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February 2, 2018

Map of Taal Lake, Volcano and Surrounding Areas, c. 1906

A 1906 map of Taal Lake and Volcano, including surrounding areas.
A 1906 map of Taal Lake and Volcano, including surrounding areas.
The map above has been extracted from a digital copy of a 1906 edition of the Philippine Journal of Science1. It shows Taal Lake and Volcano with a north to south orientation. Because the map has an extensive coverage and includes Cavite to the north, Balayan Bay to the west, Batangas Bay to the south and towns such as Rosario and Ibaan to the west, it is for all intents and purposes also a map of the Province of Batangas in the era. It even includes, although a legend is not included, a trace of the Calamba to Batangas Town railway line.

In the Philippine Journal of Science, the map is captioned “Figure 2. Bombon, or Taal Lake, southwestern Luzon. (Depth and elevations are given in meters.)”

The map is part of a short item entitled “Lake Bombon or Taal,” and interestingly includes a discussion on the possible origins of the lake, which included this discussion:

“Becker discusses this theory, but inclines to the belief that the lake was formed through an explosive eruption of a former great volcano, a gigantic predecessor of the modern Taal, rather than through collapse, the occurrence of which he considers improbable. The former existence of a volcano of great size on the site of Taal is argued by Becker and others from the presence of the abrupt walls surrounding the lake and the relatively high areas of tuff to the north and west, which are taken to represent the outer slope of the old cone.”
Notes and references:
1The Philippine Journal of Science: Volume XI,” Alvin J. Cox, General editor, published 1906 by the Bureau of Printing, Manila.

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