It was my first encounter with the Taal Heritage Town. It was probably about the volcano. Taal has the largest Catholic church in Asia. It also boasts a wealth of historical and ancestral history. You feel like you’re transported back in time when you go here. Visit to…
It was close to being gone. If I hadn’t put down my phone and stepped away, I wouldn’t have known that the legs of our table were made from the bottom part of a vintage Singer sewing machines. These details are my favorites.
It is amazing to see how much of this small detail has been left out in today’s Vine age. When we are constantly bombarded with social media stimuli, it’s easy to forget about things. It’s funny how touchscreens can cause us to lose touch, as Prince Ea explains in his viral video about human connectivity.
It’s not all bad.
Taal Heritage Town seems like a place in which time stands still and where yesterday still exists. Taal Heritage Town is a perfect example of this. You are able to take in small details and slow down. These are the legs of an old table. You, or the relative you are passing to.
When you pass these arches, it will be like driving back in a simpler time. It is sometimes necessary to recollect our origins in a world moving at 4G-LTE speeds. The town is here to help.
You are invited to experience the heartland Tagalog culture. Taal is your home
Due to changes in the global environment, travel guidelines may change. The SafetyWing website contains detailed information about travel restrictions across the globe.
For information about travel restrictions to the Philippines, make sure you check the Flatten the Curve website before making any serious plans.
WHERE TO GO
Taal is just as hot as the rest of the Philippines. The hottest months in Taal are April and May when daytime temperatures hit the 90s. This peak in summer is followed by the monsoon season that lasts between May and October. Are you not ready for these extreme weather conditions? These extreme weather conditions are not for you? Instead, you should aim for December-February. This month is both the hottest and the dryest.
HOW DO YOU GET TO THERE?
You can rent a chauffeured vehicle for the day if you are a tourist but don’t have a vehicle.
This is the fastest route from Manila to Taal SLEX Magallanes is approximately two hours away.
- From Manila, take the South Luzon Expressway to reach the Star Tollway.
- Follow the Lipa exit out of Star Tollway Once you’ve exited, take a left turn at the National Highway to Taal/Lemery/Cuenca.
- Keep going straight on the Phoenix station to your left. Take a left just before you reach the gas station. This is Cuenca/Taal/Lemery.
- For approximately 11.5 kms, continue on the winding road to Alitagtag’s welcome arch. A Pacific One station is located just 1.7 km from the arch. You will find the town of Alitagtag Poblacion on your right.
- For 3kms, continue straight to the Sta. Teresita Town. After passing underneath the arch, continue straight along the National Highway Junction for 1.5 kms. You’ll see a Petron Gas Station at the end. Continue straight towards Taal.
- After approximately 5 km, you will come to an intersection with Flying V gas station. Keep going straight and keep your left hand at the fork. Taal will also be located 2km further.
Although it is longer than that of the Lipa, this route offers scenic views and more beauty. SLEX Magallanes is approximately three hours away.
- To get to Sta., take the South Luzon Expressway departing from Manila (SLEX). Rosa. Turn right after passing through the toll booths towards Tagaytay Follow the main Tagaytay National Highway towards Nasugbu and take a left at its end.
- The San Miguel Convention Center is located to your left just before you see the Nasugbu Signal. Just before the Petron Station, take an immediate left on the road just after the San Miguel Convention Center. You will be able to travel this road (Diokno Highway) all the way to Lemery. NOTE: You have missed Diokno Highway if the arch at Nasugbu has been passed. Return.
- Continue driving for approximately 40 minutes and then take a right at the traffic lights towards Lemery.
- You will find the Pansipit Bridge at the end of the road if you continue straight. This is Taal Heritage Town. Take a left turn and continue uphill to Taal Town.
From either the Buendia station or Cubao station, you can take the JAM Liner bus Lemery to Lemery. The Buendia station can be found closer to Makati.
Buendia busses depart Buendia around 4AM and come back about 8PM. It costs PHP 178. To travel to Cubao, it costs PHP 186 The bus leaves at 4:55AM, and arrives back at 7:30PM. Your driver should drop you off at TAAL TOWN to ensure that you do not miss your stop.
Follow this link to view JAM Liner bus terminal information.
Ala eh! You made it!
HOW LONG WILL YOU STAY?
Taal has a small population so it is best to stay for one night. Arrive before noon to be there by the mid-afternoon next day. You’ll have ample time for the main attractions. If you wish, you can combine it with a trip Tagaytay.
What MONEY DO I HAVE TO BRING?
Taal Heritage Town is an attractive option for people who want a lower-cost alternative. You can travel with your companion and stay over night in a room that is PHP 3000. The package includes 3 meals, round-trip bus ticket, lodging, museum admission fees and accommodation.
Taal’s accommodation is most costly. Each bed and breakfast as well as each room costs PHP 2,000 per night. These homes have been passed down from the past, so it’s not surprising that they are so popular. Experience is just as important as lodging. Tampuhan Cafe offers the most affordable rooms. You can book a room in one of their air-conditioned apartments with shared bathroom and internet for PHP 850. Breakfast included Although the rooms may be old-fashioned and musky, there is a shared bathroom and free WiFi. solihiya bed. For solo travellers, this is an excellent option.
