Taal is located in the northwestern part of Batangas approximately 131 kilometers from Manila. It is known as “The Balisong and Barong Capital of the Philippines”. The town was founded in 1572 by the Spanish Friars and is the oldest town of Batangas.
Being a heritage town, Taal is well-known for its various historical landmarks. On September 30, 1987, the poblacion district has been named as a historical landmark by National Historical Institute thru its Resolution No. 2.
Where to go in Taal?
There are more than hundred ancestral houses and historical landmarks within the heritage town. Here’s a short list of notable places to visit which are open to the public:
Basilica of St. Martin De Tours: The biggest Catholic Church in Asia which was originally built in 1575. It was declared as a National Shrine on January 16, 1974.
Marcella Agoncillo Mansion: The house of the great principal seamstress of the first and official flag of the Republic of the Philippines.
Don Leon Apacible House: The ancestral home turned museum of the late Don Leon Apacible, Finance Officer of former President Emilio Aguinaldo.
Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine: Built in 1611 out of coral stones, the church is home to the image of Virgin Mary which was caught by a religious fisherman in 1603. The said image has been reported to be mysteriously appearing and disappearing in the chosen haven.
Sta. Lucia Twin Well: The spot where the image of the Virgin Mary was once found in 1611. From an underground source springs the well’s said to be miraculous healing water that is sought by tourists and pilgrims.
Villa Tortuga: The house of colonial period costumes.
Galleria Taal: The museum houses a hundred collection of 18th century camera.
Casa Villavicencio and Wedding Gift House: The grand ancestral house belonged to Taal’s two prominent personalities – Eulalio and Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio. The home served as a refuge of battle soldiers and also became a secret meeting place of revolutionary leaders.
When To Visit Taal?
Taal celebrates a number of cultural events. Try to visit the heritage town during these events:
March: Pilgrimage month
April: Taal Foundation Day / EL PASUBAT Festival
November 11: Feast of St. Martin de Tours
December 8 & 9: Taal town fiesta and Fluvial Parade of Our Lady of Caysasay
How to get to Taal?
From Manila, travel time to Taal is approximately 2 hours. You can get there through the following directions:
By Public Transportation: There are buses in Cubao and Buendia bound to Lemery, Batangas that pass by Taal. Ask the driver to drop you to Flying V Gas Station in Taal, the jump-off heading to the heritage town. From the gas station there are jeepneys going to the poblacion district or the heritage town.
By Private Car: From Manila, take South Luzon Expressway and take Lipa Exit. After exit, turn left at the National Highway towards Cuenca and Alitagtag. Continue driving along the National Highway and follow the signage leading to Lemery/Taal. At the crossroads where Flying Gas Station is located, use the left fork that leads to the heritage town.
*Upon arriving at the heritage town, you may opt to visit the tourism office if you need assistance. The tourism desk of Taal is located just beside the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours. You may also like get in touch with them prior to visiting through the following:
Landline: (043) 7063368 ; E-mail: email@example.com ; FB Page: TaalTurismo
Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For this particular trip, TheTravelad would like to thank Taal Tourism headed by Ma’am Elizabeth Quinto for the guided tour around the heritage town. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org