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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Batangas Journey: From The Highlands to the Heritage Town

One summer day, I had a travel where I passed the highlands in order to make it in a heritage town located in the progressive province of Batangas. From ascending the highland roads to the busy streets which lead you to the town of ancestral houses. As you travel in Batangas, you can see buildings dotted in the rolling hills, a vibrant castle in the green and lush mountains which motivates you to have an adventure, visiting century-old houses which gave you an idea of our colorful history and taking a tiring but meaningful walk in a scorching heat of the sun to discover the heritage town preserved from the Spanish era. 
The green and rolling hills of Batangas.
Fantasy World, an amusement park in the verdant hills of Lemery.

I traveled for almost two hours from Cavite by riding a bus going to Nasugbu where I stopped at the boundary of Alfonso and Nasugbu. Then, I rode a jeepney going to Taal passing the town of Laurel and Lemery. As the jeep ascended to the zigzag roads, I saw the few buildings dotted in the verdant mountains of Batangas. Therefore, the place that really caught my attention is a huge and colorful castle in the town of Lemery called Fantasy World. It is the place where some of the television series took place in this amusement park.

Taal Basilica
The church interior of Taal, Batangas.

Then, I made it to the heritage town of Taal. The town has similarities with other heritage places such as Vigan, Intramuros and Pila where there are many ancestral houses made from the Spanish era. But first, I decided to visit the Taal town proper. In the center of the town, you can find the Taal Basilica or the Basilica of Saint Martin de Tours. It is known as the Asia's Biggest Catholic Church. It was built in 1575 and it is originally located in the present town of San Nicolas. It was destructed by a volcanic eruption on 1754 and it was rebuilt in 1755 in its present location. In 1849, the said church claimed its title as the "Biggest Catholic Church in the Far East."

Taal Park
Taal Municipal Hall. The town of Taal was found in 1572.
The Taal Cultural Center. It is known as Escuela Pia during the Spanish era.

Other interesting places in the town center are the Taal Park located in front of the church, Taal Municipal Hall and the Taal Cultural Center which is known before as the Escuela Pia during the Spanish era. The town proper of Taal reminded me of the society in the Spanish era where major infrastructures like church, school, town hall and the market are located here.

Goco Ancestral House
The Taal Heritage Town along with the progress and urbanization.
Marcela Agoncillo's Ancestral House. She created the Philippine Flag used in
Declaration of Independence in 1898.
Leon Apacible Ancestral House

Galleria Taal

Then I decided to take a walk to the heritage town where the ancestral houses are located. In the town of Taal you can find the Marcela Agoncillo Ancestral House, Leon Apacible Ancetral House and the Goco Ancestral House. I also had a chance to visit the Galleria Taal, an ancestral house owned by 1935 Consitutional Convention delegate Antonino Barrion. In this house, you can see the different vintage cameras as well with the old photographs from 19th century to the 20th century.

Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine
The miraculous well of St. Lucia
The 150 steps to the town proper via San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps.

My travel experience in Taal would not be completed by visiting the Our Lady of Caysasay Church and the miraculous well of Saint Lucia. Then, I took the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps where I took the approximately 150 steps to the town proper.

Therefore, my travel experience in Taal is such a great trip because I feel that I traveled back in time and appreciate our history especially in taking a look at the heritage houses where some of the heroes and politicians came from this town. In addition, I appreciated that Taal is a town where the Christianity served as a legacy by the Spaniards.


Franc Ramon said...

Wow, you've covered mostly of Laguna and Batangas in your blogs and trsvrl. I hope they just open Fantasy World to the public so it would be better appreciated.

Dems said...

Beautiful places :D
I used to go to Batangas for a swim, but I've never explored it in a historic perspective. :)

aMz88 said...

the fantasy world, castle and dragon caught my attention, lovely post :)

chino said...

I would have liked to rediscover the province of Batangas too

MaryJane Tauyan said...

wow!! i don't even we have fantasy world in the place thats amazing! xx

Renz Bulseco said...

Wow! I didn't know that Batangas is very beautiful! Would love to visit that place soon :D

nik_rielo said...

nice one you have. this is the province where i live. try also to visit the eastern part :)

Deborah of Walking News Paper said...

whew! Batangas has really a lot to offer when it comes to historical places to visit..wish i could manage my time to visit Batangas.. :|

baterya said...

never seen taal beautiful.. now I am curious to go there.. can you enter the fantasy world.. i love the church.. a must visit

Kalabasa K. Kamote said...

This heritage town ought to be protected and preserved for future generations to experience and be proud of.

leira said...

thanks for sharing!!!

beingwell said...

My hometown! Yay!!

Rizza (beingwell)

Brenna said...

i love the taal town. and the road going there. sayang yung fantasy land, medyo mahal kapag pupunta ka talaga. did you know that was supposed to be for disneyland Philippines? :)

Mai Flores said...

I actually remember visiting one of your sites (the one written with the Tagalog posts) about one of your travels to Batangas. I was able to share to you that I was particularly interested with the castle -- the Fantasy World in Lemery. :)

lakwatserongunggoy said...

batangas s the easiest get away for historical vists, summer vacay, and just a simple chill time! i wanted to visit that fantasy land!

Francis Balgos said...

Ive passed by The Fantasy World at one time, while on the road from an overnight trip in Laiya..
It was quite interesting especially looking from the road. It has a stark contrast compared to its surroundings and stood out very well.

lalalaPatricia said...

The fantasy world looks like in China! Amazing! a must go place to :)

Carmel | Happy Steps travel blog said...

Thanks for taking us on a virtual tour of Batangas. The Fantasy World looks like a scene from a fairy tale... and I would consider myself so blessed if I can step inside the Taal Basilica, being Asia's biggest Catholic Church. :-)

Dexter | The best Of Taal Batangas said...

You should have tasted the popular food in Taal known as Tapa and Longganisa from Taal

markpogi said...

One reason I like traveling locally is because they are not that strict with any photography rules. ^_^

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