A Day Trip to Lake Taal
Stand Up Paddle boarding has proved a tremendous family activity for us in the Philippines. Our two children are definitely too young to try it on their own but we have fun as a family paddling with the kids onboard. With my five-year-old daughter, Maya, perched on the end of my board we can enjoy time together in a peaceful setting as well as enjoy the Filipino countryside from a watery perspective.
We chose Filisup for our SUP adventure because they put safety first, which is really important when conditions can be changeable. We also found them reliable, good value and very easy going. Filisup are professional and passionate about SUP, and have great equipment and expertise. We didn’t need to shop around as they exceeded all of our expectations when it came to safety, fun and reliability.
Filisup organises tailor made excursions perfect for older children from Lake Taal (Batangas) as well as other locations. It is an excellent way to work out while being treated to spectacular views of Taal volcano, Tagaytay city, and the charming local houses of Wawa and Tanauan that speckle the shore. Being on the lake gives you a whole new perspective of the area as you drift past fisherman, islands and coves. We regularly book the same guide, Tono, who is always happy to help us organise a trip.
My daughter loves to sit on the front of my board dipping her fingers and toes in the velvety waters she picks up seaweed to put in the “potions” that she later creates on dry land. She also enjoys spotting fish darting beneath the surface. This year I took my two kids to the annual 2016 SUP Wahine Championships in Anilao and they loved balancing on my board (hired from Filisup), skimming stones on the seashore and eating BBQ chicken on the beach as the sun set. I got a chance to do some paddling, watch the windsurfers and take in the ambience.
SUP Fees: At present, Filisup does not do rentals (owing to safety concerns) and so board hire comes with an instructor. Their SUP Intro group package is PHP 6,000 for four participants. This rate includes all equipment (board, carbon paddle, safety leash and life vest), a 30-45 minute lesson on land, a 1-hour SUP tour and lesson on the water and photos. If an additional person joins then it is an additional PHP 1,500.
For a group of beginners the maximum number of participants allowed is 5. If there are only two people in the group then the price (PHP 6,000) remains the same but the time on the water increases from 1 hour to 2 hours.
For Children: It’s recommended that kids are aged 10-years or older to try Stand Up Paddle Boarding. The main reason being that young children have small hands which makes it difficult for them to hold the top handle the correct way. Filisup do have one kids’ paddle, which is suitable for younger kids. For little kids, it’s recommended that they sti at the front of the board with one of the instructors or their parent. All children have to use a life vest / flotation device.
Getting There: The main launch point is the Taal Lake Conservation Center (TLCC) located at the Lipa side of Taal Lake. TLCC is easy to get to by car.
Take Slex and go straight into star tollway. Go straight and after seeing the petrol station on the right, you will hit the Balete Exit. Take this exit and turn right. This road leads you straight down to the lake. Once at the bottom, you will hit the end of the road. Turn left and, after crossing over a small bridge and then a longer metal bridge, you will see the gate of TLCC. Assuming light traffic, travel time from Makati is around 1.5 hours.
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