In February 2016, my globe-trotting sister arrived in the Philippines for the first time after 13 years. Her itinerary was all set before arriving in the Philippines.
One of the tourist destinations included in her itinerary was a trip to the world’s intriguing smallest active volcano.
To get into this majestic volcano, we dropped by a dock somewhere in Talisay, Batangas—one of the municipalities in Batangas connected to vast Taal Lake.
We rented a small boat to ferry us there. It took us about 30 to 40 minutes before we reached the shore and flank of the volcano.
Suprisingly, a small community with no access to electricity exists there. A horseback ride awaited us. That said, a tourist guide gave us options and packages on how to get on top of the famous volcano. Though, it can be reached either by foot or horseback ride.
My family decided to ride a horse while I chose to trek on foot to experience the very traditional way how our forefathers and ancestors hike this sandy route on foot.
I paused to savor the impressive views along the course, including vents in the slope that emit scalding gas or hot springs.
It took me almost an hour to trek the famous, sandy, slippery “Daang Kasitila” slope going to the volcano’s mouth.
Upon dismounting their respective horses, my family meanwhile had a hard time negotiating by foot the last portion of the trek, which leads to the volcano’s majestic crater.
We were also encouraged to visit the so-called “RED LAVA” situated within the crater. The guide also persuaded us to drop by the volcano lake.
According to the tourist guide, the lake has 47 known volcanoes within.
They also informed us that a group of Koreans and foreigners had attempted to monopolize and control the tourism industry therein before. They vehemently opposed all these attempts and even denounced the move to phase out horseback riding that would somehow be replaced by cable cars.
We had a great time exploring this second most active volcano in the Philippines (whoa) with 33 recorded historical eruptions.
Indeed, I am proud to explore this renowned, smallest active volcano in the world. It is a great and different experience when in Batangas Province.