4 million tourists visit the Philippines each year, and many of them come back to visit more than once. Learning a bit about the Philippines might help you understand why and perhaps convince you to take your next vacation there as well.

Friendly people, perfect beaches, affordable travel costs and delicious food are some of the main attractions of the country. The people of the Philippines are also renowned for their friendliness and hospitality to tourists.

The Philippines is one of the top destinations in the world to partake in ocean sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing. The country is also host to a diverse array of beautiful and exotic flora and fauna, and is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. The geography of the Philippines is breathtaking and picturesque with hundreds of coral reefs, tropical forests, mountains and over 7,000 islands.

Beautiful world class beaches

The beaches of the Philippines are consistently ranked among the best in the world for their amazingly clear water and perfect scenic shorelines. As an example, the famous white beach in Boracay Island is ranked among the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world and is a popular tourist destination. There are many other popular beaches scattered throughout the thousands of islands in the Philippines.

Malapascua Island is known for being a diving destination and for its friendly local population. Palawan is considered to be one of the best island destinations in the world and is host to 40% of the coral reefs in the Philippines.

No language barrier for English speakers

Over 90% of the Filipino population speaks English, and English is the preferred language in business. The lack of a language barrier makes traveling to the Philippines more comfortable and natural for English speaking Westerners.

Affordable shopping, dining and entertainment

Almost everything is less expensive than Western countries including food, shopping, and entertainment. Manila is host to some of the largest shopping centers in Southeast Asia. Each region of the Philippines has its own cuisine, and there are many exotic foods to try for the first time. Fresh seafood can be found at very low prices. The native fruits such as pineapples, coconuts, papayas, mangoes, and others are delicious and fresh.

Near perfect weather year round

The weather is almost perfect year round. The monsoon season runs between June and October, however the rest of the year is mild. It’s the perfect getaway for the winter months, as the weather rarely falls below 25C.

Convinced yet?

If reading a little about the Philippines hasn’t convinced you to go yet, you might read up some more about the many tourist attractions of the country online. With so many reasons to travel in the Philippines including affordable travel costs, breathtaking natural beauty and friendly people you wouldn’t make a mistake to pick it as your next travel destination. 

Categories : Tourist Spots
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For a number of years now, outsourcing has become a trend that skyrockets the internet world. Businessmen have been investing conscientiously in terms of internet marketing due to the impressive return of investment they can get out of it. On the one hand, as their businesses continue to grow, taking full attention to each of them demand more people to sustain the progress. This is where virtual assistants are very much in need of. In this case, Filipinos are known internationally for being exceptional and impeccable with regards to virtual assistance. Thus, the qualities of Filipinos that suits perfectly in virtual assistance have been proven to be an above par rating as compared to other international workers. If you are being too selective with your future VA, take a close look at the stunning qualifications of the Filipinos.

1. Filipinos have a great command in the English language.

This quality makes the Filipinos very much hirable internationally. In fact, it is a major asset that Filipinos do possess. A multitude number of Filipinos can fluently speak English since this language is used as both a subject and a medium of instruction in their educational system. In the most salient side, communication and quality of work are areas which can never be compromised. With this concern, Filipinos have been proven to give consistent and dexterous communication to their foreign employers and are able to give nothing but quality-guaranteed output due to their exceptional commandin the English language.

2. Filipinos have higher level of education.

In Asia, Philippines is well-renowned due to the many professionals it produces each year. You can observe that a great percentage of Filipinos go to college and most of them do acquire a Bachelor’s degree. This is because Filipinos take education as an important acquisition. What is more, Filipinos are known to be very much engrossed in technology and foreign relations. That is why, there is no wonder why most of them make good virtual assistants because majority of them are college educated and are technology savvy.

3. Filipinos have admirable work attitude.

More than just being hospitable, Filipinos are known as hardworking, dedicated and trustworthy workers. A lot of foreign employers, who have hired Filipinos as VA’s, can undeniably attest to this. They give their best in their work and perform religiously for their employers.

Similarly, Filipinos have a very positive mindset especially in dealing with the inconveniences in life and sustain their excellent performance.

4. Filipinos are culturally adaptive.

Filipinos’ great patronage with anything western might sound negative. On the other hand, this quality makes them more versatile most especially in dealing with foreign people. They can easily grasp the expectations and standards of their foreign employers since they are able to adjust easily as to how work is done that meet the expectations of the boss.

5. Filipinos have specialized skills.

This is another asset among the Filipino race. Once you give them specific job description, you will expect nothing but excellent output with no touch of mediocrity. This is greatly driven by their passion to learn more in their field.

6. Filipinos can work excellently even at less pay.

Compared to other countries known for outsourcing, Philippines is a home of people who work best even with less pay. The affordability of their services speaks for their lower cost of living as compared to other nations in Asia.

In conclusion, hiring Filipinos as Virtual Assistants means hiring for their exceptional expertise and relevant experience. With more and more foreign employers preferring Filipinos as their employees greatly prove how efficient and reliable Filipinos are in the outsourcing field. So, when you try to come right down to it, Filipinos are very qualified because of their innate cultural adaptability, great value to their work and exceptional skills that will certainly add to the pool of expertise in your team.

Categories : Outsourcing
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The travel industry sees a lot of foreigners coming to the country this year with the passage of the measure removing taxes imposed on global carriers. According to the Tourism Congress and the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), the removal of the levy would encourage more airlines to fly back to the nation and bring in more people.

With that move, a number of 5.5 million tourists are expected to visit—a statistic that is a million more than the 4.5 target on 2012. The ambitious budget set for 2013 is going to be a driving force for achieving their aim.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is planning to pursue their goals through its branding campaign project, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” which was launched in January of last year. This was done to ensure that the rest of the world would know about what the nation has to offer in terms of leisure and recreational activities.

The DOT is also addressing runway congestion in the Philippines’ main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. They believe that the problem has become apparent and bothersome in recent years and have to be attended to immediately, especially as domestic trips have gone to 30 million in 2013 from only 8 million in 2008.

It seems that local authorities efforts have not been in vain as it has been reported by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) that a lot of foreigners have opted to stay longer despite the negative advisories and the dispute over the Spratley Islands. From January to December of 2012, the BI office approved a total of 172,055 applications for extension of stay by foreign nationals. This is 13 percent higher than the 151,913 in 2011.

The Pearl of the Orient Seas remains to be a top holiday destination for many visitors who are choosing to stay longer not only for vacation purposes but also for investment and business opportunities.

All of the facts stated above show that now is a wonderful time for you to start a venture in the country’s tourism industry. As more people from different corners of the globe discover these emerald isles, an enterprise catering to their needs would only profit and grow.

Now, it is your choice what kind of business you would like to establish here. It could be for transport, food, or even tours. Just make sure that you study the local culture, learn more about the processes, and do what you can to make your establishment prosper.

About the Author

Regus is an enterprise that offers serviced offices Manila, Cebu, and other locations to clients from all over the country and even across the globe.

Categories : Business
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They made the 5 best luxury hotels in the Philippines for a reason. For whatever purpose, these hotels are famous to catering your needs.

New World Hotel (Makati City, Makati, Philippines)

An indulgent place found at the center of Makati City and formerly known as the New Renaissance Hotel, New World Hotel is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. It’s in a very good location and has great access to facilities. It’s very convenient to restaurants and shopping malls which make this hotel an excellent choice for you and your family.

Amanpulo (Pamalican Island, Philippines)

The reason why Amanpulo is one of the luxurious hotel resorts in the Philippines is because it’s found in one of the most beautiful and romantic settings in the country. It’s a good place for a getaway from everything in the real world. This remote island both serves those who wish to relax in a very quiet place and those who want to have an active schedule – for example, a series of aquatic adventures, going to the gym, and playing tennis. Amanpulo is particularly known to divers.

Discovery Shores Boracay Island (Boracay Island, Philippines)

Discovery Shores in Boracay Island is popular for their hospitality. It’s a hotel well-known to people all over the world which is why this hotel is also one of the top 5 hotels in the Philippines. The moment you arrive at the Caticlan Airport, you’ll be greeted by a very attentive staff. You’ll be given cold drinks, cold towels, and anything you need to make you feel comfortable. Other great things about this hotel are free Wi-Fi in open areas, daily afternoon activities for children, a shuttle service, and many more. Discovery Shores is the best place to stay when you’re in Boracay. It may be the most costly but it’s all worth it.

The Peninsula Manila (Metro Manila, Philippines)

The Peninsula Manila was built in the 1970s when tourism of the Philippines was challenged by providing accommodations to the government representatives of the International Monetary Fund Conference which was then held in Manila. This hotel is known for their great facilities and friendly staff. If you want to stay at a 5-star hotel but with a limited budget, this hotel is the best for you. Their rates are reasonable and they offer great discounts.

