We were actually planning to go to Vigan. I told my mom I wanted to see the old houses, the tiled streets, the capiz windows and whatever resemblance the city looks like from the olden times. I wanted to see how history books described the Philippines before (or a part of it).

I remember my mom said, “Vigan’s too far. I don’t think our time will allow it. Why don’t we just visit Taal. It looks the same as Vigan.”

The next morning after my nephew’s birthday celebration, our wheel is now geared towards Taal.

From Tuy, we went to Balayan where we bought some sweets for pasalubong back home. If you happen to visit Balayan or if you’re just nearby, try Dulceria Angela. They make such good delicacies.

Our next stop was Calaca. I actually only took some photos of the welcome arch with my cousin while the rest of my relatives were waiting for us in the car.

And then, we reached Lemery. We had a short break at Jollibee then started moving again.

It didn’t take us long until we reached Taal itself. Taal didn’t have a big extravagant arch like other municipalities in Batangas, but I wish I still did get a decent shot of it.

We finally reached Taal.

Dubbed as Balisong and Barong Tagalog Capital of the Philippines, Taal also houses the Asia’s Biggest Catholic Church, Basilica of St. Martin de Tours, also known as Taal Basilica.

That’s my uncle pointing to the top of the church where we would be heading in just a while.

Ang Basilika ng Taal (1575)
Unang itinayo ni Padre Diego Espina noong 1575 sa ngayon ay San Nicolas na dating bahagi ng Balangon. Nagiba noong 1754 nang pumutok ang bulkan. Ipinagawa sa kasalukuyang kinatatayuan noong 1755 at iginuho ng lindol noong 1849. Kinikilalang pinakamalaking simbahang Katoliko sa dakong silangan, ang kasalukuyang simbahan ay sinimulan noong 1856 ayon sa ibinalangkas ni Luciano Oliver, isang arkitekto, pinasinayaan ito noong 1865.

Now let’s go inside the church.

The amazing ceiling of the basilica.

An adoration chapel is located at the right hand side of the chapel dedicated to the almighty creator.

This adoration chapel was built through the initiative of Isabel, Annie, Betty and Loreta Lualhati in gratitude for all the blessings and graces received from the Almighty.

Now for the most exciting part of the trip. We’re now heading to the top of the church. The next photo didn’t do justice on how high the climb would be. 😆

The stairway going to the dark and narrow passageway to the top of the church.

Passageway getting smaller and smaller.

We almost reached the top when the 3 o’clock bell rang. Here’s a 16-second video of the actual ringing of the bell.

From our point of view…

It was a long and tiring trip, unexpected and definitely a moment to remember.