You hear many stories about the Taal Volcano Eruption at the 12th of Janunary. Most of them published by the news in the Philippines. But are they true and are the stories about the people in evacuation centers and all the WE BRING GOODS TO EVAC CENTERS … are they real? NO! Read below why you read too much bullshit and too much “praise the government” things. THIS IS WHAT REALLY HAPPENED!
I am one of the victims of Taal Volcano eruption. My wife, my niece, and my 2 friends were with me in our house in Talisay, Batangas. We receive a message through Facebook messenger that we really need to see the Taal Volcano! There were a few earthquakes that Sunday already. But at 3PM we were standing on top of the roof of the other house, owned by our ninong, to see what was happening close to our town. WOW! For the first time I did see a volcano erupt. It looked like a small eruption, but within 30 minutes the column of ash did start to grow.
Imagine this, you are standing on top of a roof .. filming and making photos of a huge nature event. You would expect the government to inform you. You would expect alarms to start evacuation. You would expect HELP to get away from this scene … if it would be dangerous. RIGHT?
None of this happened. Many people did watch the eruption. NO ONE had the idea it would be bad. It’s just the “good old Taal volcano, which is grumpy”.
We saw people moving quickly away from the island. The boats were RACING towards the “main land” of Talisay. We had no idea what would happen next. Still standing on top of the roof and suddenly we hear explosions. The sun was a bit hidden by the eruption clouds of Taal volcano. In the church the people were having prayers.
I had lowbatt, so I went inside. When I went inside I did feel the ash falling. I did call my best friend, a geography teacher, to ask what the risks are. I was really in a normal mood while calling her. Telling what happened and that it was so special to see and that we did hope for the best.
She said: “I don’t think this is going to be that good”.
My mind went from a normal mood to panic: “What do you mean? What can happen?”.
She: “You should evacuate, this can get very dangerous”
Me: “But the government is telling nothing so far, so that shows its ok right?”.
She: “There can be toxic gasses going your way, you will not smell it … but if it hits you, you are having a huge issue”.
We did talk for a while and I did start to think that something did not go well here.
It was almost 4PM and we had no message from NDRRMC or NTC.
While calling, suddenly BatelecII did decide to cut the electricity off due to the ash fall. So there we were … in a house near Taal lake, where the Taal Volcano was erupting WITHOUT electricity, lowbatt phones, no internet and NO INFORMATION!!!!!
We did call quickly with some of our friends in Brgy Caloocan and other parts of Talisay Batangas. All said: “we wait for the government to let us know what to do”. We asked if they could pick us up if needed. “No problem” was the answer.
Messenger worked a bit, with the free data you have on the Philippines for Facebook Messenger. So I did ask my friend if she could bring us in touch with the embassy of the Netherlands. The Embassy said “you need to follow the instructions of the local government”. I said: “THEY ARE NOT EVEN SENDING ANY MESSAGE, THERE IS NO ONE OUTSIDE TELLING WHAT TO DO! THERE ARE NO SIRENS! NOTHING!”
At 6:30PM, the first text message came about the Taal Volcano eruption: LEVEL 3!
MY GOODNESS! The volcano was already erupting for OVER 3.5 HOURS (!!!!!)! WHY SO LATE? Do you not give a shit about the people in Batangas? You want terrible things to happen? WHY OH WHY?
People with cars did already go away. But many people were still there. We did buy some bread and we did cook some food. Alert Level 4 text came at monday the 13th of January, 03:40 AM with a message that it was alert level 4 since 07:30 PM the last day.
MY GOODNESS?? Who has got a disfunctional brain in the government of the Philippines? THIS IS INSANE! Do you NOT care about your people at all???
The evac center in Talisay is not that far from where we are living. We did NOT go there and did call to relatives to arrange a transport out of the hell called Talisay. It would take up to 4 hours to get us.
All our friends with a car did already escape the region, they could not take us anymore due to the blocked roads.
Between 7PM and 10PM there was NOT ANYONE ON THE STREETS to tell what to do, there were NO ALARMS! THERE WAS NO INFORMATION!!!
