Sunday Visit at Taal Basilica

Last Sunday, we agreed to have a long drive farther South and attend a mass somewhere in Batangas. Just a whole day escape from the City and to have a glimpse of the greens and seas—Batangas is filled of such sceneries.

We went to Taal Basilica, around 65km far from BF Homes, Paranaque. And yes, it is worth the drive. Truly amazing to see the old-majestic facade of the church with intricate exterior designs. The history and the initiatives to preserve the holy structure is also very interesting to know. The struggles and the will of the Church to stand firm despite many trials is so inspiring. Here are some great historical information worth noting.

·       It takes pride as the oldest church in Asia; it started construction beginning 1575—3 years after the founding of Taal town in its old site near the shores of Taal Lake with Saint Martin of Tours as Patron Saint.

·       The church was rebuilt and improved in 1642 using stronger materials but in 1754, it was destroyed along with the town of Taal in the largest recorded eruption of Taal Volcano. This event led to the transfer of the town and the church 7.5km west away from the volcano to its present site atop an elevated hill facing Balayan Bay. The ruins of the previous church can still be seen in San Nicolas, Batangas.

·       The construction of the new church started in 1755 to 1782 but yet again damaged by a natural calamity by a strong earthquake on September 16, 1852.

·       Construction of the present church began in 1856 and was completely finished in 1878.

·       A small tower on the left side of the facade contained the large church bell, which in 1942, was destroyed by an earthquake.

·       The church was then restored in 1953 and then the following year on December 8, 1954, the church was declared as a Minor Basilica, the third in the country to be given such honor.

·       The church was again restored in 1972 by the Taal Quadricentennial Council for the 400th anniversary of the town’s establishment and on January 16, 1974 was declared a National Shrine.

·       In April 4, 2017, the Basilica was damaged by a 5.5 earthquake that struck Tingloy, Batangas. The Basilica was significantly damaged again caused by twin earthquakes (magnitudes 5.6 and 6.0) that struck the neighboring towns of Mabini and Taysan that occurred on April 8. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines is undertaking some precautionary measures in order to preserve the Basilica.

The Taal Basilica canonically known as the Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours (Filipino: Basilika ni San Martin ng Tours; Spanish: Basílica Menor de San Martín de Tours) is a Minor Basilica in the town of Taal, Batangas in the Philippines, within the Archdiocese of Lipa. It is also considered to be the largest catholic church in the Philippines and in Asia, standing 88.6 metres (291 ft) long and 48 metres (157 ft) wide. St. Martin of Tours is the patron saint of Taal, whose fiesta is celebrated every November 11.  (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taal_Basilica)

 

Visit their small gallery, light a candle, attend a mass, enjoy the sudden blow of wind at the entrance door, or just simply pray. Coming here is spiritually uplifting.

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Summer Somewhere in Batangas

And so the summer of 2017 is finally here! It did not come as early as usual (mid-March) but we are now feeling its fire. Are you ready for the heat? Planning to sneak an escape from the humid temperature? Dreaming of playing with a snowman?  For some yes, with their tickets ready and set to travel out of the country or to a top island destination (oh, Palawan). What about diving into the cold swimming pool and strolling in the beach without flying? That too, is possible without leaving the Philippines. No need to even travel long hours if you are coming from Metro Manila; just go down south and drive for about 2.5 to 3 hours all the way to Nasugbu, Batangas. It is going to be an amazing trip.

Punta Fuego

Punta Fuego Pool 1

Random thoughts at the Double Infinity Pool

Punta Fuego swimming pool 2

Pool at the Lower Beach Club

Coming here is like morphing to a different place and transporting yourself somewhere with the spectacular sunset view right outside your casita at the beach front or get caught-up at any of their lovely pool. Other than swimming,  make sure to include a time to bike or drive around and see the architecture of the houses built on the island—Spanish-Mediterranean style residential resort that masterfully combines natural beauty and modern luxury.

Pico de Loro

Swimming at pico de loro

His Me-Time at the pool

Boat ride at Pico de Loro

Boat Ride at the Cove

You will equally get a fair-share of beautiful sights while at Pico. The place is like engulfed by the lush mountains as it seems to cover the area;  the swimming pool gives a feel of the serene nature.  We love the walk around the man-made lagoon surrounded by the privately owned-condominiums. But just be careful when you submerge into the beach as there are occasional jellyfish that can really sting. You may still enjoy other activities like the cove tour, pony ride, and eco trail.

These two are clubs and exclusive for members but the hotels/casitas are open to the public. You can book your stay directly through their websites (check availability at Punta Fuego or Pico Sands) or via Agoda and other online booking sites.

Get a Closer Look of Taal with the Bonbon Festival

Summer is nearly ending! How is it going? I’ve been tied with work the past weeks and we have not really been into  #SummerAdventure2016 (the hashtag I’ve been frequently seeing on my social feed).  So if you are planning to explore a getaway somewhere in the South, check out BonBon Festival.

BonBon-Festival-WriteNowNa-blog1Now on its second year, Bonbon Festival is back to celebrate Arts, Environment, and Community in a one of a kind one-day event which will be participated by young professionals, students, different artists in Batangas Province and invited guests from other places.

Bonbon Festival is the first eco-green festival in the province which aims to support and sustain the environment by using arts and culture as one of the tools for preservation and development.

Where is the Festival?

Sitio Tagbakin, Brgy. Halang Lipa City, Batangas

When?

May 21, 2016 (Sunday) from 6 am onwards

What to expect?

  • Gala at Pasyal sa Lawa/ Knowledge Tour

Know the story of the lake region and eruption history of Taal Volcano via boat ride from Sitio Tagbakin, Lipa City to San Nicolas to Volcano Island and back. Enjoy the horse ride and trek with local tour guide and the rest of the team.

  • Mananghalian/Lunch

Savor a sumptuous lunch of Batangas fusion cuisine and local refreshments.

  • Huntahan sa Lawa/ Talkback

Join a series of meaningful talkback and discussions about Art and Environment with interactive community workshops that culminate the afternoon activities.

  • Hapunan/Dinner by the Lake, Art Installations and Performance Art

Experience Batangas Art and Culture through performances. Listen to the old time Kundiman music plus musical performances dedicated to Taal led by independent Batangueno musicians including LAC Music Department. Cocktails are available with a party capping the night with all-out-fun and dancing.

There are two available packages to consider.

BonBon-Festival-PackageA-WriteNowNa-blog

BonBon-Festival-Package-WriteNowNa-blog

Feel like joining now? This is a productive activity and it’s not too late to have our own version of that hot #Summer Adventure2016!

For inquiries and ticket purchase you may contact:

Mr. Carlo Aguila at 043-740-7112 or 09178779144