Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mt. Kanlaon – Kinship with an Active Volcano

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Towering majestically at 2435 MASL (meters above sea level), the stratovolcano is part of the so called Pacific Ring of Fire that straddles the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, approximately 30 km southeast of Bacolod City. A favorite spot for mountain climbers and is the centerpiece of Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park, a park originally established on August 8, 1934.

The most active volcano in central Philippines, Kanlaon has erupted 26 times since 1886. Eruptions are typically phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ashfalls near the volcano. On August 10, 1996 however, a group of 24 mountain climbers was on the summit of the volcano when Kanlaon suddenly erupted without any warning that resulted in 3 fatalities with the rest being rescued by the local authority.

“Mt. Kanlaon holds many important aspects in the lives of the people of Negros. Culturally, Kanlaon is central to the royal 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. Children also grew up to the legendary tales of “La-on and the

Seven-Headed Dragon”. In which, a dragon appeared from the mountain, wreaking havoc in the whole island. In order to appease the dragon, the people had to sacrifice one beautiful maiden each year, until they have run out of women, save for the king’s daughter. The King, agonized, offered a reward to anyone who could kill the dragon. Then comes a prince named La-on, whose affinity with nature and animals helped him slay the dragon – winning the princess’ hand and

earning the mountain as a tribute for his feat, hence Kan Laon, meaning “The Exalted” Laon, later becoming Kanlaon.” – from

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