Friday, November 27, 2009

Taal Town: Details of a Colonial Past

Taal Town Another Interesting Door KnockerTaal Town used to be the capital of Batangas until it was moved to Batangas City. The name itself means "indigenous" and why it is so carries an interesting back story.
Taal Town Villavicencio Heritage House Window GrillsAccording to wikipedia, the descendants of Bornean settlers in Panay spread out in two groups, towards the north in Laguna de Bay and to the south in the Bicol area. The ones who stayed put in Batangas and Laguna became the Tagalogs (or "people of the river"). Their language evolved into pre-Spanish Tagalog. Bonbon became Taal (or "indigenous") for the town is considered the center or origin of the Tagalog language.
Taal Town Municipio in Dramatic LightBut I digress from my real topic. Seeing the town's old houses, we were amazed by their architecture, never mind that some them were already crumbling, perhaps weighed down by the years. I thought that the details were intriguing clues as to how prosperous, how beautiful the town was in its heyday. Call it divine intervention or miracle but in the aftermath of the discovery of the Lady of Caysasay and the building of the church, the town became a prosperous province. Galleons coming from Acapulco headed for Manila would get their provisions there, finding protection and shelter in the lake. Perhaps, that explains the beautiful houses and the awe-inspiring churches.
Taal Town Colorful WindowOne afternoon is not enough to explore the town and capture its colorful past. One day soon, I intend to go back and explore more.


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