“ALL the other areas were barren save for that small patch of land.”
This was 58-year-old Jonathan Carandang speaking in Tagalog while showing this writer an area on the left side of Taal Island right across his residence in Talisay, Batangas.
“Indeed, all other areas of the volcanic island were covered in lahar save for that parcel of land covered with lush, green vegetation” I said to myself.
That’s a telltale sign of life, of fertile soil fit for planting vegetables and fruit trees perhaps.
“May kakaibang kwento ang area na yan,” Jonathan went on.
“Hindi s’ya (the portion of land) basta-basta nalalapitan,” he said.
“Minsan, bigla na lang tataob ang bangka ng walang dahilan sa mga nagtatangkang pumunta riyan.”
Jonathan also narrated that sometimes huge bubbles would also appear on the portion of the lake fronting the area with lush vegetation.
This, however, could be air vents coming out from under Taal Volcano. It is rumored that the whole expanse of Taal Lake is actually the caldera of one gigantic volcano aside from its crater lake up above the island.
Home to famous tawilis and other fish species, Taal Lake, formerly known as Bombón Lake, measures 234.2 square kilometers.
It is the country's third-largest lake, after Laguna de Bay and Lake Lanao. Volcano Island, the location of Taal Volcano's historical eruptions and responsible for the lake's sulfuric content, lies near the center of the lake.
Length of Taal Island is 25 km and is shared in half by Talisay and Agoncillo, Batangas.
Jonathan further narrated that, strangely enough, the said area with lush vegetation remained untouched during and after Taal erupted on January 12, 2020.
“Lahat na ng lugar dito na malapit sa volcano ay nabalutan ng ashfall pero, sadyang nakapagtataka, ‘yang parte na ‘yan ay hindi man lang nabagsakan ng lahar,” Jonathan stated.
“Nang pumutok ang Taal, inabot ng mahigit isang metro ang ashfall namin dito sa bahay pati ang ibang kabahayan noon pero sobrang nakapagtataka, parang hindi man lang nagalaw ang area na ‘yan.” he said.
Maybe Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum has an explanation for this.
But, I doubt it. Anyways, strange things do happen.