Boulders of warm welcome

boulders of warm welcome
Boulders of warm welcome | @natmuseumph via Photos: by Yloisa Magtalas and Jaan Nogot

Boulders of warm welcome

Have you ever wondered what those boulders are at the entrance of National Museum of Natural History? Let us learn more about those big rocks.

These rocks are from Mayon Volcano, collected all the way from Daraga, Albay.

Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines and has erupted more than 47 times since 1616. It is the 1814 Plinian eruption (explosions accompanied by huge columns of ejected volcanic material with ash fall and pyroclastic surges) that submerged the building of the Cagsawa church and other stone structures leaving us with today’s famous Cagsawa Ruins.

We specifically chose these gigantic rocks to be the main attraction in the visitor’s entrance of NMNH to highlight the rich geological diversity of the Philippines.

These Mayon boulders are an igneous type of rock called andesites. Andesites are fine-grained rocks that are usually light or dark grey in color and are commonly formed by stratovolcanoes (conical volcanoes composes of layered hardened lava) like Mayon. The color is influenced by both felsic (light-colored) and mafic (dark-colored) minerals found in the rocks. The minerals commonly occurring in andesite include plagioclase, quartz, amphibole, and pyroxene.

Volcanoes such as Mayon are not solely destructive. Apart from being such popular tourist areas, volcanoes have a huge impact on the atmosphere. During large eruptions, lots of volcanic materials are dispersed in the atmosphere, decreasing the earth’s average temperature. The surrounding soil is also enriched, which is highly beneficial to local farmers in the region.

Want to know how our geologists study rocks? Watch here at

If you want to see these boulders again along with our biologically and geologically rich exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History, please register and book online at

Text by Abigael Castro | Photos by Yloisa Magtalas and Jaan Nogot | NMP GPD

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