Thursday, May 1, 2008

Labor Day Trek to the Crater of Taal Volcano

Three years ago, a few students of mine took a trip to Talisay, Batangas. We had a guide, a child only. We wanted to go near the Taal Volcano. The trip pushed through but our guide failed to show us the right turn. We insted went direct to Tagaytay and farther and farther until we reached Lemery. The group got hungry so we decided to stop and enjoy the rest of the day swimming in a public resort.

Today, my long dream materialized. With the Marquezes, I enjoyed a free ride in their Adventure to Banga, Talisay where Ben Jumarang - hubby of co-choir member Manay Elvie - came from. We crossed Taal Lake in a motor boat. The trip seemed less than 30 minutes. The exciting part is the horseback ride to the crater of the volcano. It was my first experience to ride horse. I felt nervous but my sense of adventurism got over me. I trusted our guides.

I felt funny when the horse started to move. The choppy motion made me laugh. I still felt tense in the first 10 minutes seeing we're going up and the trail was rough and narrow. It was becoming hot as we climb higher and higher. I was ready with my sunblock and native hat. My guide, an elementary graduate forgot his cap. He was not immune to the heat from the King Sun. Besides, it was very dusty. We bathed ourselves with the dust and the smell of horse shit. As we went higher, I felt pity for the horse, which would stop from time to time for a brief air.

AT last the crater! What do you know? It's not the one visible in Tagaytay. It's a different part of the volcano apart from that small mountain admired whenever I pass Tagaytay. it's a big mouth for a volcano. The water was all green and smelled not very nice - sulfur. Look, down there! There's smoke coming out! And another one there! I showed my companions how good my far-sighted vision. Hah! This is life. Once in a while, I try to forget my obligations and enjoy my remaining late adolescent stage days.

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