Video Prenup Location: TAAL TOWN HERITAGE (3 locations)
Since we have a vintage theme in mind, we stick with the concept and decided to check around Manila (going out of town is last of our priorities due to OOT fees) for great places until we found out about Taal Heritage Town where the known Basilica of St. Martin de Tours is located through one of our discussions with a suppliers and decided to check it out even if it’s located in Batangas. At first sight through FB photos, we fell in love with it’s authentic feel. After a lot (literally) of discussion and budget considerations, we pushed through with the place because it’s way cheaper than Las Casas (our first choice), it’s also our first time going there and hindi pa ako masyado nakakakita ng prenup held here. I saw maybe 1-2 prenup shoots online held at Taal Town but mostly they’re just photo shoots and the area wasn’t that explored. This of course made us feel like hindi pa masyado gamit ang place which is nakaka excite for us and sa team namin! Anyway going there was another story since it took us 2.5 hours from Boni (where we stayed at that time) to reach Taal Town through Grab kasi coding yun van namin at that time! Yes, this very nice Grab car driver took us there after we were left behind by the last Jam Liner Buendia bus even if it’s his first time also to travel outside of Manila in the middle of the night.
Location #1: VILLAVICENCIO WEDDING GIFT HOUSE
Fee: Php 4000 ( for 4 hours) + Php 1500 (AC room for the HMUA preps)
Supplier Rating: 5/5
Villavicencio Wedding Gift House is a known ancestral house in the town of Taal. When we were looking for an alternative place for our prenup venue that has the same old Spanish colonial feel, we were immediately attracted to the authenticity and beautiful photos of the Casa that we saw on their FB page. So when we finalized our date for the prenup shoot, we immediately booked the place online (viber) and talked to the owner Ms Joyce Quiblat, who was very warm and accommodating. Good thing that we were still able to use the house since there’s already a booked shoot on that day but the other group will be using the house after 3PM so we scheduled ours early in the morning. The house was so much more beautiful on location and you can really feel that the owners really preserved their heritage way back from the late 1800’s.
During our shoot, the owner gave us 1 free hour for our lunch break and for our extra 45 minutes, her assistant Ms Raquel was nice enough to tell us na huwag na daw kami magbayad for that.
- The AC room in the basement for our HMUA area was really dusty and there wasn’t enough light so it was difficult for us to manage our things when we were doing our makeovers.
Location #2: PARADORES DEL CASTILLO HOTEL
Fee: Php 3000 (prenup fee with consumable food and drinks)
Supplier Rating: 4.5/5
Upon arrival we booked at Paradores Del Castillo Hotel, a small and very dainty renovated old house turned hotel which serves delicious Taal delicacies in a boodle-style fashion. We booked the Saging Room (3pax) for Php 3500 with free breakfast online and the experience was great in preparation for the prenup the following day.
My contact person is Ms Suzette, the manager who was seemingly nice enough to lend us items like extra hangers, steam iron and double-sided tape for my gown since we don’t have a stylist during our prenup. We even requested for an area for our HMUA since we re-located them from the Villavicencio Wedding Gift House. Of course, we also took the chance of shooting inside the hotel after we’re done with the other areas since the place was really beautiful.
- We had a car trouble on the day we booked the hotel so when we called to have it re-booked (we’ll stay after the shoot instead), they only allowed us to upgrade since they said they were already fully booked at that time (not paid reservation unlike us, but verbal reservation only as per our conversation). Since we’re tight on our budget we tried to ask them several times to reconsider and give us other options but they were “strict” with bookings and re-bookings. The manager was quite rude when we were talking on the phone about the issue but had a compromise when we were able to solve our car problem and reach the hotel past midnight. But still, considerations could be given on their part which gave us quite the stress, thankfully though a miracle happened from a kind-hearted Grab car owner who helped us reach Paradores.
Location #3: ST. MARTIN DE TOURS BASILICA
Fee: Php 50 per person
Supplier Rating: 5/5
The shoot at the Basilica’s bell tower was not part of the plan but when we found out it was just a few blocks away from our hotel, we all decided to take advantage of the location. When it comes sa Basilica we initially thought on taking some elegant shots but when we got inside, we were amazed at its authentic old school feel so we decided to go up the Bell tower even though it’s raining (and windy) at that time and took the risky buwis-buhay shots to achieve all the shots that our video team has conceptualized on-the-spot.
The view was just superb! Sulit yung pag-akyat namin ng bongga for around 100+ steps with super sikip na daanan (good for one) or more kahit naka 3.5 inches ako na heels!
- There was a time limit going up the Bell tower and we weren’t able to explore the whole Basilica since they were restricting it at that time for no apparent reason.
Taal Heritage Town was far from Manila around 2-3 hours especially if you have a lot of things to carry (we DIYed our attire) and the only way to get there was to have your own car or ride the Jam Liner bus. You’re lucky if you can get a Grab car to drive you to the area.