Monday, April 19, 2010

taal trippin'

ancestral houses, ancient churches and native foodtripping make up for an exciting cultural trip to taal town in batangas. so one long weekend found me and a group of friends driving over to taal just for that. but after filling up the car's gas tank over at petron slex, the car suddenly refused to start. a diagnosis by the mechanic revealed that there was a problem with the alternator. to cut the long story short, we got stuck at petron slex for three and a half hours, but not without enjoying the time at the customer's lounge (which is simply a small area with glass doors and walls, but airconditioned and equipped with a television set). there we watched several tv shows and eventually had our lunch there as well. i have to commend the guys at petron slex for being so nice and gracious to us, giving us extra seats (we were 7 in all and there were only two seats inside the lounge at first) and were even apologetic as it took them about an hour to get the necessary car part back in muntinlupa before finally fixing the car. cheers, guys!

we left the gas station at 1.30pm and on we drove to taal. thank goodness there wasn't any traffic at all, so we made it to taal by 3pm. although the ancestral houses that are open to the public are only open until 4pm, we were able to maximize our time in each. we even had enough time to explore the taal basilica, but i'm getting ahead of myself. i'll start with the first house we visited: the agoncillo residence.

the exterior of the agoncillo residence. this is the place where marcela mariño grew up. upon her marriage to don felipe agoncillo, she moved to manila.

ventana y ventanillas (ventana is spanish for window. a ventanilla is a smaller window below the larger one and is usually screened with balusters (like the one above) or wrought iron grills (like the ones in my lola's house). the ventanilla is an important feature of a bahay na bato as it helps with the house's ventilation especially on a hot day.

while the family was in exile in hong kong at the start of the revolution, marcela agoncillo sewed the first philippine flag upon the orders of general emilio aguinaldo. her oldest daughter lorenza and delfina herbosa natividad helped in making the flag. it was then personally delivered to gen. aguinaldo by don felipe in hong kong and on 12 june 1898, gen. aguinaldo proudly waved the flag at the declaration of philippine independence in kawit, cavite.

just a small part of the large sala (living room)

portraits of the agoncillo family. not one of don felipe and marcela's five daughters ever married as they chose their respective careers over marriage.

some of the books owned by the agoncillos

stained glass windows at the library

entryway to the house. (shot from the library)

the side of the house

statue of marcela m. agoncillo

historical sources here, here and here
architectural source here

coming soon: don leon apacible museum and galeria taal (dela rosa-ilagan residence)


  1. whoa, I would love to do heritage and cultural trips like this in the future. Maiba naman Ü

  2. have u tried adobo sa dilaw? and the palengke trip?

    sana nagpunta ka din ng agoncillo, batangas. katabi lang ng taal. masarap isda dun tsaka syempre taal lake.

  3. buti naman di kayo nasiraan ng loob ng masiraan and sasakyan nyo.

    i love visiting old/historic houses. very educational.

    btw, san kuha header pic mo?

  4. Wonderful! Like Chyng, I'd like to do this kind of trip in the future too.

    So many interesting sights in the Philippines noh? Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. chyng: punta na sa taal! super ganda dun, at practically the whole town eh puro lumang houses. may ibang open to the public, may iba private naman. :)

    domjullian: aww hindi eh. late na kami nakarating doon kaya may time lang kami para bumisita sa iilang bahay tapos yung simbahan. sige next time i-susuggest ko na dumerecho din kami sa agoncillo. thanks for the tip! :D

    photo cache: i guess we all decided to make light of the situation. besides, we all wanted the vacation! hehehe :D i love visiting old houses too. they do have lots of stories to tell.

    kuha ko yang header pic noong mt. pinatubo trip namin :)

    dyosa: you're welcome! oo nga andami pang interesting places to explore sa bansa natin. hoping to go on another adventure soon :) punta ka na sa taal! :D

  6. bagay na bagay sa yo ang taal. magandang heritage house diyan. we missed visiting this one.

  7. Wow...that is beautiful... I should go there and visit!

  8. dong: hehe oo nga eh. tho medyo late na ang dating namin dun, buti na-enjoy pa namin ang mga ibang bahay dun. :)

    sidney: yup by all means! it's really a wonderful experience. :)

  9. U sed her daughters didnt marry... pro ka-anuano ba nila si Ryan? LOL!

  10. Where's my comment????? waaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!

  11. KJ: ayun o! na-publish naman :D if i'm not mistaken great grandson sya ng kapatid na lalaki ni don felipe ahahahaha! i wish! =))

  12. Nice photos. Our MIP camera club was also here three years ago :)

  13. nice...have yet to go there...someday na lang..dati plan namin ni Ferdz yan kaso like other planned trips di natutuloy :(

    hassle yan car problem, buti may pyesa kung hindi tow truck katapat nyan

  14. dodong flores: thanks :) wow, you've been there too? do you have a post about it?

    backpackingphilippines: actually itong trip na to muntik nang di matuloy din, just two days before lang na-plan yung itinerary. iba talaga pag biglaan ang outing, no?

    tagal din namin hinintay yung piyesa para sa kotse. tapos na-traffic pa yung mekaniko. anyway enjoy talaga dun :)

  15. very quaint.. buti napreserve nila no :)

  16. Hi!

    Thank you for linking to

    We'd like to inform you that we're currently upgrading our site, so the links you posted are no longer active.

    However! Here are the updated links:



    Thank you very much for your time. We are very grateful to have historical travelers visit our humble town. There are MANY more things to see in Taal, so we hope to have you again soon!

    - Moderator

  17. aline: i'm so happy there are still places here in the philippines where many ancestral houses are well-preserved. if we could only say the same for manila. punta ka na sa taal! :)

    jm: my friends and i enjoyed our time in taal a lot even though it was quite short. definitely we'll return soon, there's still so much to see :) also thanks for the heads-up about the links! i'll update my links after posting this comment. i must say, you have one great website out there. :)

  18. taal is on my ill-be-back list. high school pa ako nung huli ko syang napuntahan. i remember the basilica (with the looooongest aisle) and the view of the taal town on top of the kampanaryo that i wasn't able to see, ugh!

  19. Hi, Carlotta. I didn't have intensive write up about our Taal visit but I have a few photos posted in Multiply. My blog posts are here.

  20. zherwin: ako rin balak kong bumalik sa taal. like you, hindi ako nakaakyat sa bell tower (hindi kasi namin naabutan yung pari dun boohoo!)

    dodong flores: thanks! i'll check them out :)

  21. hi carlotta para narin akong nkapasok sa bahay ni agoncillo thanks for sharing

    napadaan lang mam sana makabisita karin

  22. wow, i super love old filipino homes!!! thanks for sharing these pics, ate carls!!! <3

  23. jettro: hi! you're welcome. salamat sa pagdalaw, bibisita rin ako sa blog mo :)

    acey: you're welcome! :) hay, it's been months since i posted here. like i told kj, i'm still looking for my mojo. lols


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