Things to do in Taal

Taal is a quaint little town down in Batangas filled with rich culture, nice food, and history of men and women strongly laced into the Philippine Independence. Contrary to the simple context clues that Taal is where Taal Volcano is, it really isn’t but this isn’t the only reason why you should visit the place. Sorry, I can’t say much fanciful trivial things about Taal but I got 5 things you may want to check out which I found fun and memorable during our quick 2 day visit.

Taal Heritage Town Photo from Imaginarium of Pau

Bed and Breakfast

I am what most Filipinos call the “tulog mantika”, roughly translated “sleeps like oil”. I gloriously take my mornings in my bed and not until someone wakes me up or lunch comes in. But Taal has it’s je ne sais quoi that really will make you feel like waking up early is so going back to the basics of life and a sentiment of relatives. Probinsiya style. A detox for a city dweller.

Taal has a number of houses with which retained its rustic home and feel. Houses which are two or three bedrooms and communal bathrooms (mostly) become a perfect getaway for friends and family. Have I also mentioned that the houses have wooden floors, a nice large living room for get togethers and some with nice gardens and terraces?

For us, we stayed in two different bed and breakfast – Feliza y Taverna and Paradores del Castillo.

A nice place for breakfast in Feliza's terrace
A nice place for breakfast in Feliza’s terrace
Some cooking pots and other kitchen things
Some cooking pots and other kitchen things
Living Room in the Feliza y Taverna
Living Room in the Feliza y Taverna
Upper floor dining are of Feliza y Taverna
Upper floor dining are of Feliza y Taverna
Paradores del Castillo garden
Paradores del Castillo garden
Some wall decors in the Paradores
Some wall decors in the Paradores
Paradores del Castillo Waiting Area
Paradores del Castillo Waiting Area

Most of the bed and breakfast have their own kitchen open to the public and to their tenants. This means no rush to get home to find food or to stop over the supermarket.

Museums

Because most of the bed and breakfast is from rustic houses and the great Batangeños participation in the Filipino history, you may be lucky to have a quick tour of the house such as the where we stayed at Feliza Taverna y Café. Turns out, it was owned by the first President’s secretary. We also get to see a special flag which the Batangeños have used to represent their division and a special “high tech” filing cabinet which had secret compartments.

We have visited houses of those who participated in La Solidaridad and another which housed more than 150 cameras that has captured important moments in the Philippine history.

Vintage Camera
Vintage Camera
Vintage camera
Vintage camera
Cameras of all sorts and sizes in Galleria Taal
Cameras of all sorts and sizes in Galleria Taal
Family hall in the Leon Galicano Museum
Family hall in the Leon Galicano Museum
Ongoing renovation in the Leon Galicano Museum
Ongoing renovation in the Leon Galicano Museum

The Largest Basilica in South East Asia

Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours. I may have gotten the title wrong. Either way, it’s so huge and historical, you can feel like you’re in the El Filibusterismo where the Spanish walk and the elite Filipinos go to hear mass.

Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours
Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours
Santo NIño
Santo NIño
Koi Pond within the Basilica's walls
Koi Pond within the Basilica’s walls
Wooden Saints in Basilica of Saint Martin
Wooden Saints in Basilica of Saint Martin
Basilica Floors
Basilica Floors
Baptismal room in Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours
Baptismal room in Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours
Inside the Taal Basilica
Inside the Taal Basilica

I can’t say much on how it’s built (yes, it’s made of coral, most of it) but I do have to say their Santo Niño is quite cute.

Another thing that I particularly find interesting is for a town that is historical, they are really open for people to touch some of their antiquities like the iron and the big ass door bell.

Food, Food, Food

I’d say take a gander but really food is meant to be served fresh and with good people to dine with. Get your hands on one of Taal’s pride – tawilis and tapa. Have them a la carte or boodle serving where a huge serving on a banana leaf is presented for everyone to share. Unfortunately, we’re on a strict diet so we went for a family style sharing. Either way, it was good.

Don Juan Boodle - Tawilis
Don Juan Boodle – Tawilis and another ulam which I have forgotten

Last but certainly not the least.

Halo-Halo

You’d prolly raise your eyebrow on this. The Philippine ice kachang, or better known as halo-halo, is an all time favourite. Usually served with beans, kaong, milk, leche flan, shaved ice and so much more, this Taal home grown halo-halo is something you have to roll out the red carpet, put out your lazy boy, put on a bib, and yell out “come to my tummy!”.

After a long tiring, sweaty, dusty walk around the town, we kinda ended it with the Halo-Halo sa Carwash. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to take some photos before and after even though we had 5 cameras and phones, though it will remain in our hearts. The halo-halo is not your typical with ube, kaong, red beans and all. It’s creamy, milky and with finely shaved ice it hits the right spot for all of us. Diabetic included.

I hope the list is meaningful for you as well as it did for me. Unfortunately, I can’t say much on the butterfly knife, aka the balisong. I’m too whimpy and clumsy to handle such. Though if you intend to buy, buy them on the stores by the road in the town called Balisong. Yes, there’s actually a town by that name.

Do let me know if you have anything else to share or you find this helpful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *