With Taal producing some of the fiercest revolutionaries and citizens, it is befitting that Taal is also the Balisong Capital of the Philippines! According to history, the balisong’s roots can be traced back to as far back as 800 A.D. Its ancestry can be linked to one of the ancient weapons used in Kali, a fighting art system of Malaya-Polynesia. The art of Balisong making began in the Philippines around 1905. It was invented as a deadly weapon by Perfecto de Leon. It has become a famous internationally known product of the Philippines.
The word balisong means “broken horn.” Bali means “to break” and sung means “horn.” The original handles of the knife were made out of animal horns. However, these handles have since adapted to the use of wood, metals, and plastics. The standard balisong, or Filipino butterflyknife, can be handled like a western switch blade. Today there are several types to choose from, such as dibuyod, bayonet, double blade, razor, Rambo, and the standard blade. Along the streets of Taal, you can see Taaleños manufacturing the knives in raw form, from the molding of metal sheets to the sharpening of knives and the crafting of handles. Taal is definitely the place to witness balisong making and purchase one for keepsake!
*Balisong roadside shops are located in barangay Balisong and Poblacion 6-Pandayan ng Itak (knife-making industry)