Monday, October 27, 2014

The Past Revisted

A lot of my friends say that I am an old soul.  I guess that's the best explanation they have for my fascination for the past and everything that's old.

I love antique stores.  I love antique things, though I don't particularly like buying antiques as I am quite scared of bringing something else home with me... if you know what I mean.

I love old songs, old dances and the fashion of the past.  

And I cannot say no to a chance to visit an old town, an old ancestral house or an old church.

Yesterday, I saw an opportunity to visit a church I had always wanted to visit but never had the chance to until yesterday.

Hunny Bed and I went to Batangas to visit his aunt and the tomb of his grandparents.  Since the church I wanted to go to was just an hour away from there, I requested Ruel to drive us to Taal where the church was.  Being the perfect gentleman that he always is, and being the husband who always wants to please his wife, he agreed to take that side trip to the "Heritage Town" of Taal.  

After asking around three people for directions, we finally entered the town and I immediately regretted not making that side trip a main trip long ago.  There were still a lot of ancestral houses in town, and many of them were turned into museums which I thought would have fascinated my son as well, had he been with us and had we had enough time to go around the town.  My son and I share the same passion for history and this was something we could have enjoyed together.  

The church was easy to find, as the massive structure stands on top of a hill.   It stands 95 meters long and 45 meters wide.  This majestic church looks out to the rest of the town below it.

And yes, it was love at first sight!!! A big thank you and a big kiss to Ruel for bringing me there!

Walking up and and down these stairs made me wonder how many women like me had climbed the same steps to the church.  What kind of life did they live during the Spanish colonial time?  What town gossips did the women talk about while climbing up the stairs to the church?  What were their pains? What did they pray for?

                                                            I just loved these columns!!!

                    and of course, the man in green!

                                                                        That's me with the church's old bell.
An image of the Sacred Heart stands in front of the basilica.

How the church looks inside 

The interior of the church had undergone restorations and renovations over time but the exterior has weathered the test of time. The old San Martin de Tours church was built during the late 1500s in another site near the shore but the church was terribly damaged by the Taal Volcano erruption in 1754 and it was rebuilt in the present site in 1755 with the help of men, women and children who carried the adobe slabs that were dug up from the original site to the new church site on top of the hill.  The structure was badly damaged during the 1849 earthquake and was rebuilt from 1856-1865.

Love, love the imprints of time!

That's my Ruel beside the old bell.  I forgot to ask if it was from the original structure.

The Taal Church or San Martin De Tours Basilica is baroque in style and is considered to be the largest Catholic Church in Asia.

I found my new favorite church, a real historic treasure in a town rich with culture and heritage.  I wish to get another glimpse of it soon, and explore the rest of the town with Ruel and my son.

Until then, I'll continue to search for other windows to the past. 


  1. I love the photos you've taken claire I'm like you and into boating churches cathedrals castles etc my real thing is the Tudor kings and queens

    1. Wow! I'm into the Tudor royalty too! I live charting family trees!


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