Hmmm… Tell me who’s not gonna be happy? It was an invite for a Mount Pinatubo Experience together with the other Pinoy Travel Bloggers! Whoohoo! I tell you, That’s worth dancing for. 🙂 Not to mention, one of my idol in travel blogging and photography, Dong Ho was one of the organizers. Then that’s another thing to celebrate on.
POINKS! What was that again??? I’ll be with the Pinoy Travel Bloggers
As in seriously???!
My non-stop dance for joy and excitement toned down a bit when details started to sink in. It will be my first time to go on a trip with these famous people in travel blogging. I got really scared. What if I don’t have enough english words in my backpack? What if they’re too famous, they’re not gonna like me? What if they’re too bigtimes, they only use The North Face backpacks? Yeah, that was the time I realized, I’m doomed.
Hey! Pinatubo Crater, We’re coming!!!
After a bunch of hi’s and hellos, endless chatter continued as we headed to Sta. Juliana, Capas Tarlac. For about almost 3 hours, while everybody was busy catching up some sleep, tweeting, updating Facebook statuses, and sharing of Philippine whereabouts, we reached the Tourism Office at around 6:00am. I thought it was just an ordinary Saturday but the huge number of crowd at the registration was really surprising. (Ganun pala kasikat ang Mount Pinatubo, super dami ng tao).
We have been divided into 6 groups with 5 members each. Everybody was obviously excited to ride the 4×4’s. The open type land cruisers are limited; good thing, we were one of the lucky people who were able to get an open type 4×4.
It’s not Your Ordinary Ride!
It’s a bumpy ride, period. Hehe
It’s very dusty, just after 5 mins, I assure you, everyone in an open type 4×4 will look like an espasol. But the view? Oh! It’s very astounding. Me and Ivan tried to stand up, hoping to take some good pictures. But oh, the road was too rough, we almost got thrown. And I think I had some intimate relationships with any steel that I could hold on to during that time, I hugged them as in very very tight to survive. Well, we’re all adventure-seekers so expect that all of us were still smiling and laughing after the countless ‘boom!-boogoosh-ouch-haha’ moments.
We stopped for a while and had some photo ops. OMG! Nakalimutan kong magbaon ng espada, dito nagshu-shoot ang Panday, gayahin ko sana!
Columbia Women Titanium – Php350.00 (bought in ukay-ukay in Baguio)
Sandugo Strapped Sandals – P470.00
Scarf-scarfan – Php54.00 (bought in Landmark)
Fake Headware – Php150.00 (bought in Camp John Hay)
Sunglasses for this hike? Don’t fret, they’re not Prada sunglasses – Php199.00
To the Crater and Beyond!!!!
The sun began to shine
Feel na Feel ko ang pagtulay, ang saya-saya kasi!
After 2 hours and so, there’s a semi-constructed shaded area where you can take a rest and have some weewee galore. I want to use the comfort room however the line was long so I just decided to continue heading up.
From that point, there will be a signboard that welcomes you to Mt Pinatubo.
Meeting the Majestic Crater for the First Time!
I was too overwhelmed with the crater’s beauty when yells started to bring me back on Earth; the bloggers needed to call and remind me that they’re about to take their lunch. So I rushed under one of the mango trees and grabbed my packed lunch. Wootwoot! Eating Time!
After the sumptuous lunch, we took more pictures of the majestic crater.
Visit Mount Pinatubo, please. Yes, it’s a must!
Taking a dip at Mount Pinatubo Lake
Oops! I know what you’re thinking. I have the same thoughts and fears before.
Is it really safe to take a dip at the crater?
Baka mainit yung tubig.
What if my skin might get irritated of the sulfur content.
…Paano kung biglang sumabog?
Hindi naman pala kasi mainit ang tubig, malamig siya.
Important Things to Do while dipping your hot bodies in Pinatubo Lake:
*Taste the water. It’s different. Hmmm… it has a different level of bitterness as I may say.
*Sumisid vertically. 😛 Take a peek on Pinatubo’s underwater. Wear goggles if you have any.
*Swim by group. The sand is very unstable. Dipping in the lake without basic swimming skills is a big NO.
The guide says that no one knows how deep the Pinatubo Lake is. No one have ever checked and discovered what’s there in the deepest part of the crater. (Then I thought, is it possible to do scuba diving in Pinatubo Lake?)
Another interesting fact shared by the guide: There’s no living organism can be found in the waters of Pinatubo. Before, they tried to grow tilapia fishes in the lake. But it was a major epic fail- all the fishes died.
Scary? Yes, quite. But the locals said, there’s something worth visiting on the other side of the crater. So, without second thoughts, all aboard! Wootwoot!
Bawal makulit and magalaw. Pero PTB’s are PTB’s, Picture picture muna! 😀
Getting to the other side is like going to a place unknown. At that side, the rocks, the water, the walls of the crater are all smoking. Can’t really describe it exactly – but it’s like suddenly, you are in a different world that you can only see in Hollywood movies.
You need to be extra careful here, you can’t just dip yourself in the water. Temperature is at boiling point, you can even boil an egg for a minute or 2.
And of course, I would not let this day pass without having a photo with my idol. 🙂
The scene is too beautiful, it’s hard to let it out of your sight. But we have to go home, actually, our group was the last ones to leave the crater. Time check, hmmm… almost 3 pm. Realizing that we have to trek down back to the jump-off point for another 2 hrs, hmmm… no choice but to start going.
Everyone was like in a hurry to finish the trek. This time, I changed my pace. I don’t want them to wait for me, no more. (Oops, I forgot to mention, I was the last one to reach the stopover something). I changed my pace so that I could still have moments for myself, that I could do unlimited stops without delaying the others.I always keep in mind what I learned from my fellow hikers Paul and Jay of Sablay Bakod Mountaineering Group while we were climbing Mount Pulag. “If you’re tired, stop. If you want to stop, then stop. It’s not a race. That’s the reason why mountain climbing/trekking is not a sports, it’s a recreational activity.”
It’s super duper painful but it’s nothing compared to the beauty I saw that day.
Reminding me of what I really wanted, I closed my eyes and enjoyed the serenity of the moment. I loved how the birds were cheerfully singing, seemed like they’ve just gone from a climb too. It hit me on the head, life is more enjoyable if simple.
*Make sure to take a heavy breakfast. Mount Pinatubo is a tough hike.
*Bring bottled water. Gatorade or any Energy Drink is also a must.
*Wear comfortable trekking shoes, or sandals. Give extra focus on the straps.
*Protect your head, bring headwear.
*Allot an extra Php70.00 if you wish to take a shower at the Tourism Office.
This Mount Pinatubo Trip cost Php1600.00/pax. It includes van transportation from Manila to Capaz, Tarlac vice versa, 4×4 rental fee, guide (1 guide per 5 pax), environmental and tourism fees, and packed lunch.