With 33 recorded eruptions since 1572, Taal Volcano sits peacefully surrounded by Taal Lake on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Considered the second most active volcano within the Philippines, it has become an attraction for foreigners and thrill seekers from all around the world. Many of which have come to see an island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island.
Taal Volcano is a major attraction for tourists from around the world. As thrill seekers come to hike the volcano and walk its rim, many are offered photo services, horse rides, tours, as well as golf tee offs into the volcano crater. Tourism plays a big roll in stimulating local economy on Taal Island.
Life on Taal Volcano island remains mundane with limited resources and few opportunities for improving quality of living and well-being. After a long day of catering to tourists and thrillseekers, a father spends his evening with son bathing him on their family boat along the shore of the island.
Long after the last tourists have left the island and the sun has set, families gather at the one hut in their village powered by a gas generator to enjoy a warm hot plate of food under bright lights while enjoying the moments with family, cousins, and relatives laughing about everything and almost anything.
Taal Island is very basic, almost primitive, in most villages on the island. In the particular village I spent my time, running water and electricity seems to be a luxury unattainable by most. Most huts and families have kerosene lanterns for light and buckets of lake water as their basic resource. Our lights and hammocks attracted crowds to our hut as they were much more powerful than the aged and deplete hand lights they had acquired sometime ago. We ended up giving the locals our lights when parting ways.
Revita Ink‘s summer 2013 photoshoot with beautiful and talented Lauren Calaway.
Photographer: Mark Sacro
Hair and Make Up: Jane Phu
Model: Lauren Calaway
BTS Stills: Joe Nguyen
Special Thanks to Scott Ford!
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It’s 10:30pm by the time our crew of four arrive at the trailhead. The night’s agenda consists of a 6 mile hike out and back to our shooting location, a peak along the Santa Susanna Mountain ridgeline overlooking the San Fernando Valley. Quick stretches, high fives, headlamps ON, and we’re off into the darkness.
The sensation of night hikes get my blood pumping than normal. With senses heightened we push our way up 1200ft of elevation gain to the summit. As we reach the top, our patience is rewarded with stars shining brightly among the clear sky as the city lights illuminating the surroundings below.
Kaizen, Japanese for “continuous improvement”, is the practice of working smarter, not harder by making incremental changes towards efficiency and productivity while learning how to spot and eliminate waste. Dedicate a period of tranquil reflection to your daily regimen and connect with your inner wisdom for definition and direction about your life journey.
Take a moment each day to elevate your mind.
Retreat to your fortress of solitude.
Close your eyes.
Absorb the ambiance.
Notice your breath.
The past is done, the future has yet to come.
Be impeccably present within this moment.
Observe your mind.
Note points of balance, acknowledge areas imbalanced.
Accept the past, prepare for the future.
Push to be better than yesterday.