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Friday, September 30, 2011

Talisay, Batangas, Philippines

San Roque's Paradise Resort

Located by the banks of the volcanic Taal Lake, the San Roque's Paradise Resort gives its guests a beautiful view of one of the craters found in the lake. Since the lake lies in a caldera, several eruptions have created a volcanic island with several craters. The Binintiang Malaki (Big Leg in Filipino) is the most visible one and can be viewed from Tagaytay and San Nicholas, Batangas.  A smaller crater Binintiang Maliit (Small Leg) can be found in the westernmost tip of the island. 

The Resort's Natural Pool

In the center of this island lies the crater. Upon arriving at the resort, we arranged for a boat to take us to the island the next day. At around 7:30 AM, the owner's brother picked us up and brought us to the island where we trekked to the crater.

The trek wasn't really that difficult. The islanders have already dug trails that aren't really too steep. We walked for around 45 minutes and had no need for a horse to carry us up to the crater. Neither did we need a tour guide to show us the way. The trip down was obviously much quicker than the trip up.

It was a trip worth taking. It did take us some time -- almost half the day -- to get to Talisay from Taal since the road can be really jammed. In order to get there, we had to take a bus from Taal to Tanauan. And, once we've reached Tanauan, we had to take a tricycle to the jeepney stop where we can get a jeep to Talisay. As stressful as that may sound, having a beautiful place to look forward to as well as a fantastic travel buddy made the journey seem quicker.  Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a good book with you, as well.

Binintiang Malaki -- From The Resort

Stopping For Pictures

Behind Binintiang Malaki

The Island In The Lake 

Crater Lake

Taken On Our Way Back To The Resort

Quick Travel Notes:

     San Roque's Paradise Resort
     Buco, Talisay, Batangas
     Phone: (043) 773 02 71
     Mobile: (0905) 417 91 79 / (0920) 353 50 69

     It's obviously not as grand as Balai Isabela but it's not as expensive either. If you're on a budget but do not want to end up in a dirty and unappealing shack, this is the place to go. The rooms are clean with an en suite bathroom, a cable TV and AC -- Everything that you need for a comfortable evening after a long trip. Also, the rooms come with a shared terrace that gives you a good view of the lake. And, since it's a family-owned resort, you'll be dealing with warm and friendly hosts who'll take care of you like you're part of the family.

How To Get To Talisay:
Get on a bus to Tanauan. Then, get a tricycle to take you to the jeepney stop to Talisay (which is beside Jollibee and McDonald's).

Hiring A Boat:
We booked the boat through the resort. It was around Php1,000 but since other guests joined us on the boat, we were able to divide the cost. 

Other Fees:
The entrance fee is Php50.00. Getting on a horse and hiring a tour guide can be an extra Php700.00. If you have the money to spend, you might as well contribute to the locals' daily income. But, if you're on a budget, save it and have a cardiovascular work out.

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