Coordinates: 13°50′N 121°00′ECoordinates: 13°50′N 121°00′E
Area Total: 3,119.72 km2 (1,204.5 sq mi)
Independent cities: 0 - Component cities: 3 - Municipalities: 31 - Barangays:1,078
Batangas is a first class province of the Philippines located on the southwestern part of Luzon in the CALABARZON region. Its capital is Batangas City and it is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north and Quezon to the east. Across the Verde Island Passages to the south is the island of Mindoro and to the west lies the South China Sea.
Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Metro Manila. The province has many beaches and famous for excellent diving spots only a few hours away from Manila. Some of the more notable ones are Anilao in the Municipality of Mabini, Matabungkay in the Municipality of Lian, Punta Fuego in the Municipality of Nasugbu, the Municipality of Calatagan and Laiya in the Municipality of San Juan.
Found in the province is world-known Anilao (Mabini) and its many dive sites that are ideal for observing marine life, and outstanding for macro photography. Located only 110 kilometers south of Metropolitan Manila, it is very accessible by land or by sea.
Batangas is also where Taal Volcano, one of the Decade Volcanoes is located. The volcano has a water-filled crater and sits on an island in the center of Taal Lake, which geologists believe is an ancient caldera.
The town of Taal is famous for its hand embroideries, knives, and sausages; and it reigns as one of the two most culturally preserved sites of the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines.
Poetically, Batangas is often referred to by its ancient name Kumintang.
The Philippine Air Force Air Education and Training Command is located inside Fernando Air Base in Lipa City.
Batangas Bay is a semi-enclosed body of water located in the Philippines. The municipalities of Mabini, Bauan, San Pascual, Tingloy on Maribacan Island and Batangas City are located on the coast of the bay. The water surface area of the bay is about 220 km² (85 mi²), and the coastline has an approximately 470 kilometres (290 mi). The bay has a maximum depth near the entrance of 466 metres (510 yd), and includes a number of private and government ports.
The deepwater port at Batangas Bay is expected to become the nation’s second largest within a few years. The bay is lined with industrial plants ranging from oil refining to food processing to ship building. Many fishermen thrive around the area. The bay is also boasts of valuable environmental resources, such as coral reefs that attract thousands of tourists every year.
Isla Verde Passage (Verde Island Passage)
Isla Verde Passage (Verde Island Passage) is one of the busiest sea lanes in the Philippines. It is located between Batangas and Oriental Mindoro. Commercial and industrial ships pass through this passage to reach Manila from their port of origin in the south. They also use this sea lane to reach the southern part of the country from the Port of Manila.
Verde Island Passage is a popular domestic sea route connecting Batangas, Marinduque, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental and Romblon.
Diving in the area which has some of the best diving in the world with Verde Island is one of the best diving places in the Philippines due to its pristine clear waters and nice under water view. Daily trips for scuba divers are made from Puerto Galera.
The wreckage of a Spanish galleon that sunk in 1620 was found in the southern part of this passage. It was heavily salvaged in the late seventies and again in the early 80s. Nothing remains of the wreck except for a few shards of porcelain and some larger pieces of terracota jars. The keel was removed to Puerto Galera for conservation. The conservation was not properly carried out and the remaining timbers were left to rot at a depth of 6 meters in front of Sabang Beach.
Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity
A team of marine conservationist declared in 2006 that the Philippines is the Center of Marine Biodiversity in the world and Verde Island Passages as the "Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity".
Many threatened species which include sea turtles like hawksbills, olive ridleys, and green turtles; humphead wrasses, giant groupers and giant clams are present in the Verde Island Passage. However, there are no enforcement of ordinances and over-fishing is common. A short-lived 'park fee' scheme for the Verde Island drop-off dive site was soon dropped when it was discovered that the revenue was being used to buy better fishing gear and hence removing fish at a higher rate. Humphead wrasses are especially threatened and divers often go years without spotting a single individual. It was particularly noted the rare red fin wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubripinnis) thrives in Verde Island.
The area has more than 300 species of corals, which is considered one of the largest concentrations of corals in the country or even in the whole world. Coral health is generally good, though the effects of global warming and increased pollution, may still lead to drop in diversity. The Verde Island passage is located next to Batangas Bay which is rapidly becoming a major refining and petrol chemical center in the Philippines. Until now, no infrastructure is in place to contain a major oil, or chemical spill.
Editor for Asisbiz: Matthew Laird Acred
Please help us to improve these articles with any additional information or photo's, if you should encounter any broken links or display errors :-(