Santo Tomas lies just south of Batangas's boundary with Laguna, and is a major road junction, serving the Maharlika Highway (Route 1 and Asian Highway 26) and Jose P. Laurel Highway (Route 4). The town takes its name from its patron saint, St. Thomas Aquinas, also the patron saint of Catholic schools. Santo Tomas is also the hometown of the Filipino general Miguel Malvar, who led the soldiers of the Tagalog Republic during the Philippine–American War, and also the last general to surrender to the Americans.
Santo Tomas forms part of the vast sprawl which ends at Lipa. It became a city in 2019, after a successful local plebiscite. Santo Tomas's economy is largely based on manufacturing, agriculture and real estate development. Suburbanization have resulted in most agricultural land becoming part of the sprawl.
- From Manila/Calamba: Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit at Santo Tomas. Alternatively, take the older and congested Maharlika Highway/National (Route 1).
- From Lipa/Batangas City: Take the STAR Tollway and exit at Santo Tomas. Alternatively, you can exit at Tanauan or avoid the toll altogether and take the older Jose P. Laurel Highway (Route 4)
- From San Pablo/Lucena/Bicol: Follow the Maharlika Highway (Route 1/AH26)
The town is served by jeepneys in major thoughfares , and tricycles in all other nooks and crannies not served by jeepneys. Car travel is advisable, especially when visiting the Padre Pio Shrine, but prepare for traffic jams in feast days.
- 1 General Miguel Malvar Shrine, Malvar Street (Near the Municipal Hall). Houses a statue and a museum on Miguel Malvar, Filipino general of the Tagalog Republic during the Philippine-American War.
Churches and religious sitesEdit
- 2 National Shrine of St. Padre Pio (Padre Pio Shrine), Gov. Antonio Carpio Avenue, San Pedro (About 2 kilometers away from Maharlika Highway). A Roman Catholic shrine and parish devoted to St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, with buildings built to local styles. Originally a small chapel along Maharlika Highway, it is now a large complex frequented by devotees around Batangas and surrounding provinces, as well as Metro Manila.
- 3 Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish, General Malvar Street. There is little known about the church's early history, but it dates back to around the 17th century, when Santo Tomas town center is established. The old church was destroyed by American artillery bombardment during World War II in 1945, and is replaced by a modernist church building and belfry. There is a memorial to the 15 Holy Spirit Sisters, mostly Germans, who died.
- Microtel Inn & Suites, First Philippine Industrial Park, Sto. Tomas, ☏ , fax: . A/C rooms equipped with cable TV and radio clock. The inn has a swimming pool, meeting room and Wifi connection.
|Routes through Santo Tomas|
|Manila ← Calamba ←||N S||→ Continues as|
|Splits into and ← Calamba ←||N S||→ Alaminos → San Pablo|
|Continues north as ←||N S||→ Tanauan → Batangas City|
|Merges with ←||N S||→ Lipa → Tanauan|