Taal Volcano 1Taal Volcano 2 Taal Volcano 3 "The island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island." If that doesn't perplex you don't fret, you'll have the 45 minutes hiking Taal to figure out what exactly that dubious phrase means. When you get to the top - ample amounts of fresh buko (coconut water) in your belly thanks to the friendly vendors who set up camp along the way - you'll finally be able to comprehend it, maybe. If you're just as nutters as me, you'll also want to pack a dress and take advantage of the topography.

It is still an active volcano and you are technically standing a few hundred feet above a magma chamber containing lava and hot gases but, despite the heat, it's worth it. Thanks to the black (crease-proof) maxi dress I decided to cram into my backpack you won't even notice the fact that I had to stand barefoot on my socks in order to bear the heat and attempt to look graceful. Echo and I opted to hike the trail as opposed to riding a horse, it's a solid workout and you'll appreciate the view so much more. There's many things to see along the way, and you'll provide yourself with a whole lot of fulfilment and pride when you climb those last few stairs. Let's put it this way - there were young girls climbing Taal Volcano in their ballet flats - that says a lot.

Before I give away anything further, I have more of our Taal/Tagaytay trip coming very soon via a travel diary, until then, here's our Taal Volcano story - we tried to bring a bit of the grand drama that you experience on top of the volcano right here in the palm of your hands. I hope you lava them.

Photography: Kim Jones & Jericho Rosales