISO 3166 code PH-BTG
Spoken languages

Batangas (Tagalog pronunciation: [bɐˈtaŋgas]) is a province in the Philippines located in the Calabarzon region in the island of Luzon. 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.

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 Taal Heritage town, a small picturesque town that has ancestral houses and structures dating back to the 19th century. The province also has several beaches and diving spots including Anilao in Mabini, Sombrero Island in Tingloy, Ligpo Island in Bauan, Matabungkay in Lian, Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Calatagan and Laiya in San Juan.

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.


The first recorded name of the province was Kumintáng, whose political center was the present-day municipality (town) 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.

The term Batangan means a raft which the people used so that they could fish in the nearby Taal Lake. It also meant 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.



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 the first phase of Ming Dynasty in the 13th and 15th century. Inhabitants of the province were also trading with Japan and India. The Philippines ancestors were Buddhists and Hindus, but far from India and intermixed with animistic beliefs.

Archaeological findings show that before the settlement of the Spaniards in the country, the Tagalogs, especially the Batangueños, had attained a semblance of high civilization. This was shown by certain jewelry, made from a chambered nautilus' shell, where tiny holes were created by a drill-like tool. The prehistoric Batangueños were influenced by India as shown in the origin of most languages from Sanskrit and certain ancient potteries. A Buddhist image was reproduced in mould on a clay medallion in bas-relief from the municipality of Calatagan. According to experts, the image in the pot strongly resembles the iconographic portrayal of Buddha in Siam, India, and Nepal. The pot shows Buddha Amithaba in the tribhanga[3] pose inside an oval nimbus. Scholars also noted that there is a strong Mahayanic orientation in the image, since the Boddhisattva Avalokitesvara was also depicted.

One of the major archaeological finds was in January 1941, where two crude stone figures were found in Palapat in the municipality of 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 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 Tagalog tribe, 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 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 colonization

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 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, 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; 1852, Nasugbu Parish; and 1868, Lemery Parish.

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 period

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

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.[4] 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 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 on a parachute as his plane was shot down only to be strafed by machine-gun fire from the A6M Zeroes.[5]

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.[6]


Battle of Batangas
Part of World War II
DateJanuary 31 to August 15, 1945
Result Allied Victory

 United States

 Empire of Japan

362,000 Filipino troops
30,000 Batangueño guerrillas
65,000 American troops
156,000 Japanese troops
Casualties and losses
Filipino troops
4,500 killed
14,000 wounded
Batangueño guerrillas
700 killed
2,140 wounded
American troops
2,000 killed
10,200 wounded
Japanese troops
40,000 killed
12,000 wounded
3,000 captured
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 under the U.S. Eighth Army went ashore on the beaches of Nasugbu, Batangas.[7] 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 under the 11th Airborne Division and the 158th Regimental Combat Team (or 158th RCT).[8] The 158th Regimental Combat Team stationed in Nasugbu was tasked to secure the shores and nearby towns of Balayan and Batangas. The 11th Airborne Division 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.[9] In order to secure the two bays, 158th RCT 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 captured.[10]

Afterwards, the 158th RCT turned northward to meet the Japanese Fuji Force defenses at Mt. Maculot in Cuenca on March 19. The 158th RCT disengaged 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.[11] Meanwhile, the 11th Airborne Division'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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

The 188th Infantry Task Force met stiff resistance from Fuji Force's 86th Airfield Battalion on March 26. To the north, the 1st Cavalry Division 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.[15] Lipa was captured by the 1st Cavalry Division on March 29. The final defeat of the Fuji Force came at Mt. Malepunyo at the hands of the 511th on May 2.[16]

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 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 information for the Japanese location of defenses and movements. The 11th Airborne Division and attached Filipino guerillas had 390 casualties of which 90 were killed. The Japanese however lost 1,490 men.[18] By the end of April 1945, Batangas was liberated and fully secured for Allied control, thus ending all hostilities.

The movements of the military general headquarters and military camp bases of the Philippine Commonwealth Army happened from January 3, 1942 to June 30, 1946 and included the province of Batangas in southern Luzon. 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 Japanese Imperial armed forces.

