filename-dsc-1314-jpgThe country’s largest active volcano and Visayas’ highest mountain is Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Island. As the highest mountain in the Visayas, it is majestic. As the country’s largest active volcano, it is fearsome. Its majesty lies in its forests, waterfalls, lagoons, and culminates in its crater, vast and desolate. However, this seat of majesty is also the source of Mt. Kanlaon’s volcanic wrath. It is, after all, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. Its 1996 eruption killed 7 mountaineers – in an account vividly recalled to the blogger by Rey Castellos, the guide who rescued some of the foreign climbers and witnessed the eruption, barely making it alive. The blogger himself personally experienced this volcanic wrath when, on his climb to Mt. Kanlaon in February 9, 2008, Mt. Kanlaon spewed ash and stream – a phreatic eruption which obscured everything in the mountain. The ensuing rains and violent weather ultimately prevented him from reaching the summit.
The place that Mt. Kanlaon holds for the people of Negros is irreplaceable and important in many aspects of their life. Culturally, Kanlaon is central to the loyal mythology, named after no less than Kan Laon, the supreme deity. Some tribes also hold Kanlaon to be center of the universe – its crater a portal into the unknown source of fire and energy. Attesting to the plurality of legends the mountain has inspired, children also grew up to the tales of “La-on and the Seven-Headed Dragon” .



Leave a comment