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'No man's land': Philippines volcano displaced fear future by Ana P Santos January 15,2020   |  Source: Al Jazeera

Marilyn La Luz had always known that Taal Volcano Island was a danger zone, but she never thought of leaving.

Her parents lived there all their life and she grew up on its lower slopes amid patches of lush greenery, frolicking horses and a view of Taal Volcano's crater just a few kilometres away through an easy climb.

"We lived in paradise. Everyone who comes to Taal Volcano even says so," she said.

It was a paradise that drew in thousands of tourists and ensured a comfortable income for 32-year-old La Luz who worked as a tour guide.

She would make 350 Philippine pesos (about $8) for every tour she booked. On average, she could book about two trips in a day.

But it was the tips of the foreign tourists that were most lucrative.

"Tourists tip in dollars - sometimes $10 or $20. The Americans are the best tippers because I think tipping is really part of their culture. Once a guest heard it was my birthday on the day of our tour and gave me $100."

Now in an evacuation centre, La Luz cannot help but think about all that she and her family lost when Taal Volcano began erupting on Sunday after more than 40 years of being dormant.

Plumes of smoke that burst out of Taal dumped volcanic ash - fine particles of rock and glass fragments of that are denser than snow

 

© 2020 Al Jazeera Media Network

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