I almost forgot to write about this trip. After that Taiwan trip last April, my friend, Gail, and I extended our stay in Luzon to go to Taal, the heritage town in Batangas. (We are from Mindanao, Philippines, btw.) Gail and our friend, Shirly, already went there months before and I wanted to visit the place, too. Gail was so nice to accompany me even if she had gone there before and even if we were already very tired from our trip. (We have become Titas!) We both wanted to go home to our provinces but we also had to take this trip because we already paid for our overnight stay in Lemery. We decided to take our time. Rushing would only stress us. I think we left the Airbnb we rented at 9 AM. We did not rush. We were chill.
We arrived at a hotel in Lemery at around lunch time and I could not remember if we ate lunch. I think we skipped lunch (*insert a shocked emoji) because we planned to eat our way in Taal.
In Taal, we were greeted with these buntings.
It was the ‘El Pasubat Festival’, a celebration of its founding anniversary. There was a culinary contest at a plaza near the municipal building. While hanging out there watching the activity, we saw Kuya selling ice cream.
We had to buy ice cream! Yum!
Gail had been raving about Taal’s lomi so we had to get one. We just ordered from a random eatery and, lo and behold, we got the thick and savory noodle dish. This was lunch and it was filling.
We dropped by the church which is said to be the biggest Catholic church in Asia. This is the Basilica de San Martin de Tours.
There was going to be a wedding that afternoon.
It is a beautiful church.
There is a balcony attached to the church.
It overlooks a koi pond.
Another food to try in Taal is the halo-halo at a carwash. Since it was a long walk from the church, we figured our tummies were now ready for merienda.
The carwash/cafe was decorated with memorabilia.
The halo-halo was yummy! It was the type with finely shaved ice and minimal ingredients. It reminded me of Razon’s halo-halo.
After that halo-halo, we started our walk around the town.
This is Gregorio Agoncillo’s mansion. Now this space in the blog should be a brief story on who Gregorio Agoncillo was, but I took this photo outside a closed gate. I could have written down the stories of the things I saw inside the house and the people who lived there. Ha! Now we all have to google. Sorry about that.
We were really walking at a leisurely pace that it was past 4 PM when we reached Galleria Taal.
Galleria Taal is a museum with the largest collection (i think) of cameras in the Philippines. I only took a few photos. (Nahiya ang camera ko sa camera nila!) Talk about my camera being camera shy!
These are just a really small sample of their collection.
I was only able to visit one museum. It was already 5 PM when I exited the camera museum. So much for being chill and taking my time! Ha! Ha!
Even this place where we could dress up in Filipiniana was already closed.
We just said hi to Marcela Agoncillo, the woman who made the first and official Philippine flag.
We were following a Taal town map and we saw that there was another church. This is the Our Lady of Caysaysay church.
The church was closed but the caretaker allowed us to enter. He had to get a set of keys for us to be able to get inside.
We said our prayers.
Since Gail had visited before, she also knew that there was a miracle well near. The water from the well was believed to have miraculous healing powers.
The sun was about to set as we left the Caysasay church area.
We dropped by the basilica again and we were able to catch the wedding party as they were taking pictures. Now if we only knew where the wedding reception was, it would have been free dinner for us! Kidding!
The Basilica lit up at night.
We had dinner at a local restaurant and rode a tricycle back to our hotel in Lemery, Batangas.
It was a chill and no-frills trip. Thank you, Gail, for being my tour guide!