DId you know?
Founded in 1572 by Spanish friars, Taal was situated close to the stretch of Pansipit River to Balayan Bay. However, in 1754, the small yet deadly Taal Volcano erupted. Taal was reduced to a rubble and had to be transferred to a much elevated land area a year after to which the town serenely rest up to this day.
History is Taal's Story
Being a heritage town, Taal is proud of its various historical landmarks. The moment you step in the streets of Taal, the past eras will definitely come flashing right before your eyes. With the aesthetically-preserved museums and world-class places of worship, Taal is indeed a walk through, a chapter of the town's story... the Philippine's history.
Fast Facts: Taal 101
Home of Many Names - Taal is historically situated in the 1st District of the Province of Batangas (Region IV-A). It is often called as "The Heritage Town", the "Grand Lady of Batangas", the "Balisong and Barong Capital of the Philippines". But for a true Taaleño, the name is simply "Taal".
Location - Northwestern part of the province of Batangas, which is approximately 131 kilometres from Manila (via Tagaytay City). Taal rests along the Pansipit River - the main outlet of Taal Lake to Balayan Bay.
Demographic Data - Taal has recorded its first census in 1905 with a total population of 17,525. In 2007, Taal's population gradually increased at 2.33% with a data of 41,352 residents and 7,961 households. The last recorded census was in 2012, with a population of 51,300.
Calendar of Events
When to #visiTAAL (#bisiTAAL)?
Taal celebrates a number of cultural events to commemorate the rich roots of the town. The next time you plan your quick getaways, try to visit Taal during these times:
March - Pilgrimage Month
April - Taal Foundation Day/El Pasubat Festival
November 11 - Feast of St. Martin of Tours
December 8-9 - Taal town Fiesta and Fluvial Parade of Our Lady of Caysasay
What are the places to visit in Taal?
Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine
Located at the end of the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps is Barangay Labac, the sitio that is home to the Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine. Built in 1611 out of coral stones along the banks of Pansipit River, this chapel was erected to be the home of the Virgin Mary whose image was caught in the fishnet of a religious fisherman named Juan Maningkad in 1603 at the said river.
The shrine has become then the provisional place of the image as it has been reported that the image of the Virgin of Caysasay has mysteriously and continually disappeared and reappeared in the chosen haven. Since then, the image of the Virgin Mary has been adored and thought of as miraculous for granting impossible petitions to those who seek help.
Sta. Lucia Twin Well
Within the perimeters of the shrine lies also the Sta. Lucia Well. It is located underneath the arch with a bas-relief of the Virgin of Caysasay. The arch's facade is made of coral stone and was erected upon the spot where the image was found in 1611. From an underground source springs the well's miraculous healing water that is sought by both pilgrims and tourist.
Basilica of St. Martin de Tours
Originally built in San Nicolas (Old Taal) town in 1975, the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours was destroyed in the 1754 eruption of Taal Volcano.
Stucturally, the Basilica was designed by the famed Spanish architect, Don Luciano Oliver. The original ceiling was painted by Giovanni Dibella, one of the two renowned Italian artists responsible for the ceiling of San Agustin Church in Manila. Hailed as one of the town's jewels, it stands 95 metres long and 45 metres wide on a plateau in the heart of Taal.
The Basilica of St. Martin De Tours allows tourist to experience a picturesque panoramic view of the town that overlooks the Balayan Bay, by climbing the church's belfry.
This museum is the ancestral home of the late Don Leon Apacible, a successful lawyer and Judge of the Court of First Instance of Batangas City. He was also a clandestine rebel in the 1890s and even served as former President Emilio Aguinaldo's Finance Officer.
This home which he used to share with sister Matilde Apacible, stands like a beacon on the main street of the town.
Marcela Agoncillo House
Who could ever forget the great Marcela Agoncillo? Marcela Mariño Agoncillo is a popular name in the Philippine history as the principal seamstress of the first and official flag of the Republic of the Philippines. The duty gained her the title "Mother of the Philippine Flag".
Marcela married a well-known lawyer of the town, Don Felipe Agoncillo and bore him 6 children.
Casa Villavicencio and Wedding Gift House
The house was called as "Casa Regalo de Boda" in 1870. Today, its restoration and maintenance is under the care of Martin Tinio, Jr.
In 1920, Governor General E.B. Harrison appointed Don Antonio Delas Alas as the Chief of the Executive Bureau; shortly thereafter he became also the Secretary of Justice (upon the resignation of Sec. Placido Mapa).
Among his achievements included being an elected assembly man; speaker of the House of Representatives; appointed Secretary of Public Works and Communications by General Theodore Roosevelt; and appointed Secretary of Finance by Governor General Frank Murphy.
This hall, named after the exemplary leadership of Don Antonio Delas Alas, became an outward sign of his true greatness: a proud son of Taal.
