Comedy Relief: Haute Taal, October 2009

On one A-MRMF Assumption Mother Rosa Memorial Foundation Tour to the beautiful heritage town of Taal in Batangas, we visited the two beautifully restored and strictly maintained Villavicencio ancestral houses, the 1850s “Original” and the 1870s “Wedding”…

In the “Sala” [ drawing room ] of the 1870s “Wedding” house, now owned by Ms. Monsy Villavicencio-Joven, initials of the illustrious Villavicencio-Marella family members intertwined with leaves and flowers were painted on the frieze of the room.

Admiring the ornate “Sala” [ restored under the direction of patrician Filipiniana scholar Martin “Sonny” Imperial Tinio Jr. ], one of the socially prominent lady travelers, who certainly knew her Art and Antiques, but decided to be naughty nonetheless, pointed to a painted cipher and quipped:  “Sosyal!  “L V”… Louis Vuitton!!!”   😛   😛   😛

Harharhar!!!   😀   😀   😀



  1. Don Escudero said,

    December 3, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Taal is a town with a unique history and has been lucky to have been spared the ravages of the 20th century. It almost feels like an island in time. However, it has been pointed out to me that what preserved Taal was also what keeps it from progressing.

    There is no greater contrast than between bucolic Taal and its twin across the river, Lemery. Lemery has all the hallmarks of a bustling contemporary town. It has a large commercial center and a bigger population. It has also no old buildings to speak of, having been razed during the war. It has more than its share of Chinese-Filipino businesses which contribute to its prosperity. In contrast, no Chinoy business ever seems to prosper in Taal.

    Whatever the reason behind this, it is indicative of why Taal seems to have been left behind. There is no reason why tradition and conservation cannot proceed hand in hand with economic progress and prosperity. It must be in the attitude of the town population that is the greatest barrier to progress.

    Some years back, a group of people from outside Taal, fresh from their success in reviving the dying pina industry in Panay, offered to help revive the moribund embroidery industry by holding seminars in product development, new design directions and marketing techniques, only to to be spurned by the locals who accused them of trying to steal their outdated, quaint but no longer very marketable designs.

  2. Rain Tabora said,

    December 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Taal is indeed very beautiful. Too bad most of the manses are deteriorating and neglected. The leading citizens of Taal should make a concerted effort in having Taal declared a national historic town like Vigan, to bring tourists in and preserve the traditional arts and crafts like embroidery and balisong making…

  3. larry leviste said,

    December 2, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I think it’s Taal Day today. I didn’t know their cathedral was the largest in Asia? Saw early morning show. I am Batangueno, FYI.

  4. Enrique Bustos said,

    December 2, 2009 at 4:01 am

    About a decade ago, i was able to visit the Apacible house in Taal, Batangas. I still remember, to this day, the Caniza-Apacible family set of gilded heirloom bone china handpainted with Roman goddesses that was bought by their ancestors in Florence, Italy and matched with gilded antique Venetian wine goblets and sterling silverware from the 1920’s. I think their house is now a museum open to the public.

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