Towns and Cities
         
TAAL

Spanish architects patterned the poblacion (town center) after Albuquerque (Spain).  Its central area was restored in 1976. The town is Southern Luzon's heritage village.  It has a number of 200-year old ancestral homes located along M.N. Agoncillo St., the town's main street.

Places to See
  • The town’s Municipal Hall (Casa Real) was built from 1846 to 1850 by Fr. Celestino Mayordomo.
  • The Taal Cultural Center, at Taal Park, was formerly the Escuela Pia.  The present structure was built by Fr. Aniceto Aparicio in 1885 and was restored by the Taal Arts and Culture Movement in cooperation with the National Historical Institute.  It was made into a National Historical Monument by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 260 (August 1, 1973), Exec. Order No. 375 (January 14, 1974) and Exec. Order No. 1505 (June 11, 1978).
  • Taal Park, located in front of the municipal hall, has statues of Marcela Agoncillo (installed January 20, 1979), Apolinario Mabini (installed December 1928) and one representing the National Heroes (installed May 20, 1929).
  • The huge Baroque-style Basilica of St. Martin of Tours is situated on a hilltop podium overlooking Taal Park.  This church measures 88.6 m. long, 48 m. wide and 95 m. high with a 44.5-m. high cupola.  The biggest in the whole of East Asia, it is approached by a series of steps.  First built by Fr. Diego de Espinar in 1575 in Lumang Taal (now San Nicolas), it was rebuilt in 1642, destroyed in the Taal eruption of 1754 and rebuilt in reef stone by Fr. Martin Aguirre at the present site in 1756.  Its construction was continued by Fr. Gabriel Rodriguez in 1777 and Fr. Jose Vitoria in 1782. It was damaged during the 1852 Taal eruption and destroyed during an earthquake in 1849. The church was reconstructed from 1858 to 1865 by Fr. Marcos Anton and Spanish Arch. Luciano Oliver and completed by Fr. Agapito Aparicio in 1878.  Its tiled roof was replaced by galvanized iron in 1970.  The church was made into a basilica on December 8, 1954, restored in 1972 by the Taal Quadricentennial Council and declared a National Shrine by a Presidential Decree No. 375 on January 16, 1974.  Its domes were restored in 1990 under the supervision of the National Historical Institute. The adjacent stone convent, built together with the present church, was converted into a school run by Benedictine Sisters in 1945.  The tiled roof was replaced by galvanized sheets in 1946 and its facade was restored, after typhoon damage in 1970, by Fr. Eliseo Dimaculangan.
  • The San Lorenzo Ruiz Arch, near the basilica, was built in 1849 and was recently renovated and renamed after the first Filipino saint.  Hagdan-Hagdan, near the San Lorenzo Ruiz Arch, is a five-meter wide, 125-step (three-flight) granite stairway built in 1850 by Fr. Mayordomo to replace the original adobe stairs.
  • The Chapel of Caysasay, located on a deep ravine by the right bank of the Pansipit River, is a beautiful coral-hewn chapel built in 1639 by Fr. Alonso Rodriguez to replace a temporary structure built in 1611.  It was dedicated to Nuestra Senora de la Misericordia. The roof was partially destroyed during the 1754 Taal eruption and the walls and the towers fell during the December 24, 1852 earthquake. It was reconstructed in 1856 but damaged during the 1867 earthquake.  It was then repaired by Fr. Marcos Anton who also installed a new altar and an iron balustrade around the main altar.  Cesar Alberoni decorated the interior and, in 1880, an organ was bought from the famous organist, Don Doroteo Otorel, in Palencia (Spain).  It houses the 272-mm. high pinewood image of the Blessed Virgin of Casaysay.  