Discovering San Nicolas

The ruins of the former Taal Church

WOWBatangas Tours brings to the limelight the petite town of San Nicolas, one of the undiscovered places here in the province.

San Nicolas, a small barrio in the province of Batangas, is popularly called as Lumang Taal. The  famed town (Taal) once stood in this terrain. However due to the deadly eruption of the Taal Volcano in 1754, it transferred to a secured and high ground not far from the former site.

Though a small settlement, San Nicolas boasts of its unique and charming tourist attractions.

On the lead is the Taal Volcano  Island – “island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island”. This attraction was included in  Patricia Schultz best selling travel book, 1,000 places to visit before you die, where it was listed in the 593rd spot. It is renowned as one of the most picturesque and most attractive views in the Philippines. Southern half of the Volcano island is under the jurisdiction of San Nicolas, thus making the town as one of the major jump-off points to the area. The famous tourist activity of course is the trekking to the volcano’s crater lake.

Recorded with 33 eruptions since 1572, Taal Volcano,  is considered one of the most  violent of the 21 active volcanoes in the country that it prompted some of  the provinces towns  (e.g. Lipa, Taal) to relocate many times.

Next is Taal Lake. It is one of the town’s beautiful sites. Formerly known as Bonbon Lake, it is recognized as the “deepest and third largest lake in the Philippines”. Its rich bio-diversity is home to many endemic species of flaura and fauna. It is  also a good venue for “non-motorized” water sports activities like kayaking and a site for fishing. Moving on is the Pansipit River, a natural outlet  that drains Taal Lake and Balayan Bay. It is relevant for its fishery resource and historical significance for the Tagalog Heritage. It is the home of the delicious Maliputo and on its river banks was where Juan Maningcad found  the ever-dearest statuette of the Virgen de Caysasay. Recently, the Taal Lake and the Maliputo were featured in the back of the new 50 Philippine peso bill.

Last is the ruins of the Old Taal Church. The first Taal Church was built in 1575 under the direction of the Augustinian Friar, Fr. Diego Espina. It was made out of coral block stones. The church crumbled down and was left into ruins when Taal Volcano erupted in 1754.

Other attractions include: the Maliputo Festival (every August 9) – a festivity that highlights a massive street dance parade showcasing the different concepts and themes of the Maliputo Fish.  Bankaton Festival (every September 10) - an event in honor of the town’s patron saint, San Nicolas de Tolentino. It is a celebration that features boat race among the towns men, a fluvial parade, parlor games on tilapia cuisine, and an amateur singing competition.

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22 Responses to “Discovering San Nicolas”

  1. Any corrections needed? please don’t hesitate to leave any comments.

  2. hi sir.. tnx po at nkagawa kau ng aarticle from our municipality.. khit mejo d kilala ng iba ai nagkaroon cila ng konting kaalaman tungkol sa aming bayan.. tnx a lot. godbless :DD

  3. Kindly do not promote jetskiing, it is not allowed in the management plan of TVPL due to its high discharge of oil into the water.

    Non-motorized water sports are what are prescribed in the plan for Taal Lake.

  4. Oh and scientists dispute that Taal is the smallest volcano, mainly by saying that they have never agreed what constitutes the volcano itself. Is it the main caldera? If so, then Taal is 24,000 hectares, not small by any means. If only the crater, well Taal as 47 of them, which one?
    We wish to drop this title as it is not really distinctive. Try focusing on island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island and one of the 1000 places to visit before you die in the book of Patricia Schultz.

  5. Hi Ms. Ipat

    Thanks for the comments. As what you advised, I revised and added some infos on the article.

  6. hi
    a very nice article. but unfortunately nobody is visiting san nicolas. why, is it to remote to access no direct means of public transportation. what else will you see aside from the ruins? nothing! the view of the volcano you can see it from many other places. lack of infrastructure. incomplete facilities. it has a small market but with almost empty stalls even their people don’t patronize the market. there not even a convenience store, fastfood or gas station.
    what a lonely town.
    this is a fact most batanguenos even don’t know where san nicolas is. they don’t even know it’s a town.

    “Taga san ka?”- “Taga san nicolas po”
    “Saan yun???”

    every sanicolasenyo or what ever you call them experience that every now and then…

    • First of all, thank you for visiting our website and for leaving a very constructive comment. Hopefully we could write a letter to the mayor for the improvement of the town. :)

      • This is addressed to Mr. Julius. There’s alot of scenic places that can be found at San Nicolas. We have the El Santuario de Aves (Birds Sanctuary)located at the shorelines of the 1965 crater, at Brgy. Alas-As San Nicolas, Batangas; the infamous “lake within a lake” 1911 crater at the same location; the Pansipit River and The Lakeside Vista. The 15th Century Ruins is just one of them.

        We admit that we may have some shortcomings when it comes to information dissemination but now we already have a facebook page which is San Nicolas Government Unit and a website http;//www.sannicolasbatangas.webs.com//

        Our Tourism Office can be reach at 043-210-5946
        And our email address is at municipalityofsannicolas@rocketmail.com and tourism_sannicolas@yahoo.com.

