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by: Ryan Miguel Calderon

Taal, a true treasure of the South. One of the most renowned towns not only among its province, but of its country as well. Boasting its heritage soul and rich culture, it truly is a privilege to explore the beauty it has to offer. Our Lady of Caysasay Academy’s desire for competence has been proven once again as the eleventh graders were given the opportunity to wander through a couple of Taal’s most iconic landmarks. As a proposed activity in line with the 11th graders’ core subject; Understanding Culture, Society, and Politics, a wider scope for aspiring learners were built through these simple efforts to internalize the Nation’s roots through Taal’s meaningful history. Tenth of August, under the thick blanket of clouds shielding us against the rays of the sun, the entire batch proceeded to exit its own school walls to discover a journey so underrated, so underappreciated, yet so unexpectedly significant. Within just a few moments, the crowd was divided into three groups, two sections each.

Ours were headed to Leon and Galicano Apacible Museum, a house holding the stories from generations of prominent people. What once nested national heroes, hearing their secrets from the foundation of its corners, is now all that is left of those who once stood against colonial oppression. The house of the Apacibles easily took us back in time to their own eras. The experience of possessing such knowledge, wealth, and power, were all driving forces for Leon and Galicano to devote themselves to the nation and their long struggle for independence. A short walk past our first destination was a home filled with intimate moments of a family, and their long dedication for their motherland. Home of the Mother of the Philippine Flag and the outstanding first Filipino Diplomat, the house definitely holds a big significance through their contributions for the country’s sake. The house has seven galleries depicting the life, the history, and the legacy of Marcella, her husband, her family, and the legacy they left for the Philippines.

Upon a couple of hours spent on two historical houses turned museums, we soon then headed to somewhere only the town had the chance to introduce to the country, and only one of a few among Asia. Galleria Taal proudly carries the title as the first and only camera museum erected in the entire country. The collections boast of hundreds of vintage cameras dating back since the 1870s, as well as rare Philippine photographs from known collectors such as John Silva and John Tewell. The museum, like the mainstream houses of Taal, is also a heritage “Bahay na Bato”, with a vintage aesthetic similar to the cameras displayed. Talk about time management, as patiently taking turns among the three treasures of Taal, and we found ourselves back to OLCA’s haven by midday. Safe to say we brought back the values picked up along the alleys and corners of each visited places.

Having appreciated the essence of the trip, it is a guarantee, that every one of us had internalized the Filipino Spirit just the same as I had. As an ever-so-fortunate student, it is truly a blessing that within the ideals of the institution, such possibilities of knowledge through exposure are present. The local trip was essential in developing a great perspective towards our town and her children who brought honor to our own lands and for our own freedom. The celebration of August as “Buwan ng Wika” made the trip ideal for the newer generation to trace times of injustices and through it; appreciate the value of the past.

Our Lady of Caysasay Academy
Calle Camilo Ilagan, Taal,Batangas, 4208 Philippines

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