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 =)

For VAN RENTAL or PACKAGE TOUR inquiries:
Travellers Journey Travel and Tours
Look for Mary Ann or Rolando del Rosario
0917-5221540
0920-9672406
0922-8066167

Check out my Taal, Batangas tour: 


26 comments:

  1. I love checking out historical places. It's a welcome break from hitting the city malls. I can imagine myself inside that church. It's almost like being transported to a different realm.

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    1. Hi Pepper, come visit this place. Once you enter the town of Taal, you will instantly feel the change. Its a walk along memory lane =)

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  2. Such a wonderful church. The very same church where my brother and his wife got married this May :)

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  3. Certainly colossal! I gotta see it with my own eyes. Someday...

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    1. Hi, it certainly is! Really lives up to its title of the largest Catholic church in Asia =)

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  4. I've only seen the Taal Basilica in postcards! It's just as amazing in non-edited photos! I wish I could visit one of these days too. It looks utterly beautiful :)

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  5. I love churches because of their architecture and there's just so much history about them.

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    1. Hi Lourdes, I do too! I love going to churches. The older the better! =)

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  6. I've never been to this area, but this tugs at my heart a bit ;( Scenes like these make me miss my hometown so much! Great photos btw :)

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  7. I visited Taal lake but not the church, it seems that we missed something.

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  8. Wow I want to see the church next time I go to Taal. :)

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  9. I love visiting old places and churches! I love antiques and anything with great history! I should do a trip soon. The last one I had was last year!

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    1. Hi Ruth! Go on a trip before the year ends..you deserve a break every now and then and since you love old stuff..this is definitely in that alley. And the whole town is so vibrant with history. Lotsa museums here and ancestral houses =)

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  10. I've never been to Batangas but I gotta say it does look pleasant. And the cathedral is just wow.

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  11. Wonderful photos! It's been years since we last visited this place; it's nice to see them again here. :)

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  12. That's a nice place! Never been there, though. But would love to. ;)

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  13. Ohhh! the taal basilica is sooo gorgeous! great photos

    http://carmiscaprice.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you! Yep, the church is indeed gorgeous! =)

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  14. Some beautiful photos here, renting a van was a great idea, when travelling alot I always try to get a car lease.

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    1. Hi Johnny! Yep, renting a van is indeed a great idea. We were comfortable the whole day. And the rent is pretty much affordable =)

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  15. Thanks for sharing. Now I know where to go when we visit Taal.

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

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  16. oh so you really need a van to get around the town, alright. and it's advisable to start from manila at 5am. got it. and sunday is a fine day to schedule it.

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    1. Hi! Karl, right? =) You can actually go around on foot on some places which are centrally located in this quaint town. but for some, you can get there through tricycle. and starting early is good so that you can have more time to explore. I admit, we lacked more time in this particular trip. hehe =)

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