i and gail's family went to tagaytay/taal about a month ago for an impromptu gimik for jo, their cousin who lives in australia and who went to manila for a quick visit. if you're interested in going to the taal crater, there's one thing you need to know: you cant. you'll see it from above, but you can't go to it. dati yata pwede kahit sino, pero ngayon kelangan na ng permit. the best you can do is to throw golf balls to it. seriously, you can, with a golf club you can borrow. craziness.
|nikka, jo, me, erwin, feb, dikong|
so, tips! see the plastic bags we're carrying? you dont need em. we were convinced by the tinderas to buy snacks dahil wala nang nagtitinda sa taas pero meron naman pala. so we had to carry our snacks the whole time (around 15-20 minutes horse ride) and get to the peak without any need to drink water or fill our tummies. you would not go hungry, unless of course you dont take breakfast before you go there, or unless you choose to walk.
we were convinced to ride horses, though. :) it's P450 per horse (balikan na yon), but the handlers told us they only get P50 out of it so give a decent tip to your ate/kuya at the end of the trip. (unless style lang nila yun to get tips. hehe.) you may opt to walk, but i discourage it. 1) you'll walk the same path as the horses' 2) there's nothing to relish during the travel to the peak, only grass, dust and sun. sayang ang pagod, plus it's an experience to ride a horse up a mountain, so go! my horse was named junjun. :D
so bring sunglasses and gas masks to protect yourself from dust. you may buy gas masks from the vendors at the start of the trek (P20 super sulit). as much as possible, go there early so that you wouldnt have to endure the intense heat of the sun ala arabian nights.
|some rode the car, some rode our tour guide's trike|
|our calm selves. notice how there's almost no waves. dont be fooled though, cos taal is one mean lake. para syang pacific ocean sa lakas ng alon! weird.|
|comfort food and coffee at bag of beans. photos hijacked from kuya's fb :D|
ps: did you know that the taal volcano that our sibika/hekasi/social studies teachers tell us to be is not what it is?! postcards even label it the taal volcano. apparently we're all fooled. the crater is what we went to, and it's behind the fake taal volcano that we know. the taal volcano that we know is simply a piece of land that looks very much like a volcano's mouth, and that's all there is to it.
here's a photo we snapped at the crater, and at the far left of the photo you see the fake volcano, the one we take photos of and label as the volcano itself. :p