The 29 Municipalities of Batangas Province - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore The 29 Municipalities of Batangas Province - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

The 29 Municipalities of Batangas Province

The Province of Batangas is one of five belonging to the administrative region called Region IV-A, otherwise known as the CALABARZON. The province has a total of 34 administrative divisions. Of these, five are cities (Lipa, Batangas, Tanauan, Santo Tomas and Calaca, which are separately discussed in The Cities of the Province of Batangas). It also has twenty-nine (29) municipalities, which will be discussed individually below.

AGONCILLO

Agoncillo is one of Batangas’ lakeside towns, located as it is on the western shores of Taal Lake. It is considered a 4th class1 municipality with a land area of 49.96 square kilometers, making it the 17th largest of Batangas’ 29 municipalities. As of the 2020 Philippine Census, its population was placed at 39,101 individuals, making it the 9th least populated town in Batangas. Based on these figures, Agoncillo has a population density of 782.65, making it the twelfth least densely populated town of the province. Agoncillo has a total of fourteen barrios or barangays.

ALITAGTAG

The Municipality of Alitagtag is also another of Batangas’ lakeside towns, although its town center is roughly 5.5 kilometers from the shores of Taal Lake. It has a territory equivalent to 24.79 square kilometers, making it Batangas fourth smallest in terms of land area. Its 2020 population was placed at 26,819 individuals. Given the town’s relatively small land area, it ranks 11th in terms of the province in terms of population density with 1,081.85 per square kilometer. Like Agoncillo, Alitagtag is classified as a 4th income class municipality. It is has nineteen barrios or barangays.

Taal Volcano seen from Boso-boso, Laurel, Batangas
Taal Volcano looks menacingly close seen from Boso-boso in the town of Laurel.

BALAYAN

Balayan, one of Batangas’ largest towns in terms of territory, is also among the province’s oldest. It was among the places visited by the Spanish conquistadores Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo in the Spaniards’ first venture into Luzon in the year 1570. Balayan is Batangas’ 6th largest municipality, with a land area of 108.73 square kilometers. As of the 2020 Philippine Census, it was the province’s fourth most populous municipality with 95,913 individuals. Because of its big territory, Balayan is relatively sparsely populated, with a density per square kilometer of 882.12, ranked 14th among 29 municipalities. Balayan, a 1st income class2 municipality, is made up of 48 barrios or barangays.

BALETE

Another lakeside town, Balete, was part of what is now the City of Lipa until 1969, when it became a separate municipality. It is nestled on the eastern shores of Taal Lake, with a land area of just 25 square kilometers. This makes Balete the fifth smallest town of Batangas in terms of land area. Its 2020 population was placed at 24,055 individuals, and given its small territory, it ranks 13th among Batangas’ most densely populated with 962.2 per square kilometer. Balete is a 5th income class3 made up of 13 barrios or barangays.

BAUAN

The municipality of Bauan also used to be a lakeside town of Batangas, but the perilous eruptions of Taal Volcano down the centuries convinced its citizens to relocate away from the lake and onto the shores of Batangas Bay, where it is presently located. It is a relatively small town with a total land area of just 53.31 square kilometers. Nonetheless, it is a progressive 1st income class municipality with a 2020 population of 90,819 individuals. Given its relatively small territory, Bauan is the third most densely populated town in Batangas with 1,703.6 per square kilometer. There are, in all, 40 barrios or barangays in Bauan.

CALATAGAN

The historic town of Calatagan, known not just for its beach resorts but also for archaeological sites, is on the shores of the West Philippine Sea, just round the bend from the Bay of Balayan. It is a large town with a total territory of 101.5 square kilometers. As of the 2020 Philippine Census, its population was at 58,719 individuals. Because of its wide territory, Calatagan is not very densely populated with only 578.51 per square kilometer, seventh least in the entire province. Calatagan, considered a 2nd income class4 municipality, is made up of 32 barrios or barangays.