Next to the terrible hell of the Taal volcano erupting, it shows that the government is a huge hell too and does not care about the people living in the area.
Somewhere after 10PM there was a huge buss coming for evacs. We could come with them, no idea to where … but we could come. What could we bring?:
– One bag
– Only yourself
YOU HAD TO LEAVE YOUR ANIMALS BEHIND!
So this is for the haters who did say that people were so bad to leave dogs and cats and other animals behind:
BE ANGRY TO YOUR GOVERNMENT WHO FORCED PEOPLE TO LEAVE THE ANIMALS BEHIND!
We did hear the trees collapse due to the heavy weight of the ash. We had no idea which one was falling and where. But the sounds … my goodness! It was so scary!
Our ride was there just a bit before 11PM. Happy that we could bring many things in a jeepney. But also knowing that we were lucky to be able to pay 4000 PHP to get us and our animals to safety, while other people could only afford one bag and a terrible buss to go with.
While driving out of the region, we were afraid until Tanauan. Happy that people near the road would clean our window, so we could still see something. Letting people take a ride in our jeepney so they could go somewhere too. Hearing stories from people who were not allowed to ride with EMPTY JEEPNEYS (!!!) because the owners did not want to bring other people into safety.
The true human nature pops up when there is a disaster going on.
Scared but happy we arrived in a city.
With help from our family and friends in the Philippines, we did find a place to stay in a hotel. With money from family and friends in Europa, we did pay the hotel, the jeepney and much more.
In the week after the volcano eruption, I did spread the word about how dangerous the government was acting at the time of the evacuation. The mistakes they made and kept on making all day long.
While you saw on TV only the HALLELUJAH WE ARE SO GOOD stories from Batangas, the vice mayor of Talisay and more.
To be honest, the only one who could bring a smile on my face was the president Duterte. He made a terrible joke, but I could laugh about it. A bad joke was something I did need! Not the shitty information or LACK OF INFORMATION which we did keep on getting all the time.
We knew nothing, NO ONE DID KNOW ANYTHING! Nothing was clear, everything was still a hell.
Seeing videos from people we know who are living on Taal volcano, the desperate cry of the woman who had to leave her beautiful place on top of the volcano behind … her dog left behind … EVERYTHING she had done the past years … GONE! Nothing left .. all in ashes. She was in a evacuation center. Asking people to find a job for her because she had no money. She still has no money, all she has is her smile and strength. At least as long as they get food in the evac centers, but I will come to that later.
The news about Talisay and other regions kept on being strange and we had no idea what was true or false. So we did arrange transport to go to our hours, enter the area at 6AM and as soon as possible out of the area!
We were lucky, there was no checkpoint at all, NO ARMY, NO POLICE! NOTHING!!! Only a journalist standing on the side telling probably lies about how beautiful things are / were at that moment.
I was shocked to see the region. But I was happy to see how people find the strength to clean the houses, take care of their animals which they HAD TO leave behind because of big mouth government … they do love their place! they do LOVE their animals!!! They love Talisay! I love Talisay! WE ALL DO LOVE TALISAY!
We did get our things, we did give 70+ bottles of water and food to a brgy person who was asking for “a sip of water”.
Our house was fine, but we had no idea for how long. The roof can come down due to the weight of the ash. Since there is no water and no electricity, there is no possibility to clean it.
We were happy that we got all our things and left the place. Thinking about what we did see and how happy we were to get so much help from Europe and the Philippines. This did cost us over 13,000 PHP.
Can you imagine? We are blessed with people from Europe to help us with money. Within 1 week did use over 1500 EURO, which is with today’s rate of the PHP (say 1 euro is 56 PHP) over 80K in PHP.
But what about the people who DO NOT HAVE MONEY at all and need to rely on the government?
HOW DOES THE GOVERNMENT ACTS TOWARDS EVACUEES?
We have a saying that your wooden shoe would break if you hear this … but that’s the minimum I can say about it! It is INSANE!
We know people who are in evac centers in Tanauan and Sto Thomas … we know people who did go to family and friends. And we know people who are kinda like us.
