Saturday, March 31, 2012

Taal, Batangas Tours (Part 3): The Basilica de San Martin de Tours

The Basilica de San Martin de Tours stands on high grounds and has a commanding view of the town of Taal, Batangas, a position deemed strategic most likely by the founding friars of the church. The imposing facade inspires both awe and reflection.

* the impressive facade of the
Basilica de San Martin de Tours, Taal
* one of the entrances to the basilica with the marker
installed by the National Historical Institute

* a closer look at the facade

* view of the interior aisle facing the doors

The original basilica, however, was not found in Taal but was built in San Nicolas (in Balangon) in 1575 led by Father Diego Espina. It was later moved to its present location in 1754 due to the eruption of Taal Volcano and the basilica was built again in 1755. The earthquake in 1849 destroyed the basilica. By 1856, reconstructions were done, the design of which was made by an architect named Luciano Oliver. It was inaugurated in 1865. The basilica is considered the biggest here in this side of Asia.

* the elaborately designed retablo of the basilica

* several side altars found inside the basilica

The church structure and its overall appearance stand evidence to the wealthy past of its parishioners. There were those numerous side altars with their feature saints and/or Virgins. The interior walls and ceilings were also painted with intricate designs and biblical scenes.

* view of the painted dome of the basilica

* a pulpit found on the side

* one of the many graves found inside the basilica

* the hallway of the right wing of the basilica;
reminds me again of Hogwarts

* a chandelier

This revisit to Taal and to the basilica as well was made more fortunate by witnessing a wedding being held in the place. I could only imagine the results of the shots made the photographers there – dreamy ones with the equally dreamy backgrounds set in the tone of stones and faded paints. But I’d say the use of toy guns to produce the bubbles for the entering bride has a comical touch to it.

* stairs leading to one of the side entrances of the basilica

* Viva Santo Niño! an image of the Santo Niño
found outside a chapel inside the basilica g

* statues found just outside the chapel inside the basilica;
I wonder what biblical scene the statues depict

* a fusion of native looks and concrete

* an old bell of the basilica displayed
on the grounds fronting the basilica

* a structure found just beside the basilica
which probably houses some parochial offices

What remains to be done is to see the basilica at night. It should be enthralling. A December visit would be good, especially during the traditional Simbang Gabi.

* Trailer Pransis just outside Escuela Pia
which is now the Taal Cultural Center

* a statue of a lady; below her is the inscription:
A Los Heroes Nacionales La Sociedad a Patria,
Taal 30 Mayo 1925

* view of the basilica from the Taal Park

Taal Park

Finally, a visit to the Taal Park is inevitable after the visit to the basilica. Found at the foot of the hill-like area of the basilica, the park is a good place to visit in the late afternoon as the heat would be unbearable if you do so in mid-afternoon. Local rice delicacies are being sold in the park which the visitors could purchase as pasalubong. And there’s the old Escuela Pia on one of the farthest side of the park to marvel at.


  1. i just visited taal.finally! i loved it!dapat umakyat ka sa belltower.the view from the tower was great,i only paid P50.when i went to the churh there was a wedding rehearsal.kakatawa naman yung toy gun for bubble effect.hahaha

  2. Hi Melvin. Hopefully a revisit to Taal will give me the chance to climb the bell tower.