CUENCA

Like Alitagtag, Cuenca also has part of its territory on the shores of Taal Lake, although its main population center is more inland and shielded by eruptions of Taal Volcano by Mount Maculot. Cuenca has a land area of 58.18 square kilometers including the mountain, on which some of the fiercest battles of the Second World War were fought. Its 2020 population was pegged at 36,235 individuals which makes the town the 20th most densely populated municipality of Batangas with 622.81 per square kilometer. Cuenca used to be part of San Jose until it was officially separated in 1876. Presently, it is a 4th income class municipality made up of 21 barrios or barangays.

IBAAN

Ibaan is a landlocked municipality of Batangas with no access to the lake or Batangas Bay, surrounded as it is by the towns of San Jose to its northeast, Taysan to its southeast, and Rosario to the east; and the cities of Lipa and Batangas to its northeast and southeast, respectively. It is a 2nd income class municipality with a total land area of 68.99, twelfth largest in the province. Its 2020 population was placed at 58,507, giving it a population density of 848.05 per square kilometer. Ibaan is made up of 26 barrios or barangays.

LAUREL

Laurel is also a lakeside town, with Agoncillo the closest in terms of physical distance to Taal Volcano. Founded in 1969 when it separated from Talisay, in fact Laurel, like Talisay, Agoncillo and San Nicolas, was a part of Taal during the Spanish colonial era. Laurel’s total land area is 71.29 square kilometers, 11th largest in Batangas. Its population as per the 2020 Philippine Census was placed at 43,210, giving it a relatively sparse density of 606.12 per square kilometer. Laurel is classified as a 3rd income class5 municipality and it is made up of twelve barrios or barangays.

Mt Maculot seen from Barrio Labac in Cuenca
Mount Maculot in Cuenca seen from Barrio Labac.

LEMERY

Lemery is a municipality of Batangas Province on the shores of Balayan Bay. It used to be part of Taal, from which it is presently separated by the famous Pansipit River. Lemery’s land area is actually much larger than Taal, the town from which it separated, with a total of 109.8 square kilometers. This makes Lemery the fifth largest town in Batangas in terms of territory. Its 2020 population was placed at 93,186 individuals, but because of its large territory, the town is relatively sparsely populated with just 848.69 per square kilometer. Lemery is considered a first income class municipality and it is made up of 46 barrios or barangays.

LIAN

The western Batangas town of Lian, known for its sprawling sugarcane plantations, if judged by its town center, may seem small. However, its total land area is actually 76.8 square kilometers, 10th largest among the municipalities of Batangas. Lian’s population as of the 2020 Philippine Census was placed at 56,280 individuals. Because of the town’s relatively agrarian nature, this population is also considerably spaced out, the town having a relatively low density of 732.81 per square kilometer. Lian, which is made up of 19 barrios or barangays, is classified as a 3rd income class municipality.

LOBO

Lobo, famous for the Malabrigo Light house and its many seaside resorts, is Batangas’ fourth largest municipality in terms of land area with a total of 175.03 square kilometers. However, it is sparsely populated with just 40,736 as per the 2020 Philippine Census, making the town the province’s least densely populated geo-political unit with just 232.74 per square kilometer. Lobo is classified as a 3rd income class municipality and is made up of 26 barrios or barangays.

MABINI

Mabini, which used to be part of Taal, has territory on the shores of both Batangas and Balayan Bays. It goes without saying that the municipality is named after the Philippine hero Apolinario Mabini. The town has a total land area of 44,47 square kilometers, eighteenth in Batangas. Its 2020 population was placed at 50,858, making it among the top ten most densely populated towns of Batangas with 1,143.65 per square kilometer. Also known for its beach resorts and its dive sites, Mabini is classified as a first income class municipality. It is made up of 34 barrios or barangays.

MALVAR

The municipality of Malvar used to be part of Lipa during the Spanish era until it separated in 1919. It used to be known for Lipa’s coffee plantations as well as, during the early years of the American colonial period, being the hideout for brigands known as “tulisanes.” One of Batangas’ smaller towns, it has a total land area of a mere 33 square kilometers. Its population was placed at 64,379 after the 2020 Philippine Census, and given its small land area, has the province’s second highest population density with 1,950.88 per square kilometer. Malvar is classified as a second income class municipality and is made up of 15 barrios or barangays.