The image is transferred from its shrine in the basilica to the small chapel every Thursday and returned on Saturday afternoon.  It was solemnly crowned on December 8, 1954 by Cardinal Fernando Quiroga y Palacios, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, official representative of Pope Pius XII.  Adjacent to the chapel is the hewn stone convent, allegedly built in the 18th century by a Chinese maestro de obra.  It is now an orphanage managed by the Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Twin Wishing Wells of Santa Lucia, near the Chapel of Casaysay, has waters reputed to have miraculous healing powers.  The left well is for the initial bath and the second well is for “rinsing.” It has arch with a bas-relief of the Virgin of Caysasay.
  • The Felipe Agoncillo Mansion and Monument, along J.P. Rizal St., has choice antique furniture and period items.  Open Saturdays and Sundays, 8am-5pm.
  • The Ylagan-De La Rosa Ancestral House, beside the Felipe Agoncillo Mansion, was registered with the National Historical Institute in 1998.  It also has choice antique furniture and period items.
  • Ananias Diokno Ancestral Home (R. Diokno St.)
  • Gliceria Marcela de Villavicencio Ancestral Home (33 Parella cor. Del Castillo St., open daily, 8 AM to 5 PM)
  • Eulalio Villavicencio Ancestral House (open daily, 8 AM to 5 PM)
  • Casa Calanog and Casa Montenegro, both facing the basilica, feature copious and superbly rendered capiz windows, all having cloud-shaped capiz transoms.
  • The Leon Apacible Museum and Library, along M.N. Agoncillo St., across Taal National High School, is the ancestral house of Leon and Matilde Apacible.  It was donated on December 6, 1976 by Mrs. Corazon Apacible Cañiza, former town mayor (1975 to 1980) and granddaughter of Leon.  It was recognized as a National Historical Landmark and is now managed by the National Historical Institute. It’s extremely well preserved interiors has details carved and inlaid into the floor and door trims.  Although remodeled in 1870 and 1938 to 1940, the wide, highly buffed narra floorboards, as well as the wide sweeping staircase (with its curved balustrade) are still original. The sliding doors and oriel windows betray American Art-Deco influence while the transom filigree, featuring swirling chrysanthemums, show Chinese influence.   The late hero's family has a collection of fine antique furniture.  Open daily, 8am-5pm, admission is free.
  • The Marcela N. Agoncillo Historical Landmark, also along M.N. Agoncillo St., is the ancestral home of the wife of Aguinaldo's first Secretary, Felipe, and maker of the first Philippine flag.  Built in the late 17th century by Marcela's grandfather, Andres Mariño, it is managed by the National Historical Institute.  It has a library of old Tagalog English and French books, portraits of Don Andres, Doña Marcela and Don Felipe in the chapel-shaped drawing room (with its carved ceiling and four corner angels), antique furniture, capiz windows and a display of the different flags of the revolution at the basement.  In the garden beside it are the different flags of the revolution on flagpoles and the bronze statue of Doña Marcela presenting the new flag, sculpted by Florante Caido and inaugurated on February 14, 1985.  Open Mondays-Fridays, 8am-5pm, admission is free.
Brief History
  • Taal was founded in 1572 by Augustinians led by Fr. Martin de Rada on Taal Lake's shore
  • It was transferred in 1575 to Lumang Taal (now San Nicolas) by Fr. Diego de Espinar.
  • The capital was transferred here in 1732.
  • Taal was destroyed by the volcano's eruption in 1754
  • In 1755, it was transferred  to its present site by Fr. Martin Aguirre. That same year, the capital was transferred to Batangas town.