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa (Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, Philippines)

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa is one of the 5 best luxury hotels in the Philippines for many reasons: they have excellent customer service, great for family vacations, the qualities of the food and rooms are admirable, and lastly, great accommodations and facilities. Back in the days, most people didn’t include Cebu in their travel lists. But once they witness and feel the great beaches and hotel resorts in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, they’ve changed their agenda. When you don’t really know Cebu, you’ll be in for a surprise once you check in at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.

There are still so many great hotels in the Philippines depending where you’re going to stay, how long, and what type of visit you’re in – either vacation or business. These top 5 hotels in the Philippines are the most popular and most preferred by tourists and locals. Make sure to choose the hotel that suits your purpose and needs well to ascertain that your experience in the Philippines is the best experience.

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With the advent of internet marketing in the global community, the need for outsourcing has been exceedingly essential. In this regard, Philippines is one of the countries famous in this aspect. In fact, the country is an ideal outsourcing destination due to its strong cultural affinity with the West; exceptional English language skills of the Filipino personnel; unyielding business, political and technical infrastructure as well as low costs. Over the years, these factors have skyrocketed and caused the rapid expansion of the Philippine outsourcing services.

Yet, before anyone takes a foot forward in considering Philippines as a home for outsourcing business, let us take a background check on this country.

Internet

In outsourcing venture, internet is one of the most vital factors to be taken into account. In fact, it can limit the level of success one can obtain. In the Philippines, internet is not as fast compared with that of the Western countries. The leading internet providers here are PLDT, Smart and Globe. These internet providers vary their internet service cost, but roughly you need to pay $25 a month for a 1mbs portable wifi connection. Yet, this speed can make skype calls unstable. So, if you plan to run a center, you really need a much stable line.

Another option is to choose internet connection up to 10mbs which costs around $90 a month. If you wish to have a much stable and fast connection, you need to pay up to $1200 a month. This plan is ideal for serious call centers. Yet, $90 a month is appropriate only for a single user. It is not advisable for five people using the same connection. The bottom line here is not to cheap out on internet connection for it may only lag your work.

Telecommunications

Since outsourcing deals with hiring and getting people work for you across the seas, the means of communication is also critical. Skype, Vonage, Magic Jack Plus and other VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) are popularly used here in the Philippines. The most popular among them is skype due to its convenience and user-friendly commands and settings.

Culture

If not all, most Filipinos prefer to work full-time rather than project-based type of work. That said, they desire to receive their compensation either every two weeks (bi-weekly) or once a month.  So, Filipino workers would prefer to know that they can pay their bills every month and provide for their family rather than hustle every month to make both ends meet. On average, they work for $ 3-10 a day in most trades.

Most Filipinos are paid on the 15th and 30th of every month. There are various means to have them paid instantly even though you are abroad. The most common are Xoom, Moneygram and Western Union.  In the event you pay them through paypal, it is advisable to pay them a few days earlier, so that it can be deposited in their bank on the right day. If not most, many online employers fail to notice this very important aspect. Again, Filipinos extremely depend on their salary, and a one-day delay can really stress them out.

Pay Scale

Listed below are the monthly rates for a forty-hour week job. These prices are equivalent to the level/type of expertise and experience of the Filipino Virtual employees.

It is important to note that the cost of living in a particular city is also a basis for the employee’s rate. Thus, employees living in Manila are expected to have a higher pay than with those living in provinces especially in Visayas and Mindanao.

Data entry – $200-300

Article/Content Writing – $200-1000

SEO – $300-500

Web Designing – $350-800

Web Development – $400-900

PHP Programming – $800-2500

Ruby on Rails/Django Programming –  $2500-4800

Mobile Apps Development – $800-1200

Final Words

Choosing to venture your outsourcing business in the Philippines can be your ticket to success. To achieve this dream, there are a handful of things to be reminded of.

  •  Maintain a healthy and happy working relationship with your employees regardless of the nature and level of difficulty of their work. Filipinos are very loyal employees and you can gain their loyalty by treating them fairly. In fact, you can reward your outstanding employees by giving them Christmas bonus or a paid holiday. That way, they will feel that every hard work they give are equally remunerated.
  • Respect your employees. Filipinos are sensitive people. So, to avoid any cultural clash, it is important to be very careful with your words especially when you wish to suggest something to them. Never create a bossy impression or you will lose your employee right away.

 In a nutshell, just treat them well and they will do the same to you. Happy outsourcing!

