Lipa is the largest city in Batangas, and the economic and religious center of the province. It lies approximately in the middle of the province, surrounded by Malvar to the north, San Pablo and Alaminos (in Laguna), and San Antonio (in Quezon) to the east, Padre Garcia, San Jose and Ibaan to the south, and Cuenca, Mataasnakahoy, and Taal Lake to the west.
The articles covers Metro Lipa, a minor and unofficial metropolitan area, including nearby municipalities, while independent administratively, are closely dependent to the city. Locals generally speak of Lipa to include the metropolitan area composed of these municipalities.
- Lipa city proper
- Balete, to the northwest
- Mataasnakahoy, to the west
Lipa is a medium-size city, with a population of ovet 320,000, according to the 2015 Census. The city is undergoing fast urbanization; it has started to see its first high-rise buildings, and overtaken Batangas City in economic development.
Lipa is known for its Arabica coffee (kapeng barako), introduced by the Spaniards. Kapeng barako production once served an important source of income to locals, but it died out in favor of other agricultural products and commercial developments.
The town of Mataasnakahoy is practically a suburb of Lipa, just behind the Fernando Airbase, and is closer to the city in its growth. Balete does not have much growth as Mataasnakahoy, but can still be considered a suburb, connected by a 11-kilometer (6.8 mi) national road through the eastern slope of Taal Lake. Their local population rely on fishing and agriculture, and usually travel to Lipa to shop, study, and work.
The city is also known as the "Rome of the Philippines", being the country's answer to Vatican City with its historic cathedral, religious sites, and seminaries. Lipa is the center of Catholicism not only in Batangas (as the seat and namesake of a Roman Catholic archdiocese encompassing the whole province), but also the Philippines.
The original town center of Lipa lied in what is now Mataasnakahoy, in the slopes of Taal Lake. The old town center (Lumang Lipa) was destroyed by the 1755 eruption of Taal Volcano, and only a bit of it remains today. The current downtown became the new site of the town center after 1755. Under royal decree, the new Lipa was elevated into a city in 1887.
Lipa sustained heavy damage during World War II, and was almost destroyed by Japanese dive bombers. Lipa also caught international attention in 1948 after the supposed Mary Mediatrix apparition, which has not been been confirmed true by the Vatican.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The climate is tropical, heavily influenced by the monsoon. Daily temperatures can be as high as 29.6 °C (85.3 °F) or low as 21.6 °C (70.9 °F), and there is less variation in temperature. Precipitation is influenced by the monsoon, and the wet season is from May to December. The city has a very short dry season. Average annual rainfall is comparable to Manila.
Lipa is split into 72 barangays, including the 13 barangays in the Poblacion. Some barangays of interest are:
- Dagatan - The Malarayat Golf Course and County Club and Fiesta World Mall lies in this barangay. International schools are also concentrated around this area
- Marawoy - Here, you may find the City Hall and SM City Lipa.
- Mataas Na Lupa - This area has a growing nightlife and a gentrifying environment. Here you can find Robinsons Place Lipa, the Big Ben shopping center, and the city's top educational institution, De La Salle Lipa. You can also go into classy restaurants and cafés on the rise in the area.
Local orientation divide Lipa City proper into two parts, the Downtown and the Uptown. The "Downtown" included the Poblacion area, where Lipa Cathedral and the public market are found. The area along Ayala Highway (Jose P. Laurel Highway, or Route 4) is called "Uptown", a fastly gentrifying section of the city, composed of barangays Mataas na Lupa, Balintawak, and Marawoy. With developments of large malls, commercial space, and development of mid-range restaurants, bars and cafés (e.g. Starbucks, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Army Navy, Shakey's), the Uptown also houses Lipa's growing nightlife.
- SM City Lipa Grand Terminal (At SM City Lipa). Central terminal for buses headed for Lipa. Jeepneys and tricycles are available from the terminal.
Buses come from Manila and Batangas City, mainly via STAR Tollway or the older Jose P. Laurel Highway.
Jam has services departing from their Buendia (Pasay) or Cubao (Quezon City) terminals every 30 minutes; most head to Lemery. DLTB has hourly departures from Buendia and Cubao as well. Fares are at about ₱160-180 per head.
ALPS the Bus and ito regional bus line, JAPS, has frequent trips from Batangas City. Fare is at about ₱50
Lipa is well accessible from the tolled Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway). Those avoiding tolls may take the Jose P. Laurel Highway, but watch out for traffic jams, especially during school days.
From San Pablo, Laguna, the main route is the Lipa-Alaminos Road, which mostly takes you through coconut plantations, mountains and jungle. From Quezon Province, take the Batangas-Quezon Road (Route 435), then follow Lipa-Padre Garcia Road (Route 431), which becomes P. Torres Street as it approaches downtown. There is a bypass road being constructed from Route 435 in Padre Garcia to Lipa-Alaminos Road in Dagatan, providing a bypass to Route 431 and Lipa's downtown, but is not expected to open until around 2020 or 2021.
You can take the Batangas–Lipa jeepney route if coming from Batangas City or San Jose, with frequent service from Balagtas or San Jose Poblacion. Fares range from ₱12-42 depending on originating point.
- Balibago-Lipa City via Tanauan. Departs from Target Mall in Santa Rosa, with a stopover at Tanauan, and arrives at Robinsons Place Lipa's jeepney and van terminal. Fare is at around ₱96.
