Taal Volcano A Documentary

the Philippines is not without its own legends but Angus province alone throbbed through 8001 stories that have kept the curious alive with interest what such legend persists within data our lake and our volcano area the world's who have always considered to all a mere tourist attraction will be amazed at how much history lies beneath its waters and how much more of this history lies buried waiting to be found to our volcano which is 60 kilometres south of Manila has often been described as a beautiful woman but one who is also ruthless and devastating having had recorded the eruption since 1572 it has proven to be utterly destructive causing entire towns to be buried in its fiery wake the volcano's exterior appearance is a portrait of serenity in its breasts however it harbors a continuing seething anger ready to give way when nature strikes the go signal the enigmatic freshwater is a lake which is around 200 metres deep is a silent scheming accomplice to the volcano's outburst of temper for centuries it had only to lie and wait ready to receive the remains of the havoc the volcano had ripped from its southwestern shore flows the pechersk incipit River 20 kilometers from the South China Sea one gentleman who was lured by the mystery of the lake is Thomas Hargrove a doctor of philosophy any communications and publications executive at the International Rice Research Institute in Las Pinas Tom I understand that you've done research an actual diving in to Lake Tahoe on what you would call the sunken city could you tell us more about this well it all began with a legend lauren back in 1979 a fellow his name is herb ito NGO he's the head of photography at the International Rice Research Institute where I work told me a story over coffee that of a legend of a sunken town in Church in Lake to offer other than a meteo diver with a multi dive experience and Philippine Seas Hargrove's excitement over only a story wasn't like that what she had felt before the prospect of making a dive into lake tower murky depths were clearly a challenge to him armed with a legend Hargrove and his party took up to all challenge it was only the beginning of a search for historical truth a search that has taken him so far to places beyond Philippine shores to Mexico City and to his own homeland and into the distant past one day in February of 1980 a group of us we went to belief D on the Eastern Shore in there we hired two fisherman's buckets and we went down south to this barrio you can imagine this barrio is very remote and cannot even be reached by Road only by boat and when these two bunkers of both scuba divers for then Filipinos scuba divers appeared one Sunday morning it caused quite a bit of excitement when the people found out what we related to to dive far well they became very helpful they were very interested and they all told us where the sunken church was but one historical records allege that lake taal was settled in the 13th century by moral immigrants from Brunei and Borneo pirates destroyed the first pound of towel near what is called Balaam would wear hargrove and his companions subsequently found the remains of an early settlement including the remnants of an ancient Cathedral that was constructed from coral rocks the structure is hardly visible from a distance now of a skewer and as it is by dense growth the 1570 landing of the Spaniards at Millian Bay in what is now Batangas province so Captain Juan de salcedo being guided by Morris up a narrow arm of the sea it will Lake boom 1 the neighbor which Lake Taal was then known the Spanish colonizers were said to have entered a town but only after encountering a moral advocate in which South shadow was wounded and then we found Spanish accounts that the lake was previously saltwater and that in starting in 1572 the town of tau or Augustinian priests came and established the town of tal on the shore of a great lake of salt water surrounding a smoking volcano subsequent violent volcanic eruptions prompted the Friars to use religion as an instrument for easing the anxiety of the natives in 1611 it is said that four hundred natives under the guidance of a priest erected a huge cross made of hard wood at the edge of the volcanoes principal crater who exercise a deadly mountain to ask early prosperity as a trade center reached its climax when it became the capital of a newly established to our province meanwhile the missions of Cana one in Salah on the lakes northern shore were built in 1584 in the 1600s on Agassi nian friar built a church and a convent named San Sebastian in an existing village named Hokkien which lay on Lake toss Eastern Shore the patrons image was said to have disappeared and later found by a deeper tree to the north of Kentuckian so this new site moved the anti settlement and it was renamed Lipa the volcano often went on a rampage spewing forth its fury with alarming regularity when do you suppose have the eruption occurred that submerged this city okay there were there were eruptions from the beginning they were always eruptions but the the worst eruption of all was in 1754 it started in May and it ended