Batangas Adventure: Taal

Our adventure today takes us about 70 kilometers south of Km 0 in Manila. Taal is known as the Balisong and Barong Tagalog Capital of the Philippines. Aside from balisongs (butterfly knives) and barong tagalogs, Taal is also known as the home of Taal Basilica, the biggest church in Asia. 

The picturesque Taal Basilica

The name taal means "indigenous" because of the Bornean settlers who established the first settlement in the area. It is said that their language was the origin of the Tagalog dialect. However during their time Taal was still called Bonbon.

Mrs Quiblat wearing the traditional Saya

Time and nature had not been that kind to Taal. Due to the eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754 the town was moved from the its original lake side settlement to its present location. Earthquakes and war also ravaged the town throughout time. Time and again, the untiring people of Taal rebuilt their town. Today, Taal is one of the few remaining heritage towns of the Philippines.

Inside the Wedding Gift House

I have only visited Taal twice. First was during its first ever celebration of the El Pasubat festival. Next was during the annual visita iglesia of the family. 

Inside the Agoncillo House

I was lucky enough to personally know Mrs. Jocelyn Quiblat the great granddaughter of Gliceria Marella, one of the many heroes of Taal. She is now the owner of one of the oldest houses in Taal, the Wedding Gift House. She invited me and a friend to experience the town's first ever El Pasubat festival. (I'm one lucky guy indeed!) It was a very memorable one. I fell in love with Taal's culture and heritage. I decided to add Taal in the itinerary that I made for my family's annual Visita Iglesia. They loved it too.

Inside Casa Tortuga's bedroom

This is how they "used to" roll!
Say Cheese! 
Check out those old blunderbuss! Duel anyone? 
Municipal Hall of Taal circa 1572
The people of Taal proudly boasts that if Vigan has one street full of old houses, Taal has old houses on all streets plus those houses are owned not only by anyone, but Filipino heroes of our revolutionary history.
They don't just sell small balisongs here. All bladed weapons and tools are available in Taal. (with Tony Nicerio)

To complete your adventure in Taal, don't forget to pass by one of the many stores selling balisongs. It's a pretty nice souvenir to bring home.

Getting there:

From Buendia in Pasay City, board a bus bound for Lemery Batangas. Most buses pass through the town proper. It's safer to ask the conductor first before boarding. In case the bus won't pass through Taal, alight at the Taal-Lemery junction. From there, jeepneys and tricycles would bring you to your destination.

Places to visit:

Wedding Gift House

Taal Basilica and Taal Park
Villa Tortuga

Our Lady of Caysasay 

Cabrera House
Villavicencio House

Galleria Taal

Gregorio Agoncillo Mansion

Casa Conchita

La Casa De Dimaano
Okoda-Barrion Salazar House

Escuela Pia

Marcela Agoncillo House

Sta. Lucia Well
Don Leon Apacible Museum
San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps

Other places you might want to visit: 

1. Casa Ofelia

2. Goco House
3. Orosa House
4. Villa Severina
5. Casa Punzalan
6. Casa Dela Rosa
7. Ylagan-dela Rosa House
8. Estacio Ancestral House


1. Skin cancer by applying your most trusted sun block.
2. Dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
3. Overspending by listing down your expenses.


6:00AM Departure from Manila to Taal, Batangas
bus fare: P150
8:30AM ETA Taal
8:50AM Marcela Agoncillo Museum
9:30AM Casa Tortuga
10:00AM Caysasay Church
10:30AM Galleria Taal
entrance fee: adult- P50 ; students- P30
11:00AM Wedding Gift House
11:30AM Cabrera House
12:00NN Lunch at Taal Market
lunch budget: P300 (try out Taal's tawilis)
1:00PM Municipal Hall
1:10PM Taal Basilica
fee to go up the belltower: P100
2:00PM Casa Conchita
2:30PM La Casa De Dimaano
2:45PM Okoda- Barrion Salazar House
3:00PM Gregorio Agoncillo Mansion
4:00PM Departure from Taal to  Manila
bus fare: P150
7:00PM ETA Manila

Budget breakdown:

