Take on a journey to a bit of the rich and cultural heritage of the province. See the magnificent sights around the different towns, where historical landmarks, shrines and museums display the mementos of the famous heroic sons and daughters of Batangas.
Be enchanted and travel back in time most especially at Taal Heritage Town. Marvel at the well preserved ancestral houses dating back to the Spanish bygone era. Other remarkable stone houses of the “principalias and ilustrados” can be found in the towns of Lipa, Calaca, San Juan, and Balayan.
Here are the notable historical landmarks found in Batangas:
1. Casa de Segunda (Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House), Lipa City
Lying at 198 Calle Rizal, Lipa City is Casa de Segunda, the ancestral home of the prominent Luz and Katigbak clans of Lipa. The house is named after Segunda Solis Katigbak, known in history as the national hero Dr.Jose P. Rizal’s primer amor (first love). Furthermore, the Casa is a typical 1880s Spanish colonial structure that has been adapted to tropical climates and was declared by the National Historical Commission as a heritage site for having harbored generations of artists, poets, and persons of learning and education.
2. Acosta-Pastor Ancestral House
Along C. Tirona St., is a turn of the century residence formerly owned by Don Alejo Acosta, Capitan del Bario of Batangas in 1883. Now owned by a descendant of the latter, lawyer Antonio Acosta Pastor, its huge antesala was used as a social salon during the American regime. It was the site of an assassination attempt on American Governor (and later U.S. President) William H. Taft. The sniper’s bullet is still visible in one of the house’s doors.
3. Taal Heritage Town
The town of Taal is an enchanting colonial period village nestled on a hill overlooking Balayan Bay. Unique among other Philippine towns, Taal boasts a line of numerous well-preserved Antillan and art-deco period stone houses, as well as, old churches and historical landmarks associated with many key events of the Philippine Revolution. Moreover, it is the famed embroidery capital of the region, with many skilled artisans producing delicately embroidered native cloth in fine, intricate designs. It is also home to the popular Batangas “balisong”, the famous fan knife and Panocha, truly a fine gastronomic delicacy.
4. Doña Marcela Mariño Agoncillo Ancestral House
One of the major attractions of Taal, bulit in the 18th century and formerly owned by Don Andres Mariño. It was the birthplace and ancestral home of Doña Marcela Mariño Agoncillo. She is known in history as the woman who sewed the first official Filipino Flag during the Philippine Revolution.
5. Don Leon Apacible Ancestral House
A declared historical landmark, Apacible Museum is an ancestral home located in Taal, Batangas. It showcases the collection of heirlooms and memorabilia belonging to Leon and Matilde Apacible’s family. These include household items and furniture. Centuries-old artifacts found in the Batangas area and relics of historical events are on display.
6. Doña Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio Ancestral House
The ancestral house is owned by the prominent Villavicencio clan of Taal, originally by the matriarch Doña Gliceria Villavicencio as a gift from her husband Don Eulalio Villavicencio. She was merited as the “General Sponsor of the Revolutionary Forces of 1896″ for contributing so much morally and materially to support the Filipino struggle for independence against Spain and the United States. The Villavicencio house served as a refuge of battle-weary soldiers but also the secret meeting place of the revolutionary leaders where important decisions were made.
7. Don Gregorio Agoncillo Ancestral House
The early 20th century ancestral house of Don Gregorio Agoncillo is among the interesting heritage houses in Taal. Don Gregorio was an active supporter of the Philippine Revolution against the colonial government during the Spanish period. The revolutionary hero also launched the modernization program of the sugar industry in Batangas, which catapulted the economy of the province into new heights during his time. Aside from the intricate antique items and old interiors, another interesting discovery inside the house was it was also the home of Marcela Agoncillo, the principal seamstress of the first and official flag of the Philippines.
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