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Taal Volcano, Lake Taal, & Tagaytay.
Learn About the Taal Volcano, one of the world's smallest most active volcanoes, which can be viewed from the town of Tagaytay in the Philippines
On a cold rainy day we decided to go on a journey to the town of Tagaytay (Tug-eye-tie), which is located a few hours drive from Manila. Our goal was to see the Taal Volcano and Lake Taal, which can be easily viewed from the high viewing points in the town of Tagaytay. You can get there by bus, motorcycle, car, or taxi. It is about a 2 to 3 hour drive from Manila.
The cheapest way to get there is by bus. However, we negotiated with a taxi driver and chose that route because it was raining and we did not want to hassle with transferring and securing further transportation later. Nor did we feel like waiting around for public transportation. After a bit of negotiating, we secured a taxi who agreed to take us there, wait for us while we ate and viewed the area for a few hours, and then took us back to our departure location in Manila for 2,000 pisos, or around $47 US dollars. Since there were 5 of us, this seemed like a better option.
Once we arrived in Tagaytay, we were constantly approached by men riding on motor bikes trying to flag us down and get our attention in order to sell us boat rides on the lake to the volcano. However, we were not interested in that. One man was so desperate to sell a tour, he ran with his flip flops, hopping on a moving moped, or motorbike, while almost falling off to try to catch up with us. We found this amusing, but were not interested in his, or any other offers. We knew where we were going and what we wanted to do while there.
Our destination was the Taal Vista Hotel, which has a great view deck that overlooks the volcano and the lake. However, once we arrived we were disappointed to find severe fog that was as thick as pea soup.
As we could not see what we came for, or so we thought, we decided to head inside and enjoy some food and beverages in the hopes that the weather might subside.
It was the Christmas season in early December, so we got treated to a very colorfully decorated lobby and lounge area, which was filled with a large Christmas tree, a gingerbread house, a decorated fireplace with hung stockings, and lights galore.
When we arrived we got a pleasant surprise, the gift of music and dance. Multiple cultural and tribal performances were going on inside. We were very pleased to find these as they were an added bonus to our trip.
Trying to attract a female counterpart, this Filipino waves a woven cloth in the air, while dancing and moving around the room.
Filipinos performed a tribal dance from a tribe located in Ifugau which is in the Luzon region of the Philippines.
The video below displays a sample of the above pictured cultural and tribal performance. It was quite an unexpected treat.
Part 1; A Sample of a Cultural and Tribal Performance
A Spanish influenced Filipino performance took place as well in addition to the tribal performance discussed previously. It was quite a treat and provided a glimpse into a different portion of the diverse Filipino history.
The video below shows a Spanish style cultural performance. Since the Philippines was ruled by the Spanish for more than three hundred years, there is a major Spanish Influence still present, especially in the language. This specific one is called TINIKLING (tee-nick-ling).
Part 2; A Portion of a Spanish Style Cultural Performance
Growing up in Southern California, this reminded me a lot of home, with our annual fiestas, or festivals that take place each year in the city of Santa Barbara as well as all around the state. Women in colorful dresses and Spanish style music filled the room with celebration.
Viewing the Taal Valcano and Lake Taal
Then the weather cleared up, at least enough to see what we had truly come for. Below are some pictures of the amazing view of the lake and volcano, even through the foggy afternoon.
The view deck at Taal Vista point, provided us with an excellent view. It is normally even more captivating. However, the fog and clouds seemed to diminish it just a bit. Yet, it was still quite a site to see, especially in person.
The lush green hillside sloped downward toward the cove on the edge of the lake. It still provided quite a beautiful site, even in the hazy weather.
We ended our day overlooking the volcano and the lake with excitement as we had gotten what we had come for and so much more.