Print ISSN: 0016-4139 Online ISSN: 2719-082X
This paper explored the influence of the Mayon Volcano in the cultural identity of the residents of Guinobatan, Albay [Philippines], and attempted to connect its Cultural Heritage Assets (CHAs), with topophilia (love of place), and the sense of place. CHAs with links to Mayon Volcano were identified and profiled through a cultural mapping methodology, and the cultural center (hotspot) of Guinobatan was identified. Hotspots of settlements were identified and were subjected to proximity analysis with the centroid of cultural heritage, as well as the centroids of land-uses that affect Topophilia, in a GIS platform. Coupled with the findings of interviews with the locals and the relationship of settlement and land-use patterns, this paper found multiple instances when the volcano directly influenced historical physical development, society, and identity. Mayon as a dominating natural feature is part of the local consciousness of cultural identity as it directly affected history and demography in the past and is tied still to their day to day living. Place Identity as it is moved and influenced by our physical sphere is something taken for granted, and with the extension of the homogenous urban place, the protection of our identity is connected to the protection of the natural and cultural places. To lose one’s place in space is to lose one’s identity, this is one of the considerations we make in placemaking, as towns and cities develop and expand.