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Road Trips | Taal, Batangas: The Heritage Town

Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal)
Last year, I've been to Vigan City in Ilocos Sur and visited for the first time the Heritage Village, one of the popular tourist destinations up north. I went to Vigan to see the vintage houses in the Heritage Village not knowing that in my home province, we have our very own Heritage Town: Taal.

Taal: The Heritage Town
Taal is one of the 34 (3 cities included) towns in the province of Batangas, a 3rd class municipality belonging to the first district of the province. It was declared a heritage site; that is, a portion of this town or the Poblacion area was declared a heritage site (as seen on the marker) by the National Historical Institute.  I'm searching for the date when this town was declared a heritage town but so far, I can't find one (google failed this time..hehe!).

Taal arch marker
Taal is known for its balisong (fan knife) and Barong Tagalog and was declared as the balisong and Barong Tagalog capital of the Philippines. Several weeks ago however, I've read from a Yahoo post that burdang Taal (Taal's embroidery, an embroidered cloth used for making Barong Tagalog) is now a dying craft. I just hope that it's not true; that the local government do something about it; that they do try to preserve this embroidery industry which shows the Filipino craftsmanship; that it continues to be passed on from generations to generations. I hope!

Aside from this craft, Taal is also known for some famous Taalenos like Marcela Agoncillo, the maker of the first Philippine flag that was raised during the proclamation of Philippine Independence in 1898. Further, Taal is where the biggest church (read it on the net) in the Philippines is located, the Basilica de San Martin de Tours or more popularly known as Taal Basilica.

Basilica de San Martin de Tours was first built in 1575 in the present-day San Nicolas which is used to be part of Taal. Destroyed in 1754 because of the volcano eruption, it was then built in the present site in 1755. However, it was again destroyed by an earthquake in 1849 and was again built in 1856 by Architect Luciano Oliver. (source: church marker)

As I wrote in my previous post, we were not able to attend mass in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church so we continue our road trip here in Taal. We arrived in the Taal Basilica at exactly 5:00PM, just in time for the afternoon mass which is the only scheduled Sunday afternoon mass that time. At the sight of the church's interior, I was amazed at how big this church is. It's really huge, its columns as wide as a human's arms spread sideways, maybe around 2 meters. The mass is about to start so I wasn't able to take some photos of it.  And because it was a Sunday, a lot of people were there to attend the mass.  I saw some tourists too, local tourists that is, based on their looks and the the cameras hanging on their neck.

After the mass, I again tried taking some pictures of the church's interior but I wasn't able to.  The church's interior is quite dark, my photos were blurry. We were also supposed to go up the church's bell tower as we saw some people there, I guess watching the sunset but it was already late.  We need to leave for Manila in a hurry because we're not familiar with the route we're supposed to take that time, the Lemery-Tagaytay route. Guided by my cellphone map again, we left Taal and the province of Batangas in a rush but with happy hearts.  We were not able to roam around the Poblacion area and see more of the heritage town but at least, we were able to attend the mass as planned. Plus we're able to spend some time out of town, not in the mall we're we usually go and spend time on weekends. Happiness, isn't it? :)

And this is the end of our road trip in Batangas, a tiring but fun adventure that starts with our bulalo food trip in Sto. Tomas followed by our visit to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City and ended here in Basilica de San Martin de Tours in Taal. This is Batangas, the home of ala eh, my home province. :)

Basilica of Saint Martin de Tours (another shot)
Taal Park, fronting the Taal Basilica
one of the old houses near the entrance to the town proper, just after the arch marker (photo above)

~oo00oo~
Date of Visit: March 11, 2012

45 comments:

  1. WOW! Thanks for this post! I would never know that there's a heritage site in Batangas. Ang sarap puntahan!

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    1. Hi Joann! Same here, di ko rin alam na declared as heritage site pala ang Taal, buti na lang tumuloy kami dun para magsimba, kung san-san pa ko nakakarating, meron pala sa malapit. hehe...

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  2. Ganda talagang kodakan ng mga lumang building like churches... yong texture and color, ibang klase...Mag-aaya ka naman hehe Asan na balisong? Nag-uwi ka ba?

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    1. Sinabi mo, maganda talaga mga lumang building, pero para kodakan lang ha...hehe. Gaya nga ng sabi ko kay Sey, nakikisakay lang ako sa ngayon, pag may sarili na ko sasakyan, ayain ko kayo ni Sey. :)

      Meron ako balisong kaya pag di ka nanlibre, lagot! hahaha..jowk lang po. :D

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  3. Alam mo nakapunta ako sa Batangas January 2011, pero di ko alam na may heritage site sila..hehehe..Thanks for sharing at least now alam ko. Ganda ng mga shots mo at ang angle is perfect.

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    1. Thank you Mhie pero alang sinabi photos ko sa photos mo, amateur, erase-erase, trying hard lang ako, hehe. Salamat sa pagdaan ulit. :)

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  4. hhmn... another Batangas church listed on my targets... salamat sayo Tourism Secretary of Batangas :P

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    1. naku po, walang ganyanan, delikado yan, baka ala na pumunta ng Batangas pag ganyan. :)

      Punta na ng Taal, tas daan ka ng Tagaytay at mag-food trip na rin kayo dun...hehe.

