The wrath of Taal Volcano
As I am writing this month’s Editor’s Note, Taal Volcano’s wrath has affected hundreds of thousands of people living and working in towns all over the Southern Tagalog, specifically the provinces of Batangas and Cavite. Compared to other disasters (this one seems to be only the beginning), Taal Volcano’s initial activity and impending eruption feels closer to home probably due to the area’s popularity with tourists. Tagaytay and the towns below it are favorite destinations for weekend travelers, due to their proximity to Metro Manila and of course, the sheer beauty of the towns, the lake and volcano.
For foodies, Tagaytay is also a favorite destination because some of the best restaurants in the country are found there. From humble eateries in Mahogany Market serving specialties like bulalo and tawilis, to Antonio’s, one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants, and countless others, Tagaytay, Silang and other neighboring towns are home to these amazing places. Personally, a few friends also either work, have businesses or live in and around the ridge. Picturesque golf courses like Tagaytay Highlands, Midlands, Splendido, all the way down to Canlubang and Sta. Elena in Laguna, have also been affected by the ashfall. Of course, closures, whether temporary or permanent, will affect so many families directly or indirectly.
Times like these bring out the best, and sadly, the worst in people. So many people have taken steps to collect and send relief goods to affected areas. There are some misguided few though, with all their power and influence, that think they know better than our hardworking scientists. Suggestions like seeding clouds for rain, or opening establishments to draw people back are thoughtless at best and are downright irresponsible. Yes, people need their jobs and normal lives back, but at what cost? Nature is beyond anyone’s control and we should heed the advice of those who know best—the experts.
I pray that the people affected by Taal Volcano’s activity put safety as top priority. I hope that the help continues to pour in as long as it is needed. May resilience and “bayanihan” spirit reign and may God spare our countrymen from further disasters and hardship.