We’ve been always keen visiting historical places and a small town in Batangas is no exception. This was our All Soul’s Day – going back to what it used to be like during Hispanic colonial times.
First let me tell you that driving to Taal, Batangas is no easy way. We alone endured nearly a 2-hour drive even we’re already in Tanauan City. You’d be passing several municipalities and expect sudden changes of roads, wide to narrow and straight to down spiral. However with all these, the journey will be all worth it once you reach the town proper. We were greeted with cobbled-stone arch bearing the town’s name and store after store that sells local products like Balisong.
Taal is a quaint town, just like Liliw Laguna. It has skimpy road most of the time one-way, well preserved heritage houses that truly reflect what life has been during the Hispanic era and simply a perfect place to escape the bustling sound of Manila.
First stop was the Basilica de San Martin de Tours or simply known as Taal Basilica. Located in the heart of the town and in front of the municipal hall, the faded color and distressed walls are proof that this landmark withstand the test of time. To be honest, I had goosebumps upon entering the church. I never felt such majestic feeling while walking along the aisle and towards the altar. This Basilica is totally different compared to the one in Lipa, it has a joyous ceiling painting of Christ’s resurrection in blue and white and hard not to notice yellow walls that made the place so vibrant even with the electricity off. Of course you can’t hide the fact that it was a bit eerie, between the columns and walls of this church lies countless of gravestone of old distinguished prominent families that lived in the town like the Agoncillos.
We were set to see Escuela Pia and Agoncillo Ancestral House. However both were closed due to the holiday break, so we just head out and explored the plaza which they transformed to a tiangge then a few minutes after found our way to the whitewashed municipal hall. I think we need to revisit this captivating place soon and make sure we’ll do it on a regular day.