Lemery is a major municipality in Batangas. It is a commercial center for the eastern portion of western Batangas. The town lies next to and to the west of the heritage town of Taal; together they form a single urban area. The boundary runs along the Pansipit River; the river area was part of the sea until it was buried by tephra deposits from the 1755 eruption of Taal Volcano.
Lemery is largely a commercial center, with most shopping options found here. It also has more available accommodation than Taal, with a few sights around. Along with Taal, Lemery forms a minor metropolitan area, constituting the eastern commercial center for western Batangas (the others are Balayan and Nasugbu).
Lemery is thought to be named after the Spanish Governor-General José Lemery, but by folklore, is rather named after a legendary Roberto Lemery, a Spanish military captain who fell in love with the town's residents. The municipality used to be a part of nearby Taal until it was separated in 1861.
Lemery is a large municipality, including rural areas to the north, at the foot of Mount Batulao. Commercial activity is found in the Poblacion (downtown), which is divided into smaller barangays for administrative purposes, and approximately bordered by the Palanas and Pansipit rivers. Resorts and accommodations, as well as the bus stations and a new commercial district, are to the west of Poblacion. The rural area to the north houses Leisure Farms and Fantasy World.
The Taal-Lemery Bypass or Diversion Road runs along the hypoteneuse of an approximately right triangle whose short side goes through downtown Taal and long side through downtown Lemery. It is a developing area, with hotels and residential subdivisions. It also has a large new hospital; Lemery has others but Taal does not.
Getting to Lemery is easy, though for any mode of transport traffic jams in the suburbs of Manila or Batangas City often make the journey quite slow.
- DLTB (Terminal opposite Xentro Mall). Hourly departures from their Manila terminals.
- Jam (terminal opposite the Latter-day Saints church). Departs every 30 minutes from their Manila terminals. Buses take the STAR Tollway, exit at Lipa, and follow Lipa-Lemery Road (Route 433).
- Batman Starexpress (BSC). Has trips between Batangas City and Nasugbu via Lemery, with departures every hour.
Fares from Manila for either DLTB or Jam are at around ₱230 from Buendia or ₱250 from Cubao. Trips take about 3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
Jeepneys can also be used to reach Lemery or Taal from Batangas City, but service is infrequent and sometimes slow. Unless your budget is very tight, take the more comfortable bus instead.
For cars coming from Batangas City, Palico-Balayan-Batangas Road (Route 436) is the main route. It becomes Ilustre Avenue, the town's main street running between the Diversion Road and the boundary with Taal at Pansipit River.
Most travel within Lemery or Taal, and between the two, is by tricycle. Fares range from ₱10 up to around 100.
There are also jeepneys departing from near the Lemery market to Batangas City via Taal and to Nasugbo via Balayan. These are cheaper than the trikes for trips out to the suburbs, but not much use within Lemery.
- 1 Fantasy World, Km 78 Diokno Highway, Masayang. 300-hectare (740-acre) theme park, though incomplete and closed to the public. It has been once used in some local fantasy-themed television dramas in the 2000s. This is, however, a common stopover for picture-taking by tourists travelling from Tagaytay to Taal.
- 2 Casa Corazon Motorcycle Museum, National Highway, Sinisian (Near the boundary with Calaca). A private collection with many bikes and some classic cars. Lots of BMW machines including one from World War II with a machine gun mounted on the sidecar. The complex also includes a restaurant, hotel and some park areas.
- 3 Saint Roch Parish Church (Lemery Church). Lemery's main parish church, it dates back to 1887, and used to have a Neoclassical façade with two belfries. It was badly damaged by aerial bombing at the end of World War II in 1945, and the façade was replaced by a modernist one in 1968, with the belfries demolished.
- Sigpawan Festival -Celebrated during Easter Sunday, the festival's highlight is the Fluvial procession along coastal areas of the town. The festival showcases the rich culture and natural resources of Lemery, with booths displaying a variety of the town's agricultural products, native delicacies and its well-known sinaing na tulingan. Sigpaw is a small net with a handle that is used by fishermen to scoop fish and catch shrimps and small fry along the towns shorelines. Farmers also use it to pick fruits from trees.
- Leisure Farms, Diokno Highway, Payapa Ibaba (14-minute drive from Poblacion). The first hobby farming community and agro-tourism site in the Philippines.
- 1 Xentro Mall Lemery, National Highway, Malinis, ☏ . 10AM-9PM. First major mall in town. Has a Robinsons supermarket, and hotel beside it (see #Sleep).
- 2 SM Center Lemery, Ilustre Street (Beside Metro Lemery Medical Center), ☏ . 10AM-9PM. Quite a large mall. Has a SM Hypermarket, Watson's pharmacy and fast food chains.
- 3 Lemery Public Market, Lakandula Street. Crowded and noisy central market, selling cheap produce and dry goods.
- 4 Citimart, Diokno II Street. 6:30AM-10PM. Opens early and closes late. Cheaper buys than the major chains SM Hypermarket and Robinsons.
All the malls have restaurants, there are fast food places both in malls and along the main street, and cheap Filipino-style carinderia in various areas, especially near the market.
- 1 Gangnam Korean Restaurant, Ilustre Street, Malinis (Behind the Phoenix gas station). Mid-range Korean dining with BBQ grill.
There used to be a dine-in Indian restaurant in town. It has closed, but take out and delivery are still available. Food is good and prices reasonable.
- Jamocha Cafe & Bistro (next to Gangnam Korean Restaurant). Mostly Filipino food, decent quality and prices. Live music some nights.
There were few hotels in town a few years back, except perhaps for beach resorts, but the economic boom in Lemery resulted in increasing number of hotels spawning around. The town has become a major stopover for travellers to western Batangas. Hotels around Lemery are generally mid-range, whereas in Taal almost all available accommodation is expensive by local standards (₱2,000 and above).
- 1 Apollo Hotel, National Highway, Matingain. New mid-range drive-in hotel, with A/C rooms. ₱1,430.
- 2 Dreamwave Hotel Lemery, National Highway, Malinis (attached to Xentro Mall). A/C rooms with cable TV, gym and heated shower rooms. From ₱1,160.
Outside downtown, Casa Corazon has a hotel, as well as a motorcycle museum listed under #See.
There are a whole group of beach resorts somewhat north of town in the Purok area, turn left off the highway about a km beyond the bypass. The beach is black sand and underwater there is a gradual slope with few rocks and little seaweed.
- 3 Orlando's Beach Resort, ☏ . Free WiFi. Swimming pool.
There are several hospitals, including large ones across the street from Xentro Mall and out on the Taal-Lemery bypass road, and a few small ones along Illustre Street (Lemery's main drag).
- Metro Lemery Medical Center (MLMC), 2005 Palanas (next to (north of) the SM Mall), ☏ . This hospital is moderately large, quite modern, and seems well-run.
Lemery is the hub location for trips to western Batangas from the east. Car travellers who went to Tagaytay first will stop at Lemery before proceeding to the rest of western Batangas or to the south to Mabini or Batangas City.
Lemery has no interesting beaches, but several beach destinations are within about 50 km (30 miles). The best-known is Mabini to the south. North of town a highway runs along the bay to the towns of Calaca and Balayan, both of which have some beach resorts. There are also some resorts along this route only a few km from Lemery.
Next to Lemery is the heritage town of Taal, whose old downtown is designated a National Historical Landmark.
|Routes through Lemery|
|Tagaytay ← Nasugbu (via ) ←||N S||→ END|
|Balayan ← Calaca ←||W E||→ Taal → Batangas City|