Last November, my brother who works in Doha asked me to plan something for his vacation here in Manila. He wanted something that our whole family will enjoy as well.
His vacation will fall on All Soul’s and All Saint’s Day (it’s a long weekend, so it was a perfect time for everyone).
I suggested to him a place near Manila, which is the Heritage Town of Taal, Batangas. I know he’ll love it there because of the old houses and structures, which is something he likes.
In my research for things to do in Taal, I stumbled upon this information about Villa Tortuga. It is a package that includes a walk and sight seeing tour around the town of Taal, plus an 18th century cosplay activity with lunch featuring the famous local dishes of Taal, Batangas.
My brother agreed with my suggestion, so one week before our trip, I already made reservations for 17 people for the Taal Tour. The cost per person is P1500 and P750 for kids 10 years old and below.
The Day of the Taal Tour
After visiting my dad’s grave in San Juan, Batangas – me and my family then proceeded to go to Taal. We arrived and met our tour guide in front of the Taal Basilica, the largest Catholic church in Asia.
We wasted no time and started our sight seeing tour around the town. We saw old houses, which were homes of famous people in Philippine history. We also got to go around the Taal Basilica and the shrine.
The main town of Taal is like Vigan of Ilocos Sur. There are lots of old, but properly maintained, houses and most of it has been converted into a museum. Almost all still had their original furnishings with antique home accents on display, including old pictures and their gowns on display.
Lunch at Villa Tortuga
I was really impressed with the food they served because most of what they served were my favorite dishes. We ate Adobo sa Dilaw, Pininyahang Baboy, Tapang Taal, Ensalada (kangkong, okra and ripe mango), Sinaing na Tulingan, Misua Soup with Pork and Pechay, and had Suman and Tsokolate (Tablea) for dessert.
Villa Tortuga Cosplay Photo Session
The owner of Villa Tortuga is a costume designer and has a costume rental business. This is the unique part of the tour and a very great concept activity for tourists and travelers that’s included in the package.
We were allowed to try old Filipiniana and Spanish costumes and had a photography session after. There are a lot of choices to wear, and lots of available sizes too. And in a few minutes, we all felt like we traveled back in time, back in the days of the Katipunan. Below are some of me and my family’s pictures.