Monday, October 13, 2008
Taal Volcano and Tagaytay City - Photo Journal
Taal Volcano is an active volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is situated between the towns of Talisay and San Nicolas in Batangas. It consists of an island in Lake Taal, which is situated within a caldera formed by an earlier, very powerful eruption. It is located about 50 km (31 Miles) from the capital, Manila. It also has the distinction of being home to the "Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island". This is referring to Vulcan point, an island in crater lake.
The volcano has erupted violently several times, causing loss of life in the populated areas surrounding the lake, the current death toll standing at around 5,000 - 6,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and eruptive history, the volcano has been designated a Decade Volcano worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. It was thought to be named as "a volcano inside a volcano" because many believed that the lake that circles the volcano was once a crater or mouth of a volcano.
Taal Volcano is part of a chain of volcanoes along the western side of the island of Luzon, which were formed by the subduction of the Eurasian Plate underneath the Philippine Mobile Belt. Taal Lake lies within a 25–30 km caldera formed by four explosive eruptions between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago. Each of these eruptions created extensive ignimbrite deposits, reaching as far away as where Manila stands today.
Since the formation of the caldera, subsequent eruptions have created another volcanic island, within the caldera, known as Volcano Island. This island covers an area of about 23 km², and consists of overlapping cones and craters. 47 different cones and craters have been identified on the island.
Volcano Island contains a lake about 2 km across, called Crater Lake. Within Crater Lake is another small volcanic island, called Vulcan Point. Vulcan Point is the world's largest island within a lake on an island with a lake on an island.
The City of Tagaytay is a third class city in the province of Cavite, Philippines. Only 55 km (34 mi) away from Manila via Aguinaldo Highway, it is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Tagaytay City provides a good view of the Taal Volcano. The city is a popular summer tourist destination because of its cool climate due to its high altitude.
Tagaytay City is located in the Province of Cavite, on the island of Luzon, approximately 56 km (35 mi) south of Manila. It lies within 120° 56' longitude and 14° 6' latitude and overlooks Manila Bay on the North, Taal volcano and Taal lake on the south and Laguna Bay on the east.
The City is linked by the national highway to the Metropolitan Manila Area and to the Province of Batangas. It is also connected by the roads to the adjoining municipalities of Amadeo, Mendez, Indang, Silang and Alfonso in Cavite towards the northwest, to the cities of Calamba and Sta. Rosa in Laguna in the northeast and to the town of Talisay in Batangas in the south.
Tagaytay City has a total land area of 66.1 km2 (26 sq mi) which represent about 5.14% of the total area of the Province of Cavite. There are 34 barangays, 6 of which are urban and the rests are classified as rural.
Tagaytay City is characterized by mixed topography, the southern and eastern portions are covered by hills and mountains which is generally forests and open grasslands. These are the ridge with slope ranging from 10.0 to over 25 percent. On the other hand the portions adjoining the municipalities of Mendez, Indang, Amadeo and Silang are level to nearly level areas interspersed with very gently sloping surface. The built-up areas including the urban center is situated in these relatively level portions of the city.
Tagaytay is an hour and 15 minute drive from Manila via the South Luzon Expressway or using the Coastal Road Expressway and the Aguinaldo Highway.
If going through the South Luzon Expressway, take the Carmona Exit and drive down through the Governor's Drive and Silang up to the entrance of Tagaytay City. Or through South Luzon Expressway, take Sta. Rosa exit going straight to Tagaytay City.
There are two possible ways to get to Tagaytay via the Coastal Road: Taking the Coastal Road to the Aguinaldo Highway and continuing south, and using the Indang and Mendez Roads in the Trece Martires City and Amadeo areas.
If coming from the neighboring town of Ternate, Cavite take the Naic Road and drive straight to Indang and Trece Martires City.
From Batangas, the best way to reach Tagaytay is through the new circumferential road. From Laguna, you may enter Tagaytay through the Carmona exit. There are buses that ply to Tagaytay from Manila on a daily basis. Several bus companies have their terminals in EDSA, Pasay City, and at Baclaran, below LRT, Manila.
Tagaytay City's climate is characterized by relatively low temperature, low humidity and abundant rainfall. The City is endowed with a cool and invigorating climate with an average temperature of 22.7 °C. Situated approximately 600 meters above sea level, the city is misty and is relatively cooler during the months of December, January and February. Like most areas in the Province of Cavite, the city has two pronounced seasons: dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year. The climate has made the city very ideal for sports, picnics, conferences, honeymoons, country homes, and spiritual retreats.
Tagaytay has an average humidity of 78% which makes the city cooler than Metro Manila where relatively humidity exceeds 81%. Northeasterly winds prevail in the City from October to April. Winds come from southwest from May to September. The cool Tagaytay breeze has made the city ideal for leisurely kite flying and competitions.
The city of Tagaytay is a tourist attraction for local and foreign visitors. It is an excellent vantage point of Taal Lake and Volcano. Tagaytay offers a breathtaking sight of the famous Taal Lake - a lake within an island within a lake.