Categories : Outsourcing
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“There was no Philippines, but there was Butuan.” People always say that. But those words are meaningless if you will not explore and experience the Ancient Kingdom yourself.

So if you are serious about discovering your identity, you must book a flight to Butuan City and get to know the place that is described in the Song Shi (Sung Dynasty history) as “small countries in the sea”. (Airphil, PAL, Cebu Pacific are now flying from Butuan City to other cities in the Philippines, vice versa.)

So how will you get to know the place where they said our heritage and history began? Let us count the ways.

1. The Ancient Trade

It is so enchanting to discover that Philippines can boast of a city that became part of the ancient trade with the other ancient kingdoms in Asia such as the Khmer and Champa. We are talking of a thousand years ago of trading heritage. As recorded in the Song Shi, Butuan had trading relations with China from 1001 to 1011 AD. Even if we cannot see traces of the ancient trade at Pinamangkulan, where the actual trading took place; however, the unprecedented excavations of Balanghai boats and ceramic relics prove Butuan’s important part in the East Asian trading, which includes the Sri Vijayan Empire, Kingdom of Champa, and the Sung Dynasty. The ceramics and other archeological finds are now neatly displayed at the National Museum, Doongan, Butuan City (near the Butuan City Hall).

2. The Balanghai Boats

Isn’t it amazing to know that the thousand years old balanghai boats are the eastern equivalent to the Viking boat discoveries in northern Europe? You may call it Eurocentric; however, the point is it was not only the Europeans who could make such magnificent boats; it just showed that our own race could make great boats, too. The balanghai boat relics preserved at the Balanghai Shrine, Libertad, Butuan City may look ordinary, but for artifact enthusiasts the relics are like treasure troves because they are loaded with stories about the Diaspora and adventures of our ancestors from Asia to as far as Madagascar. While staring at the boat relics, you could imagine that it had crossed the widest stretch of seas, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean a thousand years ago.

3. The Golden City

When Magellan and his crew arrived in this Ancient Kingdom more than a hundred years ago, they were awed by the nuggets of gold all around the place. One just had to wipe the first layer of soil and gold with the size of nuggets could be found. Pigafetta likened the size of gold he had found in Butuan to walnuts and eggs. Some of these gold treasures are now displayed at the National Museum, Butuan City, Philippines, and there are more gold relics at the Ayala Museum in Makati, Philippines.

If you seek to know the untold stories about our past, you must not miss visiting Philippine’s Ancient Kingdom in Butuan City. But do not get it wrong because you will not find temples and giant statues of Budhas like the ones you can see in Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, and other Aisan countries. But the relic of the balanghai boats, Chinese ceramics, and gold which is unprecedented in Asia, is something an avid Philippine prehistoric fan cannot resist to capture not just in high definition camera, but in person.

Source: Butuan of A Thousand Years by Greg Hontiveros, 2004

By: Ma. Celeste T. Fusilero

Categories : Cities
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If you are one of those travelers who grasp for another unexplored destination, then try to take a glance on the Philippine islands. The Bellaroca Island Resort and Spa would be a great destination that set a balance between man and nature. You will experience its relentless beauty with its white Santorini-inspired architecture on rolling terrain. Its cerulean blue sky above, clear water below and exquisite view of Mt. Malindig will surely catch the eye of the beholder.

As you approach the island, the surrounding foliage provides the stucco (a material made of an aggregate, a binder and water) – white with a sense of serenity and calmness. In addition to that, flowers frame both the interior and exterior of this outstanding resort. This overwhelming setting goes hand in hand with world class accommodations and amenities to equal the world’s best.

Don’t you know that John Borthwick, of The West Australian, travelled all over the globe to chose the top 10 islands and Marinduque landed in the number two spot, following Sicily, Italy? Marinduque is where Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa located. You know what’s the most amazing part of this list? This island resort was patterned after Santorini, Greece buy then Santorini is on the no. 10 spot. That simply could mean that Bellarocca (which means “beautiful rock”) has already surpassed the original!

Location

It is near the capital of the Philippines, Manila. The travel takes 35 minutes via Zest Air, which is unluckily the only airline that flies to Marinduque (4 times a week) with another 40 minutes land transfer from the airport to Bellarocca’s port then a 10 minutes speedboat ride to the island.

Events and Activities

The very peaceful and relaxing view of the island is a great escape from the busy and noisy streets in city. This is the best place for muni-muni or thinking things over knowing that it also has a spa. You can best relax in their Meditation Room where Yoga sessions are held usually during the peak season, when there are lot of guests. Hotels got large pools too. Another sporty activity would be to kayak around the island of Bellarocca.

