05 August, 2014

Trekking Mt. Pinatubo


"The Philippines sits on a unique tectonic setting ideal to volcano formation. The archipelago is surrounded by subducting plates as manifested by the trenches that are related to volcano formation." ( HaNDA ). While this information can be intimidating, try to invite me to go on a trek to  Mt. Pinatubo  and I will say YES in a heart beat. Mt. Pinatubo is one of the 20-something active volcanoes in the Philippines. It was dormant for about four centuries until it violently erupted in June 1991. This eruption was said to be one of the largest in the 20th century blasted so much ash clouds into the air and caused mud flows for days. It also brought so much damage to so many people. Hundreds of folks died and a lot lost their homes.

Today, this active volcano has become one of the more popular tourist spots in my country and is also one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. I have been to Taal Volcano and Mt. Banahaw, but both are nothing compared to Mt. Pinatubo. I have been here in 2009 and I definitely would like to come back & bring P with me he hasn't seen it :)




What to expect.
You can go on a day tour or camp by the crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo. I just learned about the camp thing from our Tour Guide, who shared stories about non-Filipino nationals who enjoyed the place and spent the night in their tents. In our case, my friends and I opted for the day trip.

There are bazillions of groups that offer and organize group tours to Mt. Pinatubo. Ours was organized by e-Philippines Adventure Travel and Destinations. For me, this is your best bet because it's practical, convenient, and totally safe. We paid something like P1,500 / $35 per person back in 2009 and it included transfers from Manila to Tarlac ( no one wanted to drive at 3 o' clock in the morning ) to Mt. Pinatubo in a 4 x 4 and back, government fees + permits. Today, e-Philippines' rates at P1,750 / $40 per person.



This is not a wild trek. It took us more than two hours to climb up and descending Mt. Pinatubo was another two hours. Our Tour Guide did tell us that there's a longer route, but their group does not recommend it. However, with all the lush greens and soft river sounds, the trek though was a good opportunity for exploration and relaxation. If you're lucky, you might even see monkeys on your way up.





OOTD
I went up Mt. Pinatubo in Crocs! Unbelievable? Yes, in CROCS. Lol. It may not be the safest footwear, but it was comfortable and more than okay. They're not too strict with the stuff that you wear, but I recommend wearing something waterproof & comfy because you'll be crossing small rivers. Admittedly, I did not bother buying a pair of hiking shoes because it would be a waste to purchase something that's going to be a one-time use. Agree? And then I found out that the Tour Guides usually wear rubber slippers. So my crocs and I are going to be good.

A head scarf or bandana is important for hair protection. You should also bring your sunnies and wear light-colored clothing. I also purposely didn't wear something with sleeves because I didn't want to have tan lines.


Russ Boy and Russ Girl. Meet Russell Ri from e-Philippines Travel Adventures

Food & Water
You have to pack enough food and water that you can carry with you as you climb up. But, if you're with a tour, chances are you'll have stopovers and you won't be uber hungry because of the stopovers. We had two stopovers on the way to Tarlac: one was in McDonald's and the other one was in Jollibee.


What to do. What to see.
The trek doesn't end when you've reached the top of Mt. Pinatubo because an even better treat awaits you when you descend to its caldera. Universe Today describes it as a depression in the ground created by the collapse of land after a volcanic eruption. When my friends and I got to the crater lake, the sight was just splendid and my thoughts were like, how can something this breathtaking be a result of something almost catastrophic.

I'm sure you're thinking about swimming. Are people allowed to swim? Our Tour Guide said it was alright to swim, BUT I do NOT recommend doing this activity. When I was in Taal Volcano years back, I wanted to take a dip into the lake and asked the guide if it was okay. Sadly, he replied with a quick NO. I was told not to because volcanic substances are hazardous ... my Taal Volcano tour guide talked about Sulphur, Manganese, Boron, etc and said that all these can be harmful.

