The iconic Taal Volcano still remains to be the most popular attraction in this part of the country but there’s really more reason to include a trip to Batangas in your vacation list.

Here are 3 more reasons why you should visit Taal, Batangas – that is, if you haven’t yet:

A Walk Through History. Taal was not proclaimed as The Heritage Town of Batangas for nothing. The town is dotted with ancestral homes and historic sites that transport you back to the Spanish era. A trip to Taal will not be complete without visiting the Basilica de San Martin de Tours, one of the oldest and biggest churches in Asia. Although it has been re-built and renovated several times, the grandeur of its past is still evident.

Taal Basilica

The Asia’s Biggest Catholic Church!

Basilica de San Martin de Tours

The Basilica’s beauty is inside and out!

Jaw-dropping sculpture inside the church.

Jaw-dropping sculpture inside the Basilica.

Our exploration of its beauty doesn’t end there. The challenge is for us to reach the top of the church and say hello to the bell! There are some part of the narrow steps that’s dark.

Taal Batangs

Dark and narrow steps ahead!

Taal Batangas

Are we there yet?

We are almost there!

We are almost there!

Finally! First to see a real church bell, eh?

Finally! First to see a real Church bell, eh?

Of course, we can't miss some photos from the Church's rooftop!

Of course, we can’t miss some photos from the Basilica’s rooftop!

Overlooking Taal, Batangas

Overlooking Taal, Batangas

We were able to visit also the historal landmark of Marcela Agoncillo, the Mother of the Philippine Flag.

The house where she grew up was built by her grandfather, Andres Marino, in the 1700s. It contains the furniture, furnishings and personal memorabilia of the Agoncillo family. To emphasize its link with history, the house also showcases a permanent exhibit of the various flags of the Revolution and a diorama depicting the sewing of the first Philippine flag. In its garden stands the bronze statue of Marcela Agoncillo, cradling in her arms her legacy to the nation. – National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)

More of our exploration on Agoncillo’s house in a separate post.

Marcela Agoncillo's famous statue of weaving the Philippine flag.

Marcela Agoncillo’s famous statue of weaving the Philippine flag.

Proud to visit the house of the Mother of the Philippine flag!

Proud to visit the house of the Mother of the Philippine flag!

A walk to Leon Apacible’s house is worth it. He is a successful lawyer and Judge of the Court of First Instance of Batangas City. He’s also a clandestine rebel by 1890s, when his house became a meeting place of the resistance leaders.

In 1892, the colonial government discovered his activities and he was deported to Lepanto in the Mountain Province. Upon his return he joined General Miguel Malvar’s forces. As formidable a warrior as he was a lawyer, by 1898 he commanded his own forces in Batangas. – National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)

More of our exploration on Apacible’s house in a separate post.

Living room at Apacible's house

Living room at Apacible’s house

The door bell during their time.

The door bell during their time.

For photography enthusiasts, you might be interested to see the oldest cameras at Galleria Taal. It’s a unique museum showcasing vintage cameras!

A unique museum, indeed!

A unique museum, indeed!

I think we can use this for selfie or "groufie"

I think we can use this for selfie or “groufie”

In case you miss the miraculous Our Lady of Caysasay in the Basilica, just drive a few kilometres to the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay. Make sure you also drop by the Goco House and the Ylagan Dela Rosa House.

There are more historial spots in Taal, Batangas. It should be next to Vigan which is the world’s heritage site. The Department of Tourism should also consider promoting and highlighting Taal as a heritage town in their campaign for historic tourism.

Food Trip Galore. There’s no other place to eat your Adobo sa Dilaw and Sinaing na Tulingan than in Taal. Aside from these two Taal originals, this place is also popular for its flavourful tapas and longganisas, crispy tawilis, delectable suman salehiya, and sweet panocha.

Tampuhan Cafe. Yes, this quaint bed and breakfast deserves its very own entry on this list. The room interiors and furnishings take you centuries back allowing you to travel back through time.

A must-not missed place in Taal, Batangas - Tampuhan Cafe

A must-not missed place in Taal, Batangas – Tampuhan Cafe

Curious where the name Tampuhan Cafe came from? Benjie and Marj were inspired by the Tampuhan (which means “sulking”) painting of Juan Luna. The artwork depicts a Filipino man and a Filipino woman having a lover’s quarrel. But of course, it does not necessarily mean only sulking lovers are welcome in Tampuhan Cafe (though they could actually relax, think and make-up here).

Tampuhan Cafe

Warmly welcoming visitors!

Spend a night there to experience a little of life during the colonial period.

Tampuhan Cafe Batangas

Our first time to spent a night in this kind of bed.

Tampuhan Cafe Batangas

Someone had a good sleep!

Before you enjoy a cup of rich Batangas coffee in the Cafe, enrich your appreciation for art in the cafe’s art gallery. Better yet, support the local artists and buy a painting or two from the store.

Tampuhan Cafe also serves great coffee and food – cakes, pasta, pizza! They also serve rice and Taal tapa! Try their best fully bedecked lomi, ever! We will have our separate post about their food, but here’s one of our favorites!

volcano cake

After your cup of barako, have a chat with the locals coming on for afternoon snack or begin exploring the historical places in Taal.

She is ready to explore Taal!

She’s ready to explore Taal!

This rustic haven in Calle Marcela Agoncillo is truly worth the long hours of driving from the Metro.

Obviously, a happy visitor! Wala ng tampo.

Obviously, a happy visitor! Wala ng tampo.

We can’t wait to have our second visit soon!!

Tampuhan Cafe Taal

What a creative way to encourage kids to explore Taal history!

Tampuhan Cafe is located at Calle Marcela Agoncillo, Poblacion 6, Taal, Batangas. They are open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. Contact 0917 890 3566 for reservations. For more information, visit Tampuhan Cafe on Facebook. Enjoy!