The majestic Taal Volcano is a sight to behold. It is the only one of its kind in the world. Aptly described as "An island (Vulcan Point) within a lake (the main crater lake) within an island (the volcano island), within a lake (Taal Lake) within an island (Luzon).
An aerial view of the volcano island and the main crater lake. Notice the tiny speck? That's Vulcan Point.
Located in the Province of Batangas, around 70 kilometers from the Manila. Taal Volcano is best viewed from Tagaytay City, an elevated area of the Taal Caldera. It is believed that the caldera itself was formed by a huge prehistoric volcanic eruption. Could it be that this entire province was once a super-volcano?
Taal Volcano has had 33 significant eruptions in history and is still active up to the present time. Forty-seven (47) cones and craters have been identified on the 8 square mile volcano island. Taal Volcano has been named a Decade Volcano, and the volcano island itself is a Permanent Danger Zone. Taal Volcano is the lowest lying volcano, its highest point is only 311 meters above sea level.
During the volcano's "quiet" days, nature lovers and trekkers love exploring the volcano island. This gave rise to a lucrative business for the people living along the lake shore. Boatmen ferry the tourists to the volcano island where they can trek to view the main crater lake and the tiny island within it, named Vulcan Point.
The volcano island and the caldera
The main crater lake showing a tiny island, Vulcan Point.
My parents, grandparents and great grand parents are from the Province of Batangas. My fondest memories as a child would be spending weekends in my grandparents' house in Taal. My grandfather would take us to the lake shore where we would enjoy a feast of fresh grilled fish specially the "Maliputo," and "Tawilis," species of fish found only in the waters of Taal Lake.
There are folk tales about the boat ride from the lake shore to the island. Some locals warn tourists not to mind or utter a word when they notice some strange creature riding in the boat with them halfway through the trip. The locals say that these are creatures from the spirit world, and that they live on the volcano island. They warn tourists that the spirits are easily angered by misbehavior and disrespect for nature. As it is, I think it is just a reminder for us to avoid littering, or trampling down on saplings and such.
Taal Volcano is just one of the beautiful places to visit in the Province of Batangas. Although I have not visited province for almost 10 years, I am still very proud of my heritage.
Lahing Batangueño. Dugong Pilipino.