The best time to trek is from December til summer months. For obvious reasons, you'd want to be safe and have picture-perfect weather when you climb Mt. Pinatubo.








As I said, the trek is relatively easy and is suitable for most persons —— and that includes children, too. It's a good alternative to a crowded beach on a Sunday. The sunrise, the thrill you get from the stories your Tour Guide will tell you, gorgeous nature views, a breathtaking vista that's unique of this volcano, and the rugged beauty of Mt. Pinatubo make this trip worth a Part II.  ☮..Peace + _Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


✎  e-Philippines Adventure Travel and Destinations
  +632.804.0000 and +632.664.9611
  Facebook Page: ePhilippinesAdventureTravel

55 comments:

Gabby OBrien said...

Wow, these photos are beautiful! I would love to take a hike there one day!

Rochkirstin Santos said...

This outdoor is activity is quite cheap and in return you get an experience of a lifetime that's really memorable! Awesome pictures!

Haydn Symons said...

A great blog post Russ, and love the photographs which you're showcasing, looks like a beautiful part of the world!

Maria Long said...

Wow that is such n amazing trip. It looks like you had so much fun. Also those pictures are so amzing.

Stefany T said...

I love these photos. What a neat place to go. We call it muddin' where I am from and it is so fun to drive those jeeps through the mud. haha

Jenna MOMenvy said...

What an amazing view! The water is so blue! That must have been such an incredible experience!

Heather Jones said...

Wow! Those mountains and the ocean are picturesque! I also love the way you were your scarf. It looks great like that.

Franc said...

This is my dream Trek Russ. I hope to do this too real soon.

Chrissy Mazzocchi said...

Wow! I know you feel so amazing and proud of yourself!

Liz Mays said...

The color is just absolutely dreamy! What a wonderful place to visit.

Sweepster said...

Those trucks mean serious business. Looks like a lot of fun!

Jen Temcio said...

I am pinning this to my travel board. I hope to visit here some day. It is a paradise.

Rochelle Barlow said...

What a beautiful place to hike to! That would be such a rewarding hike

glitterrain said...

What an incredibly stunning place. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Leira Pagaspas said...

Wow!! Good on you to have done that hike as for the swimming. I heard that its highly discouraged because the water is deep and because of the sulfur content.

Christie C said...

Whaat a gorgeous view! I would have never guessed that was the Philippines!

Rachael Yerkes said...

This is going on my travel wish list for sure. Gorgeous photos and an amazing destination. Thanks so much for sharing.

Ann B said...

What a cool place to go and visit. I've never been to a crater before!

Ashley Nicholas said...

My husband loves camping! This looks like a trip he'd love to make!

Rebecca Swenor said...

This is such a gorgeous place. I would love to go there one day just to relax. Thanks for sharing.

Marielle Altenor said...

Amazing view! I love all the water and how peaceful it all looks!

Sarah Minnesota Mama said...

Breathtaking views! I love them.

Vanessa said...

Mount Pinatubo seems like a wonderful place to explore and discover judging by your lovely pics of pristine nature. I would feel so blessed surrounded by all this green landscape there. The trek must have been exhaustive though, and you are right,good equipment is important for trekking.

Raymond Vasquez said...

This is on my travel list and now, I all the more feel the urgency to visit the place. :-)

Louise Banta said...

Mt. Pinatubo is one in my "to visit places". Seeing the place through your photos makes me want to go there asap! :D

I love how you constructed this post and gave tips on what to wear, etc. And I totally agree with you, I wouldn't buy something too that I will just use one day. Smart tip you made there.

I will get back to you once I get the chance to visit this place. I'm excited.

xo,
xo,
Louise of The Legendary Ukayista

Traveling Morion said...

Mt Pinatubo is in my bucket list. How I wish I have the time now to hike, explore and shoot in Pinatubo- hopefully early next year. I luv your photos!

May De Jesus-Palacpac said...

I agree, I would think that way, too - to wonder how something so beautiful can cause such damage to many.

One of these days I'll have the chance to go trekking to see nature in all its full glory, like you. Great pics! Thanks for sharing.

Fred Hawson said...

I have done this adventure myself with my wife and three kids, and a senior citizen aunt! It was a hard slow climb, but the lake is worth all the effort. Too bad my post about this was lost with my Multiply account. I still sting when I recall that loss.

Katrina Centeno said...

You had a different experience compared to a friend of mine. She discouraged me from going to Pinatubo. She said the trek is long and hot. Now I am torn whether I should try this or not.

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

You dress pretty fashionably for a trekking outing! I will be covering myself with sunblock under such harsh sun! But i love your tan! It's beautiful!

Sim @ Manchestermummy.com said...

That looks absolutely stunning! It would be amazing to trek around there! Simone x

lakwatserongunggoy said...

Trekking in Pinatubo is still on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. The photos looks enticing. :)

kareen liez said...

Beautiful place! I hope I can visit it next time too. And I love your bandana :)

Suzanne said...

Your words tell a wonderful story and really make me want to visit the other side of the world some day. The photos though, they are truly beautiful!

Priscilla Yeo said...

The creek is definitely the highlight of the trip. Beautiful place indeed!!

Phylicia Marie Pineda said...

I've been wanting to try this but I don't know which organizer to go with, so i'll prolly go with your suggestion. I'm glad that the trek isn't difficult so my friends and I with no experience can go.

Marie said...

Trekking is so fun. How I wish my friends knew about that. In my circle of friends, I am the only one who likes this kind of activities. It's so beautiful out there and you look stunning, Russ! :)

Noel said...

Is the crater lake inside of the volcano?

Ling Tan said...

wow! Looks cool! and it sounds like it's easy access from Manila as well! Thanks for the note that children should be able to enjoy the trek - bookmarking this!

Best,
Ling Tan
www.kidsonboard.net

Miss `Chievous said...

I went to Pinatubo for the 4x4! I had fun trekking to the crater. The trail was okay, but I panted big time on the part near the crater. That's the difficult part for me.

Mom Knows Best said...

That is so awesome that you were able to see this. I live in New mexico right next to volcanoes called petroglyph that erupted over a million years, so they say, and are sleeping. The result is black rocks and formations to climb.

Sandra Shaffer said...

What an adventure! The colors of that water are breathtaking! So beautiful!

Shann Soiney said...

This looks like a gorgeous place to hike. I would love to see it some day. Too bad you can't swim, but it sounds like you made a smart decision.

Angela Milnes said...

What an adventure. This looks amazing and something I'd love to do one day if I ever am well enough.

melandria romero said...

what a cozy way to go up the crater of mt. pinatubo, wishing to visit that place someday

Michelle Mink said...

these pictures have made the decision that visiting mt. pinatubo will go on my bucket list. what a lovely looking place

yanique said...

Amazing photos! My friend just got back from the Philippines and I wish I could've shared this with him before his trip. The view is just breathtaking!

ana de jesus said...

Wow what an incredible trip. What was your favourite part?

Claudette P. Esterine said...

I absolutely must visit your country! Beautiful!

Elizabeth O. said...

With a view like that, no trek is ever so difficult. Thanks for sharing your experience plus a few more tips on what to expect! I hope I can go here someday and experience it myself!

Amber N said...

Wow, that looks like a pretty amazing trip. Love the photos.

Angie Scheie said...

Pretty pics! I can't believe you hiked that in your Crocs either! Haha

Bismah Abdelgawad said...

Your photos are all so clear and absolutely beautiful! I love hiking and would enjoy this so much. There is so much to see and experience when hiking along nature.

Marielle Altenor said...

I don't know about wearing Crocs to go on a trek lol I'd have to be wearing comfortable hiking boots.

The Mommy-Files said...

That looks like such an awesome place to visit! Love all the different pictures you shared!