By Genalyn Kabiling
As the government moves to provide aid to people affected by Taal Volcano’s wrath, President Duterte has suggested sending prayers and offerings to the volcano to ease its grumbling.
In his visit to Batangas City Tuesday, the President said it was probably time to replicate such “primitive” rituals performed by the country’s ancestors before the mountain gods.
Duterte made the candid remarks while attending the situation briefing on government efforts to deal with the impact of Taal Volcano’s ash explosion at the Batangas Provincial Sports Complex.
“Taal is the noisy one. Maybe you have failed to make some offerings there. You should go there and say a little prayer and offer something,” he said in jest. “Let’s go by the primitive way of doing it like our forefathers…make some offering, it might be true then, it might be true now.”
He admitted that though the country is predominantly a Catholic nation, there may gods guarding the mountains. “We are a Christian country. So we believe in no other power than God. But you know, alongside with God, ito ‘yung may-ari ng mga bulkan, ‘yung si Mt. Makiling (…these are the owners of volcanoes, that Mt. Makiling).”
Taal Volcano recently woke up from its long slumber and spewed a giant column of ash last Sunday. The increased volcanic activity has prompted authorities to evacuate people within the 14-kilometer danger zone around the mountain.
With Alert Level 4 currently raised, authorities have warned of a possible hazardous explosive eruption of Taal Volcano within days.
The President said he is “very pleased” with the government response to the calamity caused by the unexpected volcanic activity. He told authorities to ensure a continuous supply of food and other essential items for the people affected by the calamity.