        In fact, Faith Academy from Makati City. An Educational Institution run by the missionaries from Canada, US, Korea, Japan and China had San Nicolas’ Volcano Island as the site of their 2nd Camping.
        We have tourist since immemoriam.
        We may not have a fastfood nor a gasoline station but San Nicolas is not a lonely town. We have tour packages and have been accommodating tourist since then.

        We’ve received recommendations from the National Historical Commission and an application for accreditation from the DOT.

        The site itself is a tangible evidence.

        • thank you ms.kiikkai for the nice comment…this would be very helpful for those who are reading this post and would be interested to go to San Nicolas one day! Kudos to you and your town. I hope to meet you one day. Are you the tourism officer of san nicolas? Hope our article have helped increase tourism activities in your town. well the website is really about tourism promotion in our province.

  7. Wow miss kikkai, I never thought that San Nicolas had a Tourism office! I’m really glad you posted here. My mother’s family hails from Abelo, and I think you’re right. San Nicolas is very rural but it’s not a bad tourist destination, I think. I’ve only read about the 15th century church ruins here. The rest of the info I know about the ruins, I got from hearsays around the barangay.

    To sir julius, it might be a lonely and a not-so famous town, but when I say where my mom hails from, I’d say San Nicolas, the twin town of Taal. They’d recognize it quickly that way. I don’t think San Nicolas will not develop over the years especially that maliputo is featured now on the 50 peso bill. What do you think? :D

  8. thanks renz for sharing about san nicholas. i feel sad while im reading the statement of mr. julius. actually nakadaan lang ako sa san juan 7 years ago if im not mistaken, somewhere in san turisan. but im thinking to ba a part of this quiet place. i noticed that he is absolutely right… but i was surprised when ms.kiikkai mentioned about the tourism in san nicholas…. it was a big WOW. no regret gusto ko pa ring makarating sa lugar na ito… i think di lahat ng turista ang gustong puntahan ay mga shining and recognize place. those people na gusto ang quiet and peaceful place, i think this is the right place. good ambience and good climate… dagdagan lang ang advertisement para mas lalong mapa-unlad ang place na ito. i believe to MAYOR SANDOVAL kaya nyang ipromote ang lugar na ito, basta matulungan sya ng mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya. i hope to see u again san nicholas, batangas… not just to passing by but to stay for a while…
    go san nicholas, best wishes to the father and leader of the municipality…

  9. thanks renz for sharing about san nicholas. i feel sad while im reading the statement of mr. julius. actually nakadaan lang ako sa san nicholas 7 years ago if im not mistaken, somewhere in san turisan. but im thinking to ba a part of this quiet place. i noticed that he is absolutely right… but i was surprised when ms.kiikkai mentioned about the tourism in san nicholas…. it was a big WOW. no regret gusto ko pa ring makarating sa lugar na ito… i think di lahat ng turista ang gustong puntahan ay mga shining and recognize place. those people na gusto ang quiet and peaceful place, i think this is the right place. good ambience and good climate… dagdagan lang ang advertisement para mas lalong mapa-unlad ang place na ito. i believe to MAYOR SANDOVAL kaya nyang ipromote ang lugar na ito, di sya tumitigil ng di nya naaabot at nagagawa ang mga mabuting bagay sa paligid nya. basta matulungan sya ng mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya. i hope to see u again san nicholas, batangas… not just to passing by but to stay for a while…
    go san nicholas, best wishes to the father and leader of the municipality MAYOR EPIFANIO SANDOVAL…

  10. Tourist spots in San Nicolas? I can’t say we can call them that, but I’ve been there. I’ve spent a lot of my summer vacations there.

    I like it better then. No electricity and no running water. It was cleaner and a lot more quiter. That’s how I want to remember San Nicolas. It’s a lot more fun, to be one with nature and the people.

  11. mganda din kaso malabong maging tourist spot kasi malayo tlaga sa kabihasnan. mas malapit pa din ang talisay at tagaytay.

  12. Pwede po ba mag comment,, Ok naman sana ang san nicolas batangas, madalas ako mag fishing dyan sa area nyo, kaya lang na disappoint ako nung makita ko sa san nicolas river yung ginagawa ng isang lalaki, dun sya nagtatapon ng dun ng mga manok, sinita ko sya sa kanyang ginawa, kaya lang dedma, kianakain naman daw isda yun, sayang naman kung pagpapatuloy nila yung ganong gawain, sana naman may magbantay ng ating lawa at hwag nating hayaang masira ang ating ilog at lawa.daily sya nagtatapon ng dumi ng manok dun. sana naman may taong mag bawal sa kanyang gawain..

  13. Its time for change, time to support new leaders that will improve the town of San Nicolas.

  14. hello. ask lang if there are inns/hotels/pension houses that we can stay in san nicolas. we are going to conduct a fishcage survey, we’ll be staying for one night. we’ll be coming from iloilo. if you could give us the number or email address, we would be very grateful. thank you.

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