ALERT: Active Volcanoes in the Philippines

Mt. Kanlaon - Highest Mountain in the Visayas


There are about 300 volcanoes situated in the Philippines – 24 of them are active. According to PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology), there are several volcanoes in the country because it is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire wherein the boundaries of two tectonic plates are situated – the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate – which subduct or dive beneath the Philippine archipelago, along the deep trenches along its east and west seaboard.

Among the 24 active volcanoes in the country, 21 of them have historical eruptions. Cabalian of Southern Leyte has been estimated to have erupted in 1820 according to the radiocarbon dating on a pyroclastic flow deposit from the volcano. Because of its strong thermal features, Leonard Kniaseff has been believed to have been active 1,800 years ago.

Philippine’s Most Active Volcanoes

Here are the 24 most active volcanoes in the Philippines which has erupted within the last 600 years as documented and within the last 10,000 years based on analyses of materials from young volcanic deposits.

active volcanoes philippines

  1. Babuyan Claro (Babuyan Island Group, Cagayan in Luzon)

Also known as Mount Pangasun, Babuyan Claro has been identified as a potentially active volcano which has erupted in 1831 and 1860. It is a stratovolcano with an elevation of 843 meters above sea level. There were reports of grayish steam of clouds hovering above the summit of Babuyan Claro in February 2004, but PHIVOLCS explained that it was just caused by a seismic swarm of tectonic origin and the steaming was too weak to consider a threat.

  1. Banahaw (Boundaries of Laguna and Quezon in Luzon)

Though considered as one of the favorite hiking destinations of mountaineers, Banahaw is another potentially active volcanoes in the Philippines. It is known as a three-peaked volcano complex which is situated in between the provinces of Laguan and Quezon. Banahaw is the tallest mountain in the region.

  1. Biliran (Anas) (Leyte in Visayas)

Stories has it that the island province of Biliran has been formed through a volcanic eruption caused by this solfataric active volcano. Its last recorded eruption was on September 26, 1939.

  1. Bud Dajo (Sulu in Mindanao)

Bud Dajo in Sulu is part of Jolo Volcanic Group. It is the second highest point in the Sulu archipelago where the First Battle of Bud Dajo during the Moro Rebellion of the Philippine-American War in 1906 happened.

  1. Bulusan (Sorsogon, Bicol Region in Luzon)

Bulusan is considered as the fourth most active volcano in the country. It has erupted 15 times since 1885. It is a stratovolcano which has been formed around 40,000 years ago.

  1. Cabalian (Southern Leyte in Visayas)

Cabalian is known as an active volcano located in the province of Soutthern Leyte. Based on the studies of PHIVOLCS, it has erupted around 1820 – 1830. It has a crater lake known as Cabalian Lake with a surface elevation of733 masl.

  1. Cagua (Cagayan in Luzon)

Cagua Volcano is one of the many active volcanoes in the Philippines which has erupted twice in history. Last recorded eruption was in 1907. It is located in the northernmost part of the Sierra Madre mountain range.

  1. Camiguin de Babuyanes (Babuyan Island Group, Cagayan in Luzon)

Don’t confuse this with the island province of Camiguin in Mindano. Camiguin de Babuyanes is part of the Babuyan Group of Islands in Batanes. It is a forested volcano that stands 712 masl. Its last recorded eruption happened in 1857 while there were reports of active volcanic activity in 1991 and 1993.

  1. Didicas (Babuyan Island Group, Cagayan in Luzon)

Didicas Volcano is a submarine type of volcano – an underwater vent or fissure where magma erupts. It reemerged from the sea in 1952 and is located 22 kilometers away from Camiguin de Babuyanes.

  1. Hibok-hibok (Camiguin in Mindanao)

Mount Hibok-hibok is a stratovolcano located in the “Island Born of Fire”, Camiguin. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the country with a record of five eruptions. Hibok-hibok is one of the tourist destinations in the island of Camiguin. It is often frequented by hikers because it conquered in just a dayhike.

Mt. Hibok-hibok (Dakilanglaagan)
  1. Iraya (Batan Island, Batanes in Luzon)

Another active volcano in Batanes is Iraya. It is heavily forested with an elevation of 1,009 meters above sea level. It last erupted in 1454. It is considered as a sacred mountain of the Ivatans.

  1. Iriga (Camarines Sur in Luzon)

Also known as Asog, Iriga is an active volcano located in the province of Camarines Sur. It has a very large crater believed to have been formed by its eruption in 1628 and 1642. After these eruptions, it has remained dormant up to present.

