I never thought I would be excited to look for some cat poop in the middle of a forest. Here I am on a narrow trail in a dense forest of Mt Malarayat, Batangas, carefully watching each step mindful if there are any animal droppings in path. Not to avoid them this time but to take a closer look. Yes it’s poop! But it’s not an ordinary poop since each set of these cat droppings is worth some serious money. I found a small pile still stuck together. The stuck up beans isn’t as offensive as I thought it would look nor does it smell like ordinary cat droppings. So this is how a Civet Cat poop is like. So this is where the world’s most expensive coffee came from.
Aside from the Taal Basilica found at the heart of Taal Town, there is another church worth a visit nearby barrio Labac (also known as Caysasay). From Villavicencio House, we followed the ancient steps called Hagdan-hagdanan built by Father Celestino Mayordomo that led us to a smaller but charming butter-colored walls of Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine. Petite but full of character, the church was was built on the foundation of miracle by the image of Our Lady of Caysasay.
Gift is such as special word. And in this holiday season, gift giving even becomes a more popular practice. From small items, to shiny gadgets or expensive clothes, people have different ways to express their gratitude or love by giving gifts. And for a man during the Spanish times like Eulalio Villavicencio, it is giving a house was the perfect gift for his bride Gliceria Marella for their wedding. Built in 1871, the symbol of their love surely stood the test of times.
Barely a month when I last visited Taal Town, I found myself there again. It is such an interesting place that it’s worth exploring the second or the third time around. It’s only a few hours bus ride from Manila which makes it a nice weekend getaway. I wrote about the Taal Basilica before but it was just a cursory visit. This time around join me as we explore the grounds up to the bell tower.
Often mistaken as being part of Cavite or Tagaytay than Batangas because of its name, Taal Town is a heritage town, much like Vigan that showcases heritage houses and structures dating as far back as the 1800s. I’ve been to this town south-west of the Taal Lake before but have never really explored the place yet. So when an invite came to tour Taal Town again with Nokia and test out its latest Nokia N86 8MP on field, I thought it would a great time to explore further. It’s a full afternoon of exploration and all photos and video here are taken with Nokia N86’s 8mp camera-phone with a whopping 28mm wide angle Carl Zeiss Tessar lens.
Now that summer is here, I know a lot of people would be doing what might be the hardest pre-traveling activity which is – packing and deciding which clothes to wear and take. I myself spend some time considering what set of clothes to pack depending on the number of days and travel destination. In the few set of clothes I bring, most of them are light, comfortable and functional. With functional, meaning it can take on the elements and dry quickly while remaining sensibly fashionable. One of the outdoor apparel brands which has this functional qualities is Columbia Sportswear. And just these weekend, Kenrich International, the local distributor of the brand, invited me along with fellow bloggers, Nina, Phoebe, AJ and Jayvee at the trails of Mt Dagulgol to put their outdoor clothes line and gears to a test.
Enjoying the Rockies
I never thought that I’ll be back in Mt. Maculot so soon. But since I promised an old climbing buddy I haven’t seen for some time that I’ll take him here after seeing my previous post on Mt. Maculot, I scheduled our climb. Thanks to Cruise for inviting me here the first time around, it greatly added to my logistics of the area. Same as what we did, we went on a night trek, but the fun came much later as 2 new friends were added to our list during our climb.