Latest Stories

Fight over Pinatubo erupts anew


ANCESTRAL DOMAIN The Aeta people of Botolan, Zambales, assert their control over Mt. Pinatubo as it is within their ancestral domain and territory recognized by the national government. TONETTE OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Local and foreign visitors geared for a climb to Mount Pinatubo found themselves being stopped by an Aeta group in Barangay (village) 3Sta. Juliana in Capas town in Tarlac on March 2 in the latest attempt by the tribal people to assert their control over the management and use of the volcano.

“We have been asking the Capas local government to respect the sacred site, allow us to do rituals there and give us shares from tourism fees,” Carlito Domulot, chair of Lubos na Alyansa ng mga Katutubong Ayta sa Sambales (Lakas).

Pinatubo, which erupted in June 1991, is within the territory covered by a certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT) that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) issued in November 2009 for 1,302 families or 4,370 people in Botolan and San Marcelino towns, Domulot said.

Former NCIP Commissioner Rolando Rivera, who reviewed the claims, confirmed that the volcano is within the CADT area.

When the trekkers came, seven Aeta men appeared past the Tarlac side of the volcano and there could be more of them outside the path where off-road vehicles pass through, a tour operator told the Inquirer. The source asked not to be named, saying it was a sensitive issue to the Capas municipality.

The tribal group, however, allowed the trekkers to go up the crater where a 3-kilometer-wide lake formed from rainwater.

Capas Mayor Antonio Rodriguez did not reply to calls and messages from the Inquirer.

Documents showed that the CADT application originally covered 20,567.89 hectares of land. The size was reduced to 15,998.4748 ha after government agencies recognized and segregated private titles within the ancestral domain.

The final CADT spans the villages of Burgos, Villar, Moraza and Belbel in Botolan, and portions of the towns of Cabangan, San Felipe and San Marcelino.

The volcano straddles Villar and Belbel.

Domulot said he was not involved in the March 2 incident but learned about it and discouraged it.

He said it should not have happened had Rodriguez agreed to the terms raised by the Aeta community in Botolan through the town’s mayor, Nerma Yap, in 2008.

These included allowing them to perform rituals, banning swimming, and getting 40 percent of proceeds to support health needs and rehabilitation of communities at the upper flanks of the volcano.

The Botolan council issued in August 2008 a resolution recognizing Aeta ownership and management over Pinatubo and requiring consultations with and consent from them. This would help the people protect their domain from Korean and other foreign and local business ventures, the council said.

Although vigilant against Korean firms on the Tarlac side, the Aeta have not built gates or watchtowers to ward off strangers.

“The local government of Capas has not asked for our free and prior informed consent when they allowed tours to the volcano,” Domulot said. “They are disrespecting a sacred site.”

He said his people have no quarrel with fellow Aeta on the Capas side because their elders recognize that the volcano belongs to the Botolan tribe.

“This is a case where the owner of the house was stripped of his right to say how things should be done in his abode,” he said.

Zambales Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II said the issue was discussed by the provincial board and referred to Zambales Rep. Jun Omar Ebdane to protect the interest of the Aeta people.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Aeta , Mount Pinatubo , News , Regions , Tourism

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Pope’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Marketplace