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Taal Volcano, Lake Taal, & Tagaytay.

Updated on November 3, 2012

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

The Taal Volcano located on Taal Lake in the city of Tagaytay a few hours drive from Manila.
The Taal Volcano located on Taal Lake in the city of Tagaytay a few hours drive from Manila.

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.

The Taal Vista Hotel provides a great place to relax and view the Taal Volcano and Lake Taal.
The Taal Vista Hotel provides a great place to relax and view the Taal Volcano and Lake Taal.

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.

With the weather not working in our favor, we decided to try to wait it out with some coffee, then some beer and some food.
With the weather not working in our favor, we decided to try to wait it out with some coffee, then some beer and some food.

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.

Its Christmas time, we got our gift of a memorable afternoon.
Its Christmas time, we got our gift of a memorable afternoon.

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.

One of several tribal cultural peformances we were lucky to see on this day.
One of several tribal cultural peformances we were lucky to see on this day.

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.

Tribal dances adorned the restaurant area.
Tribal dances adorned the restaurant area.

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

Another Spanish style performance is performed for the guests.
Another Spanish style performance is performed for the guests.

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.

A view from the view deck overlooking the natural beauty of this natural wonder.
A view from the view deck overlooking the natural beauty of this natural wonder.

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.

Overlooking the lush green hillside and the bay the lower lake side was quite a treat.
Overlooking the lush green hillside and the bay the lower lake side was quite a treat.

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.

Jumping for joy we ended our afternoon in Tagaytay.
Jumping for joy we ended our afternoon in Tagaytay.

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.

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    • Romian1 profile image

      Romian1 5 years ago

      This is the land of my parents. They have photos of Taal from the 60's. Great article.

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      I love the jump shots you guys made. hahaha! And that Spanish dance those cultural dancers performed is called TINIKLING (tee-nick-ling). :D Glad to know you visited other places in the Philippines. Thanks for writing about them. :D

    • onlinecashdigest profile image

      onlinecashdigest 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks for writing about the Philippines too! :)

    • MarkRFox profile image
      Author

      MarkRFox 5 years ago

      If you say so Ipat...but that was not what they announced when we were there. So if I got it wrong that was because the announcer did. Thanks for your insight though.

    • MarkRFox profile image
      Author

      MarkRFox 5 years ago

      Uhm..I hate to disagree, but....of course it has Spanish Influence...there is no such thing as 100% Filipino, unless you want to go to the tribal stuff before the Spanish came...the Filipino language, culture, and some cultural dress is a mix of Malay, Spanish, and English Influence...that is just a historical fact...if you want to call it 100% Filipino, do so, but I would disagree. Thanks for reading the article though.

    • profile image

      Ipat Luna 5 years ago

      Hi, The dances prior to the tinikling is not from Ceby but from Ifugau up in the mountains of Northern Luzon. Also, Taal Lake is in the province of Batangas with 11 towns on its coast. Tagaytay is only a vantage point. Try visiting the lake and the crater next time you travel. Thanks for your appreciation of Taal Volcano.

    • onlinecashdigest profile image

      onlinecashdigest 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      In one of your pics, you captioned it "Another Spanish style performance is performed for the guests". That is actually a Tinikling dance which is a Filipino dance, it is not Spanish, that dance is 100% Filipino and is part of the Philippine culture, nothing is Spanish into it.

      That dance existed in our culture even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Beautiful! The photo with a bottle of Guinness makes me thirsty. Thanks for sharing this. I'll put Tagaytay to one of my To Go List. Welcome to HubPages!