February 18, 1996
By Alex Tizon
SAN MARCELINO, Philippines – Her name was Rowena Domingo, 27 years old, thin and cocoa brown with eyes that belonged on a kid’s face. I met her in the western foothills of the island of Luzon, 60 miles northwest of Manila, on a mud trail outside what used to be the town of San Marcelino leading to what was once the Santo Tomas River. The town and river no longer were recognizable. They, along with Rowena’s husband and an immense portion of the central plains of Luzon, were buried under mudflows of Mount Pinatubo.