Estimated Budget: P1000

Bus fare to Taal, Batangas: P150
Lunch budget: P300
Entrance fee at Galleria Taal: P50
Basilica fee: P100
Bus fare to Manila: P150

Total: P750

Overall Ratings

You might also like: 

This blog entry is dedicated to Mrs.Montserrat Villavicencio-Joven  1915 -2012


  1. Nice adventure in my native land. I do hope you enjoyed a lot in your trip to Taal.. Ah you have not mentioned about the Tapa from Taal :)

    1. Hello Dexter! Yes, I did enjoy Taal that much. I met lots of nice people there plus I learned a lot about the revolutionary history of the Philippines. Your place is really worth my time. I do hope that more people would know about Taal.

      I will try out the Tapa when I come back this upcoming 3rd EL PASUBAT Festival. See you there!!!

  2. visit

    1. Yes! for more info about Taal pls visit! Support the beauty of the Philippines!

  3. Sobrang gutom naman yan, 300 talaga budget sa lunch. hehe :)

    1. Hehehe kelangan magtipid. Sa Manila nga P160 may petso ka na may dinuguan ka pa. =)

  4. A thorough blog of Taal! I also like that you dedicated it to a beloved. For more info on Taal check out:

    1. Thanks Dan! We gotta love what's ours.

      Please visit for more info!

  5. Me and my staff will visit Villa Tortuga this month. Your post just reminded me to call them finally.

    1. The guy that maintains Villa Tortuga was once a teacher in the school I'm working in. Tell him about Southridge maybe he'll give you a discount. hahaha

  6. yine çok güzel yerleri adımlamışsın kıskandım :)))

    1. Please visit Taal when you visit the Philippines =)

  7. Awesome! Thanks for sharing this. I also went to Taal for the El Pasubat Festival last month. I was able to go inside Villavicencio and Galleria Taal.

    1. Thanks stephen. Those places really rocks. Hope to hear more from you.

  8. Pano pumunta dto? sino pwdeng kontakin ko for our Tour..?

  9. Pano pumunta dto... sinong pwedeng kontakin para makapag tour kmi jan

    1. Hi there Mimi! You could commute going to Taal.
      Please check the Getting There section of this blog.
      Sadly wala po akong kilala na nagtutour going here.

  10. Hi Neil! Nice blog for Taal by the way! From you "getting there" section you didn't mention where to get off? May bus na bang from Manila to Taal, batangas? My Boyfriend and I have plans to go there this Valentines :) Hope you answer my question. Thank you.

    1. Hi there Ruelyn!
      Ang mga bus na papuntang Lemery ay dumadaan sa Taal town proper. Doon ka bababa mismo. Sabihin mo lang sa conductor na ibaba ka sa poblacion ng Taal.
      Enjoy your trip!

  11. Thank you soooo so much for the info on how to get to Taal Town proper. I will be going there this Sunday to hear mass at St. Martin de Tours (Taal Basilica) for my birthday. Anyway, what's name of d bus company in Pasay?

    1. Hi there! You're welcome!
      Try out the Alps and the Jam liner buses in Pasay. =)

  12. Well written article and guide. It inspires me to visit Taal, Batangas.

    1. Thanks so much Elmer! This comment made my day =)

  13. May mga resto/ coffee shop ba there ? Or place where the family can eat after the tour ? Tnx

    1. Hello po. Marami pong maaaring makainan dito. May isa nga pong heritage house na converted sa isang restaurant kaya medyo rustic ang feel.

  14. Hi ask ko lang po kung pano pumunta sa Basilica Church sa Taal kung manggagaling kmi sa Pasay. Were planning kc s bday ng mama ko. Sana po may sumagot. thank you

  15. Hi ask ko lng kung pano pumunta sa Basilica Churh sa Taal kung mangagaling sa Pasay. Plan kc nmin pumunta s bday ng mom ko. thanks sana po may sumagot..

    1. Hello there Donna! If galing kayo ng Pasay, sakay kayo ng bus papuntang Lemery, Batangas. Dadaan yung sa Taal. To be sure sabihan mo ang conductor to drop you off sa may junction ng Taal-Lemery. Once there, maraming tricycle na pwedeng magdala sa inyo sa Basilica o sa Our Lady of Caysasay.


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