Travellogues: March in the Philippines (Taal Volcano)

Last March, when I was in the Philippines, my friend Kim took me to Tagaytay, which is just outside the busy metropolitan Manila. Aside from being cleaner, cooler and quieter than Manila, it is also where you can see an immaculately perfect view of Taal Volcano.


It’s a mindblowing thing, this volcano-inside-a-volcano business. But more importantly it is absolutely beautiful.

How did the volcano ended up being in another volcano u ask? Ok here is what happened. Hopefully I won’t be giving away any wrong information.

The body of water u see in the above photo, used to be part of big ass volcano, towering over 18,000ft high.  Mt Makulot, on the far end of the photo, formed part of the ridge of the Taal Volcano and Tagaytay Ridge, which is where I am taking this photo from is the other end of the ridge. So this mother volcano is really big! As you can imagine, it erupted in an ultra apocalyptic proportion (some claim to hear the eruption as far away as Manila) and changed the whole geography of the area. This destruction caused a major loss of life and property but it also caused the unpredictable creation of Lake Taal. After a while another miracle happened: a baby volcano emerged and the main crater can be seen in the middle of the lake. This volcano was named after the mother, Taal Volcano!

I dunno about you but being superstitious me, they really should not have named the baby after the mother knowing the history of violent eruptions. You know how in Malay culture, if you want a child to be good, you should call the child good things 30 times. The more u call the child with a good name, then the more likely it is to come true. It’s the critically acclaimed self fulfilling prophecy (Rosenthal & Jacobsen). Haha. So they should’ve named it something like, Gentle Kind Walang Malatop Volcano, or something. Hehe.

So anyway, the baby is plenty smaller from the last volcano, so many people think the explosion (when it’ll finally erupt one day, nauzubillah!) won’t be as major as the previous ones. But my friend Ben said, some scientists believe that the small crater may just be the tip, with the rest submerged in water. It may in fact be even bigger than its mother.

Robust community around Taal Volcano

There is a robust community surrounding the lake (above). When the volcano erupts (nauzubillah) millions will be displaced. So hopefully it won’t erupt in my lifetime. Scary! The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) – PS: Isn’t it cool that they have this???? – regularly issues notices and warnings about current activity at Taal.

But just browsing through the Wikipedia page, apparently on the 1st June 2011: Alert Level 2. Volcanic earthquakes (24 hrs) = 22. (2) Intensity II earthquakes in the eastern sector of volcano accompanied by rumbling sounds. Bubbling activity observed in the middle of Main Crater Lake”

Well I don’t know. I’m not the volcano expert. But it sure is a BEAUTIFUL place.

At Taal Volcano

Happy independence day to the Philippines! 🙂

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