A Cultural Tour of Taal, Batangas Part 3 of 5

Here are some of the things you can see in Taal. Admittedly, these are the things most people will go to when visiting the historic town. Our tight schedule means we didn’t have time to explore, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t have fun.

Taal is known for many things, including:

Ancestral houses, in the same way that Vigan is.

Marcela Agoncillo, who sewed the Philippine flag in Hong Kong.

Her ancestral home is now a museum, and is a great way to see what life was like during the Spanish era.

The there is Panocha, a kind of peanut brittle. It’s sickly sweet and hard enough to break off a tooth. It makes great pasalubong, though. And though easy to make, involves heat, which makes for a sweaty, smoke-filled workroom.

And the balisong, or butterfly knife. They are made in a Barangay called Balisong. In this part of town, every other house has a cabinet of butterfly knives for sale.

They also make other kinds of blades and, presumably, are not afraid to use them.

We met a guy who is a master butterfly knife fighter, and has even used his skill to scare off a would-be mugger in Manila once when he was 18.

Taal is also known for its embroidered linen.

And you can see the most amazing things on the side of the road.

On Thursday, I continue listing the food that we had on Appetite and Carnation’s Family Food Trip.


Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.

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