A 1930 Batangas Road Trip Guide - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore A 1930 Batangas Road Trip Guide - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A 1930 Batangas Road Trip Guide

This page contains all the text from the Batangas Road Trip section of the 1930 edition of “The Official Road Guide1.” This guide was first published in 1911 as “The Philippine Motor Car Blue Book,” intended for motor enthusiasts in the country, probably mostly Americans. This edition offered guides for many destinations, but for obvious purposes, transcribed for this web site are only those about Batangas destinations.
Dewey Boulevard
A motor vehicle along Dewey Boulevard.  Image credit:  U.S. Library of Congress.
[p. 173]
Manila to Batangas
Via Calamba, Tanauan, Lipa and Rosario
Route 1 and Route 19
Kms. Miles
55.2 34.3 JUNCTION.  Turn right at sign post on Route 1.
56 34.8 Pass left turn for Philippine Sugar Estates.
57.7 35.9 Fine view of Lake Laguna.  High fill ahead.
58.6 36.4 Concrete Bridge on sharp turn left.  Overhead railroad crossing.
59.4 38.4 Top of the grade between Calamba and Sto. Tomas.  S curves ahead
62.6 38.9 Railroad crossing followed by sharp turn left.
63.5 39.5 Steel Bridge, L A G U N A - B A T A N G A S BOUNDARY LINE.  End of asphalt section, luxurious vegetation, coconuts, mangoes, bamboo, etc.
66.0 41.0 Concrete bridge on S curve.
67.7 42.1 STO. TOMAS.  Straight through town.
68.1 42.3 Turn left to ALAMINOS, Laguna.  (Second-class road 12 Kms.)
68.3 42.4 Railroad crossing.
69.9 43.4 Road left to ALAMINOS.
70.0 43.5 Steel bridge on S curve.
70.6 43.8 TANAUAN.
Follow main street, lined with two rows of big trees. Just beyond Kilometer Post 71, about 40 meters from this Km. post, turn left at sign board.
The road straight ahead leads to TALISAY, 16 kilometers via AMBULONG.
75.6 46.9 SLOW.  Railroad crossing; approaches invisible.
83.9 52.1 JUNCTION for TAAL VOLCANO.  Straight ahead.  Road to right to BALETE on Lake Taal 11.2 Km.
86.9 54 Curve right into LIPA.
Old Batangas road map
A road map published in the 1930 Official Road Guide.
LIPA. — The massive and imposing buildings, well-laid out streets and its cultured inhabitants testify to the grandeur and glory that were Lipa’s when, in the latter part of the eighteenth2 century, it reached the zenith of prosperity brought about by its once flourishing coffee industry. In the center
[p. 175]
of the town or villa, as it was then called, stands imposingly the stately cathedral and tower built of massive rocks and sand brought from the shore of Bombon Lake. It was said that even women participated in the building of the church. It was at this church that Colonel Navas with his brave Spaniards took his last desperate stand to uphold the sovereignty of Spain and surrendered only after he lost one of his arms and after his soldiers and women imprisoned in the church suffered indescribable hunger and exhaustion following two weeks of continuous battle against the Filipino revolutionists who attacked from all sides.
The church convent became later the headquarters of General Malvar. If one would climb the church tower, he might still see traces of the fierce battle on the walls and wooden structure. Even the stairways are riddled with bullets. From the highest storey of this tower, a splending view is unfolded for miles around, and with the help of field glasses, the neighboring towns are discernable.
Kms. Miles
87.4 54.3 Turn square to left of presidencia at sign board.  Gasoline and refreshments may be had at native tienda on corner.
The road to SAN JOSE is second class.
96.3 59.8 Pass town of old ROSARIO on left.
100 62.1 ROSARIO.  Concrete market on left of road.  Artesian well in market site.
100.1 62.2 Right turn.  (Left turn leads to Candelaria, Tayabas Province, via Bolbok, marked by sign board.  Road is first-class from Rosario to Candelaria 32 kilometers).
102.5 63.7 CAUTION.  T0 107.2 some narrow concrete culverts.
107.6 66.7 Two bridges on S curve.
108 67.1 Through IBAAN.  Three artesian wells.
108.5 67.4 Turn to right in front of church.
