Year 1991, Mt. Pinatubo became famous worldwide when it produced the second largest terrestrial eruption in the 20th century. I was 3 years old then, and I was in Pampanga.
Since then, I became fascinated with this volcano. And now, I had the chance to be fascinated with it in a different way.
They say beauty sometimes comes from disaster, and Pinatubo has strongly proved it. After 1991, Pinatubo has become somehow dormant (I can’t confirm, due to my little knowledge in Volcanology) Through the years, Pinatubo is marking its name in Philippine Tourism. I have heard about the hot spring and “lahar” spa. So when I had the chance, me and my boyfriend decided to take Pinatubo Trek.
If you google it, there are lots of groups and travel agencies that offers tour to Pinatubo. However, most of them require a minimum number of individuals, mostly around 10 and price will depend on that. As it is just me and Kenneth, getting a tour on weekday would not be budget friendly. So, we decided to do it on our own.
Starting point of the trek is at Sta. Julian Capas Tarlac Satellite Tourism. As we came from Pampanga, drive to the Satellite Tourism is shorter, an hour or two maybe (we got lost a bit haha!)
We were advised that there’s also another satellite tourism in Porac, Tarlac but Sta. Juliana is more known and we don’t want to risk it.
At the tourism center, we registered and paid for the following:
- 3,500 PHP – 4×4 truck to take you to the starting point of the trek (It’s just me and boyfie, but this can be shared for up to 5 persons)
- 500 PHP – Tour guide
- 300 PHP – Entrance Fee per visitor
In addition, reserve 750PHP cash per visitor as you need to pay another entrance fee when you reached the border on Botolan, Zambales.
We hopped in on our 4×4 truck along with the driver and our tour guide. 30 minutes of a very bumpy road, we arrived on our first stop, the Toblerone-shaped formation.
There are some young Aetas waiting here. They are being paid by others, mostly foreigners for just taking their pictures.
Another 10 minutes, we arrived on our starting point. From here, we were advised that it will take 2 hours or more to reach the peak. Where the majestic crater is waiting.
By the way, be prepared during the trek. You have to bring water and energy bars. We haven’t seen any stores along the way. It is also strongly recommended to start the trek early as it gets very hot during noon time. And also, it is not recommended to do the trek on rainy season (obviously)
The walk was fun. Tiring but definitely fun. Small and big rocks and rivers, it was nature’s beauty at its purest form. I don’t have enough words to describe its beauty so I’ll just show it to you.
We don’t see that much of people trekking as it is weekday and it feels like we have the place all by ourselves.
When we reached the last resting point, we had our drink and rested for few minutes. From here, a sign says:
Almost pressured us to finish before 20 minutes, we’re not that old!
But it is definitely worth it!!! MAGICAL…… that’s all I could say as I catch my breath and see the crater for the first time.
I’ve seen it in pictures, but nothing compares in seeing it personally. I thought they were just editing it, doing Photoshop and all. But no filter is needed here.
We stayed there for 20 minute to rest. We would love to stay there longer, but it’s almost noontime now, and with no breakfast, we’re getting hungry. Though what worried us more is the rain. They predicted rains in the afternoon so we have to go down before it pours as it will be difficult and dangerous going back on a bad weather.
Though tired, we still enjoyed our way back.
Definitely, this trek is on top of my list!