Day 1, February 8 – A foggy morning started our day. From home, we headed to Talisay for a two-day, one-night stay to cover some of the events in celebration of the town fiesta on Feb. 10.
We traveled all the way to Talisay, first, to witness the Karakol – a religious event held annually to commemorate San Guillermo – the patron saint of the town.
Karakol, as described by the locals is a “sayaw sa patron” (dance to the patron). The elders of Talisay would dance on the streets around town to show their devotion to San Guillermo. The karakol was originally participated by the elder people of Talisay. Later on, women federation from different barangays joined the senior citizens in this religious street dancing.
They have this “daang prusisyon”, or the way where the street dancers would go around. The karakol participants dance to folk and foreign novelty music. Talisay Councilor Eddie Panghulan even composed a Tagalog lyrics of the song Dayang-Dayang whose lines are all in praise of the patron saint and called it “Alay kay San Guillermo”.
Devotees from neighboring towns and even from Cavite have been joining the karakol in Talisay and treat it as their “panata”. There were around 20 groups representing different barangays and organizations of Talisay and non-Talisayeños wherein the largest group was composed of 60 members.
San Guillermo was told to be a son of a duke. He was a believed to be a spoiled brat who did harm to other people. Until he decided to live inside a cave, clad himself with metal wardrobe and there he had his repentance. He came out as a new person since then. The icon of San Guillermo shows a skull on top of a bible. The skull represents the death of his old self.
CONQUERING CLUB BALAI ISABEL
Last month, people have been checking more of this 10-hectare resort when the news broke out that celebrity couple Oyo Sotto and Kristine Hermosa tied the knot in this high-end yet very much Pinoy, Club Balai Isabel. With the endorsement of Ms. Len Barba, Tourism Coordinator, we were able to set our feet in this grandiose destination owned by Terible family, natives of Talisay.
Club Balai Isabel is the largest resort in Talisay. Located strategically along the shoreline of Taal Lake, this resort boasts of a magnificent “hero’s view” of the lake and the “mistaken Taal Volcano” which happens to be Mt. Binintian. Balai Isabel has a total of 212 rooms, 3 swimming pools, a couple of function halls and business centers, a spa and wellness center, a clubhouse which holds one of the restaurants, water sports center, tennis & basketball courts, the Balai Isabel church, and the rest – they’re too many to mention.
The family villas were named after the owner’s family members. The lakeshore condos or the Balais were named after notable Batangueños Mabini, Malvar, Agoncillo, and Recto while the lakeshore suites were named San Nicolas, Balete, Lemery, Lipa, and Mataasnakahoy.
Beside the supposedly original site of the Balai Isabel church are some ruins of the old Taal church. There are a few huge mountain rocks around the facility which were spewed from the last massive eruption of Taal Volacano.
KRUMPING, STUNTS AND TALENTS
Gerlie and I were asked to be part of the board of judges for the modern dance competition. Oh, if Georgina Wilson can be a Showtime hurado, well… kami rin – dito nga lang sa Talisay. But hey, there were a couple of amazing talents that night!
It would be better to have separate divisions for the kids and the adults though. The Freestylers emerged as champions in the competition. This group is truly a huge act for all the krumping, the calculated moves, and the breathtaking (literally) stunts in mid-air!
Day 2, February 9 – Under the scorching hot sun, we joined the locals in watching the street exhibition of the competing marching bands. Ma’am Len, the Tourism Coordinator of Talisay told that this is also an annual event held every Feb. 9, the day before the town fiesta. Each barangay celebrating the town fiesta invites a marching band to join the competition.
This is our first Talisay adventure. We felt too close to Taal Lake and the wrongly identified ‘Taal Volcano’. We promised to be back. Because, Talisay, as described by Alva “is not what you think it is”.
See more photos of these events on WOWBatangas.com Facebook Page.
Special thanks to the people at the Tourism Office of Talisay headed by Ms. Len Barba, most importantly, to the municipal mayor, Hon. Zenaida Mendoza, for the special one-on-one interview. And to Mr. Rod Alejandro, Human Resource and Property Manager of Club Balai Isabel, for bringing us around the facility.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:
We still have more to share from our Talisay sojourn. Watch out for our special feature on Villa Khristalene and other interesting stories behind the real Taal Volcano.