Map of Taal Volcano Protected landscape, Batangas
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Taal Volcano - nominated for criteria (vii) (viii) and (x). Its OUV cannot be denied; even the 2009 IUCN Thematic study on World Heritage Volcanoes (https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/edocs/2009-065.pdf) mentions how it can easily fill in the "resurgent caldera" category, i.e., a "Matryoshka doll" type of volcano - a crater within a crater within a crater. It is indeed a remarkable sight!
The sad reality is that the urbanization of towns surrounding the Taal volcanic lake is starting to compromise the visual integrity of the landscape.
Moving on with the subject of heritage volcanoes, two more Philippine volcanoes - Mayon and Pinatubo - equally deserve attention.
I practically wake up every morning at the sight of the world's smallest active volcano at my hotel room which is perched at almost 2,672 feet above sea level. Taal Volcano is situated on an island in the middle of the lake and on an island (quite a mouthful but truthfully so). All year long, I wonder with trepidation if the volcano will ever spew out its angry lava and create an ugly chaos and destruction to its serene and beautiful ienviron. I marvel everyday at how an explosion could produce a wondrous sight, no wonder millions of visitors trek on horse guided tours to the crater or just trek up to the highlands to chill at one of the hotels. Taal volcano and the some areas of Batangas have become so popular because of its almost perfect climate, awesome picture book scenery and it's proximity to Manila city. Unfortunately, too, with Baguio being overcrowded and polluted, Tagaytay and Batangas has become an alternative and viable tourism and commercial hub. Throngs of real estate developers have joined the band wagon into developing exclusive, gated communities for the middle class and the wealthy families who want a second home and/or a vacation/retirement place. Five years ago there were maybe a few subdivisions where I'm situated. Today that has multiplied by at least ten times over those years. I just wish they don't make the mistake they did with Baguio.