Under the Southern Luzon Campaign, local Filipino soldiers of the 4th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 45th, and 46th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and 4th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary joined the battle for the liberation of Batangas.

Post-American period

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. This historic landing is remembered by the people of Batangas every last day of January, a holiday for the Nasugbugueños.

After the Philippines was freed from America, 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. as the de jure President of the Puppet Republic.


Batangas is a combination of plains and 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 Mt. Makulot with an elevation of 830 metres (2,720 ft), Mt. Talamitam with 700 metres (2,300 ft), Mt. Pico de Loro with 664 metres (2,178 ft), Mt. Batulao with 811 metres (2,661 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).

Administrative divisions

Batangas comprises 31 municipalities and 3 cities.

  •    Provincial capital and component city
  •    Component city
  •      Municipality

City or municipality District[19] Population ±% p.a. Area[19] Density Brgy. Coordinates[A]
(2015)[2] (2010)[20] km2 sq mi /km2 /sq mi
Agoncillo III 1.4% 38,059 35,794 1.18% 49.96 19.29 760 2,000 21 13°56′05″N 120°55′43″E / 13.9348°N 120.9285°E / 13.9348; 120.9285 (Agoncillo)
Alitagtag III 0.9% 25,300 23,649 1.29% 24.76 9.56 1,000 2,600 19 13°51′55″N 121°00′17″E / 13.8653°N 121.0046°E / 13.8653; 121.0046 (Alitagtag)
Balayan I 3.4% 90,699 81,805 1.98% 108.73 41.98 830 2,100 48 13°57′01″N 120°44′00″E / 13.9503°N 120.7334°E / 13.9503; 120.7334 (Balayan)
Balete III 0.8% 22,661 20,214 2.20% 25.00 9.65 910 2,400 13 14°01′00″N 121°05′59″E / 14.0168°N 121.0998°E / 14.0168; 121.0998 (Balete)
Batangas City V 12.2% 329,874 305,607 1.47% 282.96 109.25 1,200 3,100 105 13°45′22″N 121°03′28″E / 13.7561°N 121.0577°E / 13.7561; 121.0577 (Batangas City)
Bauan II 3.4% 91,297 81,351 2.22% 53.31 20.58 1,700 4,400 40 13°47′33″N 121°00′27″E / 13.7925°N 121.0076°E / 13.7925; 121.0076 (Bauan)
Calaca I 3.0% 81,859 70,521 2.88% 114.58 44.24 710 1,800 40 13°55′49″N 120°48′46″E / 13.9304°N 120.8128°E / 13.9304; 120.8128 (Calaca)
Calatagan I 2.1% 56,449 51,997 1.58% 112.00 43.24 500 1,300 25 13°49′58″N 120°37′56″E / 13.8329°N 120.6322°E / 13.8329; 120.6322 (Calatagan)
Cuenca III 1.2% 32,783 31,236 0.92% 58.18 22.46 560 1,500 21 13°54′05″N 121°02′57″E / 13.9015°N 121.0492°E / 13.9015; 121.0492 (Cuenca)
Ibaan IV 2.0% 52,970 48,482 1.70% 68.99 26.64 770 2,000 26 13°49′11″N 121°08′09″E / 13.8196°N 121.1358°E / 13.8196; 121.1358 (Ibaan)
Laurel III 1.5% 39,444 35,674 1.93% 71.29 27.53 550 1,400 21 14°03′01″N 120°56′00″E / 14.0504°N 120.9332°E / 14.0504; 120.9332 (Laurel)
Lemery I 3.5% 93,157 81,825 2.50% 109.80 42.39 850 2,200 46 13°53′01″N 120°54′48″E / 13.8837°N 120.9132°E / 13.8837; 120.9132 (Lemery)
Lian I 2.0% 52,660 45,943 2.63% 76.80 29.65 690 1,800 19 14°02′09″N 120°39′12″E / 14.0357°N 120.6534°E / 14.0357; 120.6534 (Lian)