MATAASNAKAHOY

Like Malvar, the town of Mataasnakahoy also used to be part of Lipa. It separated officially from what is now Lipa City in 1932. The town has a total land area of 19.66 square kilometers, making it the second smallest in Batangas. Its 2020 population was placed at 30,621 individuals, giving this small town a population density of 1,557.53 per square kilometer. This figure makes Mataasnakahoy the fifth most densely populated town in Batangas. Mataasnakahoy is classified as a 4th income class municipality and is made up of 16 barrios or barangays.

NASUGBU

The historic town of Nasugbu in western Batangas, famous not just for its beaches and resorts but also for the landing of the United States Eighth Army in January 1945, is the province of Batangas’ largest town in terms of land area. Its territory is made up of 278.51 square kilometers. It is also the most populous town in Batangas, with 136,524 individuals counted during the 2020 Philippine Census. Because of its large land area, however, Nasugbu is sparsely populated with a density of just 490.19 per square kilometers, considered fourth among the province’s least densely-populated towns. Nasugbu is classified as a 1st income class municipality and it is made up of 42 barrios or barangays.

PADRE GARCIA

The town of Padre Garcia used to be part of Rosario until it separated to become an independent municipality in 1949. It is among Batangas’ smaller towns with a total land area of just 44.51 square kilometers. Considered a 2nd income class municipality, Padre Garcia’s population was counted at 51,853 after the 2020 Philippine Census. Its population density is relatively high, with 1,249.17 per square kilometer, ranked 9th in the province. Padre Garcia is made up of 18 barrios or barangays.

ROSARIO

Rosario is the third largest municipality of Batangas in terms of land area, with a total of 226.88 square kilometers. It is classified as a first income class municipality and its 2020 population was placed at 128,452 individuals. This figure makes Rosario the second most populous town of Batangas after Nasugbu. However, because of its large land area, the town’s population density is just 565.73 per square kilometer. This makes Rosario the sixth least densely populated town in Batangas. Rosario is a landlocked town made up of 48 barrios or barangays.

SAN JOSE

Known as San Jose Malaquing Tubig during the Spanish colonial era, this town was founded in 1765 after separating from Bauan. It is presently known for its poultry industry. Totally landlocked, San Jose has a land area of 53.29 square kilometers. Its 2020 population was placed at 79,868. Given its relatively small territory — in comparison with the province’s larger towns — it is hardly surprising that the town’s population density ranks sixth in the province with 1,498.74 per square kilometer. San Jose is classified as a 1st income class municipality and it is made up of 33 barrios or barangays.

Taal Lake seen from the shore in Talisay
Taal Lake seen from the shore in Talisay.

SAN JUAN

San Juan, the easternmost town of Batangas is also the province’s gateway to Quezon Province. It is classified as a first income class municipality with a total land area of 273.40 square kilometers. This makes San Juan the second largest in Batangas in terms of land area. As per the 2020 Philippine Census, the population of the town was at 114,068 individuals. San Juan, however, is still largely agrarian, with large swathes of the town’s territory planted with different crops. Despite having Batangas’ third highest population among its towns, San Juan, in fact, is the second least densely populated among Batangas’ municipalities with just 417.22 per square kilometer. The town has a total of 42 barrios or barangays.

SAN LUIS

The Municipality of San Luis used to be part of Taal, until it formally separated in 1861. The town was re-attached to Taal in 1904 under the American colonial regime, but again given independent status in 1918. San Luis has a total land area of 42.56 square kilometers, 19th largest in Batangas. Its 2020 population was pegged at 36,172, ranked 7th smallest among Batangas’ towns. Its population density is 849.91, ranked fifteenth among 29 municipalities. A fourth income class municipality, San Luis is made up of 26 barrios or barangays.

SAN NICOLAS

Another lakeside town of Batangas, San Nicolas was the former location of the town of Taal until the latter’s residents were forced towards Balayan Bay by the cataclysmic 1754 eruption of Taal Volcano. The town continued to be attached to Taal as a barrio until it was formally separated in 1955. Its territory is made up of 22.61 square kilometers, third smallest in Batangas. Its 2020 population was counted at 23,908, also third smallest in the province. Because of its small land area, San Nicolas’ population density is relatively high, with 1,057.41 per square kilometer, ranked twelfth in Batangas. The town is a 5th income class municipality made up of 18 barrios or barangays.

