The former capital of Batangas Province, the municipality of Taal is a heritage town that is famous for its barong tagalog, an embroidered formal garment, as well as for the well-known balisong, a folding pocket knife that is also recognized as a ‘butterfly knife’.

The town’s main landmark is the imposing Taal Basilica of Saint Martin, the biggest church in the country and the largest Catholic church in Asia, standing 315 feet long and 148 feet wide. Built between 1858 and 1878, it is renowned for its ornate chandeliers and unusual Spanish-style neo-classical façade. Atop its bell tower, you can enjoy a panoramic vista of the town plaza and distant Taal Lake.

Behind the basilica, you will find the sanctuary of Our Lady of Casaysay, which dates back to the 1600s and attracts pilgrims from all over the area. It contains priceless relics of the colonial era, while several other sacred shrines are also placed here.

A most rewarding daytrip leads to the nearby Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest of its kind set between the towns of San Nicolas and Talisay. It comprises an island in Lake Taal that is placed within a caldera created by a previous most powerful eruption. Situated around 50kms from Manila, this is one of the country’s still-active volcanoes and belongs to the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Getting There & Away

From Manila and its international airport, you can easily access Taal by car using the National Road; the journey takes about 2 hours, 30 minutes. Buses from Manila heading to Lemery pass by the basilica.

Things to Do

Taal Attractions

Basilica of Saint Martin

Asia’s largest catholic church features an extraordinary façade.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Casaysay

Dating from the 17th century, this site draws pilgrims from throughout the region.

Side trips from Taal

Taal Volcano

This active volcano is just one of many in the pacific ring of fire.