in November and it's well documented actually and at that time the eruption there was so much ash and smoke in the air they didn't Manila they wrote that people had to carry lanterns in the middle of the day to see all the way in Manila an ash fell as far as Kalinga from the eruption in during that eruption the town of to all which bombarded and finally the people abandoned the town in November and they fled to cassis I you know the the beautiful little chapel of cassis I and what is today's style they reestablished their town there and renamed it top the Spanish priests I recorded how he went back to table and he found that the channel had been blocked to the sea he dug in the church to try to find his his best months and things like this and then he wrote he recorded that the worst of all is that the mouth of the channel to the sea has been blocked in the lake waters are rising in flooding the towns of Lita and Tennille when an Indian bathing are covering their buildings from a 1755 report on the 1754 eruption a document retrieved by Hargrove from the National Archives in Mexico City it was gathered that by 1755 the water had risen likewise submerging Lipa pan r1 and Sala residents of the towns had no recourse but to flee and relegate themselves and safer places when the water receded there was so much salt left that no one could drink or fish from the waters of the rivers some hard roads first attempt to locate the purported sunken Church turned out to be a horrible experience Lake Tahoe's waters gave extremely low visibility and introduced him to the unfamiliar sea snakes I would never have gone back we'd have never dived again except for one thing we didn't find the sunken Church but on that first dive Ranji brush was the he was then in high school and as the son of an eerie scientist found at 60 feet depth the broken clay popped and this is it I don't know how he recognized it as a pot and he brought it up and then we took it to the National Museum the archaeological section they kept it a couple of weeks and dated it as 15th or 16th century pre-spanish and here you see we this off but the most interesting part of it was this crust here it's covered by its core oh I'm almost positive that its coil we dip drop pieces into hydrochloric acid and it bubbles which means it's calcium carbonate that it's organic and okay but how could this part had been covered by precisely either this part had laid in the ocean for a long long time and was covered with core that someone found it took it to light - I'll drop it in the water and then we found it which is not very likely or the core formed on it where it was the first dive at blooming Lipa or old Deepa prodded Hargrove and his companions to reconstruct the area's history causing him to raise more questions about it and enhancing his desire to dig deeper into what had up to that point just been legend to the townsfolk did you ever wonder why the town of tom is not owned like to all but it's over in the ocean right the answer is because it used to be on the southern shore of Lake Tom the original to our town is still there where San Nicholas is today but the talons of leap are an r1 and salon for certainly not where they are presently based on chart things of the movement of the tower towns it appears that there may have been as many as 12 sites for them four of which may now be lying at least ten meters beneath the lakes waters as bits and Peter slowly began falling into place Tom returned again and again to the lake area to gather more data what evidence as Tom have you discovered in the process of your diving in your research that led to the creation of this sunken city legend or is it a fact now after we found this part then we started reading then we went back to this barrio and there fishermen asked us to look at something else that's interesting they call it the power sapa oath which they say means underwater built up things under the water and they took us to this place if we dive down and there we can see these walls but they're built up respect stone at about the bottoms at about 30 feet deep and from there then I started we started doing more research and I was at the National Archives one day in Manila and I was going through old Spanish documents this was about 1981 or 82 idea and I always thought if I could just find the mouth and as I was leaving the archives I saw on the wall for an old Spanish map and it turned out it was the Mourinho Velarde map of 1734 which is generally considered the first fairly accurate map of the Philippines and there was Lake to all and when I saw it though it's connected by a wide channel to the sea not by the puns of the river which is just a small River today but by a wide Channel and there is the town of tau on the southern shore UNITA on the southeastern shore into now one along the sure cEPAL which means built up structure under water and which subsequently yielded new meanings of vital importance to Hargrove were found to be parallel rows of warlike formations what the two metres high and made of stones 20 to 25 centimeters in diameter although time and nature had obviously done their