It was the same day last year, I have experienced a different way of celebrating holy week. A good friend of mine saw an advertisement online, and convinced me to accompany him to this rare kind activity. I was too hesitant at first because it may not be safe to us to travel during the Good Friday. The activity was taken place on an island. Nice to hear right but this one was not a typical summer destination that you dream of. This island owns the 2nd most active volcano in the country the Taal Volcano.
I wasn’t prepared much, but I do have a complete 8 hrs sleep hope it can sustain my energy through out the day. My body was cover with fear and doubtless rather than excitement because it was totally unplanned. Upon reaching the town, we dropped by to San Guillermo Church and asked for Gods guidance. It was my first time to visit this little church, this moment suddenly gives me peace and positivity to succeed our mission. As we went out, the locals was busy decorating there floats preparing for there town pr0cessions. It was really a good sight but it was not our main purpose.
We are now at Talisay, Batangas which is the jump-off point to Taal Volcano Island. We manage to get a good deal of renting a 2,000 pesos motorized boat that can accommodate 4persons. It was good enough since its already a round trip boat ride. It will takes us 20-30mins before we stepped our feet over the sandly black clay of the island.
Upon reaching the island, you can already see its Volcano Peaks as we seen on post cards. But wait we have learned that the place was called “binintihang Malaki” or as one of the smallest crater of the island and not Taal Volacano alone. Amazing right.. its still a good view afterall.
Our boat driver helped us out and show our way to a registration booth. Registration cost us nothing, we have just to record our name and contact details just incase of emergency. They also give us options if we want to walk or rent a horse for 500 bucks. Horse back can take half the hour but we choose to walk, that way we push our self to our limits.
Like many towns in the country we celebrate holyweek in different ways. But in Taal they prefer to have it more intense. They planted 14 crosses layered out up to the highest peak of the volcano. These 14 stations signify the 14 stages of Jesus during his crucifixion known to us as “Via Crusis”.
The hiking trail looks easy, it was a only a straight path however it really gets us dusty, good thing there are locals who sells face mask and towels to help us out. The hike really give us sweat and get into fumes of sulfuric ordor coming out of the earth. This was called volcanic steams that serves as vents.
Half way, we stopped on rest area where they sell Fresh Buko. They sell it for a cheap price. This is really refreshing after having a hard time under the scorching sun. We rest for a while and watch people passing by. Few tourist and locals are also climbing up, many are in groups like friends and family.
We reached the 14th station. This is now the highest peak, it was also known as the “Vulcan Point”. It was crazy that I made it. Im in awe , the moment I reached the top. I feel really optimistic to accomplished two things (1) to do Via Crusis and (2)to get to the highest peak of Taal.
As I pause for a while I realized that some thing happens for a good reason. Even though I fear at first and worry, I still manage to do it. It was really rewarding that that time to see Gods Beautiful creation. The lake view and the mountains surrounding the island was really inspiring. It was a good experience and I would dare to it once more.