In the day(s) after the eruption, many relief goods and money were collected to go to the “victims” of the Taal volcano. I was really happy to see that! Not everyone is as fortunate as my wife and me and some of our dear friends. People in evac centers need much more care and health checks and good food. Right?
Our mouths did fall wide open when we heard that the evac centers want people to get away from it ASAP! They don’t want the people in it so long because THERE IS NOT ENOUGH FOOD AND WATER to help them.
On the same time you see on TV that MILLIONS or BILLIONS of peso’s are collected to help the people. Where does the money go?
It seems the money does NOT go to the victims of Taal volcano, you can see that and hear that when you speak with the people.
Only help goes to people in evac centers. All other people are NOTHING to the government and charity. We are nothing! NOTHING!
It is insane how this goes. I did get more and more angry when I did hear the stories of friends who did escape the Taal eruption and went to family or friends. They did tell me (or other friends) or they did publish on facebook that there is NO HELP for them at all. If you want any help, you need to be in an evac center.
HALLELUJAH! WTF IS THIS ?
The Philippines is a Christian country, Catholic. WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO? Is the church keeping it? Is the government keeping it?
It is NOT going to all the people who need it! WHY NOT? Where does it go?
In the EVAC centers the people do have huge issues. They get sick, they get days the same food. The people we know in evac centers want to go back to their houses because in the evac centers it’s a huge drama too. Better to be in your own “drama house” than to be in a “drama place with thousands of others”. Right?
While the people in the evac centers do see much food (different kinds and yummy foods!!!) come in, they keep on getting every day the same things.
People see with their own eyes that GOOD FOOD is being thrown away in THE GARBAGE!
Is this humanity? NO! It’s not!
With my own eyes I did witness what a CHAOS the eruption was for the government.
With my own ears and eyes I do witness what a CHAOS the evac centers are.
With my own eyes and my heart I see what goes wrong here. I can not stand this. THIS IS INSANE!
I do bless the people who are helping the Taal volcano eruption victims. They are trying to do all they can.
I know that there are many private people doing good work directly for the victims! Please keep on doing that.
I would say: DO EVERYTHING PRIVATE! STOP DONATING MONEY TO GOVERNMENT THINGS! You have NO IDEA where the money goes, you have NO IDEA where the goods go.
And be aware, they say that EVERYONE WHO IS LIVING IN THE TAAL VOLCANO REGION will get help. I don’t believe it. We are 1 and a half week further and we have seen NO HELP towards us. We have seen NO HELP to our friends.
The provincial government is letting the people down. They seem to NOT CARE about the people who make them wealthy.
And suddenly there is a guy who is the VICE MAYOR who is opening his mouth and saying he want people to get into the region again. MY GOODNESS! Giving people false hope while there is so much danger with all the cracks, the low water in the Taal lake and the big possibility of Taal to get the HUGE eruption (first needs to get calm and after that the big explosion will come).
The VICE MAYOR of Talisay only wants to become the next Mayor, that’s it!
Also the fact that there were NO FREE MASKS or any other protection available, do show the fact that they are not prepared for anything.
Instead of free masks, people were able to SELL it for the highest price. Until someone tried to stop it. But who knows … there is no real regulation!
Until today, there is no clear information. There is no plan. There is nothing where we can rely on. Almost 2 weeks since the eruption, and Batangas province is in a huge crisis. This shows that the provincial and local government is not ready for any disaster.
Talisay, the gateway to the Taal volcano.
You precious town, with beautiful resorts, sweet people, beautiful nature.
WE LOVE YOU!
It is only sad to see that the provincal and local government does not love the people back, who did earn so much money to make the region great.
If anyone EVER thinks there needs to be a boulevard totally around the Taal lake. Think twice. It’s the most stupid thing you can do.
I know it’s a huge risk to show the world what really happened and being super critical towards the (local and provincial) government. It would be worse to keep my mouth shut for all my friends who I care for.
I have all the proof of times which are stated in this blog. I can show you EVERYTHING what I write above is true. Do not think I am a fool or whatsoever. I only publish the truth!