A Glimpse of History
San Juan was just a small village formerly called Bolbok (Nabulbok). Gradually, the village grew in population as well as in economic activities and soon became town headed by gobernadorcillo or municipal mayor. The first gobernadorcillo was Don Camilo Perez whose administration was marked with many accomplishments in public works and maintenance of peace and order. In 1869, frequent floods became a harrowing threat to life and property, the original site being in a seaside barrio of Pinagbayanan, was transferred to a new site. This consists of a sizeable area belonging to the nearby barrios of Calit-calit, Maraykit and Lipahan. Several gobernadorcillos partook one after the other in manning the government of San Juan. During the Spanish regime, ilustrados shared their cooperation with Spanish priest founders, so that in 1884, the town parish church was inaugurated. By virtue of a municipal resolution duly approved by the Philippine Legislature, the name Bolbok was changed in 1920’s and formerly adopted the name San Juan in honor of the patron Saint San Juan de Nepomuceno by which it has been known up to the present time.
The Municipality of San Juan, formerly a village of the town of Rosario, was officially recognized a separate Municipality in 1848. Considered as the second largest municipality in the Province of Batangas, it has a total land area of 27,340 hectares predominantly devoted to Agriculture. By virtue of Department of Finance Memorandum No. 01-M (35) dated January 31, 2006 it has been reclassified from a second class to first class Municipality effective July of 2005. It has 42 barangays under its general supervision with a total population of 90,294 based on the latest NEDA Census of 2008.
Strategically located in the southernmost part of the Province of Batangas, the Municipality of San Juan can be considered as the south-eastern gateway of the Province of Batangas as it connects with Daang Maharlika of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highway, the main land transport route of the country extending up north to Metro Manila and down South to the Mindanao Islands. It is approximately 43 kilometers east of Batangas City, the provincial capital, and about the same distance southwest of Lucena City, the capitol of Quezon province, and about 120 kilometers south of Metro Manila. Southern boundary is the Verde island passage, a sea lane for inter-island travel that facilitate interaction between Batangas, Quezon, Mindoro and Marinduque. This makes the municipality a jump-off point from mainland Luzon to the island provinces of Mindoro and Marinduque. On the western side are the forestal mountains and the hills that serve as boundaries with the municipalities of Lobo and Rosario.
The location of the municipality at the southern tip, with the picturesque view of long white sandy beaches, coves and marine life cradled at the foot of mountains and hills makes the area suitable for all levels of tourism development. In consideration of this natural resource, the Laiya area and its surrounding environs on the southern tip of the municipality has been identified as one of the tourism development sector in the Tourism Master Plan for Batangas/Taal/Tagaytay area. Identified for the government of the Philippines through the Department of Tourism by the World Tourism Organization acting as the executive agency for the United Nations Development Program. Being bounded by Tayabas Bay on the east, the municipality has access to one of the fishing grounds of the region. The shorelines of the eastern barangays bordering on the said bay are rich inland fishponds, swamps and marshes which are haven of fishes and other foods. These also make the municipality a fishbowl on these parts of Batangas and Quezon province. Only two and a half hour drive from Manila, a forested mountainous inland looks out over a 33 kilometers coastline of black and white sand beaches and diverse marine life.