Lipa VI 12.3% 332,386 283,468 3.08% 209.40 80.85 1,600 4,100 72 13°56′29″N 121°09′51″E / 13.9414°N 121.1642°E / 13.9414; 121.1642 (Lipa)
Lobo II 1.5% 41,504 37,070 2.17% 175.03 67.58 240 620 26 13°38′50″N 121°12′36″E / 13.6473°N 121.2100°E / 13.6473; 121.2100 (Lobo)
Mabini II 1.7% 46,211 44,391 0.77% 44.47 17.17 1,000 2,600 34 13°44′51″N 120°56′28″E / 13.7476°N 120.9412°E / 13.7476; 120.9412 (Mabini)
Malvar III 2.1% 56,270 45,952 3.93% 33.00 12.74 1,700 4,400 15 14°03′15″N 121°09′17″E / 14.0542°N 121.1548°E / 14.0542; 121.1548 (Malvar)
Mataasnakahoy III 1.1% 29,187 27,177 1.37% 22.10 8.53 1,300 3,400 16 13°57′45″N 121°06′49″E / 13.9625°N 121.1137°E / 13.9625; 121.1137 (Mataas na Kahoy)
Nasugbu I 5.0% 134,113 122,483 1.74% 278.51 107.53 480 1,200 42 14°04′24″N 120°37′56″E / 14.0734°N 120.6322°E / 14.0734; 120.6322 (Nasugbu)
Padre Garcia IV 1.8% 48,302 44,877 1.41% 41.51 16.03 1,200 3,100 18 13°52′40″N 121°12′42″E / 13.8777°N 121.2116°E / 13.8777; 121.2116 (Padre Garcia)
Rosario IV 4.3% 116,764 105,561 1.94% 226.88 87.60 510 1,300 48 13°50′39″N 121°12′13″E / 13.8442°N 121.2035°E / 13.8442; 121.2035 (Rosario)
San Jose IV 2.9% 76,971 68,517 2.24% 53.29 20.58 1,400 3,600 33 13°52′49″N 121°06′07″E / 13.8802°N 121.1019°E / 13.8802; 121.1019 (San Jose)
San Juan IV 4.0% 108,585 94,291 2.72% 273.40 105.56 400 1,000 42 13°49′29″N 121°23′46″E / 13.8246°N 121.3962°E / 13.8246; 121.3962 (San Juan)
San Luis II 1.2% 33,149 30,701 1.47% 42.56 16.43 780 2,000 26 13°51′31″N 120°54′59″E / 13.8585°N 120.9163°E / 13.8585; 120.9163 (San Luis)
San Nicolas III 0.8% 22,623 20,599 1.80% 14.37 5.55 1,600 4,100 18 13°55′49″N 120°57′08″E / 13.9302°N 120.9521°E / 13.9302; 120.9521 (San Nicolas)
San Pascual II 2.4% 65,424 59,598 1.79% 50.70 19.58 1,300 3,400 29 13°47′04″N 121°01′49″E / 13.7844°N 121.0302°E / 13.7844; 121.0302 (San Pascual)
Santa Teresita III 0.8% 21,127 17,415 3.75% 16.30 6.29 1,300 3,400 17 13°52′11″N 120°58′37″E / 13.8698°N 120.9769°E / 13.8698; 120.9769 (Santa Teresita)
Santo Tomas III 6.7% 179,844 124,740 7.21% 95.41 36.84 1,900 4,900 30 14°06′24″N 121°09′42″E / 14.1068°N 121.1616°E / 14.1068; 121.1616 (Santo Tomas)
Taal I 2.1% 56,327 51,503 1.72% 29.76 11.49 1,900 4,900 42 13°52′49″N 120°55′26″E / 13.8803°N 120.9238°E / 13.8803; 120.9238 (Taal)
Talisay III 1.7% 45,301 39,600 2.59% 28.20 10.89 1,600 4,100 21 14°05′40″N 121°01′19″E / 14.0944°N 121.0219°E / 14.0944; 121.0219 (Talisay)
Tanauan III 6.4% 173,366 152,393 2.49% 107.16 41.37 1,600 4,100 48 14°05′07″N 121°09′10″E / 14.0853°N 121.1528°E / 14.0853; 121.1528 (Tanauan)
Taysan IV 1.4% 38,007 35,357 1.39% 93.62 36.15 410 1,100 20 13°47′48″N 121°11′19″E / 13.7968°N 121.1885°E / 13.7968; 121.1885 (Taysan)
Tingloy II 0.7% 17,919 16,870 1.16% 33.07 12.77 540 1,400 15 13°39′33″N 120°52′24″E / 13.6592°N 120.8734°E / 13.6592; 120.8734 (Tingloy)
Tuy I 1.6% 43,743 40,734 1.37% 94.65 36.54 460 1,200 22 14°01′19″N 120°43′48″E / 14.0219°N 120.7299°E / 14.0219; 120.7299 (Tuy)
Total 2,694,335 2,377,395 2.41% 3,119.75 1,204.54 860 2,200 1,078 (see GeoGroup box)
  1. ^ Coordinates mark the city/town center, and are sortable by latitude.


