Batangas is mostly regarded as Metro Manila’s closest summer playground should they ever wish to go to the beach.
It is known for its irresistible delicacies, centuries-old churches, the local’s strong accent, and of course, the worldwide famous volcano within a lake, Taal. Beyond all those things, however, Batangas is strongly associated with its beaches. In fact, it is probably the first thing that comes to mind when one mentions the city. Be forewarned, however, unlike the sandy beaches of Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu, Batangas offers something a little different but nonetheless, beautiful still. It is also one of the premier choices in cities of Metro Manila residents when it comes to a retirement or vacation home considering its proximity to the beaches. When it comes to a relaxing weekend, a day well-spent in Batangas does make a compelling case–Nasugbu in particular. Known as the largest town in Western Batangas, Nasugbu has a total land area of 27, 851 hectares. As the second-largest municipality in the province, it also accounts for 8.69% of the provincial land area. Today, however, Nasugbu, Batangas is transforming into a new town by realizing its vision of becoming a city. Below are just some of the interesting things about the city.
HOW IT GOT ITS NAME (ACCORDING TO LEGEND)
It is said that the coastal town of Nasugbu, Batangas had a population of one thousand people prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. However, it was the Spaniards who gave it its name. According to legend, Nasugbu’s etymology came from a Spaniard’s simple query to a native couple who happened to be cooking rice in palayok. It is said that a Spanish group leader had asked the woman what the place was called in his native tongue. Through a case of miscommunication, the woman thought that the Spaniard was referring to her rice to which she replied. “Nasubo na po iyan, eh, kaya ganyan” (The rice has been eaten; that is why it is like that). The Spaniard kept repeating the word and nodding his head and introduced the word to his companions. From then on, the village began to be called by that name.
While the place was originally founded in 1899 with a population of one thousand people, the municipality now has approximately 132, 404 people (2015 statistics). Back then, the townsite was situated a kilometer east of the present site and it was recalled that in 1896, about five hundred people had died at the hands of enraged Spanish soldiers when they decided to take up arms against them. Livelihood was mainly to work for the hacienderos who owned almost the entire town of Nasugbu. It was not until the arrival of the Americans when the people eventually decided to build a new town. Becoming forebears of a stronger resistance, the new town dwellers then proved to be the community with a stronger grit by resisting the Japanese invaders. By the end of the Second World War, Nasugbu slowly went back to its normal way of life, albeit accepting the changes brought about by urbanization. By the 1970s, the hacienda owners decided to sell a majority of their landholdings to the people over a period of ten years. These lands have become the foundation of the ever-growing population living in the 42 barangays of today–a true testament of the town’s resiliency and the fruit of their hard work.
a.) Mt. Pico De Loro
A scenic mountain range in Maragondon, Cavite bordering the towns of Ternate and Nasugbu in the province of Batangas, Mt. Palay-Palay/Mataas na Gulod has been drawing visitors from all over the world. It is famous for the iconic Pico de Loro, named after the protruding rock that is akin to a parrot’s beak.
b.) Layon Bilog River View
Known for its freshwater streams and beautiful scenery, Layon Bilog River View is a new campsite and picnic area at the foot of Mt. Talamitam. To many, the area is still a secret attraction but over the years, it has seen a surge of tourists who are en route to Mt. Talamitam.
c.) Kainan sa Dalampasigan
Regarded as a must-see and must-stop attraction whenever in Nasugbu, Kainan sa Dalampasigan is a one big dining hall with rustic vibes complemented by a homey garden feel. It is unlike any restaurant you have ever eaten before which in itself, already merits a visit. The best thing about Kainan sa Dalampasigan, however, is that their recipe for home-cooked Filipino food remains unchanged–even after all these years.
d.) Peninsula de Punta Fuego
If you are looking for a gratifying stroll on the seaside with the feeling of warm sand under your feet, Peninsula de Punta Fuego is definitely the place to be. Here, you can build sandcastles, take a dip in the refreshing waters, or simply relax by the beach. What makes Punta Fuego so beautiful is how the seas and the horizon would change during sunrise and sunset–a breathtaking feat you should definitely not miss.
e.) Forest Cove
Regarded as one of Nasugbu’s gems, Forest Cove gives its visitors the luxury of seeing the unconcealed beauty of Nasugbu with a sense of security. These properties are contained in private villas ensuring that you can enjoy your stay without worrying about your security or privacy.
THINGS TO DO IN NASUGBU
1.) Check out the Hamilo Coast
Regarded as the Amazon Rainforest of the Seas, Hamilo Coast is a resort that features a wide variety of attractions. It presents three mountain peaks on the East and comprises thirteen coves outstretched within its cope with three of them declared as Marine Protected Areas. Activities such as squash, billiards, tennis, and the like can all be enjoyed in the area if you are a member. However, the place can still be enjoyed as a guest.
2.) Light bonfires at Munting Buhangin Beach
As Nasugbu is known to be one of Batangas’s beach hotspots, the place will inevitably have no shortage of beautiful coves and beaches. Munting Buhangin Beach, one of Nasugbu’s beaches, gives off that fresh, natural, and untouched feel. It encourages its visitors to go on adventures with its roomy tree houses that can accommodate up to a maximum of ten people. At night, you can light a bonfire by the beach, roast hotdogs, or marshmallows while you exchange scary stories. Of course, if you wish to satiate your appetite for adventure, opt to book for that trail inside the forest and learn survival skills. All in all, a day spent at Munting Buhangin Beach is indeed a day well-spent.
3.) Experience Greece in the Philippines
Once an exclusive property by former Jose Antonio Leviste who envisioned building a vacation spot designed for the upper echelon, Fortune Island now resembles what looks like a view of Greece outlined by the white sand and light-colored stones. Although drafted as a luxurious beach resort reminiscent of Greece’s very own Acropolis of Athens, the operation was shut down in 2006, and all that is left looks like the ruins of ancient Greece. Do not let that deter you, however, as one look at the clear turquoise waters would reveal the sight of what is underneath. Ideal for diving, the place is rich in marine life. Plus, the place has a shipwreck site which, altogether, makes Fortune Island a compelling visit.
4.) Experience Sugbuan Festival
Launched in November 2o13, Sugbuan Festival is Nasugbu’s very own festival held in the town proper of Nasugbu, Batangas. Albeit relatively new, the festival is no less exciting than the more established festivals and fiestas. It features various events such as the kakanin making contest and Mutya ng Nasugbu. Of course, no festival would be complete without street dance competitions. The festival is a colorful affair that features different costumes and different dances. The energy of the festival itself is palpable that it is said that it can be quite difficult not to dance along with the dancer’s energetic moves. If you wish to truly experience the best of Nasugbu, never miss the chance of witnessing the Sugbuan Festival for yourself.
5.) Buy Goods from Mamaraka Festival
A 2-week event that typically commences a week before Palm Sunday lasting all the way to Easter, Mamaraka Festival is a trade fair in Nasugbu where locals and visitors can sell and buy their goods. Some of the products featured are locally grown fruits, vegetables, salted eggs, home-made peanut butter, and handicrafts–all made by the Nasugbuenos themselves. Here you can witness the talent and skill by the locals themselves. More importantly, it is an excellent approach in encouraging people to buy local and is a good avenue for showcasing local products.
With all that said above, one can say that Nasugbu, Batangas is more than just your ordinary summer beach retreat. It is a vibrant city teeming with history, culture, and various activities to do. However, the best way to truly know a place is to visit, experience and appreciate it for yourself. So, on your next weekend, you might want to take a trip to Nasugbu and see for yourself what it has to offer.