Who: Mr. Mrs, & Little Miss Wanderlust
Where: San Juan, Batangas
When: Mix of old and new pictures. Taken from 2012-2014
What: Visiting Mr. & Mrs. Wanderlust's Farm and quick side trip to the town
Want to learn more about the town? Click Read more!
San Juan has a long and colorful history that was handed down through generations mostly in oral tradition. It started as a small village that was part of Rosario, Batangas. Originally called "Bolbok" because of the bubbling spring located near the town, it became a separate municipality in 1843. Since then, the town has survived epidemics, natural disasters and occupation by foreign government. A written history of the municipality, including photographs and genealogy records, are available in the municipal library. Much of the town's past can still be observed today in the form of heritage houses and old structures, such as St. John Nepomucene Church.
Just 116 km away from Manila, depending on traffic, going there is a quick 3 - 4 hour drive.
For private vehicles:
From Manila, head to SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) to South Toll Road 3, to and exit at Ibaan/San Jose you don't want to pass by Lipa City to avoid traffic jam.
Turn left when you see a fork on the road
Turn left again at the corner where Ibaan Municipal Hall and Park stands
Turn right on the next corner (landmarks: after passing Queen Mary Hospital and Ibaan Central School)
After seeing San Juan Municipal Hall, turn right. this road takes you straight to Laiya Beach, now completely paved and concrete unlike a few years ago when it was rough road.
via Public Transport
From EDSA, Cubao or Araneta Center Bus terminal in Quezon City or Alabang, Muntinlupa, the best is via Alps the Bus as it has direct daily trip schedule to San Juan, Batangas (first trip at 3am, last trip at 530pm, 12 daily trips, Fare: PhP188.00). In San Juan, just near the town hall, take another jeep to Laiya/Barangay Hugom (first trip at 6am, last trip at 5pm. This is our suggested route.
There are also bus lines from manila, Quezon City or Pasay that takes you to Lucena City (JAC Liner, Lucena Lines, DLTB Co., Tritran etc) and request to get off in the town of Candelaria, Quezon (Chowking) right after Candelaria town proper. Go to the road intersection and ride a jeepney to San Juan Batangas.
In the municipality of San Juan, it is best to check and choose from different resorts and cottages and other accommodations within Laiya beach area. However this is a good 25-30 km away from town (15 minute drive). Or if you really want to insist in staying in the town, there are probably a few inns or hostels around (and we mean FEW since most accommodations are concentrated on the beach area).
For a more precise list of resorts in Laiya area, we recommend you to check out San Juan's government website.
San Juan is appealing to nature lover because it offers a wide variety of Eco-tourism activities all within close proximity to each other.
Whether you wish to hike, swim, observe and study the environment or simply relax in beautiful natural surroundings, San Juan has plenty to offer. Mountain, coast, river, rice fields and other ecosystems can all be appreciated.
1. Visit San Juan de Nepumuceno Church
One of the must-visit places in San Juan. The original church was located in Barangay Pinagbayanan. In 1890, it was moved to its present location at the Poblacion. In 1894, Father Celestino Yoldi, a Recollect, started constructing the church that still stands today It eventually became known as San Juan de Nepomuceno named after St. John Nepomucene, the town's Patron Saint. The church also sheltered the civilians during bombing and protected from the Japanese invaders in World War 2.
2. When someone offers you a glass of Lambanog, say yes!
If you’re visiting San Juan, it’s guaranteed that someone will offer you a glass of lambanog at least once. When that happens, don’t refuse. Since the 1900s, the locals have been producing lambanog - a traditional product of San Juan. Sap is taken from coconut trees and distilled to create a product that is 49% proof, 98% pure. Lambanog making is an industry in almost 10 barangays in San Juan. Roadside stalls sell a variety of concoctions and flavors. To watch the actual process, any of the lambanog distilleries can be observed and toured.
3. See / Climb Mt. Daguldol - Lobo
Adventure-seekers can mountain-hiked and breath fresh air at Mt. Daguldol-Lobo mountain range that lies along the south western part of San Juan and provide excellent possibilities for camping and hiking. A large variety of endemic plant species and birds can be found here.
4. Hike to Naambon Falls
The hike to Naambon falls is steep and rocky in several areas, but for most part is leisurely and invigorating even for those with not-so-advanced fitness level. Day trips can be made, approximately one and a half hours walk from Hugom Environmental Guides Association (HEGA) Headquarter. It has several look-out points with views of dense forest and Tayabas Bay. Naambon Falls offers a secluded, undisturbed series of falls and small pools where you can refresh yourself with cool and clean mountain water. Swimming is difficult as most of the pools are small and shallow.
5. Bird Watching
Bird watching is an exemplary Eco-tourism activity because it is non-invasive and benign in nature. The basic requirements are a pair of binoculars and a bird identification handbook. During bird watching, one must be patient and disciplined, and refrain from creating noise. As most birds are active before and during sunrise, and towards dusk, bird watching tours should be arranged during these time of day.
6. Explore the beaches of Laiya
The municipality of San Juan also boasts of the best beach that is just a few hours drive away from Manila. It boasts of its sand, seashells and nice calm beach of Tayabas bay. And since a few years ago when the roads were developed, a lot of resorts were also constructed meaning you have many choices of resort and accommodation and also different price range. If you want more information on resorts or accommodations available in Laiya, you can do a little research, or if you are lazy enough, you can CLICK HERE for see resorts in Laiya.
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