At the center of the city is the two-hectare park: PLAZA MABINI, also known as the “People’s Park.” It was built in 1951 and was redesigned in 1964. The park was redeveloped in 2004 by the world-renowned urban planning firm; Palafox and Associates with its shoulder-pavement of interlocking bricks, stamped-concrete pathways, century-old acacia trees, Plaza Mabini is comparable to the parks found in Makati’s Central Business District. The park’s ground is mostly covered with carabao grass, Scarlet Beauty and 17 kinds of plants; Creeping Jennifer, White Angle, Spotted Caletea, Morning Drop and Silver Wall among others can also be found. The park’s Mediterranean landscape is bounded by the main streets of P. Burgos, P. Dandan, Lopez Jaena and M.H. Del Pilar. An open-air mini amphitheatre was constructed in the plaza where cultural programs and other shows/events are being held.
Through the Spaniard-imposed Laws of the Indies; wherein towns are centered on the plaza; the municipal hall, the church and the mansions of the illustrados can be found around Plaza Mabini. Indios were moved within the hearing distance of the bajo de la campana. A reminder of the urban planning popularized by the Spaniards.
Several ancestral housed can be found in the poblacion which include the Acosta Pastor and the Rosales-Borbon ancestral homes. These mansions are regularly being visited by prominent personalities/visitors from Manila.
Directly fronting the Plaza Mabini is the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception built from 1851-1857 with its facade and interior as a stunning model of early Renaissance architecture. On February 13, 1946, by a decree of the Holy Father, Pope Pious XII, the church was elevated to the “Basilica Minor” of the Infant Jesus and Immaculate Conception and was the first Basilica to be vested that honor and privilege in the Philippines and in the entire East Asia. Thru the efforts of the Sto. Niño Pastoral Foundation, a religious organization, the Batangas Church Museum was established in honor of the late Msgr. Clemente Yatco. Priceless religious relics and century-old books and statues can be found in the said museum.
Located along P. Burgos Street behind the City Library is the “Museo Puntong Batangan”. It was put up by the city government in December 2006.The museum is a well thought-out showcase of how Batangueños shaped their histories and lifestyles. A combination of modern and post-contemporary architectural designs, the museum has a total floor area of 415 square meters.
LAUREL PARK, another remarkable park in Batangas City, situated in the Provincial Capitol in Kumintang Ibaba is enhances by prominent colorful lights and state-of-the-art landscapes. It is now frequently visited by the local residents, specifically students, who use the park for their extra-curricular activities. Its main gate, situated along the national highway serves as the façade of the Capitol Complex.
Beside the main gate is the Provincial Tourism Office that provides useful information about the province. Its personnel maintain tourism data bank and they also serve as tourist guides as maybe necessary.
The Heroes Promenade is a shrine wherein the present generation of Batangueños can commune with their illustrious forebears. It is the place to commemorate and perpetuate the memory of great men and women of the province whose lives and labors provided a shining example of patriotic dedication.
The park also houses the sculptured works of the renowned artist; Eduardo Castrillo, which showcases Batangueño’s nobility, industriousness, bravery, wisdom and beauty. The provinces colorful past projects dynamism, innovativeness and progressive outlook of the Batangueños.
Adjacent to the fountain is the view deck where one can have a good peek of the dancing fountain. Underneath this deck is the music and control room. Below this area is the waterfall.
In front of the fountain are landscapes and concrete-tiled benches for the comfort and convenience of the people strolling at the park. The pavement and boardwalk are constructed with stamped concrete.
A series of trellis mark the entrance to the Provincial Capitol Building (circa 1926). The building is nestled at the easternmost part of the park. It was constructed in 1926 and was completed in 1928 under the term of the late Governor Modesto Castillo. During World War II, it was destroyed but was subsequently reconstructed in 1946. Destroyed by a bomb explosion in 1950, it was reconstructed in the same year under the administration of the late Governor Feliciano Leviste.
The marble terrace is made of granolithic marble accented by granite tiles. The province’s official seal is engraved at the center fronting the tall flagpole. The two original fountains were restored and now provide accents to the terrace.
The park provides a well-guarded and accessible vehicle parking areas. Other historical landmarks in the city include the Batangas National High School (Circa 1902), St. Bridget College (Circa 1912), Provincial Capitol (Circa1926) and the Batangas Regional Hospital (Circa 1928).
The city has several undeveloped beaches that have potentials to meet the leisure needs of the local folks and the prospective tourists. Mahabang Buhangin Beach in San Agustin Kanluran, Isla Verde is still undeveloped and can be reached in two hour travel by boat from Tabangao Aplaya which is considered an alternative destination for beach lovers.
Additionally, the slopes of Mt. Banoy and Matoco Point in Barangay Pagkilatan provide a panoramic view of the city and the Batangas Bay.