SAN PASCUAL

The Municipality of San Pascual used to be part of Bauan until its formal separation to become independent in 1969. Known for the Caltex Refinery, San Pascual has a total land area of 50.7 square kilometers. The town’s 2020 population was counted at 69,009, giving it a population density of 1,361.12. This figure is ranked seventh highest in Batangas among its towns. San Pascual is made up of 29 barrios or barangays.

SANTA TERESITA

The small Municipality of Santa Teresita began life officially in 1961 with territory taken from the towns of Taal, San Nicolas and San Luis. It is the smallest municipality in Batangas with a land area of just 16.3 square kilometers. Its population of just 21,559 individuals, counted during the 2020 Philippine Census, also ranks second fewest in the province. However, because of the town’s small land area, its population density of 1,322.64 is actually the eighth highest in Batangas among the province’s municipalities. A 5th income class municipality, Santa Teresita is made up of 17 barrios or barangays.

TAAL

The historic town of Taal, known for its embroidery, the balisong and its heritage houses, has a land area of 29.76 square kilometers. It used to be much larger, until towns like San Nicolas, Lemery and San Luis seceded from it and became independent towns. As per the 2020 Philippine Census, Taal’s population was at 61,460 individuals. The town has the highest population density among Batangas’ municipalities, however, with 2,066.19 per square kilometer. Classified as a 3rd income class municipality, Taal is made up of 42 barrios or barangays.

TALISAY

The lakeside town of Talisay used to be a part of Taal until it separated in 1869. For a time during the American colonial era, it was also attached to Tanauan. Its total land area is at 28.2 square kilometers, making it Batangas 6th smallest municipality. The town’s population was placed at 46,238 after the 2020 Philippine Census, ranked 17th among Batangas’ municipalities. Talisay’s population density ranks fourth among the towns of Batangas, with 1,639.65 per square kilometer. A 3rd income class municipality, Talisay is made up of 21 barrios or barangays.

TAYSAN

Taysan, a landlocked town to the south of Rosario, is classified as a 2nd income class Philippine municipality. Formerly known for its mines, Taysan is also of agrarian nature and has a land area of 93.62 square kilometers, ranked 9th among the municipalities of Batangas. Its 2020 population was placed at 40,146 individuals, ranked 20th among Batangas’ towns. Taysan is the third least densely populated town of Batangas with just 428.82 among the province’s towns. It is made up of 20 barrios or barangays.

TINGLOY

Tingloy is Batangas’ archipelagic municipality, made up as it is of islands to the south of the Calumpang Peninsula. The town, which at various times during its existence was administered from either San Luis or Bauan, was finally given full autonomy as a municipality in 1955. Its total land area is 33.07 square kilometers, making it the 9th smallest municipality in Batangas in terms of land area. Its population as per the 2020 Philippine Census was counted at 19,215, the smallest among Batangas’ towns. Its population density is 581.04 per square kilometer, ranked 22nd among the towns of Batangas. Considered a 5th income class municipality, Tingloy is made up of 15 barrios or barangays.

TUY

The western Batangas town of Tuy is landlocked and has a total land area of 94.65 square kilometers. Its population as per the 2020 Philippine Census was counted at 45,519 individuals, giving the town a density of just 491.48 per square kilometers. Because of its relative large land area, Tuy’s population density is ranked 5th smallest among the municipalities of Batangas. Tuy is classified as a 3rd income class municipality and it is made up of 22 barrios or barangays.

Notes and references:
1 That, is, a municipality that generates an average annual income of from ₱25M to ₱35M.
2 A first income class Philippine municipality averages an annual income of at least 55M pesos.
3 A fifth income class Philippine municipality averages an annual income of 15M to 25M pesos.
4 A second income class Philippine municipality averages an annual income of 45M to 55M pesos.
5 A third income class Philippine municipality averages an annual income of from 35M to 45M pesos.
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