I have just been to Taal, Batangas. Visited the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours, the Caysasay Shrine, the Sacred Well of Sta. Lucia, the Villavicencio Houses, Leon Apacible Museum, the Agoncillo Heritage Houses and Museums. You may have already read my blogs about the heirloom houses and the churches. Gorged on Tapang Taal and Panucha. But the prospect of eating home-cooked Tulingan and Adobong Dilaw beckons. And a visit to earlier-missed Villa Tortuga makes this next visit sooner than expected.

We almost dined here!

Inside Villa Tortuga

Home-Cooked Tulingan and Adobong Dilaw

The last time we visited, we dined in Taal Bistro. We considered lunch in full Filipiniana regalia in Villa Tortuga this time around. But my friend Alice has a cousin in Taal waiting to serve us a breakfast of Tapang Taal, Longganiza and Pancit. It didn’t stop there.

Sinaing na Tulingan

Adobong Dilaw

Home-cooked Tulingan (matched with bagoong made of tulingan innards – a first time! yummy) and Adobong Dilaw was scheduled for lunch. How can you resist that? (Thank you, Alice). It was all we could think about as we passed a number of heritage houses along Agoncillo Street. Just off the Villavicencio and Goco Houses , and right along the street leading to Taal Basilica, we had our lunch of Batangas delicacies. We only stopped eating these local dishes when we were served Turon. Hmmm, you can say we stopped eating to eat again and have our desserts – if there ever is such a thing. :-)

Stairway to History

Villa Tortuga

Alice arranged this visit at the Villa Tortuga. Lovely house. And alas, I found a truly good tour guide in Taal, Batangas. Well, I met him in my earlier visit but he guided us only in a couple of heritage houses then. This time around, Rochie guided us around Villa Tortuga and even took our photos! His assistant Adrian is just as competent without saying much. Adrian knew just where to have us pose, arrange the folds of our skirts here and there, pin our baro’t saya wherever, and snap our pictures. Oh, we had a blast.

How hard can it be taking ur own photo dressed like this?

And here are ur LOLAS. Donya Victorina? Maria Clara? Sisa? No, don't answer that.

While I have already written about the heritage houses of Taal, Batangas (check out http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Philippines/Batangas/Taal/blog-652149.html ) as well as the religious sites here, this experience deserves a separate blog. Our photos will tempt you to brand us either as Donya Victorinas, older versions of Maria Clara and Leonor Rivera, or a Sisa looking for her sons. Whatever. Eat your heart out. We had a blast!

Looking for her Ibarra. Or Crispin. :-)

Thank you ladies, for a wonderful time. It may not be the best of time to visit and have fun, but we really had a hilarious day trip, didn’t we?

Those planning day trips not too far from Manila, try this. If you like, call Villa Tortuga : 7250819, 7254562 or 0917-8246900 for lunch and Taal tour. It’s actually easy to do, but you need to arrange to visit some heritage houses. Otherwise, you just admire them from outside.

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