6 Most Active Volcanoes in the Philippines
Updated as of March 29, 2021
Since we are optimistic, we’d say that the Philippines is “blessed” with hundreds of volcanoes (both named and unnamed, including potentially active and inactive ones), 20 of which are categorized as active. PHIVOLCS explains that the country “sits on a unique tectonic setting ideal to volcano formation,” also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Although the image of a volcanic eruption is quite scary, volcanoes are actually some of the most beautiful natural spectacles in the world, featuring unique profiles and supporting life around them. When the volcanoes are dormant, they are a great place to truly appreciate nature and enjoy some nature-loving activities like trekking and photography.
If you’re feeling adventurous, here are some of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines that are also some of the most attractive tourist spots in the country.
Standing at 2.46 kilometers high, Mayon Volcano is surrounded by three cities in Albay province, about 11 hours away from Manila if you travel by car. It has a record of 51 eruptions, with the most violent being recorded in February of 1814.
Mayon Volcano has captured the attention of the world in many ways. With its almost perfect conical shape, it is undeniably one of the most beautiful volcanoes and most photographed in the world. Even now that it is drawing residents away, this volcano still attracts a lot of admiring spectators.
Located in Batangas, Taal Volcano is also one of the most interesting volcanoes the Philippines has. Ironically, as a caldera volcano, it’s also the deadliest. Technically speaking, Taal Volcano is a volcano island contained inside Taal Lake which is also bounded by Taal Caldera 25 kilometers wide. On Taal Volcano island is the main crater lake which is 80 meters deep. Its most memorable eruption was in 1754, which lasted for almost seven months devastating the nearby Lipa and Tanauan in Batangas.
Taal Volcano is only about two hours away from Manila via Talisay or San Nicolas, Batangas. Taal Volcano and Lake is a very famous sight from the high ridge of Tagaytay. Trekking at the volcano island is also a very popular activity.
IMAGE PHIVOLCS website
With a total of 30 recorded eruptions, Mount Kanlaon is the third most active volcano in the Philippines. It is 2.43 kilometers high and is located in Negros Oriental, near Bacolod City. Most of its eruptions have been considered phreatic and mild, characterized mainly by ashfalls. It was only in 1902 when the volcano erupted with lava.
Mount Kanlaon regularly attracts tourists who seek adventure in hiking or relaxation in its hot springs. There are three hot springs around the volcano, namely, Mambucal Hot Springs, Bucalan Hot Spring, and Bungol Hot Spring. Visitors can reach Kanlaon for two to three hours by land from Bacolod City.
Also read: Great eats at Bacolod City
A neighboring volcano of Mayon in the Bicol region, Bulusan Volcano is located in Sorsogon province, in the southern part of the region. Most of its eruptions have been phreatic, which means that little damage was caused to the nearby towns. Ash explosions are very common to Bulusan Volcano, which can last for months to a few years. Its worst eruption was recorded in 1918 which lasted until 1922, causing some landslides and lava flows.
Mount Bulusan has gifted its surrounding towns with natural hot springs that both locals and tourists can enjoy. Trekking is also a very common activity, letting hikers find amazing views of the ocean and a sea of clouds. The nearest airport is in Legazpi City, Albay, where you have to take a four-hour bus ride going to Bulusan.
IMAGE ISoul – Trail Adventures
Standing on Camiguin Island in the Bohol Sea, Mount Hibok-Hibok is a young volcano and relatively a small one compared to the other stratovolcanoes in this list, with a base diameter of 10 kilometers. It has five eruptions in recorded history, the most significant of which is the consecutive eruptions from 1948 to 1953, which killed hundreds of citizens nearby.
Hiking is a common activity at Mount Hibok-Hibok. Camiguin Island can be reached via boat from Cagayan De Oro.
Also read: Camiguin Island in Mindanao
Located within the boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales, Mount Pinatubo is one of the most famous volcanoes in the country. While it has only had two recorded eruptions, one has been the most historic and devastating eruption in the Philippines. The 1991 eruption displaced tens of thousands of locals and affected the whole Luzon island. It was the second largest eruption of the 20th century (next to Novarupta in Alaska).
Now, Mount Pinatubo is a beautiful scenery and source of livelihood for the people around it. The place is often brimming with tourist activities like trekking, camping, relaxing at the hot spring, volcanic mud spa, and more. Pinatubo is only two to three hours away from Manila.
Also read: Destructively Beautiful: Mount Pinatubo
Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño