Thursday, January 28, 2010

Asia 360 -Taal Volcano

It's ironic that something so beautiful can also be so destructive.

This isn't exactly a revelation nor was this among the thoughts running in my head when I was taking pictures of Taal Volcano when friends and I went to Tagaytay City a few weeks ago. It was a breathtaking scenery and it was easy to forget the cataclysmal power that lay beneath the beauty.

From Manila, the Philippines' capital, we drove 50 km south to reach Tagaytay. This city is known primarily for giving the best view of the Taal Volcano. Its cool climate regularly attracts people from Manila who want to get away from the sweltering heat and the frenetic activity of the metropolitan if only for a day or two. Tagaytay City attracts a fair share of foreign tourists too.

We got our best shots of the complex volcano from the viewing deck just behind the lone Starbucks outlet in the city. Good thing the spot is accessible anytime of the day, even at dawn when all the restaurants have yet to open. There is no parking fee too. We took advantage of this and kept coming back until we decided we had taken enough pictures of Taal.

The volcano island is accessible, with certain limitations of course. If by chance you have not done your research prior to going there, it is easy enough to find your way if you take notice of the signs along the road including those held by local men, which say "Taal Boat Ride." These men serve as agents for boat owners and they usually have a motorcycle so they can ask you to follow them to the town of Talisay in Batangas City, just a few kilometers away. It's a 15-minute down ride, after which the boat ride to the island itself takes about 45 minutes. From where the boats dock, you have the option of going by foot, which takes about an hour, or by horse, which takes about 25 minutes to get to the viewing deck. There it's up close and personal.

Actually, we did not have the luxury of going to the volcano island during this particular visit. The photos of the crater lake I've posted here were taken at a prior visit two years ago but I've decided to include them anyway. I am quite certain it wouldn't be our last visit so I'll have more chances of taking better pictures in the future. And oh, as you might have guessed, we made it by relying on one of those men holding up those "Taal Boat Ride" signs — the trip to the crater was totally unplanned.

There are other good things about Tagaytay but I will save them for a later post.

Meanwhile, if you want more information on Taal Volcano, you know what to do.


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At January 29, 2010 at 12:02 AM , Blogger MM SZ said...

Fantastic shots! Linked under, 'Arts'. Cheers!

At January 29, 2010 at 1:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

loves it!


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