Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Aftermath: Disaster at Taal Volcano

It's been nine days since we got out of the volcanic eruption happening then in Cavite and Batangas area. We were attending a strategic planning workshop for 2020 with REBAP National Chapter when the inevitable incident happened.

Personal Experience of the Taal Volcano eruption

It was a sunday morning of 13th of January when we were embarked on a 3.5 hours journey from Pampanga to Laurel, Batangas where we will staying for an two days and one night stay at Splendido Taal Hotel.

We were advised remain calm by the organizers as they situational awareness coming to effect for most participant, some were a bit apprehensive with the feeling of uneasiness while others are excited to see a natural spectacle they haven't seen in a very long time. In my experience, it has been 29 years I saw the power of nature with its magnificence showing to all the people to see. We were Mount Pinatubo survivor in the 1990s. I felt mixed feeling about the situation then.

Effects on the Townsfolk of Batangas and nearby areas

Death and destruction brought troubles to all the townsfolk of Batangas and nearby areas of the Metro Tagaytay area. Livelihood and properties decimated, businesses closing and losing revenue which is felt with majority of establishments relying on tourism, agriculture / aquaculture. The real estate industry will be truly affected of this disaster and properties might slow down due to the rising tension and disaster happening around Metro Tagaytay area. There are no specific estimates or official reports released on the losses incurred in this incident for the time being.

The Blame Game Starts Now

There was a call from a Cavite congressman on probing the ineffectiveness of government agency primarily involved is the PHIVOLCS under Department of Science and Technology in not giving warnings.

As early as 28th of March 2019, PHIVOLCS already issued warning and notices to the residents of Taal Volcano Island on the possible eruption of the volcano. It also states the public from imminent danger of living on the island as it was classified as a permanent danger zone if sudden eruption happens.

Senator Panfilo Lacson on the other hand commented and criticize the Cavite congressman's probe and should work-out the current problem and find solutions to the afflicted.

PHIVOLCS lauded by Duterte

In a recent report from Manila Standard, President Duterte lauded the efforts and work of the agency and was satisfied with the performance. However, some congressmen are criticizing the performance  of the agency due to lack of warning before the eruption.

Scientific Thoughts

The Philippines rest in the Pacific Ring of Fire,  earthquakes and volcanic eruption are unpredictive and has no definitive science. Some people say that volcanoes can give warning signs before erupting but what happened in Taal Volcano eruption was very rapid from alert level 0 to alert level 4 in a matter of hours.

Final Conlusions

I am hoping that everything will be alright in the end. If need be of extending one's hand in giving donations and support would be such a wise decision to all people when the spirit of Bayanihan ("core essence of the Filipino culture. It is helping out one's neighbor as a community, and doing a task together, thus lessening the workload and making the job easier. It is also called the 'community spirit'. It is best exhibited when people wish to move locations in the rural area"). 

It will also be wise to listen to our Scientist / Expert who have extensive knowledge and academic credentials to likewise lessen the problems associated with this eruption with 0 to lesser loss of human lives. 


Filipino Culture: Bayanihan: The Filipino Value that Must be Retained
The Cataclysmic 1991 Eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippine
Duterte lauds Phivolcs action
PHIVOLCS Taal Volcano Bulletin, 28 March 2019

About the Writer

CRB Benedict Baluyut is a professional real estate broker, real estate appraiser and associate of C. F. Baluyut Realty. He is currently the Vice President for External Affairs, Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (REBAP) - Pampanga Chapter. You can get in touch with him at

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