Discovering San Nicolas
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.