Taal used to be the capital of Batangas. The town center was then located along the shore of Taal Lake. In 1754, Taal Volcano erupted and endangered the residents of the town. It was then transferred to its current location. Taal is famous for its old ancestral houses and historical churches.
The municipality of Taal is the home of Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours or more commonly known as Taal Basilica. It is considered to be the largest church in the Philippines and in Asia.
The enormous church left me in awe. I was staring at the grand architecture and impressive facade for quite a long while. The nave of the church was beautiful. The experience was truly overwhelming.
We left Tagaytay early that morning because were trying to catch the 9:00 AM Mass. We arrived a little late because we took the Talisay-Lemery route. During the Mass, I cannot help but stare at the church’s ceiling, altar, and organ. My eyes wandered everywhere! After the Mass, we went for a walk to check out the ancestral houses and museums.
Here are some of the photos we took while walking along the streets of Taal.
The Galleria Taal houses an impressive camera collection and photo gallery of the Barrion family.
Strolling along the streets of Taal and seeing the vintage structures literally felt like walking down the memory lane. Because of these reasons, the town of Taal was dubbed as the Little Vigan of the South.
We went inside the Villavicencio Wedding Gift House and took a few photos with my family. (Papa was so thrilled and kept asking the caretaker a lot of questions about the Villavicencios.)
We also stopped by the Villavicencio House where Ang Larawan (MMFF 2017 Best Picture) was filmed.
Taal is evidently overflowing with rich culture and history. The ancestral houses and museums are well-preserved. It’s just somewhat disappointing that most people tend to overlook the beauty of the town.
Overall, Taal has this peaceful vibe that makes me want to bike around on a slow Satuday afternoon. Although the streets are kind of busy with jeepneys, tricycles, vendors, and locals, the town gives off a sense of serenity.
After a lot of sightseeing and picture-taking, we were all tired and hungry. So, we went back to the plaza and looked for a carinderia. Then, we walked to where we parked and headed back to Tagaytay.
Our Lady of Caysaysay Shrine
Although we weren’t able to visit the shrine anymore, Taal also houses the statue of Our Lady of Caysaysay. The image, which depicts the Immaculate Conception, is believed to be one of the oldest in the country, having been found in 1603 by a man fishing in the Pansipit River. (Photo from Wikipedia)
Taal Heritage Town is a must-visit for history buffs like me and my Papa. Or in case you’re not a big fan of our country’s culture and heritage, I’m sure you’ll find something interesting while checking out the ancestral houses and the minor basilica. I am just so glad I get to see and visit places like this. It makes feel more connected to my roots. And to be with my family while exploring places makes me even more grateful. ♡