Mount Pinatubo Trekking Adventure
I’d been to a few treks on my few years of travelling (if you call walking continuously just to get to my destination and walking for hours to see the 7 falls of Mambukal a trek) but never been to a major hiking. When I learned that Pinoy Travel Bloggers group will be having a trek to Mount Pinatubo, I didn’t hesitate to join and I set this event on my calendar. Being on my places-to-go list for the past 2 years, I was able to finally set my foot on one the most beautiful spots in the Philippines, the Mount Pinatubo crater lake.
One of the advantages of being invited on such trip with travel bloggers is you don’t need to worry anymore about the itinerary. But that doesn’t mean opinion or request of each joiners don’t matter. One must participate and share on everything. With that, I’d like to thank everyone who worked on this successful event for Pinoy Travel Bloggers.
We were 30 joiners for this trip. It was the biggest trip I’ve ever been to in terms of participants. We left Metro Manila at 3:00 AM via rented van. We dropped by a fast food along expressway and had our breakfast. It was going to be a tough hike, so better filled our stomach before the hike!
We arrived at Capaz, Tarlac around 6:00 AM. I was surprised on the numbers of people already there who were going to trek the Mount Pinatubo. People came in different nationalities which only shows how famous Mount Pinatubo is.
After registration, we got our 4×4 ride to the jump-off point. We’re too picky on which 4×4 to ride to, all wanted to have an open air ride. We only had 10 minutes before the gate closes so we hurriedly boarded on whatever 4×4 available. Me and my group got a closed 4×4.
The downside of the closed 4×4 is it was hard to take pictures unless you’re sitting on the front seat but the upside is you can avoid the dust particles from the outside.
It was a bumpy ride. It will take you to cross the streams, upward and downward paths. After awhile, we stopped on this area.
We got off and did some picture taking.
We moved on and continued our 4×4 ride until we reached the jump off point which took us about an hour. The sky way ride (as they told it) is under repair so we’re going to trek via the old route.
There was an assigned guide for each group. Each group consists of five joiners. Our guide told us that we need to stick together as a group but since we’re a large group overall, it’s hard for us to be together with our assigned group.
And our trek to Mount Pinatubo Crater lake started.
And this is why we were inseparable, picture!
And we continued walking and walking.
It was good that the weather was fine. It was actually windy which also helped us to cool off a bit from walking.
After 2 hours of hiking through the terrain, I finally found relief when I saw a constructed shade area. We took a rest for awhile while we waited for the others to arrive.
From there, there is a signboard that shows how many minutes yet per age generation to reach the crater lake. So which bracket we belong?
The way to the crater lake starting from this point is too narrow wherein we needed to be in line. There were a lot of hikers along with us causing traffic. After 15 minutes or so, we can’t find anything yet but endless path. That signboard was untrue. Hehehe! =)
When I finally reached an upward stairway, I knew I was closed enough to the crater lake. I found relief when I saw a greenish / turquoise color of body of water. I knew that moment that it was already the crater lake.
It took few seconds before it hit to my head that I reached it. I was in awe, all the weariness vanished when I saw this beautiful spot. The crater lake right before my eyes.
We looked for a shaded area. We settled under a small tree. Our guides gave us our packed lunch. It was plenty consisting of two dishes and a side dish. Since our guides didn’t have their own lunch, we shared our meals to them. After we finished our lunch, we went down closer to the crater lake.
Some took a dip on the lake, some did some photo ops, some took a rest for awhile and some just nourished the moment.
I planned to take a dip but backed off after I felt cold. So I instead joined the others to kayak to the other side of the crater lake. The fee costs PHP 350.00 per person. One boat can fit up to 7 persons utmost (excluding the boatman).
The view from other side is awesome. It felt like we’re in a setting of a movie in quest for something. The lake’s water is hot to warm. The water near the shore is steaming. A sight like this shouldn’t be missed. We couldn’t helped but to take a lot of pictures. A group shot shouldn’t be missed too.
We were only 2 groups left on the other side. Boats arrived and fetched us. It was already 2:30 PM. Our group were already packing up for our decampment. It was an overcoming experience getting to the crater lake. Witnessing it’s beauty is indeed astounding and surprising.
We left the crater lake and started our descent.
It was another 2 hours of continuous walking through streams and the terrain. The trek back felt longer. I got blisters because of my sandals strap, my feet was aching. I just ignored it and continued hiking.
I even walked fast and passed by the others. It seemed we were on a race. Indeed, there was. I couldn’t forget the running and brisk walking we did whenever there was going to pass by on our path.
We finished the trek in about 2 hours. Exhausting? Yes! But it was paid off by making fun along our way. We’re among the first ten who finished the trek!
When we arrived at the jump off point, we boarded the 4×4 and waited for our guides to come. We then went back to the tourism area in Capaz, Tarlac.
When we arrived in the area, we looked for a washroom. We took a shower. The bathroom fee was PHP 40.00 but we asked the owner to lower down the fee to PHP 30.00, and she agreed.
It was already 7:00 PM when we finally left Capaz, Tarlac. We dropped by at Isdaan for dinner before we went back to Metro Manila. I wasn’t able to enjoy the Isdaan that much because I was too tired and sleepy. We left Isdaan at around 10:00 PM and arrived in Metro Manila 2 hours after.
It was an amazing experience conquering Mount Pinatubo. Add to it the fun people I was with on this experience, truly an awesome trip.
The day tour trek to Mount Pinatubo costs each of us PHP 1,600 including the van trip (back and forth) Manila to Sta Juliana, Capaz, Tarlac, 4×4 Rent, guide (one per five guests), Environmental fee, Tourism fee and Packed Lunch. Breakfasts, dinner and boat fee were not included.
- Bring bottled water (at least 2 liters)
- Bring hanky or a small towel to cover up your nose from dust
- Bring extra set of clothes
- Wear comfortable trekking shoes, sandals or slipper. Probably wear socks when in sandals to avoid blisters and wounds.
- Bring snacks
- Bring personal first aid kit
- Bring cap, hat or head ware to cover up from heat
- Apply sunblock
- Condition yourself for a long trek