The best time to visit Bellarocca is during the Moriones Festival (celebrated on holy week in the Marinduque), most especially on Good Friday. Here you’ll notice both the devotion of Filipino people to our dear Saviour (where the entire town makes people feel like they are in Jerusalem) and the cheerfulness of the people during festivals. Usually, the main celebration is in Boac, the capital of Marinduque. Here they would take lunch and then after Boac, they travel to Buenavista, about an hour away and lastly, stay in Bellarocca until Easter.

Here you can also reserve a private diner at the tea room for your group (maximum of 10 people). This tea room faces the sunset, so starting with a cocktail would be perfect. Then after the sun sets, you can have your tasty dinner.
You can also set to have romantic dinner for two pre-arrange at the terrace of the hotel over-looking the gorgeous view Sibuan Sea and Mt. Malindig. For bigger group you may choose to have your dinner on the second floor of the pavilion. Service is world class and knowing Filipinos, they would always welcome you with warm smiles.

Experience Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa and you’ll simply have the best moment ever! It may not be the original Santorini, but it’s the Philippines very own Santorini with a taste of the Tropics and unique Filipino culture.

Categories : Resorts, Tourist Spots
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Feb
07

Philippine Hearts Day Festival

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February here it comes… This is a very romantic festival celebration expressing and pampering one’s beloved. The idea behind this tradition is to celebrate love, get love and give love to everyone around us. At first, Valentines Day is exclusively associated for couples only but in the long run the festival is seen in a larger perspective. A lot of customs and traditions are being observed around the world such as exchanging of cards, flowers and gifts.

Filipinos have always been known as romantic people. It is obviously seen during the special day of hearts when they wear red shirts (for those who search for their perfect match), giving red roses to their love ones, holding hands in malls, public plazas, on crowded movie houses, restaurants and for those who search for a more romantic scene, they choose to bring their dates to the beach.

Have you heard of the word ‘Lovapalooza’? This is the celebration of love on February 14! On the day of the hearts, last 2004, 5327 Filipino couples made a world record in kissing their Valentines at a time.

Also during this day, schools usually don’t have regular classes. This is the best time for students to announce their affection to their long time crushes or even to their teachers by giving roses, stuffed toys or chocolates.
The best thing among Filipino is the fact that whether or not there is economic crisis in the country or impending increase on basic commodities they always take time to hand out simple gift to the people they love and even to the person who hurt their feelings.

Filipinos are known to be a resourceful that whatever crisis they are facing they really find ways to celebrate especial occasions like this. Mostly in the rural Community, they practiced “Harana” or a guy serenading a girl he’s courting under the moonlight. (Same as one of the traditions in courtships among Filipino) and also writing a simple message or greetings to their love ones.

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Feb
05

The Manila Ocean Park

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The Manila Ocean Park was opened last March 1, 2008. It is a marine themed park that includes an Oceanarium, a mall, a restaurant row, outdoor pools, boutique hotel, open marine habitats and multi-purpose function facilities, together in one complex.

This world-class structure is owned by China Oceanis Philippines Inc., the subsidiary of China Oceanis Group Ltd (COG). This company focuses in the investment, building, and operation of public aquarium/oceanarium attractions.
Manila Ocean Park is located in Manila, Philippines, behind Quirino grandstand at Rizal Park. This establishment has a floor space of about 8,000 m2 while its oceanarium is even larger than the Sentosa Underwater World oceanarium in Singapore. The oceanarium major pull is its 25 m underwater acrylic tunnel.

Below are the General Sections of MOP…

Sections of the Oceanarium:
• Agos or Flow – exemplifies a rainforest motif complete with 8 tanks of freshwater fishes.
• Bahura or the Reef- is an exhibition of artificial corals in 48 tanks.
• Laot or Fishing Ground- is an exhibit that features big fish and Eagle-spotted rays in a long tank.
• Buhay na Karagatan or Living Ocean- the 25 meter long walkway tunnel with 220 degree curved acrylic walls.
• Kalaliman or the Deep- displays various marine animals which are found in the deepest parts of Philippine’s water.
• Pagi or Sting Ray- you can see different types of rays fly over while in the oceanarium unique Overhang Tank.
• Pating or Shark- this features several species of sharks.

Acquatica Musical Fountain:

A consultant of Manila Ocean Park, Tim Bennet, said “The show is about the celebration of the ocean, the celebration of the fish. How beautiful everything is! Let’s keep it that way.”

