Taal Town: Revisited

Over the last few days it’s been so rainy, I regret wondering out loud a few weeks ago how come I hardly felt the monsoon season. I’m not up to date on current events so I’m not sure if there’s ever been a typhoon. All I remember is the non stop rains and our laundry piling up because we couldn’t get any decent few hours of sunshine (we’re traditional like that – we hang our clothes to dry in the yard). We were so looking forward to our overnight stay in Taal Town, and we were determined not to let the rain stop our plans.

Taal Town is located in the province of Batangas. The first time we visited Taal Town was in 2017. D consistently raves about the well-preserved heritage houses there, and true enough it was such a lovely place that it became a favorite south-bound destination for us and we managed to drive there every chance we got. It is famous for the following food: tapang taal (marinated pork), sinaing na tulingan (mackarel), tawilis (freshwater sardines found in the Taal Lake), adobo sa dilaw (pork cooked in soysauce and turmeric). Taal Town’s famous products are the balisong (butterfly knife, a folding pocket knife), and the barong Tagalog, an embroidered formal Filipino men’s shirt.

Being a heritage-rich place, Taal Town boasts of museums and other places of interest. Near the entrance to the town along the Batangas Provincila Road is the Americal colonial white house known as the Don Gregorio Agoncillo White House. During our first visit to Taal Town, we were fortunate to have had the chance to have a guided tour of this house and admire the wooden antique furniture.

About a minute’s drive away from the white house, one would not miss the St. Martin de Tours Basilica (also known as the Taal Basilica), a historical church with its Baroque facade and dome ceilings.

Taal
Taal Travels

We checked in at the Pardores Del Castillo, a Spanish-American colonial style house. We stayed here in 2017 as well, and not much has changed except for the new pool in the garden. For this trip I brought my bathing suit, but it was just too cold to go swimming because of the rain, so no pool for me. I like how the dining hall at the second floor remains the same way it did in 2017. Kudos to the dedication of the owners of this hotel, because they kept the place in shape despite the ashfall that impacted the town in January 2020, with the eruption of the Taal Volcano.

These days, only a handful of museums are open: Casa Recuerdos, where one can travel back in time and rent 1890s costumes and have their photo taken. Recuerdo means “memory” in Spanish, hence the name of the place.

Casa Recuerdos

Near the Paradores Del Castillo is the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps, with its 125 steps connecting to the Wells of Sta. Lucia and the Caysasay Church. In 2012, this church was granted by the Vatican a special privilege where devotees who visit and pray here are able to receive plenary indulgence.

It’s a bummer the rain stopped us from walking around the town to go to the Taal Public Market and the Taal Municipal Hall. When most of the museums open up (and definitely on a more sunny day) we’ll definitely head back here and make the most out of a day tour.

By MrsWayfarer

Living Free and Making a Difference

11 comments

  1. Definitely worth pushing through and getting away from home, despite precarious weather! The Taal Cathedral looks absolutely picturesque, and the place you stayed at is so spacious; looks like you had the place all to yourself! Filipino food is comforting, from what I’ve had, and that adobo sa dilaw sounds like my jam– despite already having dinner, I’m already hungry just thinking about that adobo! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rebecca. We sure did have the place all to ourselves, and it was a good decision to book and stay despite the rainy season because we’re up for another few weeks of restrictions starting now. Glad to know you have Filipino food faves. There’s always room for a bite or two 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a charming historic town. Am glad you managed to go despite the heavy rains – it’s been pouring here all week in Singapore as well!

    Sorry you missed the market – next getaway!

    Liked by 1 person

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