Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mt. Pinatubo Trek

Way back 2009, Kharla, Roma, Ayn, Mai and myself left Manila at a very early 2:30 A.M. one Saturday (April 4) to see the picturesque Mt. Pinatubo with our own eyes.  I have seen so many pictures and heard stories of friends who already made it there.  And finally, I had the chance to see it for myself.

We left very early because as advised the crater area of Mt Pinatubo where tourists stay isn't that big.  So we need to get there before many others do to get a good spot. We made it to Capas, Tarlac in less than 2 hours. Noemi, our contact person in Pinatubo Spa Town which is the jump-off point, met us at Jollibee and we had a convoy until we reached the spa in less than an hour. We arrived at this really really dark place (brownout + dusk = zero visibility) and we waited for several minutes until the spa was opened. We were the very first group to arrive; while we were waiting, more and more groups started to pour in.  

Pinatubo spa offers this package which costs PHP1,500 (per head) and includes:
-4x4 ride to the jump-off point of trekking and then back at the spa
-packed lunch
-trek guide
-certificate and souvenir

You can reach Noemi (if she still works there) of Pinatubo Spa at 0928 341 0402.
You might want to bring extra money for there are many enticing services at the spa like the Sulfur Sand Shower and Shiatsu Massage.

After we have registered and settled the payment, it's 4x4 drive time! We rode the SUV for almost 2 hours until we reached the trekking point.  Click here to watch our 4X4 drive video.

Time to test those leg muscles!

It is advisable to wear trekking sandals as you'll pass by several streams.  I did not, and the trek would have been easier if I did.  Too bad I was also not able to enjoy the cold water gushing on my feet.

Be sure to bring a jacket!  Even if it is summer, bring a jacket!  If you are leaving very early, it can be cold.  The 4X4 ride is definitely cold and it can be really chilly up at the crater.  You might regret not bringing one...like some of my friends. :)

The trek took about an hour. Like a video game, there were "easy", "average" and "difficult" stages.  But not that difficult if I were to compare it w/ other trek experiences. When we reached the top at exactly 7:14 AM., all the exhaustion paved off.

We had to take a steep and long flight of stairs (this one made by man, of course) so we can go to the crater itself.

Finding a sturdy stick would be of help.  It will aid you as you trek your way to the crater.  Having something to apply a little of your weight on will reduce the fatigue.

Stairway to almost-heaven - the crater.

The view of the Pinatubo crater was just AMAZING. It was surreal.  The clouds meet the tip of the "volcano formation" plus the blue green waters of the crater, plus the white lahar that looked like snow on some parts of the volcano, plus the fact that this is all just nature made by God. It's quite hard to imagine that this beautiful and amazing volcano once killed hundreds of people.

If I was not wearing a tank top, this photo would have passed as being taken in New Zealand. :)

The water was ice cold and deep. We had our brunch by the waters and just enjoyed the beauty of the place. Only Mai took a dip for a while before we headed back to the 4x4 vehicle.

It started drizzling as we trekked back at around 10 A.M. Thank God the rain didn't continue for it would be really difficult if it did. When we finally reached the end of the trek and rode the 4x4 once again, it was already sunny.

The lahar ash covered all of us including our bags.  My eyelash extensions and Roma's too were also covered by lahar and it looked funny! We laughed non-stop upon waking up and seeing those lahar accumlated on our lashes. The ride was as rough as the first time but we managed. Upon reaching the spa, we decided not to take a shower there, instead head to a beach nearby where we could swim and take all the lahar off our bodies then take a nice refreshing shower.

We decided to head to Subic. After the stop-over for a late lunch, we headed to Camayan Beach Resort where we enjoyed what we did not in Pinatubo, SWIM! 

At this point, I felt like the Pinatubo Trek happened on a different day. Our day was reeeeeeeaally long.

Click here to view more photos.

We made it back to Manila at around 8:30 P.M. on the same day.
Mt. Pinatubo is definitely worth the trek!  

See all TRAVEL posts.


  1. Wonderful blog!^^
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    Glamour Marmalade

  2. Like a video game, there were "easy", "average" and "difficult" stages.

    --- That line alone should convince any adventure-seeking being to take that Pinatubo trek. :D

  3. different stages? meron palang ganun??

    i wonder what stage we took that time..

    probably the easiest.. sad.. i want to go back.. lol

  4. Amazing. Isn't it scary to climb in a sleeping volcano. It might erupt any time while you are there. Haha, just a silly thought. Your blog makes me feel to come over there. Such a nice place!

  5. Mt. Pinatubo erupting while we were trekking it did not cross my mind. :) I hope you get the chance to visit it too, it's worth it.

  6. Being on nature and traversing a demanding terrain in Pinatubo has taught me that life is simple, and you can cross any pass if you have the spirit. The mysterious appearance of a place, a tiny leaf or a colored rock on a trail can reveal to you something about the complexities of life hidden within.
    Really awesome place!!!

  7. This is on my list of places to see!! Someday soon!!


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xoxo, Monique

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