Taal is the birthplace of many Filipino patriots such as:

  • Felipe Agoncillo (May 25, 1859-September 29, 1941) - patriot and first Philippine diplomat
  • Marcela N. Agoncillo (June 24, 1860-May 30, 1946) - wife of Felipe and maker of the first Philippine national flag
  • Leon Apacible (October 26, 1861-1901) - Gen. Aguinaldo's finance officer and former delegate to the Revolutionary Malolos Congress of 1898
  • Ananias Diokno (January 22, 1860-November 2, 1922) - revolutionary general
  • Vicente Illustre (September 8, 1869-1928), propagandist, lawyer, patriot and poet
  • Gliceria Marella Villavicencio (May 13, 1852-September 28, 1929) - named Matriarch-General of the Revolutionary Forces.
Economy

The town is noted for its fine needlework of hand-embroidered, semitransparent pina (made from pineapple fibers) cloth which is usually done by women in their homes and sun-dried around the market. High-quality, ornate-handled, butterfly-style folding knives (balisong) are forged at virtually every household in Brgys. Balisong and Pandayan on the eastern edge of the town.  Other cottage industries are carved furniture making, bamboo mat making and the making of suman sa lehiya (Brgy. Buli) and panutsa or peanut brittle (Brgy. Seiran).

Location and Topography

Taal is stuated by the slope of a hillock between Balayan Bay and Lake Taal and separated from Lemery by the Pansipit River

General Information
  • Area (sq. kms.): 29.76
  • Population (2007): 51,459
  • No. of Barangays: 42 (14 urban)
  • Income Class: Third
  • District: First
  • Zip Code: 4208
  • Area Code: 043
Where to Stay
  • Casa Punzalan Hotel, at the cor. of C. Ilagan and P. Gomez Sts., is an ancestral home located near the municipal hall and converted into a pension house with 2 rooms (2 airconditioned and 5 non-airconditioned), a coffee shop, common baths (men's and ladies'), sala and gift shop.   Tel: 421-3034, 421-1053 & 421-1071.   Fax: 408-0577.
Where to Shop

  • The Public Market is the place to buy Taal tapa and longganisa, pansit, suman sa lehiya, tablia and kapeng barako.  There are also barong shops.

Dialects

The Taaleños speak one of the purest forms of Tagalog

How to Get There

Distances (Taal to):

  • Manila: 131 kms. (3 hrs.,  Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Co.)
  • Lemery: 1 km.
Tourist Information Center
  • The Taal Hertage Foundation, Inc. - Casa Punzalan (tel: 421-3034, 421-1053 & 421-1071, fax: 408-0577, Manila office: tel: 826-8952 & 631-9964)
Festivals
  • November 11 (St. Martin of Tours)
  • December 8-9 (Virgin of Casaysay) - highlighted by the Taal river festival.
Police Assistance
  • Burgos St. (tel: 421-1234spacer)
Medical Assistance
  • Assumpta Medical Hospital (12 beds) - A. Bonifacio St.,
  • Taal Polymedic Hospital - (44 beds) - Diversion Road, Brgy. Carasuche (tel: 214-2641)
Spotlight
Taal Anannias Diokno Ancestral House

Ananias Diokno Ancestral House

Taal Municipal Hall

Municipal Hall

Taal Gliceria Marcela de Villavicencio

Gliceria Marcela de Villavicencio Ancestral House

Taal Hagdan hadgan

Hagdan-Hagdan

Taal Ocampo Barrion Ancestral House

Ocampo-Barrion Ancestral House

Taal Cultural Center

Taal Cultural Center

Taal Taal Park

Taal Park

Taal Ylagan dela Rosa Ancestral House

Ylagan dela Rosa Ancestral House

Taal Felipe Agoncillo Mansion House

Felipe Agoncillo Mansion House

Taal Felipe Agoncillo Mansion House Interior

Felipe Agoncillo Mansion House - Interior

Taal Felipe Agoncillo Mansion House Interior

Felipe Agoncillo Mansion House - Interior

Taal HME Embroidery Store

HME Embroidery Store

Taal HME Embroidery Store Interior

HME Embroidery Store - Interior

Taal Marcela M. Agoncillo Street

Marcela M. Agoncillo Street

Taal Marcela M. Agoncillo Street

Marcela M. Agoncillo Street

Taal Basilica of St. Martin of Tours

Basilica of St. Martin of Tours

Taal Basilica of St. Martin of Tours Interior

Basilica of St. Martin of Tours - Interior

Taal Chapel of Caysasay

Chapel of Caysasay

Taal Chapel of Caysasay Pulpit

Chapel of Caysasay - Pulpit

Taal Chapel of Caysasay Ceiling

Chapel of Caysasay - Ceiling

Taal Marcela M. Agoncillo Historical Landmark

Marcela M. Agoncillo Historical Landmark

Taal Marcela M. Agoncillo Historical Landmark

Marcela M. Agoncillo Historical Landmark

Taal Leon Apacible Historical Landmark

Leon Apacible Historical Landmark

Taal Twin Wishing Wells of Sta. Lucia

Twin Wishing Wells of Sta. Lucia

















  

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