Thursday, October 20, 2011

if there's one thing i learned today, it's that taal volcano is in batangas


haay how do people come up with these cockamamie ideas? it was like a brainstorming that went haywire and somebody took a joke seriously. seriously?? this is the news item that started it all on facebook this morning:

‘Hooray for Hollywood’ on Taal Volcano Island
By Jerome Balinton
Inquirer Southern Luzon
2:18 am | Thursday, October 20th, 2011

BATANGAS CITY—It was something only a movie star could have conceived.

Why not put up a towering “Batangas” sign on Taal Volcano island similar to the “Hollywood” sign in Los Angeles, California?

The provincial council approved on October 5 a resolution supporting the idea of Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, the award-winning actress, to erect a hard-to-miss landmark and potential tourism draw, according to Vice Governor Mark Leviste II.

Emelie Katigbak, officer in charge of the Batangas tourism office, said floating restaurants or fish pens can be set up on Taal Lake in such a way that their layout would form the famous BatangueƱo expression “Ala Eh.”

It could be such a dazzling sight especially if lit up at night, she said.

14-meter letters
Leviste said the idea was based on the premise that the scenic volcano and the lake surrounding it “form the heart of Batangas. The geography of the province suggests that (they are) at the center of the province.”

Also, history had shown that BatangueƱos were blessed with rich and fertile agricultural lands thanks to the volcano’s past eruptions, he said.

He said the proposed sign would be painted white and positioned following the contours of the island volcano. The letters would be 14 meters tall and stretch for about 110 meters.

The font would be similar to that of the iconic Hollywood signage, the official added.

“It is not an out-of-this-world concept. It’s a simple development which can easily attract attention and even visitors to the area,” Leviste said.

Identity crisis
Leviste said the signage would help establish the identity of the lake and volcano as part of Batangas—and not of Tagaytay City, which lies within the neighboring province of Cavite.

He said the volcano was often mistakenly identified as part of Tagaytay, a mountain resort city which offers a picturesque view of Taal.

In a text message, Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham Tolentino maintained that the city had never laid claim to either the lake or the volcano.

“However, the best view of Taal Volcano is from the ridge of Tagaytay City where the best photos are shot, the best hotels and restaurants are found and the perfect weather is felt,” Tolentino said.

“Thank God, He created the volcano in Batangas so that Tagaytay will have the best view,” the mayor said.

‘But why?’
Tolentino, however, questioned the Hollywood-inspired design for the island, flatly saying: “Why put up a Batangas sign? It won’t help.”

“People, while sipping a cup of coffee, will just say that the view is more beautiful from Tagaytay without that sign,” Tolentino said with a hint of a warning.

Expect a “global reaction” once that plan pushes through, he said.

“It’s a sign of what? Bicolanos will not put an ‘Albay’ (sign) on Mayon Volcano. (Their officials) would not destroy the view of Mayon. They are not insecure,” Tolentino said


of course in a couple of hours, creative types had already come up with their own versions for every natural wonder in the philippines: mayon volcano in albay, underground river in palawan, rice terraces in banaue, chocolate hills in bohol, even every island in hundred islands, pangasinan! every natural landmark tagged by its home province! alaskadong alaskado si governor vi. sorry, ma'am, but please leave these natural wonders alone. it's bad enough that we get hundreds of billboards in the city, but to put eight 14-meter-tall letters on taal volcano?? it's precisely why we love to drive all the way up to tagaytay to see and experience nature—to escape the ugliness of the city! ugh. what is this country coming to?

ok, ok, let's calm down. i think this is just a publicity stunt on the part of the batangas officials. sort of like reverse publicity. as in, any publicity, good or bad, is still publicity. so you got everybody riled up. you got everybody talking. it's all over facebook, twitter, news websites, blogs like this, and you know for sure it's gonna be on tomorrow's front page! so—mission accomplished? YES, NOW WE KNOW THAT TAAL VOLCANO IS IN BATANGAS, NOT IN TAGAYTAY CITY. so can someone withdraw the proposal already??

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