Known as the Heritage town of the South, Taal, Batangas will make you travel back in time with its various antiquarian shops and ancestral houses in every corner of the streets. Each turn guarantees fascination as it will make you look into the town in retrospect. The town boasts open museums and galleries with captivating antediluvian trappings which are much more interesting on the inside. Among the must-sees is that of the Philippine’s very first Camera Museum at the heart of the town, the Galleria Taal.
Galleria Taal is definitely a utopia for camera collectors and enthusiasts for it showcases Mr. Manny Inumerable’s vast collection of cameras from the late 1800’s, 1900’s up to date. It also has antiquarian photos on display – windows to the rumbling history of our motherland, Philippines. Some which include rare photographs of Manila before and after the Japanese Occupation, EDSA Revolution and that of people and events during the Marcos Era. For only 100php entrance fee, you can roam around this former Ilagan-Barrion family ancestral house turned into a gallery and enjoy the sight of the different camera’s interesting development. Amazingly, most of these cameras on display are still working and some can be used and experienced by the gallery’s guests.
|Fascinating old cameras!|
|This classic camera still works! You can actually try this one through peeing through its lens but it doesn’t have a film.|
|Cameras already getting handy!|
|Admit it. This looks cool, right? These are actually still old models of camera.|
Cameras used to be enormous and they were once carried like they are suitcases. They are mounted on the tripod as it also take seconds to minute before it captures the subject. Interseting fact: this is the very reason why our great great grandparents do not smile for the camera! Also, camera men used to have assistants since cameras are large! Thanks to technology they are not a size of our palms!
The gallery also has photographs on display. These photographs speak of our history, too!
|A Calypso camera|
|This apparatus lets you looked at small photos|
The Humble Beginning of Galleria Taal
Built in 1870, this ancestral house has been a home to Domingo Ilagan and Maria Martinez-Ilagan and their six children.
Candida, the third child of Domingo and Maria, married Antonino Barrion and stayed their conjugal home at Batangas City. When it got burned down into ashes in 1944, the couple together with their three children moved to Taal and found solace in their ancestral house. Her death has lead into its fall.
Came 2004, her grandchild, Emmanuel Inumerable, took an initiative to restore their ancestral house.
It was 2010 when Emmanuel Inumerable opened the house into the public as the first ever Camera Museum in the Philippines. Apart from the gallery and its exhibitions, it also has a cafe and restaurant on the ground floor.
|Remember Oro, Plata, Mata?|
|The window panes are also made of capiz|
Roaming Around the Heritage Town
Aside from Galleria Taal, Basilica de San Martin De Tours, Caysaysay Church and other ancestral houses turned into museums and galleries such as Apacible and Agoncillo Museums can also be visited. Some of which are free from entrance fees. To get a real feel of the town on a fine weather, you can walk from one of these destinations to another.
How to Get There
To get into this town, from Buendia, take a bus bound for Lemery, Batangas. DLTB Co. has daily trips to this town and leaves every hour from 3:00 AM to 10:00 PM. From the drop off point, take a tricycle to Taal. It will take you five to ten minutes to get into it depending on the traffic. Galleria Taal is located at Agoncillo St., some 500 meters away from Taal Church.
For more inquiries, you may contact the following people:
Manny Inumerable – the proprietor
mobile: +63 918 9124051
Dolores Bautista – the Museum Caretaker
mobile: +63 906 7632449
You may also find and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for more updates: