A Trip to Pusod Taal Conservation Center

It was around seven (I guess) in the morning when I arrived to the UP School of Economics. Though I thought I was late, there were only a handful of students who were waiting for the others to arrive. As soon as I realized that, I felt somewhat relieved. A few moments later, the number of students grew and our instructor ordered us to board the bus located at the back parking.

That day (Monday) was set for our class to go to a conservation center. It is somewhere in Batangas and is located near the Taal Volcano. At that time, I do not know what we would do that day until someone handed me a copy of our schedule.

After I exchanged greetings to those who I know, I took a seat beside the windows. It is a habit of mine when I get to travel for such a long distance especially when going to province. Besides, it is a good thing to remember where you pass so that you can at least recall two or three places to help you when going back to your home.

After a very long trip, we finally arrived in the conservation center. In my opinion, the place is not so big yet also not so small for a conservation center. It is located just at the shore of the lake. At the center of it, there is a gathering hall where they conduct most of their activities . Probably since we went there, several tables were placed. From there you can see the Taal Volcano though at first I could not identify where it is until a person from the center pointed it out.

The people from the center welcomed us as soon we settled down. They introduced us to what are they doing here. These included the history of Taal Volcano, the organisms we can expect to find while surveying the area and our current location in Taal. Also, they briefed us what are we going to do. For some of us, they went to a certain area and some went to kayak while the others, including myself, went to the shoreline. For the last two, we were asked to gather organisms found in the area.

As soon as we finished our tasks, we ate our lunch and proceeded to observe what we got during our time in the shore. Mostly got shells and algae(?), but some picked up snails and its eggs and even a frog. With the guidance of them, we used microscopes to be able to see organisms such as plankton which a normal human cannot see with a naked eye.

I can say we finished ahead of schedule and for the remaining time were spent talking with others. As for me, I opted to stay silent due to drowsiness. This continued until we boarded the same bus to go home.

Honestly, I can say that in this trip I learned a lot when it comes to Taal Lake. Though it was not discussed, I observed that plastic bottles, paper and a bottle beer were found along the lakeshore. It seems even this lake, even maintained by the volunteers we met and residents, is not safe from the perils brought by human activities.

As I end my blog, I hope, in the near future, many will be able to help in conserving no only this place, but also other areas in order to promote sustainability.

-Bryan Martinez

2012-03258

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