The best morning I’ve had so far this year was on January 2. My family and I had spent the night at Kabayan beach resort in San Juan, Batangas. I woke up really early to catch the sunrise. My mom and brother joined me on my walk along the beach. We were partly waiting for the sun to rise, and partly looking for a pan de sal vendor. Didn’t have much luck with finding bread, but we luckily found a taho vendor. When everybody was up, we rented a boat that toured us around a bit. When we were back at the resort, it was bright and warm enough for a nice morning swim. Bam. Perfect morning.
In high school, we had to learn about our province Batangas through the Aral ng Batangueño. We even had a book, and some sort of vow, and while I don’t remember much of what I ‘learned’, at the time it was nice to find out about the different towns and cities
my crushes were from in Batangas. I never asked people from other places, but now I wonder if they had subjects about their provinces, too.
Anyway, when we went to Taal to attend a wedding, my brother and I snuck out of the ceremony to walk around the town. Taal is known for producing balisong and barong tagalog (an embroidered formal dress shirt), so people would travel to the town market to get these.
This is kaartehan sa palengke.
They sell colorful dresses and wedding gowns, too!
Oh, and the houses. So beautiful. Let’s take a walk…
When I still lived in the Philippines, every Good Friday, my family and I used to visit different churches around Batangas, and the Taal Basilica, or Basilica de San Martin de Tours, was always my favorite. I loved the old facade, the stairs leading up to the church, and how simple it was even in its grandness. So different from the usual opulence one sees. These days, whenever I visit the country, I try to visit Taal Basilica. Last December, we attended a wedding held there. I was so excited because I heard the church was newly restored.
I love the combination of blue and gold.
I wonder how many people had their pictures taken at this spot!
Okay, the Taal Cultural Center nearby isn’t really part of the church, but I loved the steps and the casual red carpet.
I was easily distracted by the ceiling (or is it a dome?). The light coming in was so beautiful, I couldn’t really capture it with the camera. I was so mesmerized that I didn’t take that many photos inside the church. I just wanted to look at it.
Mary among bricks. I didn’t see any sign nearby, but there must be an interesting story to this.