Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Batangas: Around Taal Lake

I visited several towns around Taal Lake yesterday. Our first stop was Club Balai Isabel in Talisay, Batangas. It's probably the best residential resort by the lake.

Club Balai Isabel has one of the best views of Taal Volcano. At the moment, many parts are still under construction. But the reception area, club house, and several hotel rooms are already complete and ready to accept visitors. We had lunch there as well and ordered some bulalo, fried tawilis (tawilis is now an endangered species, don't eat it), ginataang kalabasa and fried chicken.

We then headed off to Tagaytay en route to Taal. But we stopped by Bag of Beans to check out their bread shop. I had a chicken and mushroom pie.

As soon as we arrived in the heritage town of Taal, we went straight to the Taal Basilica to check it out. Since we didn't have much time, we made a quick drive around town to check out the wonderful heritage houses.

Although relatively intact, there seems to be a lack of continuity in the town since the new structures stick out like sore thumbs in between the charming heritage homes. The local government should do something about these newer structures.

Our last stop was the Church of Caysasay and the miraculous well of Sta. Lucia also in Taal. We didn't stay too long since we wanted to be back in Tagaytay before dark.

On the way back, we made a stopover at Sonya's Garden. I was tempted to have a meal there since I simply adore their salads and pasta. But we'll have to save that for another day. Dinner was at the garden restaurant of Bag of Beans. Then it was back home for us.

Club Balai Isabel
Brgy. Banga, Talisay, Batangas
Mobile +63 918 8473619
Manila +63 2 7761521
Batangas +63 43 7280307

Sonya's Garden
Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite
Mobile +63 928 5073302
Landline +63 46 4132081


  1. We go to Tagaytay often but haven't been to Taal yet. Maybe we should plan a trip this summer. Thanks for the info! :)

  2. Yes, it's about an hour away but definitely worth it. They're know for their pina cloth.

  3. Anonymous13.8.08

    Been to Sonya Garden myself... it's romantically beautiful. Talisay as well!

    But I missed the buildings you showed as "Taal".... I dont even remember seeing those places while touring around Taal & Tagaytay...

    But they're sutely very nice pictures... :-)

  4. They are in the town of Taal. It's about 45 minutes from Tagaytay.

  5. Anonymous13.8.08

    Brother, nanginggit ka na naman ng pagkain!! Tawilis = yumyum. Leon Apacible, a great revolutionary general was from the town of Taal.

  6. Yup, he has a statue outside his house yata. Hehe! Sorry I wasn't able to text you back immediately. I was still in Chicago when I got that text.

  7. Anonymous6.11.08

    Ivan thanks for this post. We are a Batangas wedding caterer and been scouting for batangas churches and venues that we can offer and provide to our client. Hope to see more from your post. Thanks again.

    By the way, do you also feature restaurants in this website of yourS?


  8. Hi! I was just wondering, are there any other adjacent resorts/ hotels near balai taal? Thanks!

  9. Yes, there are several in Talisay if I'm not mistaken.

  10. Hi Ivan, Me and my GF is planning to visit Calaruega then head to Taal, Batangas...are you familiar of the public transpo we should take from Nasugbu(Calaruega) to Taal? I read some articles but all they say is a brief instruction of "go to lemery, it's just a minutes away". Thanks in advance!

    So-Fast Mountaineers

  11. Anonymous15.8.12



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