Population census
of Batangas
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 1,476,783    
1995 1,658,567+2.20%
2000 1,905,348+3.02%
2007 2,245,869+2.29%
2010 2,377,395+2.09%
2015 2,694,335+2.41%
Source: National Statistics Office[2][20][21]

The population of Batangas in the 2015 census was 2,694,335 people,[2] with a density of 860 inhabitants per square kilometre or 2,200 inhabitants per square mile.

In the recent years, waves of migration from the Visayas had brought significant number of Visayans to the province. There are also a few who can speak Spanish, since Batangas was an important centre during the colonial period.

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


Main article: Tagalog Batangas

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 called this province the heartland of the Tagalog language. A strong presence of the Tagalog culture is clearly visible to the present day.

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 it really has no meaning in itself.

English is widely understood in the province. Spanish is also understood to some extent, especially in the towns of Nasugbu, Taal, and Lemery, which still have significant Spanish-speaking minorities. Visayan is also spoken by a significant minority due to the influx of migrants from Central Philippines.


Batangas has Abrahamic religions like Roman Catholicism which is followed by very large majority of the population at 97%. Islam, is also present which can be found mostly in Balayan, Lipa and Batangas City. Jews are 0.02% of the population. The rest are divided between other Christian denominations.



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

Pineapples are also common in Batangas. Aside from the fruit, the leaves are also useful such that an industry has been created from it. In the municipality of Taal, pineapple leaves are processed to form a kind of cloth known as jusi (pronounced 'hu-si), from which the Barong Tagalog, the national costume of the Philippines is made.

Livestock as an industry is also thriving in Batangas. Cattle from Batangas are widely sought throughout the country. The term Bakang Batangas (Batangas Cow) is associated with the country's best species of cattle. The cattle industry in Batangas is famous, 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 Tambakol, yellow-finned Berberabe, tambakulis, Tulingan, Bonito and another species also called Bonito but actually the Gymnosarda unicolor. There is also an important industry for the Tanigue.

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. Thus they are considered an invasive species to the lake.

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 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 baby bamboo is cooked with coconut milk or with other ingredients to make a Batangas delicacy.

The city of Batangas hosts the second most important international seaport in the island of Luzon, serving as a primary entry point for goods from the southern part of the country, and international ports.


Batangas Port and STAR

Photo of the Batangas Seaport Terminal, a modern passenger terminal, owned by the province of Batangas.
Batangas Seaport Terminal 
The STAR Tollway that connects the Municipality of Santo Tomas to Batangas City
STAR Tollway 

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.

On January 19, 2008, Phase 2 of the Batangas City International Container Port was opened by the Philippines President, and is operated by the Philippine Ports Authority).

On the same day, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also inspected a major road project in Southern Tagalog. She then inspected the P1.5-billion, 19.74 kilometer Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway), Stage II-Phase 1 connecting Lipa and Batangas and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) road widening, expansion and the STAR Tollway development projects in Batangas.[22]

Electric power

Three power plants operate in Batangas, namely:

Electric power in Batangas is mostly provided by the Batangas Electric Cooperative, but Santo Tomas, San Pascual and Batangas City are served by Meralco.

Another power plant is to be built at Mabacong, Batangas City, but environmentalists and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa oppose, owing to its effect on residents and the aquatic ecosystem on Verde Island Passage.


