Seeking answers


    PHIVOLCS could not explain the sudden eruption of Taal Volcano, which has been restive for the past three months. Officials would offer details of the magnitude and danger of the tremendous outburst but nothing was said about what precipitated it. And so it was with Mt. Pinatubo, an inactive volcano for some 500 years when suddenly it exploded and unleashed tons of magma, ash flow and lahar that swamped numerous cities and towns in Pampanga and Zambales.

    Seismologists were completely perplexed on how a dormant five-century-old volcano would come to life with such spectacular ferocity. People can never be acquainted with the strange and calamitous behavior of nature and, there seems to be a vacuum in our minds where the truth should lie. The philosopher Blaise Pascal puts it, “there is a vacuum in each person’s heart that can be filled only by God,” meaning the truth of His love, mercies, power and grace that embraces all things.

    He adds that high achievement or excellence in any secular fields or undisputed power in this world are woefully insufficient and have only led to emptiness and confusion. Many people still struggle with the truth of His sovereign and eternal power and look to other gods while they remain in poverty, sickness, ignorance or disgrace.

    A popular TV evangelist notes that volcanic eruptions cannot obviously be the handiwork of man but only of God. Why did God suddenly pour out his wrath in the province of Pampanga where a town noted for creating and selling statues and carvings is found? But it was an earlier calamity – the July 1990 Baguio earthquake – that would trigger the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and yet no one had the faintest idea how the volcano, inactive for so long, and was not showing signs of disturbance, was building up its main crater for its extremely unexpected eruption.

    We should allow ourselves to seek the answers from the Creator of nature and of heaven and earth. There seems to be a gap between the real or enduring truth and objective truth which the news media has tried to replace with speculation. The Word of God in the Bible tells us in Psalm 18:7, “Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry.” As God has created Nature in all its splendor and magnificence, He can also command it to manifest his wrath and anger. Ezekiel 39:19 says “For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, on that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.”

    Three months before Pinatubo’s huge explosion, which was the most powerful in the last century, the Philippine Senate had rejected the renewal of the Philippines -US Military Bases Treaty, which led to the closure of the Clark military and Subic naval bases in Pampanga and Zambales after nearly five decades. The American presence has brought unwelcome military and political intervention in most government affairs here that included the economy, agrarian reform, trade and big business, as well as the campaign against the NPA insurgency. Washington seemed to hedge and hew, unable to swallow the international embarrassment of its little brown brother finally kicking them out “from the town.”

    Even after the Supreme Court had strongly concurred with the Senate ruling, there were renewed pressures on the government and fresh enticements for legislators to reconsider the treaty termination in exchange for a huge support for their similarly huge political plans. With its vaunted machinery and vast resources the CIA could again turn things around. But as Mt Pinatubo started to unleash its sudden fury US servicemen and their families scurried out of the bases for dear life and out of the country. There was no time to retrieve much of their military equipment and vehicles. The severe ash flow would blanket Clark and Subic in just two hours. It was a visible testament of divine intervention for a people still colonized and victimized by the most powerful country on the planet.

    From a truly Biblical perspective, the traditional and rampant practice of occultism in Baguio for many years is an abomination before God, as well as the Black Nazarene procession at Quiapo. The Bible is explicit and strongly prohibits communicating with the dead or other spirits. And not coincidentally the Taal eruption came three days after the annual procession in Manila.