There are not many ATMs or banks in my area so be sure to bring enough cash.
WHERE TO STAY: Paradores del Castillo
Paradores del Campillo, an adorable bed and breakfast, has 7 rooms. They are located in an ancestral building that was renovated. The new facility opened in March 2015. We loved our stay at the hotel. Amazing rooms. You can book a room through Booking.com, or Agoda. You can find the best deals by checking both websites. You can find more information in my article Paradores de Castillo, Taal Heritage Town.
Perhaps Paradores Del Castillo is not the best place to meet your needs.
Starting at PHP 2500 per night, including breakfast (as of June 2015).
WHERE/WHAT TO DO
1. Pio Goco will take you on a Taal Heritage Town Food & Walking Tour
If you’re only in town for one day, Pio’s Tour can be a wonderful way to explore the city. It begins at 11AM at the ancestral Goco residence and ends at key Taal locations like Caysasay Church, Galleria Taal. This tour takes approximately six hours. It ends at sunset with spectacular views of the Basilica bell Tower.
For more information and pictures, see my post on Pio Goco’s food and walking tour through Taal Heritage Town.
Tour duration: 6 Hours Price includes lunch and entry fees to the museum. PHP 1,500 for 7 pax (7 pax), PHP 1,380 per person (8 pax).
2. Step back in Time at the Ancestral House
This is why people come to Taal from their ancestral homes. Taal is full of things to admire, such as Casa V’s hand-pressed tiles made from tin and intricate stenciling at the Wedding Gift House or the vintage costumes in Villa Tortuga. Amazing items that have a lot to do with history.
For more information, see my post on Taal Heritage Town’s ancestral houses.
For an ancestral home, the price is PHP 80
3. The Biggest Church in Southeast Asia
Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours is Southeast Asia’s largest church, measuring 88.6m (291.1 ft). It measures 48m tall (157 feet). You can see it at sunrise and sunset.
The Basilica is included in Pio Goco’s food and walking tour through Taal Heritage Town.
All Rights Reserved
4. Enjoy a Healing Miracle at The Sacred Well of Sta. Lucia
Sta. Sta. It is believed that the waters from Sta. Lucia Well may have healing properties. It is here that 1611 saw the first recorded sighting of Our Lady of Caysasay, a Philippine saint, in Philippine history. For anyone who believes that miracles can be achieved, this is an essential viewing.
Sta. Pio Goco’s walking and food tour in Taal Heritage Town also includes Lucia Well, and Caysasay Church.
Prices: You can drink the holy spring for free, but candles are PHP 20 per set
WHERE TO EATS
1. Don Juan BBQ Boodle House
This place is fun and delicious. Don Juan BBQ is right in the center of the town, next to the Market. You’ll find a wide variety of dishes called “boodles”. You can choose from a range of different boodles, which are best served with banana leaves. They’re meant to be shared between 4-6 people.
There were two of us, so we decided to go with the Inihaw (roasted), platter that can serve 2-3 people. This platter contained squid and poultry, chicken, fish, lamb, fish, some sides, and some meats. Non-Filipino tourists will not be disappointed if they have this opportunity.
You can expect to spend PHP 350 for a person including beverages
2. Tampuhan Cafe
It is located in the middle of Villa Tortuga, near the Apacible Museum. The Tampuhan Cafe offers a wonderful spot for escaping the heat during midday. You can choose from a variety of snacks such as mini-pizzas and crepes.
The menu is limited so stop by to get merienda (afternoon snacks). Breakfast is also available.
You can expect to pay PHP 180 for a person including beverages
3. Car Wash Halo-Halo
It’s so delicious! Ren claimed that she’d go back to Taal for the halo halo even though she does not like it. She said it was the most delicious halo-halo she’d ever had.
The halo-halo is a classic Filipino dessert that’s made with shaved and evaporated milk and a variety of ingredients such as sweet beans, pinipig (pounded unmature rice) and leche flan. This ice almost reminds me of a milkshake. This is refreshing and tasty, particularly on hot summer days.
You can expect to pay PHP 50 per head
This was why it was nicknamed “Halo-Halo by the Car Wash”, because that’s what it really is. It is not available in a restaurant. It is served at Jhun Estacio’s house, right next to the Agoncillo Mansion White House. It’s so hilarious! These are fantastic finds.
1. You can rent a wireless pocket device
Travelers to the Philippines by backpackers coming from other countries will need an internet connection. An sim card is available for purchase or you may use a personal WiFi device. Although pocket WiFi devices are easier to use, they can also be more costly.
They can be collected at the airport, or they will be delivered straight to your hotel. You can follow the links to buy a simcard, or rent an pocket wifi device via Klook.
2. Get Travel Insurance
Non-Filipino travellers should purchase travel insurance prior to visiting the Philippines. Infrastructure isn’t as developed. If you plan to visit places like Sagada and Batad, where you might slip and get hurt while hiking, travel insurance will come in handy.
While we may not purchase insurance before traveling, we buy it when we are there. These are two top-rated providers of travel insurance and they’re often used by long-term travelers. For more information on why do we buy travel insurance, and a detailed description of both, please visit my article. Follow the links to receive a free quote for World Nomads and SafetyWing.