Taal, Batangas: A Cultural Heritage Paradise.

Beaches? Batangas has a lot to offer. Yes, the province of Batangas is one of the places that is always associated with beautiful beaches. No doubt about it but wait… There’s more than that. There’s a town in Batangas that is known for heritage houses like in Vigan, Ilocos Norte. Have you heard of Taal? No, not the lake; definitely not the volcano. Read through and get ready to discover this peaceful town yet overflowing with rich history and beauty. Indeed, a cultural heritage paradise.

Taal, Batangas, Philippines:

  • Oldest town of Batangas – Founded April 26, 1572
  • Largest Roman Catholic church in Asia – Taal Basilica covers a little less than half a hectare of ground area.
  • Richest in history – Reconized by the National Historical Institute (NHI) as “Heritage Village” through its resolition no. 2 on September 30, 1987.
  • Most famous in Barong embroideries – Taal is the Barong capital of the Philippines.

So, let’s go!

ANCESTRAL HOUSES/MUSEUMS:

Marcela Agoncillo Heritage House. This house was built around 1780 by Don Andres Marino, Marcela Agoncillo’s grandfather. Marcela Marino Agoncillo is the principal seamstress of the first and official flag of the Republic of the Philippines.

She was named as the “Mother of the Philippine Flag”

No entrance fee here donations are voluntary.

Don Leon Apacible House Don Leon Apacible is a successful lawyer and judge of the first instance of Batangas City. He was also a clandistine rebel in the 1890’s and even served as former Finance Officer of Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo.

The house and the furnishings are clean. Antique collections are well preserved. Free Admission here.

Kitchen wares during Spanish era

Galleria Taal is the first and only camera museum in the Philippines. (Click the link to know more).

Admission fee: P 100

Gregorio Agoncillo Mansion is what they call “A mansion of cultural history”

Admission fee: P 70

PRAISE AND WORSHIP PLACES

BASILICA DE SAN MARTIN DE TOURS is the largest and oldest church in the Philippines and the whole Asia. (Click the link for a detailed description).

Photo credit: Ms. Peachie Ciudadano

Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine A very simple and old church built in 1611 out of coral stones along the banks of Pansipit River.

Photo credit: Ms. Weng de Sagun

This chapel was erected to be the home of Virgin Mary whose image was caught in the fishnet of a religious fisherman named Juan Maningkad in 1603 at the said river.

Photo credit: Ms Weng de Sagun

At the back of the church is where the image of the Virgin Mary located.

Hagdan hagdan is actually 125 granite steps from Our Lady of Caysasay Church beside the pansipit river which leads up to the center of the town. It is now dedicated to the memory of San Lorenzo Ruiz.

Within the parameters of the shrine lies the Sta Lucia Twin Well. It is located underneath the arc with a bas-relief of the Virgin of Caysasay. The arc facade is made of coral stone and was erected upon the spot where the image was found in 1611.

Food Trip

Don Juan Boodle House Taal’s first serving boodle fight food. It offers 5 types of Boodle namely: Inihaw boodle, Military boodle, Southern Tagalog boodle, Ilocos boodle and Taal specialty boodle which is the best seller.

Food are spread on a long table with banana leaf. Boodle fight participants are encouraged to eat with bare hand to make it more enjoyable.

We enjoyed our meal. So, if you want to experience unique dining experience, try Don Juan boodle house. It is located near Taal Market.

I’ve been to Taal countless times since it’s Aris’ hometown but never thought I’d be writing a blog about it.

Travel tips and ideas:

  • Do not go on a Monday; museums are closed for maintenance.
  • Exploring by foot is just fine because most of the museums are located closely and besides, locals are very friendly.
  • For a minimal fee, climb up to the Basilica’s belfry to experience a breathtaking view of the town.
  • Don’t forget to drop by at Taal Market for souvenir items and pasalubong

I hope you enjoyed reading!

Thank you!

God bless!

Sally

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