by: Crystal April Valencia
Celebrated annually during the month of April, EL PASUBAT Festival is the conglomeration of the trademarks of Taal, Batangas. EL PASUBAT stands for Empanada, Longganisa, Panutsa,Suman, Balisong, Barong Tagalog, Tapa, Tamales, Tawilis, Tulingan — the delicacies and crafts that Taal is known for.
The festival is one grandiose way of highlighting the products of Taal in a celebration made to ignite Taaleños’ pride of the things that contributed to the economic growth of the municipality and the unity that strengthens the people.
Parade of Floats and Street Dancing
The town’s celebration will kick off with a colorful parade and street dancing competition as heritage homes around the town plaza open their doors for tourists to behold Taal’s timeless beauty.
EL PASUBAT Challenge
Champion: Tampuhan Cafe
2Nd Place : Our Lady of Caysasay Medical Health Center
3rd Place: Taal Active Alliance Legion
TAPA Making: Our Lady of Caysasy Medical Health Center
Balisong Making: MGM Ranch
Burda Making: Taal Active Alliance Legion
Suman Making: Don Juan Boodle House
Panutsa Making: Don Juan Boodle House
Awarding Ceremony for the EL PASUBAT CHALLENGE
T A A L M U S A L
Another highlight of the festival is the Taalmusal, a breakfast fete on the streets of the heritage town that will feature Taal’s native delicacies.
PALARO NG LAHI
CONCERT IN THE PARK
What more could you ask for! It’s More FUN in TAAL!
Come and Celebrate with us!
By: Crystal April Valencia
Photos by : Haji Photograps
Featuring: Filipiniana, Retro Dresses, FDAP Outfits, and Wedding Gowns made by Designers of Taal
Burdang Taal is a coined term for the town’s hand embroidery industry which has been existing for many decades now. What makes Burdang Taal a local pride is because of its distinct patterns and accents. It also contributes not just in for the economy but also for the Tourism Industry of Taal.
April 27, 2014 Taal ELPASUBAT aims to promote Burdang Taal. The Fashion Show gives mark to the celebration, it showcased how the crafts of Taaleños were really artistically, intricately and sturdily made .
(Fashion Designers Association of The Philippines)
Wedding Gowns & Barongs
Aside from being known for its rich history, Taal, Batangas has a wide variety of foods and crafts that Taaleños (people of Taal) are really proud of.
Upon visiting Taal, Batangas, be sure to experience tasting their native products such as:
Empanada – It consists of ground pork with potato and carrots wrapped in a soft and delicious crust is considered to be one of the best-tasting versions of this Filipino version of the pocket sandwich.
Longganisa has a distinct taste from being marinated in secret ingredients. The meat is flavored with adobo marinade and garlic. The meat is not finely-ground and contains chunks of fat. It is slightly salty and would fall into the deredaco garlicky (or mabawang) category. This can only be bought at the Taal market.
Aside from bulalo, lomi, and kapeng barako which Batangas is known for, there’s another must-try when you head down here in the province – the tapang Taal.
Usually, when you hear the word tapa, you would think of beef. But in Taal, their tapa is pork marinated in soy sauce with garlic and calamansi. Last week, I had tapang Taal for three straight meals. It’s best paired with fried rice and kapeng barako. Have it dipped in vinegar with onions and chilis. Yummy!
The best thing about having a delicacy or a dish that became a best-seller is the opportunity for the locals to have it as their own livelihood. There are lots of Taal locals selling this tapa and eventually they have been gaining frequent patrons from other neighboring towns and even from other provinces.
Panutsa – It’s Batangas version of peanut brittle – made of caramelized brown sugar and whole peanuts. This sugar-loaded delicacy will surely give you enough dose for a sweet fixation. It may sound common, but Taaleños boast that their peanut varieties are tastier. It comes in different sizes, most commonly in the size of an 8 inch plate.
Suman or rice cake – This is wrapped in banana leaves is also something one should not miss. They say what makes it extra tasty is the fact that it was mixed for several hours in order to achieve a desired consistency.
The suman salehiya which is made of boiled sticky rice is a perfect merienda specially when eaten with tsokolate brewed from tableyang-taal, the distinct chocolate ball ground from cacao mixed with brown sugar.
