The Philippines: Belch of a Killer

Lake Taal is a pleasant all-day-picnic's drive from Manila. Taal's waters are clear and blue, and in its center rises a 984-ft.-high island, which has its own interior lake, Lake Bonbon. To tourists, Bonbon provides a particular thrill—a look into the eye of a giant killer. For the island in Taal is, in fact, the shell of a volcano, and Lake Bonbon its submerged core, the result of a mighty eruption in 1911 that killed 1,335 people. Since that holocaust, Taal had hardly bubbled out a smoke ring, and some 2,000 Filipinos in four villages made its slopes home.

One night...

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