Taal - Encyclopedia

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TAAL, a town of the province of Batangas, Luzon, Philippine Islands, on the Pansipit river, opposite Lemery, with which it is connected by a bridge, and about 50 m. S. of Manila. Pop. of the municipality (1903) 17,525. Taal is built, chiefly of stone, on the summit and terraced slopes of a hill overlooking the Gulf of Balayan into which the Pansipit river flows. It has a cool and healthy climate, is an important military station, and a port for coastwise vessels. Extensive agricultural lands in the vicinity produce rice, Indian corn, sugar-cane, pepper, cacao, and cotton, but the great coffee plantations which were formerly to be seen in its vicinity have been destroyed by insects. The inhabitants are also engaged in raising horses and cattle, in fishing, and in carrying on a considerable trade in cotton goods, sugar, coffee, &c. Taal is the only town in the Philippines where effective efforts have been made to exclude the Chinese. The hostility of the inhabitants toward them was such that none succeeded in establishing a residence here until the latter days of the revolution against the American government. The town was founded in 1754 after the destruction by Taal volcano of an old town of the same name on Lake Taal. The language is Tagalog.

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