28 October 2012

The Heritage Town of Taal: Galleria Taal's Collections

Galleria Taal is one of the places that a traveler should visit once they step foot in this quaint town of Taal, Batangas. Let me enumerate why:

1. Galleria Taal is an ancestral house. Built during the Spanish era and has endured a lot. If only the house could speak and tell us its rich history, it would give a tale of what it has seen and experienced.
2. A collection of historically-relative photographs that will transport you to the time of the past.
3. Lastly, a vast collection of vintage cameras that dates back to the late 1800s up to the new ones of the present time period. And some are still working. Really impressive.

Located along the main street of Taal which is the Agoncillo St., I recommend walking in this town as the other points of interest such as the Taal Basilica and the other museums are just a few minutes away from each other on foot. While walking, you can slowly take in the surroundings and let your mind do some imagining.

Entrance fee is P50. That already includes a guided tour explaining the historical wealth of this house. 
The walls are adorned in many Philippine antiquarian photographs that not only shows  the faces of the original owners of the house but also bits and pieces of our country's history and also how certain famous landmarks looked like back in the days of yore. 
A group of young students were present (we were here on a Sunday) and I guess, they were here for a school assignment. For us, it was the same objective as well as a leisurely stroll for learning. 
The Binondo Church circa 1890. Regally beautiful! 
The guide told us this girl in the photo was a beauty queen. I said, "Whaaaat????" She was "healthy"-looking! Then I said to my friends I should have been born during that era, haha! With enough gumption, I could have been one! Haha! 
The execution of Jose Rizal. An original copy that was given by the actual photographer. This is basically, the closest we can get to the real thing.  It gave me goosebumps when I peered into this. 
A helioscopic lantern (Magic Lantern Projector) circa 1880. According to collectorsweekly.comMagic lanterns, also known as optical lanterns, provided one of the most popular forms of entertainment during their heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries, establishing many of the first 2-D special effects. 

More of the camera collections! Awesome! And all are in good condition!
Now this one is a limited edition..Nikon FA Gold 1984! 24-karat gold plating with high-quality lizard leather covering. Sells for a couple thousand of dollars now. Only 2,000 units were made. Now this is pretty prestigious. 
More, more & more!  A treasure trove for camera enthusiasts who wants to see the different early forms of their  beloved gadgets. 
There it is: Old historical pictures, antique cameras all placed in an ancestral house. That's a 3 in 1 treat! 
High school friends! 
Done with the tour! Happy to have seen what Galleria Taal has in store for its visitors. =)

Exhibited are the photo collections of:
  • John Silva
  • John Tewell
  • George Bonasay
  • Sonny Camarillo
And the vintage camera collections of Manny Inumerable

Mr. Manny Inumerable who was the brains behind the Galleria Taal. And that is his  camera collection. Such dedication! (Photo grabbed from http://taalgalleria.com )
Open everyday from 10am to 6pm
Ilagan-Barrion House
Calle Marcela Agoncillo, Taal, Batangas

Check out my Taal, Batangas tour: 

13 October 2012

The Heritage Town of Taal: The Taal Basilica (Basilica de San Martin de Tours)

Taal, Batangas. A place that I have watched only from the telly every now and then. A heritage town that is "The Balisong and Barong Tagalog Capital of the Philippines". A quaint town of friendly people and also a quiet town that boasts of many ancestral houses kept in its well-maintained present conditions, houses that has witnessed history from a time so long ago.

This was sort of a spur-of-the-moment trip, decided & finalized a few days only before the actual trip date. A trip with high school friends that we have really looked forward to so we can have a quick getaway from our usual coffee nights.

Our original plan was to commute but ditched that for a much better choice: a rental van. We got a rental van for only P4,500. The trip officially started at 5:00am when my friends were picked up by our transportation in Bocaue & Marilao, Bulacan and me in Quezon City. We knew this was a long trip, around 3hrs, and were thankful that we were comfortable.

Upon reaching the town of Taal, I felt a change together with the change in scenery. It was like entering a different era, but it was a most welcoming feeling, a very pleasant one. We immediately started with the first place in our itinerary: the Taal Basilica.

Here are our photos:
The heritage town of Taal, Batangas: the Balisong and Barong Tagalog Capital of the Philippines. Per Wikipedia, the famous healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez also hails from this quiet town. 
There it is, the Taal Basilica or otherwise known as the Basilica de San Martin de Tours. This is a postcard-perfect angle!  A sight to behold! From this distance, the church does not seem to look like Asia's largest Catholic church but it is. 
Of course, definitely did not pass up the chance to have my picture taken from this vantage point. I loved this! 
There's the proof  for recognition. Asia's biggest Catholic church. Located in the Philippines. This bit of new trivia and revelation made me very proud of that fact. 
A brief history of the church. A big volcanic eruption of the Taal Volcano during 1754 destroyed the entire town of Taal and the original church structure that was why they decided to build the new church in its present location now, perched high on a hill. 
Spectacular ceiling art. 

The beautiful and artistic high ceilings gave the big church a bright demeanor to its otherwise stark facade depicting its old age. The altar is simple yet grand in it own unique way. Silver and gold are the main colors that stood out from its place
A special place for Mama Mary near the front entrance. 
Entrance to the convent museum. An adequate space that houses some historically significant items from the church's yesteryears. 
This was really fascinating. A piece of history staring back at you while you peer into the era that was. Just read those rules in those words and spelling! Its basically the same rules but done in an old-fashioned way. Those were the days. 
Some of those antiquities that survived the test of time. Despite their rustic appearance, respect is expected from everyone. Be careful. These cannot be replaced. 
The convent museum was well-kept and visitors are welcome to drop in and have a look-see.
I like this Cross. 
A throne. My throne..even for just a minute. 
Very lifelike. Its eyes are very expressive. I admire the handiwork of the craftsman of this particular wooden statue. I wonder how it looked like back in its glory days..
I got scared by this statue in the left. It was so old and faded and it seems to be deep in prayer, maybe asking for something. 

The bells. Considered one of the largest in the country. Too bad I did not get it whole in this photo, it was just there at the side. I just got the smaller bell in full.
We came here on a Sunday and there was a mass going on when we arrived. We actually came back late afternoon so we can bask in the quiet ambiance of the big old church.
The Taal Basilica stands 96 meters tall and 45 meters wide. It's very majestic, right?
Down the stairs going to the plaza, you will see this usual Sunday sight consisting of  local vendors offering their wares to the churchgoers. 
My friends bought kakanin. I'm not fond of this so I opted out and instead took their souvenir shot  while haggling =)
We came, we saw and we definitely conquered. For first-time visitors, do not forget to pray and ask for 3 wishes..they say it shall be granted. I'm still waiting for mine to be given =)

Travellers Journey Travel and Tours
Look for Mary Ann or Rolando del Rosario

Check out my Taal, Batangas tour: 

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