Ala Eh, Batangas !


Taal Lake is a freshwater lake in the province of Batangas, on the island of Luzon, Philippines. The lake is situated within a caldera formed by very large eruptions between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago. It is the country’s third largest lake (the largest being Laguna de Bay). Volcano Island, the location of Taal Volcano’s historical eruptions and responsible for the lake’s sulfuric content, lies near the center of the lake. There is a crater lake on Volcano Island, which is in Lake Taal, which is located on Luzon Island. That crater lake is the world’s largest lake on an island in a lake on an island, and it in turn contains its own small island, Vulcan Point.

Regular tours of the lake are available to tourists. After crossing the lake, visitors travel to the top of Volcano Island on horseback. During their trip up and down the mountain, visitors are treated to a stunning view of the lake and its surroundings.

Then here comes Batangas Governor Vilma Santos Recto and her bright idea….

Movie star-turned-politician Vilma Santos-Recto finally spoke up to defend her controversial idea to place a giant Batangas sign on Taal Volcano, perhaps the nation’s most famous vista. “Definitely ito’yenhancement,” the governor of Batangas said.

“Iyon ay pagpapakilala lamang na you are in Batangas now and Taal Lake is one of the landmarks of Batangas.”

The proposed Hollywood-inspired sign was widely met with sneers and eye rolls, but Santos-Recto said the public is simply “overreacting”.

She added that the signage was just one of the suggestions made for the local government’s plan to enhance the province’s tourism program.

“Masyadong nakakaroon ng overreaction at exaggerated ang news na ‘yan dahil in the first place, ‘yan ay for study pa lang.”

Just a study?

If people had not known about it, and if the online community did not reacted wildly with such a ruckus of online mockeries, the said project may have materialized.

I do have to admit that this idea of putting up a Hollywood-style signage on Taal lake may be one of Governor Vilma’s not-so-better ideas, but I can definitely understand why there is a need for her government to own back the Taal Lake tourist-cow. Of course, being a Batangas-elected official, the Governor has to find ways on how to protect the interests of her Batanguenio constituents, and this is what people fail to realize.

She just does not want to make it public, but she has every right to think of ways on how to win back the Taal tourists and business from Cavite that rightfully belongs to Batangas.

Everybody knows how the Taal lake view is a beautiful creation and everybody wants to see it. So naturally, the tourists that Taal brings are big business. I would say that the Governor just started asking the question why Cavite gets all the Taal tourists whereas Taal is naturally located in Batangas; so naturally, the Batanguenios should be the one reaping all the benefits. Right? In truth, this is not so.

The Governor has every right to think of ways on how to win back the Taal tourists and business from Cavite that rightfully belongs to Batangas. This ‘Batangas sign’ idea is very wrong though; funny, but very wrong.

The Batanguenios have every right to win back your tourists from Tagaytay. I’d say Tagaytay is using your Taal Lake, and they are getting more tourists than you.

You have every right to fight for it.

Just not with a stupid Hollywood-like sign.

Final Note/Huling Hirit:

Several online mockeries brought about by the Hollywood-sign inspired Batangas Sign can be found online if you just Google it, but a Facebook page has an accumulated number submitted by different individuals active in the online community. I also have some compiled in my own personal Facebook albums.

HollywoodPilipinas Facebook page:

It was so funny that people had put up signs all over the place including locations you would lastly think of.

It shows that people are now actively participating in political interventions, even through online movements, and want their voices to be heard using the power of social networking sites….plus a lot are extremely creative and talented in using graphics and photo-editing software programs.

Many have said that the inspiration to participate with the Batangas sign online mockeries came from the recent DPWH fiasco where three officials where edited in a photo so as to appear busy inspecting the after-math of a typhoon disaster. Soon many netizens started to edit in the DPWH three into other locations, and even placed them in the moon and the Last Supper painting.

DPWHERE Facebook page:

It got the attention of the media, thus most of the Photoshopped edited works became instantly famous on national TV.

That was why the Hollywood-sign inspired Batangas sign online mockeries also reached a huge number of submissions. But since it was no longer an original mocking concept. It eventually died.

The good news is: I’m pretty sure we won’t be seeing anymore Batangas sign on the Taal Lake.

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