Santo Tomas, Philippines

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Santo Tomas, Philippines

Region: Batangas

Geographic Coordinates: 14.083300, 121.183000
Temperature Range: 23.0°C to 32.0°C (73°F to 90°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with wet and dry seasons.
Population: 218500
Language: Tagalog

Santo Tomas is a municipality in Batangas, Philippines. It’s located at the base of Mount Makiling and is about 66 kilometers south of Manila. The town was established in 1603 and has grown into one of the most progressive municipalities in the area. The town has several historical landmarks that reflect its Spanish colonial past, Such as Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, Which was built in 1611. The church features baroque-style architecture and houses many religious artifacts that are centuries old.

Aside from its cultural heritage, Santo Tomas also boasts natural wonders that attract tourists from all over the world. Mount Makiling offers various trails leading to stunning views of Laguna de Bay, Taal Lake, And even Manila Bay on clear days. Villa Tortuga Resort & Hotel is another popular attraction with an Olympic-sized swimming pool with slides as well as basketball courts, Tennis courts, Mini-golf courses, And more. Santo Tomas also has a thriving economy due to its strategic location along major highways connecting Manila to other parts of Luzon Island.

Several industrial parks are located within or near the municipality providing thousands of jobs for locals. The people living in Santo Tomas are known for their warm hospitality towards visitors making it easy for tourists to feel welcome during their stay here. They celebrate numerous festivals throughout the year showcasing their rich culture including Araw ng Sto.Tomas (Sto.Tomas Day), Which commemorates their patron saint’s feast day every September 22nd. Santo Tomas offers visitors a unique blend of cultural heritage combined with natural beauty making it a must-visit destination when traveling around Batangas or Luzon Island.

With its warm and welcoming people, It’s no wonder why Santo Tomas is one of the most popular destinations in the region.’

Important Landmarks

  • Santo Tomas is a municipality situated in the Batangas province of the Philippines.
  • It is home to several famous landmarks and tourist attractions, including:
    • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Church
    • Padre Pio Shrine
    • Malipunyo Mountain Range
    • Taal Lake
    • Marian Orchard
    • San Juan Nepomuceno Church Ruins
    • Masasa Beach
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Church is a beautiful church that serves as a spiritual center for both locals and visitors alike.
  • Padre Pio Shrine is a pilgrimage site dedicated to Saint Padre Pio known for his miraculous healing powers.
  • Malipunyo Mountain Range is an ideal destination for hikers and nature lovers who want to experience breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Taal Lake offers various water activities such as boat rides and fishing on an enormous freshwater lake.
  • Marian Orchard provides visitors with peace and tranquility with its serene garden filled with fruit trees, flowers, and religious statues.
  • San Juan Nepomuceno Church Ruins are historical ruins dating back to the Spanish colonial period that serve as reminders of Santo Tomas’ rich cultural heritage.
  • Masasa Beach located in Tingloy Island near Santo Tomas offers stunning scenic views of the sea where tourists can enjoy swimming or snorkeling or simply lounging on the white sand beach.
  • Overall Santo Tomas provides an excellent destination for those seeking spiritual enlightenment or outdoor adventure amidst natural beauty while experiencing Philippine culture at its finest!

  • Primary Industries

    1. Manufacturing – Santo Tomas has a thriving manufacturing industry with companies such as Monde Nissin, Nestle, and San Miguel having factories in the area.
    2. Agriculture – The town is known for its fertile soil and abundant water supply making it ideal for farming. Major crops include rice, corn, sugarcane, and vegetables.
    3. Retail – There are several shopping malls and retail establishments in Santo Tomas including SM City Lipa and Robinsons Place Lipa.
    4. Construction – With the growing population of Santo Tomas comes a demand for new homes, buildings, and infrastructure projects which have led to an increase in construction businesses.
    5. Service sector – The service sector is also growing with many banks, hotels & resorts like Lima Park Hotel offering their services to residents and tourists alike.
    6. Healthcare- The town has several hospitals like St Martin de Porres Hospital providing healthcare services to the residents of Santo Tomas as well as neighboring towns.
    7. Education- Several schools like De La Salle Lipa have campuses in Santo Tomas providing education opportunities for students from kindergarten through college level courses.

