I was happily humming a song while paddling on a good Saturday morning, when I saw a head bobbing in the water. A spearfisher. He must have heard me singing, and he looked up, spear held in his hand. “Magandang umaga po,” (Good morning) I said with a smile. He smiled back and nodded before going back his way. And so did I.
Taal Lake has this quiet charm that I like. Kids are playing at the banks. Dogs are being bathed in their owner’s backyards. Spearfishers are swimming in the deep, dark waters with goggles on and a spear in hand. The clouds are thick and low, and the feeling is otherworldly. The lake is dark because of the muddy soil it rests on, but scoop the water in your hands and you’ll see it is clear and unpolluted. Schools of tiny fishes are jumping contently in and out of the water in perfect unison.
If you’ve always wanted to try a water sport that’s not too extreme, then Taal Lake Tour SUP Experience might be the perfect activity for you. Stand-up paddleboarding is a relatively light, easy workout. The biggest challenge here is finding your balance in standing up, but even that you can learn in a breeze. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll realize that the whole thing is just a piece of cake.
I’ve tried paddleboarding quite a few times now. Twice in Taal Lake with Stand-Up Paddleboard instructor Tono Legarda, who was also my instructor for my very first paddle last year during the Flow Surf Yoga Samba yoga retreat in Batangas. I was instantly hooked, as I’m certain you will be, too.
You know what I like most about this Taal Lake Tour SUP Experience? It feels more like an emotional and mental stress reliever rather than a physical workout. It’s a chill, relaxing activity that anyone can easily find enjoyable. On top of that, you’ll find that the many lessons to be learned in paddleboarding are, in many ways, significant life lessons, too. Now that’s how you know you’ve found a good sport, right?
Here are some of the incredible life lessons I learned from paddleboarding:
What To Do This Weekend: Taal Lake Tour Stand-Up Paddleboard Experience
Just Keep On Paddling.
When I was caught by strong winds in one of my paddles, consequently making it a bit harder to get back to the launch point, Tono told me one important thing: Just keep on paddling. Despite feeling quite frustrated with myself, I paddled on, until I eventually reached the shore feeling quite proud of what I had overcome.
Whatever the challenge—Just. Keep. On. Paddling. And you’ll eventually get to where you want to be.
Don’t Be Afraid of Falling.
“Don’t be afraid to fall. That is how you learn.” This is one of the very first things I learned from Tono about stand-up paddleboard. Getting up on your feet while on the board can be quite an intimidating task if you’re doing it for the first time, and there’s always a possibility that you might fall off, but that’s okay. It’s all part of the learning experience. And hey, every time you get up to do it again, you get to be a little better than the last time. Patience, young padawan.
Brave the Current.
Depending on the weather conditions, there might be a current when you’re paddling. Out of curiosity, I asked Tono: “What do you do if there’s a big wave?” He answered: “You face it head on.” Like in all things in life, the only way to get through the currents or a big wave is to face it. Head on.
On Changing Your Perspective.
I bet you’ve seen Taal Lake a hundred times before. I bet you’ve taken tons of pictures of it as you stand from a viewing deck in Tagaytay all snuggled in your jacket. But I also bet that seeing the lake from below when you’re doing the Taal Lake Tour SUP Experience will be like you seeing the lake for the first time. And it really will be. Because for the first time, you won’t be standing from the outside looking in. You will be within, and it will make you realize how refreshing it is to change your perspective every once in a while.
As author Jim Elliot puts it, “Wherever you are, be all there.” When you’re paddling Taal Lake, don’t get too caught up with the paddling that you forget what you originally went there for. You’re there to unwind. So relax. Breathe. Don’t forget to look up. Enjoy the view. And above all, savor the moment.
Once you reach the first stop, face your board towards the middle of the lake. Sit there, your legs on either sides of the board and feel the cool, refreshing water. The view will be amazing. A vast, majestic body of water will be sprawled magnificently before you. The surface will be softly dancing, as it always is, like a dark satin curtain lightly flowing with the wind.
Look to your right and you will see the famous city of Tagaytay, resting atop a small mountain. Look to your left and see the quaint, quiet houses of Wawa, Tanauan, where are your launch point will be. And don’t forget to look ahead, towards the middle of the lake—towards Volcano Island where the caldera of Taal Volcano, the smallest active volcano in the world, will be proudly sitting. Savor all these things surrounding you, and for a moment there, you might just feel like you are at the center of the universe.
These are not the things you get to see everyday. But believe it or not, you can have a slice of this tranquility just an hour and a half from Manila. So close. So why not try the Taal Lake Tour SUP Experience this weekend? Take your friends with you. Your family. Or go all solo. Either way, enjoy. Because Taal Lake Tour SUP Experience is definitely one for the books.
Transportation and lunch can be arranged for this tour. For bookings and arrangements, see contact details below.