Office workers in the capital left their buildings but no damage was apparent after the quake struck at about noon.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the earthquake’s epicentre was about three miles southwest of Batangas province’s Lian town at a depth of 107 miles.
The US Geological Survey pegged the magnitude at 6.2.
Although the tremor was widely felt, no damage is expected and a tsunami warning has not been issued. Aftershocks are expected.
“We don’t expect that this will trigger the movement of other faults,” Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said.
He also said the quake had no connection to “The Big One”, the feared high-magnitude earthquake that could be generated by the West Valley Fault.
The Philippines is on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and experiences frequent earthquakes.