*To clarify: I can understand when people speak to me in Tagalog, I just have difficulty responding or stringing full sentences together.
Besides that, I had an amazing day and took many pictures while Ate Olga and I were up there. (For those who speak even less tagalog than me, "Ate" pronounced Ah-Teh, is a respectful way to address a female friend or relative who's a little older than yourself. The male version is 'Kuya', pronounced as it looks.)
I'm a little crispy from my day at Taal Volcano... I forgot to smear on some sunscreen or wear a hat in my excitement of seeing this awesome location. What a beautiful place! Ate Olga and her cousin Edwin brought me to Tagaytay to visit the Taal Volcano and Lake. Today, I also got an inside view on how to 'tawad' or haggle, which Ate Olga is quite adept at. Unfortunately, to much of Ate and Edwin's amusement (as well as my parents reading this), it was better that I didn't speak my non-existent Tagalog or my North American inflected English during any of the transactions for fear of driving the price back up to what 'foreigners' pay, sometime 2.5 to 3 times what a local would. So for most of the day, I either grunted like a mute or uttered mono-syllabic responses when people asked me questions... I must have appeared to be a snob for not speaking or a little slow. ugggh. And even when I spoke Tagalog, the locals could tell I'm obviously not from there. When the man who was leading my horse up top of the ridge of Taal Volcano, asked me where I was from... I answered Quezon City (I've seen it abbreviated to QC, and well, I'm from Quebec, which is also abbreviated as Qc... so I'm not lying. More like stretching the truth). Then he exclaimed that people from Quezon speak Tagalog. I then kept quiet the rest of the trip up, or grunted when he said anything else.