Taal Heritage and Gastronomic One Day Tour (using client's car, minimum of 5 people)
** Rates are per head, for a minimum of 5 people.
** Rates will go down to 1500 for a minimum of 10 people.
Basilica of St. Martin de Tours
The Basilica of St. Martin of Tours stands 95 meters long and 45 meters wide on a plateau in the heart of Taal. The façade resembles St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Its tabernacle is made of silver, the only one of its kind in the Philippines. It was declared as a national shrine on January 16, 1974.
Originally built in an area that is now San Nicolas town in 1575, the basilica was destroyed in the 1754 eruption of Taal volcano. It was built in its present location in 1755 by the Augustinian missionaries and was damaged anew in an 1849 earthquake. Rebuilt from 1856 to 1865 during the time of the parish priest Fray Marcos Anton, it was designed by the Spanish architect Luciano Oliver. It stands majestically today once reputed as the oldest and biggest church in the Orient.
Our Lady of Caysasay Church, Miraculous Well of Sta Lucia, 125 Granite Steps of San Lorenzo Ruiz
Our Lady of Caysasay Church
The Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay is built out of coral stones and is located in Barangay Labac along the banks of Pansipit River. The legend goes: The Virgin’s image was caught in the fishnet of a religious man named Juan Maningkad in 1603 at the Pansipit River. It has mysteriously and continually disappeared and re-appeared in its chosen haven, so a provisional chapel was erected in 1611 near the spot where it was found. Henceforth, the image was called the Virgin of Caysasay. The image has since been adored and thought of as miraculous for granting impossible petitions to those who seek her help.
Miraculous Well of Sta Lucia
This spring-fed well where two women saw the reflection of the Virgin of Caysasay, is now known as the Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia. The spot where the well which reflected the image once stood is marked by a coral stone arch with a bas relief image of the Virgin on its façade. Locals believe that the spring water has miraculous healing and therapeutic powers.
125 Granite Steps of San Lorenzo Ruiz
Hagdan-hagdan is actually 125 granite steps from the Caysasay Church beside the Pansipit river which leads up to the center of town. Originally, the steps were made of adobe stone, but these were later replaced with granite or batong song-song in the year 1850 by Fr. Celestino Mayordomo. It is now dedicated to the memory of San Lorenzo Ruiz.
Lunch at Casa Marana: A taste of authentic Taal cuisine
For lunch, a choice of Grilled Tilapia, Bulalo na Baka, Pajo Mangga Salad, Adobong Dilaw na Manok, Tapang Taal, Kalderetang Kambing, Sinaing na Tulingan, Sauteed Dulong, Dinurado Rice.
For snacks and dessert, a choice of Bibingkang Taal, Maja Blanca, Sumang Dapa, Nilupak na Kamoteng Kahoy.
For drinks, there’s Kapeng Barako, Mainit na Tablea (hot chocolate), Malunggay Tea.
***Should there be a request to purchase local delicacies, a visit to the Taal Public Market can be arranged before departure to Manila.
Villavicencio Ancestral House
Gliceria Marella married Eulalio Villavicencio, a ship captain who owned a splendid bahay na bato,a pre-1850’s structure built on the northern slope of Taal town. It has a fantastic vista of Balayan Bay viewed from its sala. With its exterior painted in its original colors of mint green and yellow, this imposing house stands proud with its beautiful garden and wrought iron gates. It is also the only Taal home with an original tin ceiling and canvass trompe l’oeil walls.
As his wedding gift to Gliceria, Eulalio built another house beside which was connected by a covered bridge. The two houses make an interesting pair – both have been featured in books; national tourism promotions; publications; and, as movie / advertising sets. The houses are filled with delicate memorabilia and ancestor’s photos. Framed historical facts regarding its provenance; people who slept within its walls; materials that were used in building it; and, a family tree – are interesting finds.
This house was also used to stock Rizal’s novels – Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo for distribution to the masses in 1892. Among the famous revolutionaries who have attended clandestine meetings in the house were Andres Bonifacio (founder of the Katipunan), Miguel Malvar and Felipe Calderon.
Burdang Taal (Barong Tagalog Embroidery) and Balisong Making Demo
Burdang Taal, is the old native hand embroidery tradition of the town of Taal,Batangas. It involves a long painstaking process from the initial gathering and drying of raw materials like pineapple and abaca fibers, to weaving these fibers using a loom. The delicate fabrics created are stretched on a bastidor (canvass stretcher or embroidery hoop) before embroidering flowery or geometric designs. Most experts do not even use a didal (thimble) while working dexterously with amazing speed on a project. Through the centuries, the women of Taal have made Burdang Taal a viable cottage industry.
Although colonizers claim that the Filipino natives did not have any knowledge of textile weaving, stone-bark artifacts and some clay spindle whorls were found in many archaeological sites in the country. During the olden times, in the highlands of Mindanao and Luzon and the Christian lowlands, there was a variety of weaving traditions. Clothing was used to identify men and the village of his origin. It could also denote wealth, power, status and the rites of passage. Some materials that Philippine fabrics were made of were bark, cotton, abaca, coconut fibers, silk, jusi and piña. This showed how ancient Filipinos made use of the resources in their environment.
With Taal producing some of the fiercest revolutionaries and citizens, it is befitting that Taal is also the Balisong Capital of the Philippines. According to history, the balisong’s roots can be traced back to as far back as 800 A.D. Its ancestry can be linked to one of the ancient weapons used in Kali, a fighting art system of Malaya-Polynesia. The art of Balisong making began in the Philippines around 1905. It was invented as a deadly weapon by Perfecto de Leon. It has become a famous internationally known product of the Philippines.
The word balisong means “broken horn.” Bali means “to break” and sung means “horn.” The original handles of the knife were made out of animal horns. However, these handles have since adapted to the use of wood, metals, and plastics. The standard balisong, or Filipino butterflyknife, can be handled like a western switch blade. Today there are several types to choose from, such as dibuyod, bayonet, double blade, razor, Rambo, and the standard blade. Along the streets of Taal, you can see Taaleños manufacturing the knives in raw form, from the molding of metal sheets to the sharpening of knives and the crafting of handles.
Summary of Site Visits:
- Basilica of St. Martin de Tours
- Our Lady of Caysasay Church
- Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia
- 125 Granite Steps of San Lorenzo Ruiz
- Casa Marana (lunch)
- Visit to Taal Public Market (optional)
- Villavicencio Ancestral House
- Burdang Taal
- Balisong Making Demo
Buffet Lunch & Merienda
- grilled tilapia,
- bulalo na baka,
- pajo mango salad,
- adobong dilaw na manok,
- tapang taal,
- kalderetang kambing,
- sinaing na tulingan,
- ensalada filipina,
- tropical fruit and nut salad,
- sauteed dulong,
- bibingkang taal,
- maja blanca,
- sumang dapa,
- dinurado rice,
- nilupak na kamoteng kahoy,
- mainit na tablea,
- kapeng barako,
- malunggay hot tea,
- tsaang gubat iced tea.