Lipa's old downtown, the Poblacion, is characterized by a rough grid of streets, characteristic of Spanish-era town centers. Many streets are narrow, more suited for pedestrian traffic than cars. With the exception of large shopping malls, the downtown hosts most local businesses and the public market, a staple of Philippine city/town centers. Car travel is inadvisable in the Poblacion, as parking is hard to find, and pedestrians practically cross everywhere. Most parts of the city can be reached by jeepney and tricycle.
The towns of Mataasnakahoy and Balete can be reached by jeepney. There is frequent service to Mataasnakahoy from the Robinsons mall, but services to Balete, from the terminal at Marawoy, are rather infrequent.
- Casa de Segunda Katigbak, 198 Rizal Street. The ancestral home of prominent Batangas family, the Casa is a typical "Bahay na Bato" (stone house). It is Spanish Colonial in style, yet tropical in ambiance. It was named after Segunda Katigbak, reputed to be the first love of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the Philippines' national hero. Casa segunda is declared by the National Historical Commission as a heritage house for having harbored generations of artists, poets and persons of learning and distinction.
- San Sebastian Cathedral, Morada Avenue. 19th century church, serving as the seat of the Archdiocese of Lipa.
- 1 Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Parish, Lipa-Padre Garcia Road, Antipolo del Norte, ☏ . Church and monastery complex, site of the 1947 Marian apparitions that was not approved by Vatican City.
- 2 Marian Orchard, Leviste Highway, Malabanan, Balete, ☏ . Serene Roman Catholic pilgrimage site in the middle of rainforest, most frequented every Holy Week as part of Visita Iglesia itineraries. There is a chapel, Stations of the Cross, Our Lady of Lourdes grotto, carillon bell, and rows of statues of various saints. Souvenirs and food are available near the chapel and carillon bell. ₱50 per head.
- Lipa City Festival (January 20) - Celebrates the city's founding anniversary.
- Coffee Festival (December 11-16) - Showcases the city's barako coffee industry.
- Fiesta World Mall, Lipa-Alaminos Road, Dagatan.
- Lipa Town Center, J.P. Laurel Highway, Tambo (Near STAR Tollway Tambo exit). Strip mall, with a few restaurants.
- 1 Lipa City Public Market, P. Torres Street, ☏ . Open 24 hours. The central marketplace in town, serving fresh produce, pasalubong and cheap goods for bargain hunters.
- Robinsons Place Lipa, Ayala Highway, Marawoy. 10AM-9PM. Three-storey mall, with a supermarket, department store, and Toys R' Us.
- 1 Lomi King, Jose P. Laurel Highway, Mataas na Lupa, ☏ . 9:30AM-8PM. Specializes in the local lomi recipe. Also serves pancit, all-day Filipino breakfast, rice meals, and sandwiches. From ₱95.
- 2 Lipa Grill, P. Torres Street (Near the Carmelite Monastery), ☏ . 9PM-10PM. Upscale dining, specializing in local recipes.
The city proudly serves its local drink: barako coffee; many local restaurants serve them in their menu.
If seeking a drink to spend the night, Ayala Highway (or the "Uptown") has numerous bars serving Lipa's growing nightlife and middle class.
- 1 Hotel La Corona, Ayala Highway, Marawoy (In front of SM City Batangas), ☏ . Hotel La Corona de Lipa is a party hotspot. It has 37 rooms, KTVs, function rooms, and a bar and restaurant. It's a 90-minute drive from Makati City.
- 2 Cintai-Coritos Garden, Balete, ☏ . A Bali-themed resort with multi-function pavilions, 18 villas, 4 pools, and roaming animals. It is less than an hour away from Manila. ₱4000.
- 3 Mount Malarayat Hotel and Suites, Alaminos-Lipa Road, Dagatan, ☏ . Within Mount Malarayat Golf & Country Club. It has furnished suites, a golfer's lounge, a spa, sports pavilions, a fishing lake, a ballroom, and restaurants of various cuisines. From ₱5500.
- 4 Hotel 1925, General Luna Street, Marawoy, ☏ . Colonial-themed hotel with Filipino and Italian restaurants nearby. Rooms have cable TV, WiFi, and safe, with spacious balconies added on upgraded rooms. ₱4500.
- 5 Hotel Cara, Ayala Highway, Balintawak (Near Lipa Medix Medical Center), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Has fast WiFi, free breakfast and laundry service. From ₱2000.
- 6 La Virginia Resort, Manggahan, Mataasnakahoy (About 8 km from Lipa Exit), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Choice of A/C or non A/C rooms of various themes and amenities, including simple cottages, modest A/C rooms, and the fully A/C Pagoda. Amenities and attractions restaurant, swimming pool, replica Buddha, themed cottages, hanging bridge and zipline. Resort also provides views of Taal Lake. Entrance fee of ₱300 for adults and ₱200 for children. From ₱2000.
- 7 Shercon Resort and Ecology Park, San Sebastian, Mataasnakahoy, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Giant resort complex with themed accommodations, forest park, function hall, and teambuilding facilities From ₱4000.
Lipa is rather safe compared to Manila, but it has a share of common urban problems. The downtown can be pretty unsafe: jaywalking is everywhere, traffic is slow, unlicensed tricycle drivers may scam you, and beggars are enough to irritate you. Illegal drugs are another problem, but you will rather find them in residential areas.
- San Pablo – City best known for its seven lakes
|Routes through Lipa|
|Tanauan ← Malvar ←||N S||→ San Jose → Batangas City|
|Manila ← Malvar ←||N S||→ Ibaan → Batangas City|
|Merges with ←||N S||→ Padre Garcia|
|END ←||E W||→ Cuenca → Taal|