I was up all night on the Friday before our planned trip to Taal. Few friends from Singapore have dropped by and I got really wasted from all the binge drinking. Well, only few but we were drinking 11% alcohol beer. I was not really feeling okay to do hiking after that...
I was the one who researched on how to go to Talisay, Batangas. I contacted days prior to the trip Taal Lake Yatch Club for their hike package to Taal. All was set except the weather. Rainy season has started here in the Philippines which means that activities like hiking or going to the beaches would be limited.
I woke up around 6 AM with my sister's call (well, make it a shout). She said that we would push through with the trip. I was not really excited about it, I guess it was due to the hangover. I never felt that bad hangover for the longest time. So there, despite of the headache, I forced to stand, took a very cold shower, wishing the hangover to just go away. I just felt obliged to join my sister because it was her 2nd to the last weekend here in the Philippines before she goes to Africa for her volunteer work. And being a good younger brother and a friend to her, I said "Let's go, and conquer Taal!" albeit the stupid headache. :)
Initially, we were 6 on this pack but I "dropped" a friend since it was really raining and she was hesitating the night before because of the weather.
It was raining when we left Manila. My sister was just too insistent and she really wanted to just go out and see places. I guess she has been bitten by a big travel bug since we went to Pahiyas. Also, the boat I reserved can only accommodate 5 people. O wells, I promised to bring my friend next time anyway.
We were 3 in our car, and another car was brought by the other 2. We had stopover in one of gasoline stations in South Express Way for breakfast and to converge. Around 9 AM, we left the station to head down to Talisay where the banca to Taal is. When we were already in Tanauan, Batangas - the town next to Talisay, our friends on the other car sent me an SMS saying that they got side-swept by a truck. Great... We proceeded and reached Taal Lake Yatch Club around 10 AM, waited for the two while I nursed by hangover with a nap.
It was raining heavily then and the Taal across the lake was not visible due to the rain. O wells, I guessed that time that we won’t be able to appreciate much of the trip. Around 12 noon, the other car has not arrived yet, and it was still raining. We learned that they went to Calamba to file for the Police Report (which is necessary when filing for the insurance). Still having my headache, we (my sis and a friend) went to the adjacent resort for our lunch. This was when everything started to clear up - clearer sky, visible Taal from Talisay and good lunch of Bulalo (local beef stew) and fried Tawilis (specie of fish that can only be found in Taal Lake). These two dished are among the must-eat food here in Batangas. Yummy!
As we were about to finish our lunch, the other two arrived. Good thing everything went well with them in the Police Station.
They had lunch and after that we went back to the Yacht club to do our final arrangement for the trip.
We paid 1800 for the boat, 50 pesos each for the tourism fee, 20 pesos for the landing fee and 500 pesos each for the horse ride. We decided not to hike but try something else like riding a real horse. The last time I rode a horse was in Baguio when I was still in Grade 5. Hahaha. The package is a bit pricey but we are not comfortable getting banca services from the Talisay town where one can arrange for a banca and guide. We need a place to park our cars anyway - so Taal Lake Yatch Club is a good choice to stay for us.
The trip from Talisay to Taal took about 30 minutes. It was a calm boat ride. Arriving at the dock of the island where the volcano is with sightings of seagulls (I’ll change that to lakegulls because we are at a lake…) and hundreds of fishpens, I got really excited.
Then the horse ride. My sister and two others have no good sense of balance found riding horse difficult and scary. The 30 minutes horse ride to the peak was a hell to them. They found new respect for the ladies of the White Castle Whiskey commercial now - horseback riding while clad in two piece bikini while beaming with huge pearly white teeth smile. As for me, I loved every moment of the horseback riding. Hahaha:)
It was not really hot that day due to cloudy skies. However, Taal Volcano could be very hot - burning hot they said due to the volcanic soil the island has. So I guess our trip there was the most ideal for me - not too hot but not raining. Well, it drizzled a little when we were at the peak, not long enough to spoil our fun.
After few minutes at the peak, we decided to go down still riding our skinny horses. After that, I said goodbye to my horse which I found out after the trip is pregnant.
*This is animal cruelty, I think.*
Then another uneventful boat ride back to the resort.
I thought the day was over when we were done with all the volcano exploration we did. But no, the group headed to Tagaytay for our dinner of huge Bulalo, kare-kare and roasted Tilapya! This is gluttony!!!!!
We dropped by Starbucks to give our stomach to digest all that has been eaten on the night, then went home.
We reached our place at 12 Midnight. What a long day….
Talisay General Tips & Advice review
Taal Lake Yacht Club
This is where we availed for Taal Volcano Package.
Primarily catering for watersport but they offer Taal Volcano packages.
A good place to stay … read entire review
Talisay Hotels & Accommodations review
Flamingo Lake Resort
We didn't stay here. We only ate lunch here. :)
But the place looks pretty and if going to Taal Volcano, the place is also good to obtain package.
… read entire review