Tagaytay (Taal Volcano)

Lake Taal - a huge volcanic crater that has filled up with water and has become a lake. Within the lake, other eruptions have occurred producing more craters and micro-lakes.

Tagaytay is located about 70 km south of Manila and was once intended to become an alternative to the summer town
of Baguio. Its high altitude (600m) and cool climate would seem to make it ideal to take over his role. However, in the
end nothing came of it, altough the idea was brougth up again after a serious earthquake rattled Baguio in mid-1990, and
shares in the exclusive apartment buildings which had been built in the meantime were offered.
The sprawling town offers visitors superb views of the Taal Volcano and the volcanic island with its crater lake, but only
if the weather is clear. The volcano is one of the smallest and most dangerous in the world.

The Philippines is one of the countries which lie in the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", thus making the country abound with several active volcanoes. One of these volcanoes is Taal Volcano, the volcano within a lake within a volcano within another lake.

Taal Volcano, a National Geological Monument, has twenty-six (26) recorded eruptions since 1572. Named as the "Killer Volcano", its most devastating eruption occured in 1754, when it buried the towns of Lipa, Sala, Tanauan and Taal with lava. On Taal's 1911 eruption, one thousand three hundred and forty four (1,344) lives were claimed, leaving only a puppy as the survivor.

Last February 18 and 19, 1995, the PLDT Mountaineering Club (PLDT M.C.) participated in the Taal Volcano Friendship Climb. Sponsored by PILIPINAS SIERRA, this climb served as an initial venue for the PLDT Mountaineers to interact with other mountaineers from different mountaineering organizations.

The trip to the volcano island started with a "banca" ride from the port of Talisay in Batangas. Together with MESAU, PLM-OC, DLSU-OC, SENATE M.C., AMACC, Araneta M.C., Ayala M.C.,and Toyota M.C., the PLDT M.C. jumped-off from the "Pira-pirasong" PhilVolcs Station in the island. After an hour of continous ascent, the main crater was reached. This crater, known as the "Crater Lake", is where most of the eruptions occured.

Lunch was taken inside a "kakawate" at the rim , with a view of the beautiful crater, with its placid blue-greenish pool at the center.

From the crater's rim, the group descended through a trail surrounded by cogon grass. Aside from cogon, the trail consists of hardened lava, petrified volcanic rocks and powder-soft volcanic sand.

Throughout the duration of the climb, the humidity was extremely dry, with temperatures ranging from 35 to 40 degrees Celsius.

The campsite at Barrio Alas-as is situated along the shoreline near "Pinintiang Maliit", with a view of Taal Lake and the Tagaytay Ridge. A dip at the lake soothed the bodies and minds of the tired mountaineers with its luke warm and gentle current.

The PLDT Mountaineers, composed of Odette Angara (MNTD), Joy Aspiras, Tony Dimatulac, Noel Sarabillo & Danny Sta. Cruz (Makati OPSIM), Manny Caneos (StockServ), Joven Despabiladeras (CABO-B), Noel Farrales (Makati PABX), Te Gaspar (SalAd), Jess Hornedo(Makati C.O.), Annie Nebres (ComRel), Mike Salalila & Eric Tigas (QCID), Che Wamelda (Sampaloc - RTD) and Lenie Yumang (Budget), played host to a fellow PLDT employee, Anji Tiongson of CorRel