Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Taal Fisherman

For some people, Taal Volcano is just a small volcano in Batangas viewed from Tagaytay.  That makes sense, for the tourist.  But for a traveler looking for roads less traveled and personal experiences while taking home never been seen photos, steps to move away from the tourist populated area of Tagaytay will make one big difference.    

It is during these moving away decisions you'll find amazing details; and when magnified, unique stories come out that form a bigger and colorful picture.

This set puts me in a 6am journey from nets to boats, and fish pens to sunrise of Taal Lake.  I din't take the "boat ride to Taal" signage, but decided to visit a fishing village in Talisay, talk to a fisherman on break, then contracted him to an early morning ride the next day to see them in action.

Check out the little boat that exactly fits 2 people. I had to ride it with Arwin, my boat man for the morning. A php 200 bucks tip for Arwin while carrying 2 bodies of camera made my day and put my balls on fire (not the fear of getting wet, but the fear of treading water with 2 cameras).

I love fishing villages.  It's not only the colorful parked boats on the shoreline... 

...but also families of fishermen or people behind their drive...

...nets being dried, fishing lines being arranged, and the untangling of nets being prepared for the night. 

It is inside these villages that you'll also see the Pinoy's secret strength.  It's the fellowship and storytelling time under the tree after a day's work, or a night's catch.  While joining these under the tree sessions, I made few shots and already found myself immersed and inspired on how a simple-living fisher folk make ends meet by fishing.

The photos in this story support my favorite line... "Sometimes it's not the picture, but it's the experience taking it."  If you are still taking tours plucked from a pamphlet found in a hotel lobby, still sitting on a couch fiddling with the TV remote, and still afraid of getting wet, you are maybe missing half of your adventure life.

So for now, stay away from the guided tourist service, take a few steps back, and head to a place where your adventure sense takes you.  

Happy fishing everyone!