From Ash you Came to Ash you will Return

We are ash. The cycle of nature from beauty to devastation.

This photo series of the Taal Volcano Island shows the stark contrast to what the island used to be for many decades. It is a reflection of what natures give, it can also took away. Where everything goes on with the cycle of life and death. We are nothing but a speck of ash in this universe.

Photos were taken, last Feb 2019

In the heart of Batangas province lies nature’s treasure, beautiful yet ominous. Taal Volcano, one of the world’s smallest but deadliest, is a tourism centerpiece shrouded in mysteries and complexities—being “a lake within a lake.”

In the 1980s, residents on the Pulo began raising horses and offering rides to tourists up a viewing deck of the main crater.

To some, setting foot on an active volcano is more than sightseeing but something regarded as bringing forth fortune and prosperity.

After 55 years of calm, Taal volcano erupted (phreatic) on Jan.12, 2020.

There were 6,000 to 7,000 people that lived in the volcano island. There was no electricity and water comes from deep wells.

Now, nothing is left. The ash had blanketed almost the entire island–houses buried, animals dead, coconut trees spliced into halves.

On the mainland towns of Batangas, the tremors left road fissures and significant cracks on structures, which volcanologists said were signs of magma moving underground.

Taal Volcano let out about 30 million tons of ash that had drastically altered the physical landscape of the province.

A man sails out in the lake to catch fish in an attempt to regain normalcy for his community.

On Feb 14, 2020 Taal Volcano status lowered to alert level 2.

The Philippine government has declared the Pulo a permanent danger zone prohibiting human settlement and activity.

Short Bio

An engineer by profession, Clifford Nunez started out as an assistant portrait photographer at a community photo studio before finding his passion in street photography and documentary. In March 2012, he was chosen to be part of the photography masterclass by Magnum photographer Alex Webb and Rebecca Webb at the National Museum of Singapore. In February 2013, he finished his masterclass in documentary photography under Alex Baluyut.  Clifford is attracted to the rhythm of the streets, like the nuances and uncertainty of offbeat syncopation, channeled into framed scenes of flows and stops at possibly the right timing. Later on, single scenes evolved into photo stories that follow the tradition of documentary photography. At the least illustrative but often allegorical, his stories come in tight visual packages, just enough to intrigue, draw eyes in, and evoke questions more than answers.