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)