@San Juan Nepomuceno Church
Believe it or not, it's my first time to be in this place. I travel a lot to every places in the country but it was just a 3-4 hour drive from Manila and I wasn't able to reach this place. Good thing that the group decided to have our first ever team bonding out of town. As a traveler, I am a bit keen on places I went since I also love to see old structures, establishments and of course interact with other people. I also do love swimming, but exploring other places makes my trip fruitful. :)
We left Manila at 6AM and made a quick stop to Calamba, Laguna. After that we arrived at Lipa City, Batangas for another stop.
Alvin and Net
Start of our roadtrip! :)
stop over at Laguna
passed STAR expressway
exit at Lipa City, Batangas
We proceed to San Juan, Batangas an hour later. It is a farthest town in Batangas and it was just few kilometers before we reached Quezon Province. Here are some places we visited at this town:
First Stop: San Juan Nepomuceno Church
The name of the town derived from San Juan Nepomuceno, their patron. The church is simple but it has a story to tell. Built in 1843 through stilts and bamboos. This church became an attraction while you visit San Juan before you proceed to Laiya for beach happenings. This place was also a venue of the "secret" wedding of artists Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo.
Next Stop: Reglos-Salapare's Residence
It is not a tourist spot since it is a private residence of one of the members in a group. What matters on this place was the bonding of Reglos family in which it was commonly seen in this house. We were greeted during our visit and we felt warm hospitality especially to his mother who accommodated and assisted us very well. :)
Next Stop: La Luz Beach Resort, Laiya
Touted as the next beach desination. Laiya boosted great white sand and fine coastline which Batangas made proud of these discoveries. Laiya is very famous for beach resorts and for me, La Luz is one of the best that Laiya has to offer. Great place to hang with friends or had intimate moment with loved ones. More information on my previous blog post: http://thesimplertraveler.blogspot.com/2012/10/bonding-time-la-luz-beach-resort-san.html
Next Stop: Old Houses at San Juan
Visiting San Juan Batangas will never be complete if you will not visit the structures and houses along the town. I was impressed on these house that were preserved for the past centuries since most of these house built during Spanish era. Most notable house is the Balay Mercado. Unfortunately, these houses were not for public viewing but I hope someday it will. :)
Next Stop: Cafeno and Town proper
There were many establishments in San Juan and some were just started building up. From q quiet town to become a beach destination, San Juan is now become a tourist destination. By the way, Cafeno was just with the poblacion (town proper) and where they served the authentic Kapeng Barako ice cream. Batangas is famous not only in beaches but also their products such as kapeng barako (coffee), balisong (small army knife) and panutsa (peanut brittle). Town proper also boosted the simplicity of the place and the town hall was just along the area.
The town was just as simple and quiet but the place was booming because of its beauty and preserved historical sites that is unique in Batangas. San Juan is not just Laiya and beaches, its also about history, culture and people. :)
How to get there:
By car/van - Good thing there was a Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Expressway) after South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), travel time to San Juan was cut to just 3 hours instead the usual 4-5 hours. Take those expressways and exit to Ibaan. Turn left upon exiting then head straight. Watch out for the “Turn Left to Blue Coral” sign, wherein you will turn left in a small road. Turn right when you reach Petron, not far is an T-junction then turn left. Heading straight will take you the town of San Juan.
By commute - Option 1: Recent update that ALPS the Bus plies daily route to San Juan, Batangas. From Cubao Terminal which is across Nepa Q-Mart and just beside RCPI Building (near New York St.). Fare costs between PHP200-220. Travel time will take 4 hours.
By commute - Option 2: Take a bus that bound for Lipa City (e.g. Jam, Ceres and Alps). Fare: PHP150. From Lipa Bus Stop, take a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to San Juan terminal. Fare is PHP10. Take a jeepney bound for San Juan. Fare is PHP50. It will pass the town of Padre Garcis and Rosario. After an hour, you will be at the San Juan town proper. If you wish to go to Laiya, take another jeepney that will costs you PHP30 and travel time is 30 minutes. Make sure that you be before 5PM because the last trip will leave at exactly 5PM.