The Provincial Capitol of Batangas

Together 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 it became one of the most important regions of the Philippines. Batangas first came to be known as Bonbon. It was named after the mystical 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 1597-1732. 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 is also known in the Philippine history as the "Cradle of Noble Heroes", giving homage not only to the heroes it produced but the statesmen that came to lead the country. Among the Batangas politicians are Teodoro M. Kalaw, Apolinario Mabini, Jose Laurel, Felipe Agoncillo and Don Apolinario Apacible

Current officials

Representation Name Name
First District Carlo Roman Rosales Ramon C. Bausas
Second District Wilson Leonardo T. Rivera Arlina B. Magboo
Third District Alfredo C. Corona Divina G. Balba
Fourth District Jonas Patrick M. Gozos Jesus H. De Veyra
Fifth District (Batangas City) Ma. Claudette U. Ambida Arthur G. Blanco
Sixth District (Lipa City) Rowena S. Africa Lydio A. Lopez, Jr.
Philippine Councilors League President Mildred B. Sanchez
Liga ng Mga Barangay President
  • Elected Representatives
    • 1st District: Elenita Milagros R. Ermita-Buhain
    • 2nd District: Raneo E. Abu
    • 3rd District: Ma. Theresa V. Collantes
    • 4th District: Lianda B. Bolilia
    • 5th District (Lone District of Batangas City): Mario Vittorio A. Mariño
    • 6th District (Lone District of Lipa City): Ma. Rosa Vilma T. Santos-Recto

List of former governors

Main article: Governor of Batangas


Way of life

Maria Kalaw Katigbak, a Filipino historian, was quoted to call the Batangueños the Super-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.

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 Sta. 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 brother Apolake, god of the sun, were also present.

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".


For more details on this topic, see 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 lines of the verse must be octosyllabic) and the karagatan (a sung debate where each lines 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. The Balitao, together with the Subli 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 Laguna, Batangas is still known for the sculptures engraved in furniture. Often, altar tables coming from Batangas were called the "friars' choice" because of their delicate beauty.

According to Milagros Covarubias-Jamir, another Filipino scholar, the furniture that came from Batangas during the colonial times was comparable to the beautiful furniture from China. 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.


Flora and fauna

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 barangay Looc, Papaya, Bulihan, and Dayap.

In the second half of 2006, scientists from the United States discovered that the Sulu-Sulawesi Triangle has its centre at the Isla Verde Passage, a part of the province. According to the study made by the American Marine Biologist Dr. Kent Carpentier, 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.

Notable people from Batangas


  1. "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Census of Population (2015): Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population (Report). PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  3. tribhanga
  4. Batangas Airport in Brgy. Alaingilan destroyed after Japanese air raids
  5. Lt. César Basa's actions at the Japanese Air Raids in the Batangas Airfield
  6. Christine Sherman, M.J. Thurman, War Crimes, Japan's World War II, p.136
  7. Usage of U.S. Landing Craft during the Pacific Theater of World War II
  8. 158th RCT and 11th Airborne Division came under the command of XIV Corps of the U.S. Sixth Army
  9. 158th RCT's invasion of Balayan and Batangas city
  10. 158th RCT's drive towards Calumpang Peninsula against the 2nd Surface Raiding Base Force
  11. Disengage of 158th RCT for Bicol Operations and placement of the 11th Airborne Division
  12. 1st Cavalry Division relieved 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment
  13. 188th Infantry Task Force left for Lipa Corridor
  14. Final Capture of Mt. Maculot
  15. Fuji Force's 86th Airfield Battalion encirclement
  16. Flanagan, Jr., Lt. Gen. E. M. (1989). The Angels: A History of the 11th Airborne Division. San Francisco: Presidio Press. p. 480. ISBN 0891413588.
  17. 1st Cavalry Division, 187th and 188th Infantry Task Force drive in Southern Luzon
  18. Casualties after the fight in Batangas
  19. 1 2 "Province: Batangas". PSA. Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  20. 1 2 Census of Population and Housing (2010): Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities (PDF) (Report). NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  21. "Region IV-A (CALABARZON)". Census of Population and Housing (2010): Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay (Report). NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  22. Abs-Cbn Interactive, President Arroyo inaugurates Batangas port project

External links

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