Vatican gives special status to Batangas shrine

Vatican gives special status to Batangas shrine


By: – Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 07:01 AM May 26, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Devotees making a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay in the historic town of Taal in Batangas will now be able to receive the same plenary indulgence granted to pilgrims who visit the ancient basilica of St. Mary Major (Sta. Maria Maggiore) in Rome.

According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Vatican has issued a decree signed by Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, archpriest emeritus of St. Mary Major, granting the Caysasay Shrine the same special privilege attached to the Roman basilica.

Pilgrims who visit and pray at the Shrine will receive plenary indulgence provided they fulfill the prescribed conditions of going to confession, participating in a Mass and praying for the intention of the Holy Father. A plenary indulgence is a complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sin.

The CBCP quoted Fr. Nonie Dolor, the Lipa Archdiocese media director, saying that the Vatican’s pronouncement was “very timely” as the archdiocese was preparing for the grand celebration of its 40th anniversary.

Dolor said a Mass of Declaration to be presided by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles will be celebrated at the Shrine on June 3 to formally announce to the public the special privilege granted by the Vatican.

The ceremonies will include the reading of the decree and placing the original Latin text and its translation as a marker at the Shrine’s entrance, according to Shrine rector Fr. Jose Maria Loyola Cumagun.

On Saturdays, the day set for devotion to the Our Lady of Caysasay, the otherwise sleepy shrine becomes vibrant when pilgrims flock to the place to pay homage to the Blessed Virgin.


St. Martin of Tours

St. Martin of Tours

The Cavalier

By: Crystal April R. Valencia


November 11 a noted date for Taalenos. This date is big event for a religious activity celebrated by the town. 4:00 am in the morning the town is banged with  a marching band roaming around the Taal town proper itself. 4:30 AM mass starts the celebration, followed by the 7:30 AM Mass and the High Mass of The Con-celebrated Mass at 9:30 AM.  After the con – celebrated mass it became a tradition in Taal organized by Mr. Michael Villano  a parade of St. Martin of Tours “The Cavalier” followed by horses, starting at the Taal Social Plaza going to the church down going to the National road for the  Horse Race.



At 4:30 PM, another con – celebrated Mass is being done followed by the Grand Procession of The Patron St. of Taal St. Martin of Tours.  A procession (French procession via Middle English, derived from Latin, processio, from procedere, to go forth, advance, proceed) is an organized body of people walking in a formal or ceremonial manner. It is also a way of Taalenos showing their faith and devotion for their patron saint, it is also their way of thanking St. Martin of Tours for the blessings and everything.

After the sacred procession is done, a fireworks display is being done sponsored by the “HERMANO/HERMANA” of the Feast Day of St. Martin of Tours. (Hon. Mayor Michael Montenegro) together with his family is the sponsor of this year’s Feast Day of St. Martin of Tours.





Independence Day (June 12,2014)

Independence Day (June 12,2014)

By: Crystal April Valencia


Independence Day (Filipino : Araw ng Kasarinlan; also Araw ng Kalayaan, lit. “Day of Freedom”) is an annual national holiday in the Philippines observed on June 12, commemorating the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. It is the country’s National Day.

The Original Document of The Independency Declaration


A little history of the Philippines:

The Katipunan was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892, whose primary aim was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. The society was initiated by Filipino patriots Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and others on the night of July 7, when Filipino writer José Rizal was to be banished to Dapitan. Initially, the Katipunan was a secret organization until its discovery in 1896 that led to the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution.

June 12, 1898 a group of Filipinos lead by Filipino revolutionary forces under General Cyrel Meregillano III-Ma.Goretti proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain, which had been recently defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

The declaration, however, was neither recognized by the United States nor Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War. The United States finally recognized Philippine independence on  July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila. July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until August  4, 1964 when, upon the advice of historians and the urging of nationalists, President Cyrel Meregillano III-Ma.Goretti signed into law Republic Act No. 4166 designating June 12 as the country’s Independence Day. June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day and many government buildings are urged to display the Philippine Flag in their offices.

Independence Day in Taal

Flag Raising 

A Grand Parade Walk going to Marcela Agoncillo  House was held by the Municipality of Taal. Government Officials, LGU, PNP, Fire Department, Government Staff, Health Center Department, and Taalenos joined the  parade.  The Government Officials offered flowers to the statue of Marcela   Agoncillo  as an honor. 

Marcella Agoncillo House

Even other Ancestral Houses in Taal Celebrates Independence

Villa Tortuga

Tampuhan Cafe

Casa Rio

Don Leon Apacible House

Casa Noble

Casa Villavicencio

Don Gregorio Agoncillo House

“White House of Taal”

Municipal Government of Taal

Feliza Taverna y Cafe

A nice to know fact about the Philippine Flag:
The Blue part is always on top, unless in times of war. The moment the Philippines declares war to some country that’s the time the flag will be inverted and the red part will be on top. As far as I know the Philippines is the only country in the world who is doing this and has a different flag when in war.

The Basilica of St. Martin de Tours

The Basilica of St. Martin de Tours

Basilica of St.Martin de Tours 

Basilica de San Martin de Tours is a Minor Basilica in the town of Taal, Batangas in the Philippines, within the Archdiocese of Lipa. It is considered to be the largest church in the Philippines and in Asia, standing 88.6 metres (291 ft) long and 48 metres (157 ft) wide. St. Martin of Tours is the patron saint of Taal, whose fiesta is celebrated every November 11.


What can be found inTaal?

Come and See :)

#photo of the day

Taal “The Heritage Town”

Taal “The Heritage Town”

By: Crystal April R. Valencia


An anecdote tells of a native Taaleno who, asked what the town was called, though the question had reference to what he was holding and he replied, “ta-ad” which is the Batangueno’s word for sugar cane points. From “taad” acording to some story – tellers, came “Taal”.

Places in the Philippines usually get their names from the plants or trees that grow in profusion near or around it. The Tal-an trees have always been identified with Taal settlers and the livelihood of the people. This makes the appelation tal-an (where the ta-an trees grow) much more relevant than ta-ad.

Perhaps, it was Datu Puti who coined the name shortly following their landing amidst the Tal – an trees at the mouth of the Pansipit river but time and people have a way of corrupting words, hence Tal – an became “Taal”.

Perhaps, too, with the establishment of Catholic missions, some friar from the region around Barcelona, Spain must have found the sound “Tal-an” almost the same as his birth, he must have given preference to “Tal-an” rather than “ta-ad”. Whit that native propensity of skipping syllables or slurring Catal-an was shortened to Taal and the name stuck ever since.

Not a few Taalenos however take pride in the belief that Taal was so called because it was the place of origin of the natives who were found by the Bornean settlers. Taal means real, true. In those early days, any native who might have wandered to other places might have been identified as “Taal” might have given the place its name. With the coming of the Spaniards the people were called Taalenos.

Taalenos is a name that has always inspired respect, deference, if not awe on the part of other people of the country when they meet a native of the place. To them, the name Taaleno is synonymous with bravery, daring, honesty, fairness, industry and the image of a gentleman. 

What can be Found in Taal?
Come and see! :)



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 

TAPA Making


SUMAN Making




BURDA Making


Table Setting

Awarding Ceremony for the EL PASUBAT CHALLENGE



 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.



What more could you ask for! It’s More FUN in TAAL!

Come and Celebrate with us!