Taal Basilica, Batangas: Location, History, Interior, Mass Schedule

I am eager to visit Taal Basilica or the Minor Basilica of St. Martin of Tours because an earthquake hit Batangas and it created a crack on the wall of this church. By the way, it is considered as one of the largest catholic churches in Asia which measures 96 meters long and 45 meters wide, as per taal.gov.ph.

My journey started in Ortigas, where I rode in a bus bound for Lemery. It was weekend, so there were a lot of passengers on the bus. What I love about this trip was hearing the thick and unique accent of the Batanguenos.

Honestly, I've been to a few municipalities of Batangas, but it's my first time to visit Lemery and Taal. As what I always do before paying the bus konduktor, I ask questions: "Kuya dadaan ba ito malapit sa Taal Basilica?" Konduktor replied: "Ay hindi na Sir, bawal na kami doon dumaan." As per my research, that's true! But Konduktor said: "Baba nalang kayo sa Flying V" and I replied while paying giving the money, "Okay, sabihan mo nalang ako pag dun na huh, diko kasi alam eh." He replied: "Sige Sir! Pag-sumigaw ako ng Flying V, yun an yun!.

The whole journey, I was paying attention to Kuya if when he's going to shout "Flying V." I was also assuming that it's an area beside a gasoline station, because it's Flying V, right? Antalino ko diba? Akalain n'yong naisip ko yun? So there, first Flying V gasoline station was before or after Alitaptap, if I am not mistaken. I really gave my 103.2 percent attention to Kuya but he didn't shout. Again, we passed by another Flying V, but he didn't shout. The last Flying V was near an intersection, beside a coliseum or a basketball court, not sure! But there's a lot of motorcycles and vehicles parked outside. I focused again, waiting for him to shout but he didn't! Do you know the next stop? It's already the bus terminal in Lemery. But it's fine and really a funny situation. At DLTB terminal, I rode in a tricycle to Taal Basilica. Travel time was twenty to thirty minutes.

From afar, I easily noticed the huge facade of Taal Basilica

The facade similar to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

By the entrance, a metal historical plate is located that says: "Unang itinaryo ni Padre diego Espina noong 1575 sa ngayon ay San Nicolas na dating bahagi ng Balangon. Nagiba noong 1754 nang pumutok ang bulkan. Ipinagawa sa kasalukuyang kinatatayuan noong 1755 at iginuho ng lindol noong 1849. Kinikilalang pinakamalaking simbahang katoliko sa dakong Silangan. Ang kasalukuyang simbahan ay sinimulan noong 1856 ayon sa ibinalangkas ni Luciano Oliver, isang arkitekto. Pinasinayaan ito noong 1865."

What astounded me when I was standing by the entrance of this church were the unique silver tabernacle and the spectacular and artistic curves on the ceiling, highlighted by the stunning lights. The ambiance inside was solemn, calm and really relaxing. I did not proceed in front as respect to the couples having their wedding vows.

When I entered the door on the right side, found a small area that looks like a museum or a gallery. The room has thick walls covered with bricks and wood. The floor is also made up of woods, properly polished until it becomes shiny. There are wooden sala sets and furniture, frames with photos, sculptures and other memorabilia used in the church. Photos below will explain further.

This gigantic church is situated on top of the hill. Similar to the other provinces, if there's an old church, for sure the municipal hall and old houses are nearby. What's different in Taal, I think are the people. I felt like I was Welcomed! Those people that I met, they were all smiling at me, maybe because most of them were vendors in the tiange at the plaza. But still they were friendly.

I only have one reason why I visited Taal, Batangas today and that's to have a glimpse of the history of the province. I totally enjoyed this solo-backpacking even though it was a sweaty day, plus the fact that I was wearing a semi-formal top matched with a short-short and an old gray Salomon shoes.

By the basketball court, I rode in a jeepney with SM Lipa signboard and alighted in the grand bus terminal, just beside SM. Travel time is an hour and thirty minutes. If you want to go back to Lemery, you can choose either tricycle or jeepneys.


Ortigas to Lemery - 170 pesos
Tricycle from Lemery to Taal Basilica - 80 pesos
Jeep from Taal Basilica to SM Lipa - 50 pesos
Jolibee for Lunch - 104 pesos
Bus from SM Lipa to Manila - 124 pesos