One of the top travel destinations in the Philippines is the Taal Volcano, world-famous because its crater lake has been tagged as “the largest lake on an island in a lake on an island in the world.”
To get there, get on a bus to Batangas, get off Tagaytay, then hop on a tricycle that would take you to the port (more like a private resort) where the boats to the crater are docked.
Larry and I went there last April, rented a boat, and shortly after, found ourselves on foot, trekking our way up to the crater. Interestingly enough,the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that “habitation is strictly not recommended in Taal Volcano Island, being a high risk area and a Permanent Danger Zone”. Despite this, however, there is a community in the area. In fact, there were even horses around (for people who do not really wanna walk all the way up to the area where you could view the crater), and a lot of peddlers, mostly children, selling face masks.
Going on foot was probably the best thing about our trip cause we were able to enjoy the sights, the heat of the sun and occasional steam from the ground, and birding. Larry is passionate about bird watching so he makes time to try and search for new species he could find.
It was an enjoyable trek to the top. However, it was such a disappointment the moment we reached the peak. We are both nature lovers and it is just crazy sad how the locals there have made a mini-golf course out of the crater. They have golf balls and cubs they offer to tourists, which I feel, is extremely disrespectful to nature.
It’s not just that. We had to pick up garbage as we trekked back. Personally, I couldn’t bare the thought, ad the horror never slipped off my mind, so I told an official at the Biodiversity Management Bureau about it. Hopefully, something will be done.
People should learn to respect nature. Be a conscientious tourist please.
Ending on a positive note, I remember Larry saw a bird there that he hasn’t seen yet.
Our plea – Save Taal Crater.