Taal Church was originally built in 1575, destroyed by the 200-day eruption of the volcano on 1754, rebuilt in 1755, destroyed by the great quake of 1849, rebuilt anew on 1856, and completed in 1865. The church is known as the biggest church in southeast asia. We toured its rich baroque interiors and got fascinated with its great altar.
The churchyard is charming too. There is a repository of water where fish swim and buckets are placed for people to throw coins after making a wish. Rizal's Padre Salvi in Noli Me Tangere was Augustinian, a political snide remark against the friars who built this church, but it is the mark of the congregation's founder, St. Augustine, that I could feel here in this massive basilica, a great love for God. Pio Goco said, the church's story is also the story of the town that prospered by the fruits of the fertile land, but was empoverished by catastrophes of the earth as well, a boom and bust, the human spirit dominaring the earth and being dominated by it, a monument to the human faith in himself and in God.