113.8 70.6 Pass over Sabang Bridge.  This is the highest concrete bridge in [the] Philippine Islands; 105 feet above sea leve.
114 70.8 Zig-zag up hill; 7% grade. Drive carefully.
117.2 (110.9) 72.8 Left turn at junction of road from San Jose.  From this point, the kilometer indications on posts are for distances from Manila via San Jose, i.e., the old route which is km. 6.3 less than via Rosario.
119.9 (113.3) 74.5 Pass entrance to old CAMP MCGRATH, on to left. (Now abandoned.)
120 (113.7) 74.6 Entrance to Provincial Capitol Building.
121 (114.7) 75.2 Turn  left. Right for Batangas-Bauan-Nasugbu Road.
121 (115.5) 75.7 BATANGAS.
[p. 176]
BATANGAS province borders on the China Sea. The most important ports are Nasugbu, Calatagan, Balayan, Calaca, Lemery, Taal, San Luis, Bauan, Batangas, Lobo and San Juan. Maricaban and Verde are islands on the southwest coast. At Laiya off the coast between San Juan and Lobo are the famous Lobo submarine gardens. During fair weather, the water is as clear as crystal and the submarine grown may be seen in all its varied colors and interesting splendor.
The province is considered the most picturesque in the Archipelago, particularly on account of its wide perspective and of Lake Bombon, in the center of which is an island formed by the crater of Taal Volcano. Inside this crater, there is also a lake where formerly there were three. Taal Volcano has experienced several destructive eruptions during historic times, the last one being in January 1911. Lake Taal (Bombon) is about 10 meters deep and 2.5 meters above sea level. It is said that formerly, sea water from Balayan Bay flowed through the Pansipit River into Lake Taal, and boats could, therefore, pass into the interior of the province.
The San Juan sulphur springs, the Bauan hot springs, and the Rosario fresh water springs are the most famous. Aside from the above, Batangas may well be proud of her caves and grottos. The two largest are found in the slopes of the Mount Pulan Suya and Camantigue of San Juan, one of which has an opening 40 meters in circumference. Issuing therefrom is an underground river which connects with Lake Taal and flows through the Batulao range. Along its course are extensive galleries and chambers lined with fantastically shaped stalactites and stalagmites; and at the approach of an eruption of Taal Volcano, it emits a weird sound, audible at great distances.
The inhabitants of the province are Tagalogs.
At the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, there were already in what is now Batangas Province large centers of population like Nasugbu, Balayan and Batangas. Native elements also existed along the Pansipit River. These settlements are believed to have been in existence long before the Spaniards discovered the Philippines. In fact, according to tradition, the region now known as Batangas was settled by Dato Balensusa and Dato Dumangsil, two of the ten datos who purchased Panay Island from the Negritos. (See ANTIQUE.) It is believed that these two datos founded the first Malay villages at the mouth of Taal River.
Batangas was explored by Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo on their way to Manila in 1570.
The Province of Batangas was created in 1581, its jurisdiction extending over a vast territory including what is now Batangas, Mindoro, Marinduque and all the land southest of Laguna as far as Camarines. The name of the province was then Bombon, or Balayan, with the capital at the town of Balayan. At a later date, the outlying regions were separated and Batangas proper became the only constituent part of the province.
Throughout the seventeenth century, the coast towns of Batangas suffered greatly from Moro attacks. During Acuña’s rule, for example, the Moro pirates committed depredations on the coast villages. Stone forts were erected at various points along the coast — in Lemery, Taal, Bauan and Batangas — but still the Moros came. In 1675, they captured the town of Balayan, and in 1754, thirty-eight of their vessels appeared off the coast of Batangas.
In 1763, the northern part of Batangas was visited by the British. It will be remembered that an expedition under the command of Blackhouse was sent by the British authorities then occupying Manila in search of the treasures of the galleon “Philippine.” The expedition, which failed to find the coveted treasures, went as far as Lipa and plundered the town.
Batangas was one of the first provinces to start the Revolution. Two of the few great leaders of this period were sons of Batangas, namely, the great lawyer and statesman Apolinario Mabini and Miguel Malvar, the famous general.
[p. 177]
Lipa to Batangas via San Jose
To reach Batangas, take Route via Rosario. First class road.
