When in Batangas: A Colonial Experience at Villa Tortuga


If you have a penchant for history and wish to travel back to the Spanish Era, a tour inside Villa Tortuga is perfect for you. Not only will you experience the feeling of being transported back to another time but you'll enjoy a taste of spanish recipes. I chanced upon this deal online and invited my husband who's a history buff to join the trip.

Villa Tortuga is one of those old ancestral homes along the town of Taal. According to them the name "Tortuga" was derived from the word "Turtle" because there are a lot of turtles coming from a nearby river. It sits along the banks of Pansipit River which is noted for being the sole drainage outlet of the nearby Taal Lake.

The house has a souvenir shop and a studio brimmed with loads of filipiniana and other colonial accessories and costumes that you can wear. There are old newspapers posted on the walls. And other historical remnants for sale in the souvenir shop.

We were ushered to the dressing room which was also inside the studio to pick a costume for the pictorial. There are a lot of nice colonial dresses to choose from. All of which according to our guide were designed and owned by Lito Perez. As I was carefully picking a gown for myself I can't help but smile. I really felt so excited! 

Then the grand pictorial took place at the studio. We even went out of the studio to have a pictorial inside the dining hall where our lunch is being prepared. Everything was just so perfect, the setting and the costumes has a touch of elegance. It was reliving the old Hispanic times. I felt like Maria Clara and my husband Crisostomo Ibarra!

As we move to the other areas of the villa, I admired the little details of the place which added warmth and elegance to our experience. It was gracefully lit by century old chandeliers. The place was well preserved and the nostalgic feel made it even close to perfection. There's nothing to be missed in every corners of the house. I felt the grandeur of living the old century, like one of the rich people in the time of history.

It was a unique colonial experience in elegance. Right after the pictorial we then changed our clothes for the colonial lunch. We can actually eat while in our costumes but then we felt uncomfortable with the temperature inside even if it's air-conditioned. The dresses are quite woven and airless.

The Colonial Lunch

Our meal was not the usual pork-chicken-steak-like meal. It was served to complete our colonial experience inside Villa Tortuga. Foods that were served are the traditional Filipino- Spanish cuisines during the old century including some local foods in town. We had a 5-course meal which started with Malunggay Soup with Miswa. It was good, the aroma that blends with the spices is just so empowering. I used to cook this at home too.

Chicken Adobo sa Luyang Dilaw with Cappucino Ice Cream on top... It was awesome!

Pininyahang Pork, another mouthwatering dish. I used to cook "chicken aloha" and didn't know I can do the same with pork. The sweetness of pineapple blends perfectly with the pork.

Then the cooked "Tawilis" on tomatoes was served. I thought it was tuna on tomatoes, but the taste is close to it. Tawilis are small fishes, another native from Taal.

Then of course the "Sinaing na Tulingan", who could ever resist! We love it especially the "patis"! The recipe was called La Caballa in spanish term.

"Atsarang Gulay" or mixed vegetables with ripe mango. My first time to try this, it looks good and it tastes quite good too, but I'm not a fan of "atsara" especially that mango-thing on veges. 

The famous "Tapa ng Taal" shouldn't be missed! I love the tenderness of the meat and the blending of spices!

We took a photo of our colonial lunch date! Who knows, this maybe our first and last try here, but then I have plans of coming back to bring along my parents and in-laws. Surely they will love this!

For dessert we had my all time favorite "Suman sa Lihiya" and another famous specialty in town, the "Tsokolate". The suman and tsokolate matches perfectly!

After the full lunch it was nice to sit back, relax and admire the beauty of the place one more time while waiting for the rain to settle down.

It was another worthwhile experience, reliving the Spanish era in less than a day. Thanks to fashion designer Lito Perez for his lovely turn-of-the-century Philippines' fashionable ensemble that we wore during the pictorial. Thanks to the amiable Sir Rogie Reyes for providing us a lot of the historical details of this place. Not only did I enjoy but I learned so much and I hope to be back again soon!

Villa Tortuga
Contact Person: Lito Perez/ Rogie Reyes
M. Agoncillo St. Corner Noble St., Taal Batangas
Contact Nos. 0927 975 1683 / 0917 824 6900 
Check out my Taal Heritage Tour 

Related Posts: 

You Might Also Like


  1. Hi your blog post really sparked my interest about Villa Tortuga :) I'd like to know how much you had to spend during your visit there? Is the lunch included in the fee or you paid for it separately? Or do they have tour packages that we can avail.
    Hope to hear from you soon, I'd like to visit the place right away if possible.


Follow Me On Instagram