I was secretly disappointed when I climbed on top of the horse that will take us to Taal Crater. Our initial plan was to trek to the crater but when my companions felt tired on the first five minutes of our walk, they immediately negotiated hiring horses. I am not athletic nor a mountain climber but I wanted to climb Taal by foot for I kinda think that I cannot say I have conquered Taal Volcano if I rode a horse. It was just my second time climbing a mountain, the first being in Mt. Pinatubo, but I know the feeling of satisfaction and self-fulfillment of seeing the first glimpse of the crater while you’re still panting.
The rays of the sun were still good for the skin when we ascended the volcano so while at it, I pushed my disappointments away and closed my eyes to feel the God’s work around me. The cliff is on my left while my right side offers a majestic view of the Taal Lake and Binintiang Malaki, the volcano that is mistakenly thought to be the crater of Taal. It is what we see as Taal Volcano when we’re in Picnic Grove but in fact it is just 1 of the 47 craters of Taal.
As we arrived at the crater, the jaded waters sparkle under the rays of the sun. Further highlighting the allure of the waters is the surrounding red soil that still emits fumes. A local approached and offered us golfing for P100.00 Php. As my friends took turns in swinging the golf club, I went to the rightmost, higher part which offers a better vantage point of the crater lake. You just have to be careful in going to that part, though. The narrow pathway was slippery and a single misstep may send you several meters down the ravine.
The view from the top is just spectacular. Everything, from the forested slopes, to the smoky red barren, to the jewel colored waters, is just beautiful, not to mention, camera-friendly too! We took pictures of the crater until the sun rose to its throne. Only then did we notice that we’ve been there for about an hour. We rested a bit in one of the shaded stores before got ready to walk downstairs where our horses were waiting for us. But before I stepped down, I took my one last, quick glance at the crater and I knew that it would not be my last seeing her beauty.