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  5. Gusto ko talaga style ng blogging mo Glen. Binubusog mo kaming readers mo ng iyong mga wagas na mga litrato plus may history pa at ang iyong experiences, kompletos rekados.. san kapa? Ikaw na ang pangalawa sa best travel blogger ko hehe, una kasi si Ms C. ;)

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    1. Ngek, ala ako sa kalingkingan ng mga travel bloggers, di pa ako pwede maki-level sa kanila, masaya na akong makapagbahagi at makasulat kahit pano, ang dami ko pang kakainin bago marating level nila Ms. C. :)

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    2. take that as a compliment ;)

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  6. tpw uwi na kme dyan :) at dahil don, nagrevise na ko ng blogroll ko, at linagay na kita sa travel blogs, naks, lumi-level kina chyng reyes et al, kaw na ang certified travel blogger :)

    kakatuwa naman tong docu mo, complete with well researched facts and photos, see you soon!!

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    1. Hi McRich! Maligayang pagbabalik (ilang araw na lang), siguradong maging happy si Caleb nyan, kasama nya na kayo, magkakaron pa sya ng bagong kalaro. :)

      Ibalik mo na lang blog ko sa regular blogroll mo, marami pa ko kakainin at kelangang travel para marating level nila chyng, nagpi-feeling lang ako dito..hehe. At wagas ka naman maka-docu, naku po, unting info lang yan, maka-well researched ka nman, hehe.

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    2. sori cannot be, enjoy lang ang moment :)

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    3. Haha, sige na nga po, sabi mo eh, maraming salamat. ;)

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  7. Amazing how they built the beautiful churches..:))

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    1. Hi Sherene! long time no hear...hehe. thanks for visiting. :)

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  8. your photos describe it all, beautiful church and inspiring history. tara na byahe tayo :)

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    1. Thank you Leah. :) Tara na, byahe tayo! :D

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  9. yes!! dot com na cya..hehe congrats TPW..

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    1. hahaha, salamat GB, dot com ka na rin...hehe!

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  10. Indeed a heritage town... The church and the school are very classic and the last photo is very similar to the Syquia Mansion in Vigan. Matagal ko nang pangarap ang church na yan :)

    Naiinggit ako sa mga photos ng ibang mga travel bloggers kasama ka na dun :)

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    1. File na ng leave Edmar, byahe na...hehe.

      Alang dapat ikainggit, gaganda kaya ng mga photos mo, very informative pa mga posts, panalo. :)

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  11. Isama mo naman ako sa sunod na road trip mo. Kahit saan pa yan sasama ako. Ang ganda talaga ng mga heritage towns. Kaya gusto kong marating ang Vigan dahil jan.

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    1. Hi Sey! Pag may sarili na kong sasakyan sure, road trip tayo, ngayon kase eh nakikisakay pa lang ako. Pero may gusto kong gala na ala pang kasama, pm kita sa fb. ;) Salamat sa pagdalaw dito. 

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  12. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures and your style in blogging...such a good read:)

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    1. Hi ST! Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment here, I'll visit your blog later. See you around... :)

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  13. Wow! I would love to see Taal Basilica! Thanks for the bonggang facts and info!

    Natawa naman ako, meron din pa palang hindi alam si google! :)

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    1. Haha, wagas ang comment mo, bonggang facts & info eh unting info lang ang nandito. Kulang ang data ni google di ko makita date ng declaration of Taal as heritage town, pero baka lang din ala akong tyaga, ang dami kase binigay na result ni google eh...hehe.

      Thanks for visiting here again, see you around. :)

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  14. I love church photos! Ang ganda lang tingnan! :) you have a nice blog~ <3

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    1. Hi WS! Saw your blog and you have lots of entries/wanderings there, kainggit..hehe! Anyway, thank you for visiting and commenting here, see you around. :)

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  15. Ang ganda - I first saw this sa kris TV ata and theres more pala. At yung embroidery industry sana mapasyalan ko bago mahuli ang lahat :) Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Christeen, ganda talaga ng Taal at ng church, actually medyo tanaw ang Taal lake from the church, sayang lang at di na kami nakaakyat pa. Pasyal ka na din sa Taal... :)

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  16. Replies
    1. I've read something about biggest church in the east, pero medyo confusing kaya di ko na na-mention, pero biggest church in southeast asia ata ang Taal. :)

      Thanks for visiting and following Ken, see you around. :)

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  17. ikinasal dito sa Basilica ang isang kaibigan. dahil alipin ako ng trabaho hindi ako nakapunta. sayang.

    Taal ka mismo?

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    1. wag magpaka-alipin kabayan, gumala-gala ka din pag minsan, sarap ng nagala eh. :)

      Yaong nag-pyesta noong a-tres, ayon ang aking sagot. ;)

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  18. Hi fellow Taaleña! Let's keep promoting our beautiful town, hehe! Thanks also for checking out my post about Taal.
    Good day to you! :D

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    1. Hehe, am from Batangas but not in Taal. Anyway, thank you for dropping by. See you around... :)

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  19. For more information about Taal Batangas, I would like to share our site thebestoftaalbatangas.com para sa sususnod na pasyal nyo matikman naman yugn Tapang Taal :)

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    1. Hi kabayan Dexter, I already checked your site and left a comment there. Thanks for visiting here, see you around. :)

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    2. Thanks for your visit and comment :)

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  20. Barong tagalog capital din pala sya. Akala ko balisong lang kasi dami ko nakikita sa daan nagtitinda ng balisong.

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  21. Thanks for sharing about Taal!

    For more on Taal, Batangas check out: www.taal.ph

    Also be sure to check out the fun December Fiesta Week 2012 in Taal!

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