Oct 20, 2011

Taal Volcano is in Batangas!

        This is supposed to be the message of the planned "BATANGAS" sign on Taal Volcano. Just this morning, an article at Inquirer Southern Luzon published the said plan by the Provincial Government. From the article:

        "The provincial council approved on October 5 a resolution supporting the idea of Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, the award-winning actress, to erect a hard-to-miss landmark and potential tourism draw, according to Vice Governor Mark Leviste II."

      Hard-to-miss landmark? Check! Potential Tourism draw? for Batangas? I don't think so. As a Batangueno from Nasugbu, I really feel envy everytime I saw tourists flock Tagaytay for the "view" of the world famous Taal Volcano and the lake. But at the same time I feel so lucky having the world's smallest volcano in our province.

           Maybe Mayor Tolentino of Tagaytay is right. Our provincial government is insecure. Insecure of how popular Tagaytay is arguably because of Taal Volcano. Insecure of how much income Tagaytay's tourism generates because of the natural wonder of Batangas. But putting a sign is not such a good idea. Because Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

       The Taal Volcano Protected Landscape, which is an active strato-volcano is situated in the municipalities of Talisay, Malvar, Tanauan, Laurel, Agoncillo, Sta. Teresita, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Mataas na Kahoy, Lipa City, Balete and San Nicolas in Batangas & Tagaytay City in Cavite. It consists of an island Lake Taal, which is situated within a caldera formed by an earlier very large eruption.

          Taal lake used to be covered by the Tagaytay Taal Integrated Master Plan crafted under the auspices of the Presidential Commission on Tagaytay Taal. The Commission was abolished by President Joseph Estrada in 2000, due to the fact that there is already a Protected Area Management Board which has jurisdiction over the lake basin. The TVPL was proclaimed a Protected Area in 1997 and covers 65,000 hectares of some of the most photographed views of the Philippines. It is governed by a Protected Area Management Board of over 150 people meeting (en banc) twice yearly, and an Executive Board elected from PAMB en banc which meets quarterly. The PAMB just approved the 10-year TVPL Management Plan in November 2009.

       The online community already has mixed reactions. Taal Volcano is trending on twitter in the Philippines. The Inquirer article now has 300 comments (mostly negative) and counting. It's a good thing Vice-Gov Leviste replied to some of the comments and at least they're open to some suggestions. But I do hope they listen to the people. Why not just promote other "view decks" of Taal all over Batangas? After all, one of the best view of Taal Volcano is on Mt. Maculot - which is in Batangas.

           I like the floating "ALA EH" restaurants though...;-)

sources: UNESCO World Heritage List
                Taal Lake Blog
                Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (Facebook)

1 comment:

  1. Hindi ako taga batangas, but I often go there.

    I don't see anything wrong with the plan of the provincial government. In fact it is their right (and duty) to promote the welfare of the province. after all, that is what they were voted for. If that is what they think is right, let them proceed.

    Of course, they have to listen to the people...