part in rendering the walls imperfect they certainly appeared man-made along the lakeshore in tankobon Hargrove and his party found heavily carved rock formations the tries one metre above water in the dry season but are submerged during the rainy season the tankobon suppo were found to be of coral beneath its outer crust leading Hargrove to conclude that they were ancient coral bits coral was used as building material for the original tile Cathedral and for the church in a society to which the fleeing Elias had sought refuge during the 1754 eruption but new local legend exists that says there is a second church in tankobon instead the legend places the church south of looming leta where the Hargrove party found the coral crusted pot on their first dive [Music] a dive in late 1987 led to yet another discovery strange carvings on a rock close to the shore on iterate dozen round holes or perfectly carved one could only surmise that these holes could have supported the base of a large light post an immense cross or a lookout tower or at an hour then the party saw a wedge with a flat bottom which turns to a 1.5 meter called the south to the north again it could lead others to believe that it could have been an unpleasant for a small cannon to guard the Nouwen from ships invading the volcano Islands from the southwest or again the base of a large cross the other students may have erected to exorcise the volcano furthermore there is what the group had come to call the slab also a perfectly chiseled structure 70 centimetres long they also found a semicircle of Sapa a metre high at a depth of 3 metres facing volcano island 6 metres south of the rock [Music] one myth says that the cEPAL may have been bhuvan's of pre-spanish sports which compounds the mystery or at all area well sapa could indeed be the remains of a sunken church it could also be related to a cemetery found by a farmer within 100 metres of a small church in ballast the graves yielded Chinese celadon and Filipino clay pots indicating pre-spanish burial practices that ceased when Catholicism was introduced in the Philippines Hargrove's several dives into Lake Taal pushed him to do more and more research it was perhaps a natural instinct as is basically a scientist who also did not relish the thought of being branded a charlatan or considered gullible each research effort has so far been rewarding especially with the surfacing of old maps because they served as strong evidence that Blake tower was once easily accessible from the sea to them however it is a marine life in the lake that is strongly supported what could be mere historical or biological coincidences the marine life is fascinating you know the lake abounds with marine life that shouldn't be there but apparently has adapted since the days it was salt water you're familiar with the famous mullet puto okay that is actually a macro that is adapted to fresh water the palace the famous small fish the delicious that is one of the world's only freshwater sardines and when we go diving what we try to do is to buy a couple of kilos of those two reefs and have them roasted while we're diving and then we have that for lunch delicious the Sharks were found in like Tolliver's Spanish records and documents including by dr. Rob or the biologist at the University of the Philippines of las penas confirms and it has studied that there were sharks in the lake but the Sharks were exterminated by overfishing in the 1930s but the most prevalent thing that you see are the sea snakes they're very poisonous they're the same sea snakes that are found that you see in the ocean off of the full in Philippine waters there's all as long as maybe 2 meters or 6 feet now maybe 5 feet huh black and white banded with flat tails and little bitty small mouths and it's the world's only freshwater sea snake Hargrove has had marine plant scientifically examined abroad and achieve results showing they belong to the sponge family which is normally found only in seawater Hargrove's most recent dive reveals more sponges and a deep-sea coral reef what is Thomas Hargrove up to and what does he hope to achieve with his persistent investigative sorties to Lake Todd his little network of research assistants which include his wife and historical experts for most of whom is dr. ishigami Medina of AUP had consistently shared with him his drive to discover more conclusive evidence about what was originally a legend I think it's a confirmed it's that that these four towns were built along the lake and that Lipa and to Nollan were abandoned and the priests wrote that they were submerged and we found walls then these ruins and so forth at the places where they're supposed to be the only thing we're after here is history to me it's a fascinating story it's a dramatic story it's like detective work or like working at jigsaw puzzle heaven the search never ends and as more and more proofs emerged but point to the sunken settlement in Lake Tana so does the anti Pictures slowly come into focus Tom Hargrove is not out to disprove historical fact or dispel myths he is only out to confirm what people have always believed exist [Music]