Historical travels and appreciation of old structures seem to be conventional activities nowadays because of the influence also of the social media. I view this trend interesting since it’s benefitting to both parties; people learn to value our rich culture and history, at the same time, it boosts the local tourism sector.
When you try to visit Taal, Batangas, make sure that a museum is part of your itinerary. There are a lot of ancestrals houses that turned into museums which are open for public visits like Don Leon Apacible House, Marcela Agoncillo House (donations are voluntary), Gregorio Agoncillo Mansion (PHP 70 per head) , and Villa Tortuga (PHP 50 per head/ PHP 250 costume rental). I was able to explore only one due to time constraint. Nevertheless, I find my visit very educating and worthwhile.
I’ve learned that Galleria Taal is the first and foremost vintage camera museum in the country. The regular entrance fee is PHP 100 per person while a discounted rate of PHP 50 is being offered to students who have their ids. The entrance fee privileges you to tour the museum with their resident staff who are very knowledgeable about the details and stories of what are waiting you inside. Take note, all of the vintage cameras inside are still working!
The available tour guide that time was Ate Rose who’s very accommodating and approachable. She made sure that after the tour, I’ll appreciate and understand everything that is being showcased in the house.
As far as I can recall, the big camera above has no shutter, that’s why it takes an hour or two (if I remember it right) to take photos. Ate Rose told me that’s maybe the reason why most people sat and didn’t smile in photographs before. Hahahaha! Even the happiest ones will get tired of that long straight hours.
The side view of the camera.
The vast collection of vintage cameras, from different countries and era, is owned by Mr. Manny Barion Inumerable. Knowing that the pieces are antique and rare, do you get any idea of their value? Anyway the whole museum is covered with CCTV cameras and security staff.
I thought monopods are modern camera staple? Hahaha.
The old time’s version of 3d glass and VR box.
Can you spot the monopod? Well, selfie stick isn’t just for the millennial generation. Hahaha. As you can see, there are also tiny bulbs in the case, because one photo, one bulb.
Aside from the vintage cameras, there are also rare and antiquarian photos displayed and are truly collector’s items.
This girl is very symbolical. It signifies a liberated woman of her time. Well, for the explanation, it’s your turn to visit the gallery and discover it from their staff or if you can’t really go, but very interested, just ask me. Hahaha.
This one’s a very significant photo in history and country, as it is the Execution of Dr. Jose Rizal, considered by many as the national hero of the Philippines.
I learned and realized upon my tour that people in the past were already innovative. They are really the pioneers and we just practice continuous development of their inventions and concepts. I’m so thankful that I was able to witness and see on my own these pieces, spending only a small amount. When you travel to this heritage town, never forget to visit Taal Galleria!
Contact information: (From their brochure)
Manny Inumerable – Proprietor
Dolores Bautista – Museum Caretaker