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February 12, 2008

Living on the edge ...

South of Manila is farming country, with some spectacular mountains and ridges. In the midst of this is a magnificent lake - Lake Taal. The lake is beautiful and huge. There are several small towns along its edge and prime real estate is being developed along the ridge running all around it. In its centre are several small islands. Very picturesque, very beautiful setting and the sunsets .... Well, to die for as they say.

A settlement under development to the north of Lake Taal. Note the sea views. The mountain in the distance is a volcano.

The trouble is that you might well end up doing just that. For "Lake" Taal is the flooded caldera of the Taal volcano!

Lake Taal, seen from its Northern Rim. The "islands" are all volcanic vents and fume regularly.

In 1510 the Taal Volcano blew its top in a super eruption much like the Mount St Helens event and buried the area on which Metro Manila now stands in fifteen feet of ash and debris. When the Spanish invaders arrived some twenty years later, the vegetation had recovered sufficiently to hide most of the scars. Mount Taal had ceased to exist and the crater is all that is left - but it blows its top in a cycle that runs to roughly every 600 years - so watch this space .....

Posted by The Gray Monk at February 12, 2008 06:13 PM

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