ATTA Calabarzon set foot at San Nicolas, Batangas, on October 28, 2015, for the first stop of the benchmarking for its campaign: “One Region, One Destination. Come, visit Calabarzon!”
If you haven’t read the first part yet, kindly pause and read it first. Click the title: Thrilling Truths about Taal Volcano and Its Terrific Treats
There are at least five thrilling truths about Taal Volcano, Taal Crater Lake, and the Volcano Island which your history teacher didn’t know or have hidden from you.
Truth #1: It’s the smallest volcano in the world
Taal Volcano is a National Geological Monument dubbed as “The Smallest Volcano in the World”, but is often called “The Killer Volcano”, being one of the deadliest volcanoes with 33 historical eruptions. It is the second most active volcano, among the most violent of the 21 active volcanoes in the Philippines which is located in the “Pacific Ring of Fire”.
There’s more, Taal Volcano has ‘the largest island within a lake, in a volcanic island within a lake’ called Vulcan Point.
Truth #2: Taal Volcano is part of Batangas, not Tagaytay
While Tagaytay has been world-renown because of Taal Volcano’s vivid view and vivifying effect to viewers, local and foreign tourists alike, it’s actually within the vicinity of the province of Batangas. It’s divided into three towns: Talisay, Balete, and San Nicolas, formerly known as Lumang Taal.
San Nicolas covers the largest portion of the Volcano Island. It was founded on August 9, 1955 (Mother Municipality is Taal, Batangas).
Truth #3: It has 47 Craters, instead of just one
If you’ve believed what your history teacher have said, or the textbooks and the posters insinuated that the Taal Volcano is the splendid “Binintiang Malaki” (1965 Crater), you’re mistaken.
Much more erroneous if you believed the fact that there’s only one crater! There are 47 craters! Some of the children craters are near the mother crater (1911 Crater), others are scattered — underwater craters!
Elevation: 0.311 km
Type of Volcano: Tuff cone
MAIN CRATER LAKE – 1.9 km in diameter; blue-green in color, 4 m above sea level, deepest point: 76 m
Taal Volcano Island has 47 craters and 4 maars
TAAL CALDERA – 25 km across and formed between 140,000 to 5,380 BP
TAAL LAKE – inside the caldera; 267 sq. km and 2 m above sea level
Adjacent Volcanic Edifice: Makiling (NE) Malepunyo (E), Batulao (W) and Macolod (SE)
Info credit: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/
Wonder why there’s a lot? There had been the greatest eruption of Taal Volcano which occurred on May 15 – December 1, 1754.
We weren’t about to trek to the 1965 crater due to lack of time. But Mayor Sandoval informed us that it’s barren, there’s no water on the crater too!
Truth #4: The Real Crater has a Lake
Eruption on January 27, 1911, was more devastating. There had been 26 total recorded shocks by the seismographs at the Manila Observatory. The following day (28th), 217 distinct shocks, of which 135 were microseismic, while 10 were quite severe.
It was reported that it claimed 1, 335 lives and injured 199, although there had been another number of death than the official records show.
Because the Volcano Island sank from three to ten feet as an outcome of an eruption, the southern shore of Lake Taal sank in elevation. The crater has a lake. It’s called “The Lake of a Lake”.
Truth #5: Taal Crater Lake is Accessible, Safe for Swimming
I was enthralled when we approached the Crater Lake after more or less 20 minutes from the View Deck. With much excitement, I, together with “Team Lake” (a group of five people, those who chose trekking/walking instead of horseback riding), went to the lake. I soaked my foot right away. I could have plunged if I’ve brought a swimwear.
I couldn’t describe the sensation brought by the soothing serenity of the sulfuric natural spa. I soaked my feet with the ethereal epiphany: “Gazing at the grandeur of the Vulcan Point, “the largest island within the crater lake in a volcanic island within a lake on an island in the world” (1911 crater of Taal Volcano), is more than a reward! I didn’t know that I can behold it at few meters away!”
From peeking at the highest peak of the crater’s cliff, I finally experienced to soak at its sulfuric waters. Mrs. Malou Gomez, the wife of the Vice Mayor of Sta. Rosa, Managing Director of Hemispheres Travel Corp., and Vice President for Inbound of PTAA Philippine Travel Agencies Association was surprisingly a nature and outdoor enthusiast like her husband (a triathlete)! How we wished we could have had full gear for trail run and swimming! It’s safe to swim in the Crater Lake.
How to Maximize Your Time and Thrill While Touring Taal Volcano
1. Either stay a night at San Nicolas and start your adventure very early (before or during sunrise) or travel very early from your place.
We are from Silang, Cavite and we left home at 5 AM, we arrived at San Nicolas past 7 AM. It took us almost 2 hours. I advise you leave home earlier so you’ll not be bothered by the scorching sun while exploring the Lava Walk and trekking Taal Volcano. It takes around two hours to tour Pansipit River, Bird Sanctuary and Lava Walk.
2. Bring binoculars to fully enjoy bird watching experience at the Volcano Island Bird Sanctuary. Although the birds aren’t afraid of the approaching boat and they fly near the boat, you can vividly view them through that gadget.
3. Be ready for Boodle Fight! How exciting it is to have lunch with family and friends under the lush trees, eat with bare hands on banana leaves, feast on fresh broiled fishes (from the lake) and boiled rice, with salivating spicy sauce and ‘dainggit’ soothing ‘sinigang’. For only P250 per person, you could have a glorious gastronomic experience.
4. Either hire a horse or walk/trek towards the crater. It takes 3 hours to explore the 1911 and 1965 craters by horse, and almost 4 hours by foot. Prepare P500 for horseback riding for adventure and convenience (It’s fun! you also help the tour guide earn). But if you don’t bother a more adventurous walk/trek under the sun, go on, keep walking! Just wear the right footwear, don’t wear slippers or doll shoes. Wear trekking shoes or rubber shoes to avoid injury.
5. Don’t forget to bring extra shirt or clothes! You can also bring swimwear to take a plunge into the crater lake. It’s safe to swim, just endure the quite awful smell of sulfuric water.
Travel Local: Philippines First
“Huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan.” – Jose Aspiras (Former Tourism Secretary)
While my wandering feet get itchy every time I see picturesque photos of famous world destinations, I recheck my bucket list and reconsider my travel goals and my budget.
Being involved in ATTA-CALABARZON’s advocacy: “One Region, One Destination. Come Visit, CALABARZON!” I’m reminded again and again that it’s best to rediscover the gems of our own regions and our own motherland. Although I’ve been to some of the provinces that we promote, I can attest that there are a lot of scenic places which I haven’t explored yet.
After all, traveling is not about how many provinces or places within the country or abroad I’ve explored, but more of the practical education and transforming experience gained. Every travel should be a step towards becoming a better self. Every surreal sojourn should remind that we have a Mighty Creator who blessed our country with natural treasures to cherish and to take care of.
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If you want to explore Taal Volcano and Volcano Island and to know more about the day tour package, don’t hesitate to contact or visit our site:
Note: Photos credit to Bill Dacara (photos were taken with FLYBOOK watermark) otherwise stated.
© 2015 LAF