Santo Tomas is one of the highly developed towns in Batangas. Aside from the real estates and other commercial businesses like fast food chains, it is also home to a prominent industrial park. A mall is also in the works. The town lies at the foot of Mount Makiling and is a (more or less) two-hour drive from Manila, depending on the traffic condition. It shares borders with Calamba, Los Baños, and Alaminos in Laguna and Tanauan, Malvar and Lipa in Batangas.
The National Shrine of St. Padre Pio is one of the prominent structures in Santo Tomas. Santo Tomas has seen an increase in the number of visitors, most of them are pilgrims from not only nearby towns but also from other places including Metro Manila. It was named as one of the pilgrimage churches for the Centennial Jubilee. In September 2015, it was officially declared as a National Shrine, the first in Batangas and the CALABARZON region.
Indigenous materials, predominantly wood and bamboo, were used to build the main church. Other materials are stones, sawali, and nipa leaves. It’s an open structure devoid of walls save for the one at the altar area. Aside from the main church, there are other structures inside the complex such as the Chapel of Lights, Divine Mercy Sanctuary, Holy Water Sanctuary, Mary Mother of Mercy Belfry, Sanctuary of the Relics of St. Padre Pio, office, and souvenir shop.
Mass Schedule and Other Info
For those who want to attend mass here, the schedules are as follows:
- M-Sat – 7:00 AM / 10:00 AM / 12:00 NN / 2:00 PM / 5:00 PM
- Sunday – 5:30 AM / 7:00 AM / 8:30 AM / 10:30 AM / 12:00 NN / 2:00 PM / 4:00 PM / 6:00 PM
FIESTA: The feast day of St. Padre Pio is on September 23. You can participate during the festivities.
CHURCH WEDDING RATE: If you plan to have your wedding here, the rates are:
- Shrine Wedding: P3000
- Barrio Wedding: P4600
Note: The above rates are exclusive of miscellaneous fees. You may contact the office at these numbers: (043) 701-0018 and 0939 929 4476.
How to Get There
- From Manila, board a Lucena-bound bus at either DLTB or JAM Liner. Ask the conductor if the bus will pass by Santo Tomas before boarding. The fares are P115-120 from Buendia and P125-130 from Cubao.
- Tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at Barangay San Pedro.
- From there, ride a tricycle to the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio. The fare is P10. If you will make a special trip, the cost is P50.
Attractions Near the Church
- Swim! Choose from the many hot springs or private pools in Los Baños and Calamba.
- Go hiking in Mt. Makiling to see unique plants or to simply enjoy nature or just explore UP Los Baños and go on a food trip.
- Another option is to travel to San Pablo, Laguna to see the famous lakes.