  1. Isarog (Camarines Sur in Luzon)

Another potentially active stratovolcano located in Camarines Sur is Mount Isayog. It stands with an elevation of 2,000 masl. According to history, this volcano served as the hiding place of the Philippine Army, Constabulary units, and Bicolano guerrillas during Japanese Occupation.

  1. Kanlaon (Negros Oriental)

An ultimate dream to many mountaineers, Kanlaon remains closed for hikers as of this writing because of its volcanic activity. It is an active stratovolcano located in the island of Negros. It is the highest point in the whole Visayas with an astounding height of 2,465 masl. Kanlaon is the most active volcano in the Central Philippines with a recorded 30 eruptions since 1819.

Mt. Kanlaon - Highest Mountain in the Visayas
Mt. Kanlaon – Highest Mountain in the Visayas
  1. Leonard Kniaseff (Davao del Norte)

Leonard Kniaseff is widely-known around Davao del Norte as it has been an object of geothermal exploration programs. Based on studies, Its last eruption was around 120 AD.

  1. Makaturing (Lanao del Sur)

Makaturing has been subjected to debates among volcanologists as PHIVOLCS listed 10 eruptions of this volcano while the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanology Program cited that those are technically not by Makaturing alone but by its neighboring volcano, Ragang. Makaturing is located in Lanao del Sur and stands with an elevation of 1,940 masl in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

  1. Matutum (Cotobato in Mindanao)

Matutum is an active stratovolcano that stands at an elevation of 2,286 masl. It is located in South Cotabato and has been suspected to have had phreatic eruption on March 7, 1911.

  1. Mayon (Albay, Bicol Region in Luzon)

Named after the legendary princess-herione, Daragang Magayon, Mayon is a sacred and active volcano located in the province of Albay. It is a premiere destination among tourists because of its “perfect cone” shape. Despite its beauty, it holds the notorious title of being the most active volcano in the country with over 47 eruptions in the past 500 years.


  1. Musuan (Calayo) (Bukidnon in Mindanao)

Compared to other volcanoes, Musuan Peak or Mount Musuan only stands with a humble height of 646 masl. Nonetheless, it has been considered as an active volcano as it has actively erupted in 1866 and 1867.

  1. Parker (South Cotobato/General Santos/ North Cotabato/Sarangani Provinces in Mindanao)

If you’re heard of Melibengoy or Lake Holon, well, they’re all referring to Mt. Parker. And yes, that alluring blue waters of the lake is the crater of the volcano. The name Parker was taken from the American General who claimed as the first one to discover the volcano in 1934 while he was piloting a flight. He then led an expedition to the crater altogether with government officials of the USA and Philippines.

Mt. Melibengoy is considered as a sacred place of the Tboli who have inhibited the area. It has been believed to have erupted thrice in the past 3,800 years. Its last eruption in 1641 resulted to the formation of Lake Holon.

Lake Holon of Mt. Melibengoy
  1. Pinatubo (Boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales in Luzon)

Mt. Pinatubo has an unknown eruptive history until its notorious eruption in 1991. It was once a heavily forested area that has become a home to indigenous Aeta group before it erupted on June 15, 1991 – the second largest terrestrial eruption after the 1912 Novarupta eruption in Alaska. Thanks to the accurate prediction of Dr. Ray Punongbayan and his team, tens of thousands of people were able to evacuate before the climactic eruption. The effects of eruption was not only felt in the surrounding provinces but all around the world.

  1. Ragang (Lanao del Sur and Cotobato in Mindanao)

Mount Ragang or Piapayungan or Blue Mountain remains a distant dream among Filipinos who want to complete the Top 10 Highest Mountains to climb in the Philippines. This stratovolcano in Mindanao, which is also the highest point in Lanao del Sur, has been off-limits among hikers because of the ongoing conflict in the area. Reports say that rebel fortresses were also built in this landscape, which makes it even more dangerous to venture.

  1. Smith (Babuyan Island Group, Cagayan in Luzon)

Also known as Mount Babuyan, Smith Volcano is an active volcano located in the northernmost part of Babuyan Group of Islands. It has erupted six times. And the last happened in 9124.

  1. Taal (Batangas in Luzon)

A lake inside a lake. An island inside an island inside an island. Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located in the province of Batangas. It is the second most active volcano, second to Mayon, and has a record of more than 30 historical eruptions. It recently erupted last January 12, 2020 and has posed deadly dilemma for people living in the area. Its ash fall has covered the surrounding places of Taal Lake causing the loss of homes and livelihood among many people.

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