Other places to visit
Gen. Ananias Diokno House
Bazar De Taal
Villa Tortuga (Bed and Breakfast)
A house for Colonial Period Costume.
Taaleña's Antique Shop
Galleria Taal (Camera Museum)
A hundred collection of 18th century camera in a museum.
Casa De La Vega
San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps
Don Juan BBQ Restaurant
Casa Punzalan (Small Heritage Hotel)
Municipal Hall (Casa Real)
Casa Conchita (Bed and Breakfast)
Escuela Pia (Taal Cultural Center)
Ylagan De La Rosa Residence
Gregorio Agoncillo House
A mansion of rich cultural history.
Libingan ng mga Kastila
Paradores Del Castillo Hotel (Bed and Breakfast)
Casa Herencia "Family Villa" (Bed and Breakfast)
Doña Corazon V. Agoncillo Cultural and Sports Center
Feliza Taverna YCafe
Best Pasalubong and Souvenir Items
With the influence of the Spanish culture, this local pocket pie will definitely leave a mark on one's palate. Each pie contains a mixture of meat and vegetables and is either baked or fried.
There have been a number of towns all over the country claiming that they have the best sausages in town. Taal does the same! This unique delicacy has chopped pork wrapped in sausage casing is marinated to perfection using special Taaleño ingredients.
Using homegrown peanuts, the panutsa is the peanut brittle of Taal. Unlike other town's take of the sweet delicacy, the panutsa's sugar mixture has a thicker consistency and a darker color.
Taal's suman is perhaps the most popular pasalubong. This delicious rice cake that is known for its being sweet and sticky is wrapped in banana leaves for easy quick bites.
The Barong Tagalog evolved from the "baro", which is the shirt worn by the male Filipinos prior to Spanish era. Being the Barong Tagalog Capital of the Philippines, Taal is most famous for these classic, sheer and lightweight tops worn by gentlemen.
The art of Balisong making in the Philippines came around in 1905 which was originally designed as a deadly weapon by a man named Perfecto De Leon. The word "balisong" means "broken horn", with bali means "to break" and sung means "horn".
How do you like your tapas? Of course, the Taal way! Thinly-sliced pork meat marinated in soy sauce, garlic, pepper and other secret spices give this dish a perfect combination of a sweet and salty taste. This all-day breakfast viand is a must-try for all the first-timers in Taal!
Sinaing na Tulingan
This exceptional cooking of tuna will have any visitor in awe once tasted. Thriving at the Balayan Bay, this tasty treat has the fish broiled for hours using the traditional palayok and pugon.
Also found in Taal lake, the freshwater sardines can be enjoyed either steamed or fried. It is one of the most sought fish in this side of Batangas.
The maliputo alone is worth the trip to Taal. Another fish found in the lake of Taal, Taaleños boast of this rare specie for being the freshest, most tender and sweet tasting fish on the planet!
Chicken Adobo sa Dilaw
One must never forget to get a hold of this one-of-a-kind treat. This is not your typical adobo: the meat is sauteed in turmeric (luyang dilaw) and vinegar, thus giving the very distinctive taste.
For more information
Landline: (043) 706-3368
Telefax: (043) 408-0577
Facebook Page: TaalTurismo
Official hash tag: #visiTAAL #bisiTAAL
How to get there?
Approximate Travel Time: 2 Hours
Via Private Transportation
1. From Manila, take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and take Lipa Exit.
2. After the Exit, turn left at the National Highway towards Taal/Lemery/Cuenca.
3. Continue driving along the National Highway and follow the signage leading to Lemery/Taal.
4. At the crossroads where Flying V Gas Station is located, use the left fork that leads to the town of Taal. You are on the right track when you see the Welcome Arc of Taal.
5. Driving on, you will see the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours to your right, and the Municipal Tourism Office to your left.
Via Public Tansportation
1. Take a bus (JAM Liner) headed to Lemery, Batangas at Cubao or Buendia, Pasay Bus Terminal.
2. Tell the bus driver or conductor to drop you off at Flying V Gasoline Station where Jeepneys bound for Taal, Batangas pass by.
3. Take jeep to reach Taal, Batangas or you can walk (in our case, we just walked)
4. Get off at the Taal Basilica.
Actual expenses during our historical tour:
Jam Liner Bus (Cubao) to Flying V Gasoline Station - Php 143.00/pax
Jeepney to SM Lipa - Php 50.00/pax
Jam Liner Bus (SM Lipa) to Cubao - Php 132.00/pax
Lomi Special = Php 40.00
Mountain Dew Softdrink - Php 13.00
French Fries - Php 15.00
Halo-Halo - Php 20.00
Galleria Taal - Php 100.00/pax (Adult)
Take Note: Student with ID - Php 50.00
Casa Villavicencio - Php 80.00/pax
The Wedding Gift House - Php 80.00/pax
Taal Basilica Belfry View Deck - Php 50.00/pax
Cellphone Charging (I just gave Php 20.00)
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