Philippine Kayaking Series: Marathon Crossing Taal Lake 2010

The Philippine Kayaking Series continues with the first ever 32km Kayak crossing from Talisay to Pansipit River. This 32km kayak marathon event is part of a kayaking event for the protection of Taal watersheds, with Pusod, an NGO, committed to implement the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape.

For decades Taal Lake has been used and abused by local (and not so local) communities, to its detriment. Most of the abuse has been in the form of overfishing and exploitation, with the burgeoning deployment of fish cages for aquaculture-profit. With the ever increasing scarring of the mountainsides and valleys for housing projects (95% of which are for second homes), the removal of the forests and the pollution of the rivers and streams that feed the Taal Lake, are now Taal Lake’s greatest enemies.

Why should it matter that Taal Lake be protected and preserved for the uniqueness of its indigenous aquatic fauna? In a God-fearing country such as the Philippines, where the existence of uniquely adapted creatures were permitted to survive an Act of God, it should matter a lot. Prior to 1754 what is now Taal Lake was actually part of Balayan Bay, fully accessible to the West entrance of the Verde Island Passage and the South China Sea. In 1754 Taal Volcano erupted for a period of six months to the awe of the indigenous and Christian communities that lived along the sea shore. The result was that access to the sea was cut off and Taal Lake was formed as a distinct body of water, and within its boundary many ocean fishes and marine animals were granted their right of survival by God’s grace, being allowed time to adapt by the slowly changing salinity of the water – from sea water to fresh water. What right has 21st Century Man to destroy the order of things thus created?

The bull sharks that once swam in Taal Lake have been gone since the 1970s. Once was a time when the unique ‘tawilis‘ (freashwater sardines) of Taal Lake were abundant and served as delicacies only to the tourists who would venture down to the lake shore. The tawilis are almost gone because they have been exported far beyond the lakeshore for mere profit. Perhaps the biologically unique freshwater sea-snake of Taal Lake will be the only indigenous survivor in the coming decade . . . only because it has no commercial value and is smart enough to specifically avoid contact with man.

Perhaps Taal Volcano’s recent rumblings are a sign of divine-dissatisfaction that may culminate in an eruptive statement of divine-displeasure.

The objective of the kayaking marathon is to draw attention to the plight of Taal Lake and to highlight how, with responsible tourism and water sports, substitute profits can be generated for the community . . . if the mountain sides, forests, waterways and the lake can be restored to their former pristine beauty.

For Php1,200 you can join the kayak marathon on Sunday, 21st November aboard a tandem kayak; the entry fee includes lunch, snacks & dinner, kayak rental and a souvenir shirt, plus prizes & trophies for winners. Bring your own kayak and get a 30% discount.

Taal Lake is special, support the kayaking marathon and tell the World that you want to protect Taal Lake for its unquestioned beauty and uniqueness, created by an Act of God for the pleasure of all.

Contact Didi Camara for more information about Philippine Kayaking Series Marathon Crossing Taal Lake 2010: +63 915 435-9321