My fascination with mountains and volcanoes began before I was ten. I suppose, and I often say this, that's what you get for having an older brother who ate books as a kid. Now he only feasts on Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine and uber geeky stuff like that, but still.
I remember we had this name-game on the peaks of the Himalayan system, and another time, on the highest peaks of each continent - the Seven Summits, they are called. On the former, I still remember Everest (duh!), K2 (also known as Godwin Austen, thought it's actually part of the Karakoram), Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Nanga Parbat, Nanda Devi; for the latter, there's Everest (again), Kilimanjaro, McKinley, Aconcagua, Elbrus, Vinson Massif, and Kosciuzko. I think I may have sounded a bit nerdy there.
And then there are the volcanoes - to name a few, Etna on Sicily, Santorini and its ginormous volcanic past (and - bonus - the lore of Atlantis), Mt. St. Helens over at Washington state, and the mother of all volcanic topics: Hawaii. That must be why I found the cinematography of The Descendants, um, captivating. (Yes, it's possible to be confronted with huge close-ups of George Clooney's morose face and be the least bit moved.) I suppose someday I'd eventually meet someone out there who'd find this excess of trivia in my brain... sexy. "Hey there, has anyone ever told you how much you resemble Kilauea? I mean, deep down, you're all hot stuff." And before I forget, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are miles taller than Everest if we start at the bottom of the sea, okay?
So now, behold the following photos, captured once again with my beloved Nokia C3-00. One of the best reasons to fly the Iloilo-Cebu vv. route is the chance to gaze at the beauty of Mt. Kanlaon - 2,435m high and just 30km southeast of the major city of Bacolod.
From the mountain climbers and hiker's haven Pinoy Mountaineer, run by Dr. Gideon Lasco of UP College of Medicine 2010:
"The country's largest active volcano and Visayas' highest mountain is Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Island. As the highest mountain in the Visayas, it is majestic. As the country's largest active volcano, it is fearsome. Its majesty lies in its forests, waterfalls, lagoons, and culminates in its crater, vast and desolate." (pinoymountaineer.com)
The first two photos were taken on the morning Iloilo-Cebu flight of AirPhil Express, Saturday, May 5, and the last two, on the return trip three days later. Notice the volcano's distinctive shave around its peak - a crown, if metaphor-speak be allowed - and how the clouds, in the fashion of literature, become its 'white cloak of majesty'.
Yep, I just said that... white cloak of majesty. Think I just made lots of dead people proud of me.