Manila’s bright lights and overflowing malls are great, but sometimes you really just need a break. And if you do, don’t forget that there are cities as culturally and historically rich as Batangas—which is only a couple of hours away from Manila! If you’re looking for an affordable getaway that can give you an alternative experience over Boracay or Palawan, why not give beautiful Batangas a go? Your wanderlust will thank you for it. :)
When Batangas comes to mind, I think of only three things: (1) Mt. Maculot — which is totally worth the climb; (2) Punta Fuego; and (3) Venues for my local church’s youth camps. I know it isn’t much to show for, and I honestly don’t know much about the history of Batangas as a province (for shame!), but thanks to our generous friends from Lima Park Hotel, I feel like I got to know Batangas better in just two days. I realized that there’s still so much more to discover there! To the staff and management, thanks for being great advocates of your province and for making us proud to invite people to your side of the country!
Let’s get cracking — here’s why you should visit Batangas next weekend:
6. The Lima Park Hotel
I’ve never seen a more socially and environmentally-involved hotel. It was such a pleasure meeting the hotel staff comprised of Ms. Rose, Sir Bong, Sir Lewey, Sir Ralph, and our very attentive point person Sir Jim. :) They actually initiated not only the hashtag #BisitaBatangas, they also cooked up this Special Weekend Tour to delight and educate their local guests about their beloved province. Perfect for us Manileños!
Lima Park Hotel (Lima because it is located between Lipa and Malvar) is mainly known for being a top corporate hotel, which gives you an idea that standards are at par even with international guests. With over 130 rooms and spacious function halls available, a lot of companies from Manila have actually opted to make Lima Park Hotel their home in Batangas. We’re talking companies like the US Embassy, Ayala, Nestle, and many more!
Since the hotel is within the Lima Technology Center, a lot of Japanese and Korean businessmen actually stay in this hotel for 6 months to a year — and you can bet that these businessmen are as comfortable as can be. In and of itself, Lima Park Hotel is already an attractive destination for guests and visitors.
But they don’t want to just stop there: Lima Park Hotel is now becoming a great choice for leisure travelers too!
It converts to a formidable leisure and vacation hotel on weekends, with exciting activities and customized tour packages that are super affordable for the whole family! (My recommendation? Ask the Lima Park Hotel staff about the Bisita Batangas Weekend Special PLUS. You’re welcome.)
5. A Cruise Around Taal Lake
…in what would’ve been the equivalent of a limousine on water. Lima Park Hotel is the owner of The Lady of The Lake, this super-powered boat that can go up to 100kph, and the only one of its kind (so far)!
For this hour-long tour, you will go around Taal Lake with your tour guides very graciously giving you the history of the places you’ll whiz by (they will feed you, share the measurements they took to maintain good relations with the local fishermen, and tell you politely to be mindful about your trash!).
High fives all around! This was my favorite activity in the whole tour. There’s nothing like wind running through your hair, nothing like seeing the beauty of His creation so majestically displayed. It honestly felt like I was moving inside a beautiful painting the whole time.
4. Casa de Segunda
…where you’re introduced to Jose Rizal’s childhood crush, Segunda Solis Katigbak. Apparently, our national hero was a bit of a Casanova, wasn’t he? After seeing her at a party in Manila when she was just fourteen, young Jose Rizal sent her flowers, personal sketches, and poems. Written in one of his diaries, he would describe that they had loved each other only through their glances. Keso.
(Spoiler alert: Segunda marries Manuel Luz at 16 years old and rears nine children.)
Ms. Lilet Malabanan, the great granddaughter of Segunda herself, is wizened, beautiful, and remains faithful in sharing her family’s history. There are only 5 houses in Batangas that survived the war intact, and Casa de Segunda is one of these houses left standing after 135 years. 95% of this old house has been preserved completely. The other 5% takes the form of a newly-installed indoor toilet, which was unheard of during Segunda’s time.
Casa de Segunda is highly recommended. While the budding love story might be a hook for the public, you’re going to fall in love—in fact—with this old, enchanting house.
Casa de Segunda (Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House)
198 Calle Rizal, Lipa City, Batangas
Telephone No. (043) 784-1952