What is Tawilis?
Tawilis (scientific name Sardinella tawilis) is a breed of fish endemic to Taal Lake.
This small, tasty variety of fish is one of the unique breeds that evolved when the Taal Lake was boxed out from the entirety of the Balayan Bay due to the eruption of the Taal Volcano in the 1800s.
Tawilis is best harvested in the months of August to September for the calm winds and gentle waves make an ideal home for the breed.
Tawilis Festival was initially organized as the municipality’s entry to the 2009 Ala Eh Festival—the festival of festivals in Batangas.
The Tawilis Festival has continued years since and has been deeply ingrained in the Agoncillian culture for it has evolved into something deeper - an appreciation of the bountiful harvests from Taal Lake.
The week-long festivities usually include a trade fair promoting the local produce, street and court dance competitions which are frequented by tourists from Manila and other neighboring towns.
Efforts have been exerted to bring back the festival that celebrates the tawilis - a trademark product of Agoncillo - in 2020 but the inevitable Taal eruption and the social-gathering-ending pandemic happened.
Pictures and Descriptions
Ala eh Festival Contestants
Street Dance Contest