Wednesday, October 23, 2013
What if Mt Malindig Erupts Today?
Can you imagine a scenario if Mt Malinding in my beloved province of Marinduque, Philippines erupts today?
With the recent earthquake swarms and mild tremors in Marinduque in the news the first week of this month, I am beginning to wonder if these swarms are connected to the volcanic activity of Mt Malindig. I am hoping that an eruption would not happen in my lifetime, but the chance that this eruption will not occur is almost zero.
Assuming that the eruption is as intense in magnitude as Mt Pinatubo several years ago, destruction of the island particularly the town of Buenavista and Torrijos will be tremendous and catastrophic. The five star, Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa- the tourist jewel of Marinduque will be covered with volcanic ashes and will not be available for the enjoyment of our rich kababayans from Manila as well as tourists from Japan and Korea for quite a long time. The whole western coast of Marinduque, from Boac to Buenavista sites of beautiful homes and mansions owed by the Expatriate Marinduquenos and the rich businessmen from Manila and the location of several beautiful beach resorts ( including my own, Chateau Du Mer) will be a big mess. It will probably take several months or longer to bring it up to the pre-eruption conditions that we natives thoroughly cherish and enjoy. I hope this scenario will never happen, but we should be prepared and not surprise just in case this happens. Let me explain why this scenario could happen in the future.
Mt Malindig is considered a potentially active volcano, in part because of the sulfur and hot springs in Malbog, Buenavista. It has never erupted, but because it is an active volcano, the chance it will not erupt is nil. Its unique location, at the heart of Southern Tagalog Region, creates a panorama that encompasses Mindoro, Verde Island and Southern Luzon. It is the largest mountain in the island popular for mountain climbers and hikers. It is the home of different species of wild orchids and other endemic wild life in the island. Due to the elevation of more than 1000 meters above sea level, it is by Philippine environmental law a protected area. Mt Malindig is a stratovolcano with coordinates 13.2694 degrees North and 121.9922 degrees East.
The photo above is Poctoy White Beach with Mt Malindig in the background- the most photographed scenery in the islands. Let's hope that this eruption scenario will not occur for a long, long time. In the meantime, let us enjoy this beautiful mountain this summer, by hiking to the top, bird watching or just enjoying the panoramic view at the top. In a clear day, you can see Mindoro and the surrounding islands of the Southern Tagalog region.
Note: Today, Mt Malindig is dormant. There is a legend in Marinduque, why it has been dormant for quite some time. Evidently, at one time in the past, the volcano was showing sign of eruptions by the steam and boiling water oozing from top of the mountain. The local devotees of the Statue of the Virgin of Biglang Awa ( Perpetual Succor) prayed and prayed until the oozing of boiling water and steam stopped. When the faithful devotees of the Biglang Awa came to say thank you, by kissing the feet and gown of the statue, they observed that it was wet. The Lady of Biglang Awa is the patron saint of the town of Boac, capital of Marinduque. Today, there is a shrine built by the side of the Boac Cathedral in honor of Biglang Awa.Image from diosceseofboac.org