Another town in the south worth visiting is San Juan in Batangas.
San Juan is another first class municipality around 43 kilometres east of Batangas city and 115 kilometres south of Manila. You can reach the town by passing through Lipa City and Rosario, Batangas or by passing through Quezon province.
What makes this place a perfect vacation destination?
San Juan is home to some of the breathtaking beaches, historical buildings and other natural wonders.
People are flocking this tourist destination with resorts like Coco Grove, White Cove, Kabayan, Blue Coral, Aquaverde, Acuatico, Virgin Beach, and Balai San Juan to name a few.
Resorts offer a variety of outdoor activities aside from swimming. The place is growing popularity so much so that some resorts need bookings months ahead especially during peak season.
Marulas Coral Reef
Barely 6 feet deep during low tide is this barely touched reef offshore barangay Marulas located at 3.5 kilometres southeast of Laiya. Snorkelers and tourist can visit this place by boat coming from any Laiya resort.
West of Laiya is Barrio Hugom where this water form is located nearby. It is called Naambon as it literally feels like it is showering water especially during the wet season.
If you are into hiking, this spot is for you. Naambon falls is only reachable by hiking 1.5 kms from the beach or 1km by mountainside footpath. Or half an hour walk from Hugom Environmental Guides Association (HEGA) headquarters.
You can feel refreshed in the small, cool and clean pools but it is no place for swimming.
This is San Juan’s highest peak found south west of the town. It is one of hikers and campers favourite spots to visit. This place is privately owned but hikers and campers can still use the place and hire local guides for the trek.
San Juan Nepomuceno Church
This church is famous on its own right as it was built during the Spanish colonial times. Its beauty was featured on local television channels as celebrities Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo chose this church as venue for their wedding vow.
Ancestral houses built during both Spanish and American times abound San Juan showcasing grand architectural designs.
Apparently, tourists are not the only one visiting San Juan shores and mountains.
San Juan beaches are also breeding grounds for sea turtles or Pawikans. These endangered species lay their eggs between October to January and conservation efforts are in place to protect these animals. The Green Sea Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle are often found in San Juan.
Birds and giant fruit bats made San Juan their home as well. Bird and bat watching tour activities at dusk when they are more active may be arranged.
San Juan is also known for its official products:
Like most southern provinces, coconut trees are abundant in San Juan. This affords the town to make the traditional Lambanog.
It is known to be a strong alcoholic drink only the toughest drinkers can take.
Pottery making is part of the town’s industry whether it is earthenware, stoneware or porcelain. You can find beautifully crafted and amazing items for use or décor here.
The industry started in the 1900s in Brgy Libato, Palahanan 1 and 2 where clay from the Lawaye river is taken as primary ingredient for the product.
And of course, to showcase everything that is San Juan, the town holds its annual Lambayok Festival.
Held every second week of December, the festival showcases their top three sources of livelihoods: lambanog, palayok (pottery) and tourism. The festival is said to promote “creativity, ingenuity, and hard work.
San Juan boasts of pristine beaches, trek trails, environmental and eco-friendly tours, and historical sites. The town offers a lot more waiting to be discovered.
If you haven’t yet, visit thus part of the Philippines. Enjoy the sights, the sounds, the food and the hospitality of the people.
Special thanks to Chis Holmes 96 for the main image.