Mountains and Volcanoes

Make Your Taal Lake Experience the Most Unique (and Photo Perfect, Too!)

Batangas

Tara Abrina
Tara Abrina | Dec 19, 2014

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Pretty bunch of lilies offering to sit quietly beside me during the rest stop before heading back

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Which I then almost ran over due to my non-existent maneuvering skillz
© Ritchie Espenilla

You could tell by the way this guy's face lights up whenever you paddle close to him that he is just completely, and utterly engrossed in Stand-Up Paddleboarding (or SUP for short), and promoting watersports as a whole in the country. He feels that it's a shame that places like Taal Lake and the country's weather conditions are underutilized and taken for granted here in the Philippines.

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Tono on the Laurel Side of Volcano Island, photo c/o Tono Legarda

"When people think Taal they always think of the view from the ridge of Tagaytay and never from the lakeside in Tanauan (Batangas). If this was Europe, you'd have 1,000 people out here everyday, easy. Right now, I'm the only one out here."

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But not today. Tono and I on our SUPs
© Ritchie Espenilla

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View of Napayong Island from across the lake
© Oka Espenilla

Today, SUP is gaining more and more fans, especially those that have tried out other watersports before and want to try a different approach to the water. Besides the conventional paddleboarding to get to and fro land separated by bodies of water, SUP has evolved to include other activities on SUPs such as yoga SUP and stand-up paddlesurfing, with the most popular group being SUP Tours Philippines (at least in my book :p). They launch from picturesque locations such as Bohol, Dumaguete and Coron.

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The place was so serene, we couldn't help but fool around with yoga poses (with Taal in the background <3)

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Oka trying his hand, or foot at a pose

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And falling in the process
© Ritchie Espenilla

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And Kuya Ritchie. Haha

Fortunately for us Manileños, God bless Tono for deciding to softly launch his own SUP tour called FiLiSUP Tours, which is going to be the first official SUP tour in Taal Lake, and the closest one to Manila (yay!). It's a really unique way to rediscover Taal, especially if you've never seen it up close like me, while getting a light workout at the same time. And it's near Manila!

IT'S NEAR MANILA!!!

So I'm just going to list down our review of the whole day in bullet points to make it easy for y'all:

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After the paddle session, we took a dip in the lake (I say 'dip' and not 'swim' because we immediately scrambled back up the board for fear of lake monsters). Ka-namit gayud! The water was cool and refreshing, but also dark and heavy. Highly recommended for an after lunch session, but take a dip at your own risk!

Upon entering the launch site after the swim, Tono happily greets us with questions like "how'd you like the swim? How 'bout the paddle? Easy right?"

Yep, that's the word for it. Easy.

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Kuya Ritchie riding on his SUP after the dip
© Oka Espenilla


Download the FiLiSUP Tours primer here for price list & more details
or email Tono directly at [email protected]

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Tono is also the best and most gwapo importer and distributor of BIC SUP Boards here in the Philippines (it's not the one pictured above though). They are all for sale over at the Philippine Watersport Hub in Makati, so go check them out!

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