Long before the Spaniards came, large centers of population already thrived in Batangas. Native settlements lined the Pansipit River, a major waterway. Mr. Robert C. Fox, an American archaeologist, revealed that based on archaeological findings particularly in Calatagan peninsula, the province has been trading with the Chinese since Yuan Dynasty until first phase of Ming Dynasty in the 13th and 15th century. Inhabitants of the province were also trading with Japan and India. Historians believed that the present Batangueños were descendants of the Bornean datus, Datu Dumangsil and Datu Balensusa who sailed from Borneo to Panay Island as far as Taal Lake. They organized the first Malay settlement at the mouth of Taal River. They eventually set up their own settlement in the place and founded the town of Taal in 1572. The towns of Balayan, Lipa, and Batangas were founded later.
In 1570, Martin de Goiti
and Juan de Salcedo ,
two Spanish generals explored the coast of Batangas on their way to Manila and came upon a Malay sttlement at the mouth of Taal River. In 1572, the town of Taal was founded and its convent and stone church were constructed later.
Batangas was founded in 1581. Originally, it was composed of the present provinces of Batangas, Mindoro, Marinduque, Southeast of Laguna and even far Camarines. After several devastating eruptions of Taal Volcano,
the smallest volcano in the world, the old Taal town site was buried. The capital was eventually transferred to Batangas (now a city) in 1754 where it has remained to date.
The name "Batangas" was derived from the word "batang," which is a term of the natives for the numerous logs found in the Calumpang River, the body of water that runs through the northeastern portion of the town and assumes the shape of a tuning fork.
Batangas was also among the first of the eight Philippine provinces to revolt against Spain and also one of the provinces placed under Martial Law by Spanish Governor General Ramon Blanco on August 30, 1896.
During the Spanish-American War, many outstanding Batangueños made names in our history. Most notable of them are Apolinario Mabini, also known as the sublime paralytic and "Brains of the Revolution";
Marcela Agoncillo who made the present Philippine flag, and General Miguel Malvar
who was recognized as the last Filipino general to surrender to the Americans. For this, Batangas also came to be known as the "cradle of heroes and nationalists."
Batangas is the home of sages and the birthplace of the country´s notable nationalists. Historical places
have been the legacy of the old eras. Natural resources and picturesque views abound in the area. Numerous fine
beaches have been the sought-after -sites. And a few kilometers away from the shore will bring the more adventurous ones to diverse dive sites, from the ones fit for a novice (relatively shallow, constant water current), up to the ones for those who may call themselves experts.
The proximity of Batangas to Manila and the good quality of most of the main provincial roads are advantageous for the existing attractions and facilities of the province. The tourism industry has been regarded as a contributor to the economy of the province.
Batangas first came to be known as Bonbon. It was named after the mystical and fascinating Taal Lake, which was also originally called Bonbon. Some of the earliest settlements in Batangas were established at the vicinity of Taal Lake.
In 1534, Batangas became the first practically organized province in Luzon. Balayan
was the capital of the province for 135 years from 1597-1732. In 1732, it was moved to Taal, then the flourishing and most progressive town in the province.
Batangas was also one of the few provinces in the country which can boast of having a distinctive culture of its own. The song and dance repertoire called "kumintang" is of Batangas origin. Because of this, it came to be known as "La Provincia del Cumintang".