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I had a cultural visit of Taal in Batangas one summer weekend. I was with my folks and an auntie who brought along her son. We were to rendezvous with other relatives in Tagaytay in the afternoon but the day seemed long at the site where the famous Taal Basilica of St. Martin de Tours stands.
An Exercise In Patient Attention
I was informed by local tour guide and former college professor, Art Mojica, that the place deserves patient attention. With timeless-
ness tucked in every street corner, the heritage town was anything but non-descript. The vintage character was certainly everywhere from the Marcella Agoncillo Ancetral House where I learned more about the seamstress behind the creation of the first and official Philippine flag to the clear waters of the Pansipit River that remains to be unspoiled by modern living. After all, it was by the side of the river where turtles, or tortuga in Spanish, were first witnessed by tourism advocate Lito Perez to be crawling out from, hence, the aptly called ancestral home Villa Tortuga. The bahay na bato was transformed years ago for adaptive reuse and is now a tourist destination for a colonial experience (turn-of-the-century-style dining and role costume play).
It was amazing to know from our tour guide that the whole town was originally founded in another area of the province -- far from the deceptive might of Taal Volcano. Where the town of San Nicholas is now was where Taal was before the deadly volcanic eruption in 1754.
A whole day's visit of Taal is worth the 3-hour travel from Metro Manila, but I'm looking forward to experiencing an overnight immersion as there are a lot of boutique hotels in the area for such an itinerary.
For the complete review of my Colonial Experience Tour, visit the blog, New Self.
H E L P F U L I N F O
For a tour experience of Taal, Batangas, contact Lito Perez.
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