This is Manila’s tallest musical fountain which is 120 feet high. It is also the largest water and laser show consisting of over 1,600 water nozzles along with fabulous water, music, lights and special effects. It is also backed by live performance. This fantastic night attraction shows on Wednesday to Sunday at 7:00 pm.
The Marine Life Habitat:

The sea lion performance is one of Manila Ocean Park’s most recent attractions. This amusing show features these two stars, a couple of sea lions namely Vincent and Sandra. You will enjoy them do some tricks like doing a military salute, balancing a ball, and dancing gracefully. This show has been opened just last September 2010.
Concourse Plaza:

Its Concourse Plaza houses can handle big events like concerts, performances, as well as product launches for the whole year.

Marine-Themed Mall:

The MOP is the Philippine’s first marine-themed mall that comprises 25 restaurants where customers can enjoy Manila Bay’s beautiful sunset and dine al fresco. It also includes 30 unique stores to shop for souvenirs.

Open Water Marine Habitat:

For those who want to get up close with the marine life, then visit the Open Water Marine Habitat. It is an outdoor swimming pool crowded with diving facilities where visitors go snorkeling or diving.

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Feb
04

Mt. Taal – A Complex Volcano

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Taal Volcano is said to be the smallest active volcano in the world. It is located in Batangas, southern part of Luzon in the Philippines and at about 50-km away from the capital, Manila. It is a composed of a small volcanic island (Volcano Island), which has been the site of almost all historic activity. The island is called “pulo” (or islet) by the locals. Taal Volcano is surrounded by a freshwater lake formerly known to the local as Lake Bonbon (now called Taal Lake).

Just within the island, there are four craters including the main crater which is in the center of the island. The other dormant crater can be seen at the edge of the island. While the third and fourth craters called the “Twin Craters”, were formed during the 1965 eruption.

But what makes this volcano unique that grabs attention to visitors, is that right in the middle of its main crater holds a sulfuric lake which is called the “Crater Lake”. This is its main attraction. It is also the world’s largest lake on an island in a lake on an island and it also has its own small island, Vulcanic Point.

You can even swim inside its crater but not for long cause the water is composed of a much diluted form of sulfuric acid with high concentration of boron, magnesium, aluminum and sodium in salt form. The first recorded scuba dive inside the main crater was on 1986 by a team led by Thomas Hargrove. The dive was about 20 meters or 60 meters deep. Another thing that caught the team’s attention is the tiny island in the Crater Lake by which they explored.

The Taal Lake

The lake surrounding Taal Volcano was once just an arm of Baylan Bay. But then Taal Lake’s sole connection to the sea narrowed down into its sole draining river, the Pansipit River, after a series of major eruption during the 18th century. Then several centuries of precipitation also affected the water, diluting the lake once-saline waters into pure freshwater.

Eruption also affected the original landmark around the lake. It has buried numerous lakeside towns by volcanic ash and submerged by rising lake waters. Originally, the towns like Lipa, Taal, Bauan and Tanauan were formerly located along Taal Lake but now, only three of them remained. However, today, you can still see the remnants of the old lakeside towns like the buildings and walls seen under the lake’s waters.

Tourism

The main attraction of the island is its Crater Lake. The Crater Lake resort is located one boat away from the shores of Talisay, Batangas. For those who love adventures, they have a unique thrill of exploring nature and experiencing the attractions of Taal Volcano. You can enjoy lots of activities on the island like horseback riding going to the crater, trekking, and camping. And during the trip up and the down the mountain, the visitors got the chance to witness the stunning view of the lake and its surroundings. Other island activities include:

• Bird-watching
• Sight-seeing
• Fishing
• RC plane flying, boating
• Kite flying • Photography
• Picnic family outings
• Company outings
• Seminars team building
• Cultural shows

The Taal Lake also conveys interests from visitors as most island activities are done here. And because the lake is also connected to the sea, it became a home for many endemic species that have evolved and have already adapted to the desalination of the lake’s waters.

The world’s only freshwater sardine called “tawilis” is the most popular endemic species of the lake. Other species living in the lake are the trevally (Caranx ignobilis) or locally called mapulito. These fish are also found in the Pansipit River.

Indeed, Taal Volcano offers just the best adventure packed with dramatic scenery. You can even get close to nature for those who would want an escape the busy and polluted city. The island is a great place to unwind and to enjoy the cool breeze of fresh island air while spending time with your friends and family.

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