More than a decade since Mount Pinatubo's explosive eruption in 1991, the crater lake and surrounding lahar wasteland is now amongst the most famous tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Surrounded by a wasteland of lahar and at the same time home of the most picture-perfect crater lake, Mt. Pinatubo is a place where beauty and devastation of nature coincides.
The 1991 explosive eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, supposed to be the second largest eruption in the 20th century, together with the deadly simultaneous arrival of Typhoon Yunya brought forth immense destruction in the areas of Tarlac, Pampanga and Zambales, leading to the deaths of thousands of Filipinos and the displacement of millions.
However, in the middle of the vast snowy blanket of lahar formed what is now known as Lake Pinatubo. Sitting calmly inside the volcano's slowly eroding caldera is a crater lake sought after for its blue-green jewel-like hue. Like an oasis, it serves as the very heart of the lahar wasteland and is the reason why adventurous tourists and mountaineers plod through the rocky and dusty terrain year after year, like crusaders seeking for the holy grail.
According to Time Magazine, it is among the Top 10 fiery and famous volcanoes of the world, adding, "When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, the amount of sulfuric ash it sent into the stratosphere cooled global ground temperatures by 1°F for the next two years...With ash that rose 22 miles into the sky, it is considered the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century."
At present, Mt. Pinatubo has become a source of tourism revenue and livelihood of communities in Capas, Tarlac (base camp when trekking to Mt. Pinatubo)."