San Nicolas - a deceptive calm.

Clearing the Taal Basilica grounds of ashfall from Taal volcano.

The majestic 142-year oldTaal Basilica withstands the latest onslaught of Taal volcano.

Uprooted by the explosion of Taal, affected families cope with living in evacuation center temporarily.At Batangas City sports complex.

The evacuation center became a hospital for tricyle driver Michael Amo, 38, who figured in a road crash with another tricycle driver who was drunk.

Bauan cockpit arena turned evacuation center.

The cage for fighting cocks while they are matched before the fight is home for a family of three at the Bauan cockpit arena.

Saving a best friend.

Members of Philippine Animal Welfare Society help in rescuing horses and other animals trapped in abandoned areas.

Despite warnings from the Department of Health that fish from Taal Lake is not safe for eating, fishermen resume fishing.

A fisherman catches fish which have been pushed to the shore by receeding waters, a sign of movement underneath the volcano.

Cracks on the ground following the Sunday eruption are an indication of “magma trying to reach the surface," Phivolcs said.

Foreboding calm

Taal watch continues.

Uneasy calm as Taal watch continues

It’s an uneasy calm around Taal volcano almost a week after it spewed enormous ashes that blanketed surrounding towns forcing thousands of families to flee to ash-covered but safer grounds.

The tremors have subsided but the Philippine Institute of Volcanology says danger lurks as there are still movements underneath the volcano as manifested in the lake water receding, cracks on the grounds and steam rising from those fissures.

A number of towns have been declared “No Man’s land.” That means families are still stuck in evacuation centers or with relatives and friends.

Disasters bring out the best and worst of us. While there have been incidents of selfishness (like looting of abandoned houses and one who bought boxes of N-95 face mask emptying the shelves of one Mercury drugstore for her family of four), the devastation caused by the Taal volcano eruption has once again tapped the generous heart of Filipinos. Many individual citizens and groups have spearheaded donation drives for those who have been displaced by Taal’s fury.

Photojournalist Luis Liwanag shares images of grit, sadness, adversity, generosity and hope he has captured on his second visit to Taal after the January 12 eruption. (Ellen Tordesillas)


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