We spent the long weekend in Tagaytay in a house that overlooks Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. At the time I made arrangements to occupy the house, we didn’t know that the volcano was on alert status. We didn’t cancel the trip — Tagaytay is far enough from the volcano and there is no serious threat (in fact, the Tagaytay local government has offered the city as an evacuation site) — but got excited all the more as we hoped we could catch some of the volcano’s action on camera.
Okay, that may sound a little twisted. There are people who live on Volcano Island, and they are exposed to danger, and the situation is such that the DepEd has suspended the opening of classes in the island. But can that be more twisted than the bullishness of people who refuse to vacate the island despite the alert level? And if that doesn’t sound strange enough, tourists are coming in droves and are renting bancas (outrigger boats) to go to the island despite the ban after the alert was raised. The government says it will slap penalties on resort and boat operators who violate the ban. I think penalties should be slapped on the hard-headed tourists too.
Anyway, for those unfamiliar with Taal Volcano, I labeled the island and its vicinity in the photo above.
1 – Binintiang Malaki (large leg), the active cone until the mid-1700s.
2 – Volcano Island at the center of which is a sulfuric lake. The site of the sulfuric lake was the active cone from the latter part of the 1700s until 1965.
3 – The active cone which showed wisps of smoke that couldn’t be captured well on camera because of the mists.
4 – Mount Macolot in Cuenca, Batangas, a popular mountaineering site. My daughters went hiking up Macolot a couple of years ago as part of a high school field trip.