Burdang Taal (Barong Embroidery) refers to the long tradition of hand embroidery since the turn of the century executed on fabric, especially on jusi and pina, and more popularly sought for the Barong Tagalog worn by the Filipino gentleman. Burdang Taal is also done for ternos and gowns and has a wide range of clothing lines from infants to adults, for both the male and female customers. Other fabrics are also used like cotton, linen and ramie. It is also used to accent garment accessories and home décor items.
Taal is known for, Burdang Taal , its fine hand-embroidered Barong materials, pillow cases, bed covers, table cloths and napkins. The finest burdang Taal are found in workshops and stores at Barangay Niogan and at the public market. The most popular embroidered materials are for making the barong tagalog and saya , the country’s traditional costumes for men and women respectively. There is a wide choice of materials from the expensive semi-transparent Piña made from pineapple fibers, jusi made from silk, gusot mayaman from ramie, cotton and synthetic fibers.
Balisong (Butterfly Knives) – This is a another Batangas’ pride. In the Wikipedia, it is described as: a Philippine folding pocket knife with two handles counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called flipping, are performed for art or amusement.
One would usually find Batangas butterfly knives stalls on the highways of Lemery and Taal where one could directly buy balisongs. These knives are of various sizes, from a key-chain to beinte nueve – (the standard size) up to a garden-cutter size.
Alah eh, ay tayo na sa Taal!
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by Nicole Lopez
Last September 8, 2012, our History I class together with the other classes of the same subject, went to different cities and towns of Batangas to discover different sites related to Philippine History. First stop was the Malvar Shrine in Sto. Tomas. This was the shrine made for General Miguel Malvar, one of the elite generals during the American period. A monument of him stood in front of the Sto. Tomas municipal hall and a museum about him stood one block away from the monument. The museum is filled with different paintings, busts, documents, newspaper articles, artifacts like guns and coins, books, clothes, etc.
Malvar’s portrait at the museum
Some memorabilia in the museum
Next is the Mabini Shrine in Tanauan. Here lies the remnant of our great hero, Apolinario Mabini. His museum displays some of his paintings, the Katipunan flags and also memorabilia like his glasses, parts of his clothes, his chair, his handkerchief, and even his first coffin. The museum also features his awards as an outstanding Batangueno.
Apolinario Mabini’s tomb
Some memorabilia in Mabini Shrine
The Cathedral of Lipa was the next site we visited. The church featured many small and life-sized images of different saints. According to its history, it was reconstructed after the eruption of Mount Taal in 1754.
Inside and outside of the Lipa Cathedral
Next we visited different places around Taal, Batangas. First is the Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine followed by the Santa Lucia Well, where a miraculous fountain lies. We also visited a factory of “panutsa”, a dessert made of sweetened peanuts.
Our Lady Of Caysasay Altar
Santa Lucia Well
The place that overwhelmed me the most is the Taal Basilica. Outside, it looks enormous and old, yet it is a breath-taking scenery. The view of inside was more breath-taking as I expected it to be. Maybe it’s because I have never experienced to enter such a huge church. Its ceiling is really high and is painted with various patterns. Its altar is white with silver decorations. Its patron saint is Saint Martin of Tours. According to our tour guide, he helped Jesus who disguised himself as a beggar by lending him his cape. The church is also famous for its “pulpito” where the priest stood when he is giving his homily for the people, in such a wide basilica, to hear him.
Next place is Leon Apacible’s house. He was a lawyer and was appointed by General Emilio Aguinaldo as the finance officer of Batangas, and then as a delegate to the Malolos Congress. The house featured some of Spanish-timed materials like tablewares, fans, clothes, hairpins, etc. Some blade makers demonstrated how to make a balisong.
Leon Apacible’s house
Last stop is Marcela Agoncillo’s home. Marcela Agoncillo is the wife of Teodoro Agoncillo and the maker of the Philippine flag. The house brought out how rich the Agoncillo family is. Some of the family member’s things are displayed in the house like their bags, outfits, and religious possessions. Embroidery is also shown inside the house.
Marcela Agoncillo’s House memorabilia
The tour was great. Even though Batangas is my father’s hometown, I never thought that it will also be the birthplace of some of our famous heroes. Being one of the eight provinces who fought back to the Spaniards, Batangas proved that its citizens are brave to claim their independence over the colonizers. I learned many things, whether it is something that goes inside my mind, but also inside my heart.
———— Nicole Lopez is an 18 years old BS Computer Science Major in UP Manila.