Day 4: Luzon Tour (Batangas)

The bus terminal from San Fernando, Pampanga to Manila is located at the back of Robinson’s at San Fernando, Pampanga but a lot of people wait along the road instead of going to the terminal. This is what we did and we waited in front of SM Mall, San Fernando, Pampanga for the bus. It took us almost an hour to get a seat.

8:20-10am – San Fernando, Pampanga to Caloocan Terminal
(ordinary aircon bus, P87.00)

Upon arrival in Monumento, Caloocan City terminal, we took the Metro Railway Transit 3(MRT3) to Gil Puyat Station to get to the JACLiner Bus Company terminal for our trip to Batangas. The bus terminal is just right below the MRT Gil Puyat Station. There were several eateries located at the mezzanine floor of the bus terminal and it was accessible thru a service stair located at the terminal’s left side. The food price was cheap and it was quite good.

For those who are unfamiliar with the MRT stations here is the chronological order from Monumento to Gil Puyat:
Monumento-5tth Ave.-R. Papa-Abad Santos-Blumentritt-Tayuman-Bambang-Doroteo Jose-Carriedo-Central Station-UN (United Nations)-Pedro Gil-Quirino-Vito Cruz-Gil Puyat

The Batangas bus we had was the King Long bus of Ceres bus (a sister company of Jacliner bus).

11:30am-2pm-Jacliner terminal Gil Puyat station to Batangas City Port
Port. Fare: P166.50

Somebody told us that rental vans in Batangas City could only be found inside the Batangas port. So, we decided to get there for the van and were quite surprised for the with rental van rates. Nevertheless, we hired the van for P3,500 to get us around Batangas and afterwards, he would take us to Calamba.

Places we visited:
Batangas Provincial Capitol – the seat of government of Batangas Province.We were hoping to see the famous governor, Ate Vi (Vilma Santos) but we were told she was busy somewhere.

Basilica Taal de San Martin de Tours – biggest Catholic basilica church in the Far East. Another must-visit church in the Philippines. Not only is it imposing and commands a good view of the entire municipality of Taal as it sits on a hill, the paintings on its walls and ceilings are just beautiful and amazing. The surrounding area of the church is also a veritable historical place with Spanish-time houses and structures still in active use.

Basilica Lipa or San Sebastian Cathedral – the façade was newly repaired and renovated but the interior of the church still retained its old charm. Again, there are beautifully impressive wall and ceiling paintings inside the church. This is another must-see place.

We were supposed to visit the Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City but when we reached it, its gates were already closed as it closes down at 6pm. We headed to Calamba, Laguna where we would spend the night at Star Andrea Hotel along National Highway, Calamba City.

At past 7:15pm, before heading to our hotel, we stopped by Leslie’s Restaurant for dinner.

Check-in time at the hotel is 8:30pm and lights out at 10:30pm.

Star Andrea Hotel’s room rate for family room is P1,500.00 per night with additional P150.00 for extra bedding. It was cheap but the bedsprings creaked and groaned. Bedsheets and towels were clean, the bathroom needed cleaning though.

Our rental van’s driver is good but when you are in Batangas City, try not to get your rental vans from the pier as the van drivers/operators are forced to charge more. Read more about it here.

Contact numbers:
Jacliner Bus Company: 09173002716, 09173055603 (cellphone number)
Rental van for hire: 09219617839-Tonton Landocho


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