NOTE: This road, first-class to about one kilometer beyond Lipa. Passable during rainy season. Narrow road only.
Kms. Miles
87.8 54.6 LIPA.
88.87 55.2 Pass right turn for Lipa station.  End of first-class road.
89.8 55.8 Four railroad crossings ahead.
93.9 58.3 Railroad crossing.
100 62.1 SAN JOSE.  Follow main street straight through town.  From here on, road is wider and better.
100.5 62.4 Railroad crossing.
107.6 66.9 Railroad crossing, Mahabang-Parang Station on left.
110.9 68.9 Sign post.  Junction of main road from Manila via Rosario on left.
114.7 71.3 Turn left (Right for Bauan-Nasugbu Road).  Pass right turn for Batangas Station.
115.5 71.8 BATANGAS.
Rosario to Candelaria
This route, which is one of the fine new additions to the South Road System, is a big cut for those travelling from Batangas to Lucena and vice versa, eliminating the long trip via Los Baños. First class road.
Kms. Miles
100.84 62.7 ROSARIO.
101.2 62.8 Narrow concrete culvert.  Also at 101.6
102.8 63.9 POOC
104.4 64.9 TIQUIAUAN.
[p. 178]
Kms. Miles
111.8 69.5 ALUPAY.
113.2 70.3 PINAGSIBAAN.
118.2 73.5 PALAHANAN.
119.3 74.1 SICO.
121.2 75.3 CALICANTO.
122.0 75.8 MARAYKET.
122.4 76.0 BOLBOK.
124.9 77.5 New steel bridge at Malaking River replaces ferry.  Toll.  At this point, marking changes.
Junction with Manila Main South Road at Km. 114.87 turn left for CANDELARIA, right for LUCENA.
Route 17
NOTE: To obtain distances from Manila via Rosario, add kms. 6.3 or 3.9 miles, to figures given which are distances via San Jose.
Kms. Miles
114.7 71.3 Two railroad crossings ahead.
Start from road junction at sign post.
115.2 71.6 Railroad crossing.
121.2 75.3 BAUAN.
Careful; slow; narrow streets. Turn right through plaza, passing church on left. There is a gradual up-grade after leaving Bauan.
121.5 75.5 SLOW. Left.
122.2 75.9 CAUTION.  Bridge on curve.  Turn left for Mabini (road under construction).
129 80.1 Summit.
129.1 80.2 Pass first-class road on right beyond ALITAGTAG, Km. 3, and CUENCA, Km. 10. Road from beyond Alitagtag to Cuenca is first-class, and from Cuenca to Lipa second-class.
[p. 179]
Kms. Miles
137.3 85.3 TAAL, plaza.  Narrow streets with sharp turns.
The old church on the plaza, the largest in the Philippines, is worthy of a visit. To continue trip west, at far side of plaza, turn left, passing municipal building on corner, down narrow street to sharp right turn.
138.1 87.7 Turn right for Pansipit fisheries, narrow road under construction.
138.3 85.9 Cross bridge over Taal River into
138.8 86.2 LEMERY. Follow main road through town
140 87 Enter causeway at Kilometer Post 140.
142 88.2 Sandy dirt road.
143.3 88.9 CAUTION.  From this point for eleven kilometers, there are several streams to ford, with quick dips and short turns.  Drive slowly.
152.6 94.8 CALACA. SLOW; narrow streets.
160.0 99.4 Steel bridge and sharp curve.
162.6 101 BALAYAN.  
171.5 106.6 TUY. Junction of new road being constructed through Cavite-Batangas hills to connect with Cavite Road, via MENDEZ NUÑEZ and NAIC.  Progress on this construction has been slow.
175 108.7 Beautiful view of hills and valleys.
176.6 109.3 Turn right for Cavite (road under construction).
177,1 109.9 Turn left for Lian and Calatagan (road under construction).
177.2 110.1 PALICO Bridge.
186 115.6 NASUGBU.  First-class road to WAWA, 2 kilometers beyond, the steamer landing for the great Roxas estates.
Notes and references:
1 “Official Road Guide, 1930 Edition,” published 1930 by the Sugar News Company, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collectdions.
2 The word “eighteenth” was used erroneously. The period referred to was the late 1800s and, thus, was the nineteenth century.

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