Sunday, April 05, 2009

Knowing Taal Volcano

Countless Pinoys and foreigners have been been to Tagaytay or Batangas, set their sight across Taal Lake and looked at Taal Volcano. But many may have actually missed Taal Volcano. Because this is not Taal Volcano. This is Binintiang Malaki.


Binintiang Malaki is just one of the 47 cones and craters of Taal Volcano. It is undoubtedly the prettiest, most photographed, most painted and most volcano-looking part of Taal Volcano Island so it is understandable that many think it is Taal Volcano.

So where is Taal Volcano?

If you are on Tagaytay Ridge, in Josephine's Reastaurant for example, Taal Volcano is the relatively flat land formation just behind Binintiang Malaki. Farther away you see Mount Maculot.


Shown below is another view where you see Binintiang Munti, Taal Volcano's main crater and Vulcan Point - fondly called the volcanic island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island. Let's state that again more clearly: A volcanic island (Vulcan Point) within a lake (Crater Lake) on an island (Taal Volcano Island) within a lake (Taal Lake) on an island (the Island of Luzon).


Here is how it looks like in Google Earth when simulating a view of Taal Volcano from high above Tagaytay. At this height you can see part of Mindoro at the far back.

gEarth Taal

History of Taal Volcano

In old books (such as the 1906 book of John Foreman), Taal Lake is called Bombon Lake. This lake was believed to have been created after the upheaval of the 7,000 to 8,000 feet high mountain in its center. In 1749 the same mountain had a great outburst that lasted for 6 months and 17 days which tore to pieces its coniform peak thus creating the flat Taal Volcano we see today. A volcano that is not much taller than one of its craters known as Binintiang Malaki. The same old book says that Taal is one of those places in the Philippines which takes its name from trees and plants - Taal being a tree more commonly known as Ipil.

Imagine if today a volcano twice the height of Mount Makiling and almost next to Mount Mayon in height is in Taal Lake. Wow, what an awesome sight that must be.

So the next time you visit Tagaytay, take a photo with the whole Taal Volcano as your background and not only Binintiang Malaki. It's a fitting tribute to one of the most active volcanoes we have in the Philippines.


If you don't it is just like being given a photo op with president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo then taking a photo only of her mole.

Or taking a memorable photo with The Wizard of Enchanted Kingdom this way.


Wouldn't it be super nice and cool if you took The Wizard's whole photo? He'd be so much happier.
And I'm sure Taal Volcano will be too.


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