    Noteable History

    1. Santo Tomas Internment Camp was a Japanese internment camp during World War II, where thousands of American and Filipino civilians were held captive.
    2. General Miguel Malvar was a revolutionary leader during the Philippine-American War, born in Santo Tomas in 1865.
    3. Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, visited Santo Tomas several times during his travels throughout the country.
    4. President Manuel Quezon, the second president of the Philippines, spent much of his childhood in nearby Tayabas (now Quezon) Province which included Santo Tomas at that time although he was born in Baler, Aurora.
    5. Heneral Luna (Antonio Luna), a general during the Philippine-American War and one of the most notable figures in Philippine history had family roots from Batangas province where Santo Tomas is located.
    6. Don Juan de Salcedo led expeditions throughout Luzon and other parts of the Philippines during colonial times; it is said that he passed through or stayed briefly in what is now known as Santo Tomas.
    7. Bishop Alfredo Verzosa played an important role as Lipa Diocese’s first bishop (which includes Santo Tomas), promoting Catholic education and social justice issues from 1950 to 1973.
    8. Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., an opposition leader against former president Ferdinand Marcos’ regime who was assassinated upon returning to Manila from exile on August 21st,1983 at Manila International Airport now named after him; his ancestral home is located within Barangay San Roque ,Santo Thomas Batangas’.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Santo Tomas Museum and Library showcases the rich history and culture of Santo Tomas, including artifacts from the Spanish colonial period.
    2. St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Church is a beautiful church with a rich history dating back to the Spanish colonial era.
    3. Mount Makiling Forest Reserve is a popular hiking destination that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
    4. The National Arts Center, located in Mount Makiling, showcases Filipino arts and culture through various exhibits and performances.
    5. Villa Escudero Plantations & Resort is a historical plantation turned resort that features traditional Filipino cuisine, cultural shows, and activities like bamboo rafting along a river.
    6. Rizal Shrine Calamba Laguna is the birthplace of national hero Jose Rizal; this monument includes a museum dedicated to his life and works.
    7. San Juan Bautista Church (Calamba) is another historical church built during the Spanish colonial era known for its beautiful architecture.
    8. Marian Orchard is a peaceful garden sanctuary home to various fruit trees, flowers, shrines, statues, and other religious symbols perfect for reflection or meditation.

    Cultural Events

    1. Feast of Santo Tomas de Villanueva is celebrated every September 22, in honor of the town’s patron saint.
    2. Paskuhan sa Santo Tomas takes place during December, featuring colorful parades, street dances, and other festive activities to celebrate Christmas.
    3. Kawayan Festival is held annually in February to showcase the town’s bamboo industry through various competitions and exhibits.
    4. Bataan Day is observed every April 9 to commemorate the historic Battle of Bataan during World War II and honor the brave soldiers who fought for freedom.
    5. Sinukwan Festival highlights the rich heritage and traditions of Central Luzon region through music, dance, and food as a cultural event.
    6. Flores de Mayo is a religious festival celebrated in May where locals offer flowers to Mother Mary as a sign of devotion and gratitude.
    7. Araw ng Santo Tomas takes place on March 7 as an annual celebration commemorating the town’s foundation day with various cultural activities such as parades and fireworks displays.
    8. Holy Week Observance lasts for a week-long religious event commemorating Jesus Christ’s passion and death through processions, reenactments, and other solemn rituals observed by devotees from all over the Philippines.


    1. Bulalo at Mang Inasal – a Filipino soup dish made with beef shanks and bone marrow served at Mang Inasal, a popular fast-food chain in the Philippines.
    2. Sisig at Kainan sa Dalampasigan – a dish made from chopped pig’s head and liver seasoned with calamansi juice, onions, and chili peppers served at Kainan sa Dalampasigan.
    3. Lechon Manok at Andok’s – roasted chicken marinated in spices served at Andok’s, another popular fast-food chain in the Philippines.
    4. Adobo sa Gata at Balay Dako – a Filipino dish made with chicken or pork cooked in coconut milk and spices served at Balay Dako restaurant.
    5. Sinigang na Baboy sa Sampaloc at Gerry’s Grill – a sour soup dish made with pork ribs and tamarind broth served at Gerry’s Grill restaurant.
    6. Pancit Batil Patung at Jomar’s Panciteria – a noodle dish topped with meat sauce, vegetables, egg slices, chicharon (pork cracklings), and carabao cheese served at Jomar’s Panciteria.
    7. Halo-halo sa Razon’s – a dessert consisting of shaved ice mixed with evaporated milk, sweet beans, fruits, jelly cubes topped with leche flan (caramel custard) served only by Razon’s Restaurant chain originated from Pampanga but has branches nationwide including Santo Tomas branch located near Sto.Tomas Public Market.

    Parks and Recreation

    1. Santo Tomas Public Park is a popular park located in the town center. It features a playground, jogging path, and basketball court.
    2. San Vicente Mountain Resort is a mountain resort that offers swimming pools, zipline rides, and hiking trails.
    3. Rizal Park is another public park with a playground and basketball court.
    4. Villa de Oro Resort is a resort that has swimming pools, slides, and other water activities for guests to enjoy.
    5. Barangay Malvar Sports Complex is a sports complex that offers facilities for basketball, volleyball, tennis, and other sports.
    6. La Mesa Eco Park is an eco-park located in nearby Quezon City that provides hiking trails, fishing ponds, picnic areas and more for visitors to explore.
    7. Mount Makiling National Park is situated near Santo Tomas which offers various outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, bird watching etc for nature enthusiasts to enjoy.
    8. Laguna Lake- A large lake located near Santo Tomas which provides opportunities for boating, fishing or just enjoying the beautiful scenery around it.


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