Mt. Pinatubo: What to Wear, What to Bring and What to Expect


On the day of our trek, August 7, 2016, we woke up to a gloomy weather in Capas, Tarlac. It was raining so hard when we arrived in Capas, August 6, 2016.  We woke up at 6:00 AM prepped ourselves for the trek then ate our breakfast. The Mt. Pinatubo Tour Operators follows a strict itinerary for the tourists' safety since Mt. Pinatubo is still an active volcano.

Just in case you missed the first part of this blog entry here's your guide on How To Get To Mt. Pinatubo?



After we ate our breakfast, we were asked to stand by since the tourism office of Capas still didn't give the go signal that it was okay to proceed with the Mt. Pinatubo trek. It was just gloomy and cloudy by the time we woke up but an hour later it started to drizzle! I was getting paranoid that our tour might be cancelled. If our tour gets cancelled, we would not be able to go to Bataan our next destination. The reason why they don't permit trekking to the crater lake because there are still lahar flows within the area when it rains. And then we waited and it drizzled...then it was rain...drizzled again. After waiting for an hour and a half, the tourism office gave their go signal and off we go to the crater lake! Woot!

Before anything else, let me enumerate a few things that you should bring during the trek. If you are a climber, then I think you already know what to bring and wear.

WHAT TO WEAR IN A MT. PINATUBO TREK?

- LIGHT LONG SLEEVED SHIRT AND LEGGINGS. Cover up to protect your skin. The sun was friendly by the time we started trekking Pinatubo because it was cloudy hours before we started our trek. I was complacent of not putting too much sunblock on my exposed skin. As a result, I got burneddddd!

- TREKKING SHOES AND SPORTS SOCKS. I don't want to risk my toenails get hit with those volcanic rocks. Some of my friends who also went to Pinatubo wore slippers or those gladiator rubber sandals. It really depends on the footwear you are most comfortable with.  My initial plan was to wear my Keds sneakers but it is a 4 hour trek to and from Pinatubo. I guess I would have to buy another pair of Keds had I worn it during our trek. You can also wear trekking sandals if you don't want to get your shoes wet. There were some who managed to stay dry all through out the trek. Well, lucky for them. =D

- SUNGLASSES - To protect your eyes from the sun and dust.
- HAT. To protect your face from the sun.



The start off point of the trek is in Brgy. Sta Juliana. We drove by in our 4x4 ride in a vast stretch of land that resulted from the eruption. It was a one hour ride.


Belgian joiners

Before we reached the jump off point, we stopped by and was amazed by these jagged mountains. The mountains were like a cake that was sliced through. It is ironic how amazing it is when it was caused by the 1991 eruption.



Around 8:45 AM, we started our trek to the crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo. The trek was mostly on a flat surface but you have to maneuver your way through the rocks (small and big), volcanic sand (be careful on stepping on those sandy surface because it camouflages like a hard one and once you step on it, it breaks) and little streams of water (yes, you have no choice but to get your shoes wet). Don't forget to bring your PHP 700.00 Botolan fees to be collected halfway thru the trek by the municipal government of Botolan, Zambales.



We trekked between "sliced mountains". It was like a natural wonderland.


Twenty minutes before we reached the crater lake, we came across this signage. I guess I belong to the senior citizens. LOL!

So where do you belong? =D
I was already exhausted. We were walking for almost 2 hours already and the surface started to ascend plus we still have to maneuver thru rocks, sand and streams of water. That is two times the effort. I thought to myself "Mt. Pinatubo, you better be good. I'm so tired already.". =D

I have to disagree with this. MAJESTIC is for MT. MAYON. The suitable adjective for MT. PINATUBO is BREATHTAKING. =)

And so, the breathtaking Mt. Pinatubo crater lake didn't disappoint. I was walking thru the stoned stairs and caught a glimpse of the crater lake. I was so excited to actually witness the lake in whole so I ran. It was breathtaking. It had all these dreamy atmosphere.



We rested and took our lunch. It was already 10:30 AM when we reached the crater lake. It is prohibited to take a swim in the lake. The tour guide let us stay for an hour and a half only. As I've said earlier, they follow a strict itinerary because Mt. Pinatubo is still an active volcano. After we took lots of pictures, we started our trek back to Brgy, Sta Juliana. It was still a 2 hour trek and it was exhausting. We arrived in Bognot home stay around 3:30 PM. We took a rest for awhile and prepped ourselves because we are still bound to Bataan the same day.




WHAT TO BRING IN A MT. PINATUBO TREK?

In a trek, you always have to pack light. Don't bring unnecessary things because it will just add unnecessary load on your backpack. It will just add also to your exhaustion.

WATER or ENERGY DRINK - bring lots of water but just enough for your load. There are snack vendors when you reach the crater lake but they also have a tourist-y price.

SNACKS - I was hungry during our trek. We bought sliced bread with Nutella spread. It is also important to bring sweets since this also adds up to your energy.

SUNBLOCK - Don't be complacent. Even though it will be cloudy when you trek, still put lots of sunblock! I have learned my lesson the hard way. =D

EXTRA CLOTHES - There are comfort rooms when you reach the crater lake so if you want to change you can.

SMALL TOWEL - To wipe all those sweat off your face.

WALKING STICK - optional only. If you have the right balance, you will be fine. 


PIECE OF ADVISE...

I don't want other tourists to experience the possibility of the tour being cancelled. That agony while waiting whether it will push through or not produced so much anxiety. I advise to schedule your tour during summer months from March - June. We went there in the month of August and that's the start of the rainy season. A week after we visited Pinatubo, the scheduled tours of the same agency we booked with was cancelled because it was frequently raining.

If you have doubts visiting Mt. Pinatubo because of the long trek, just go. It will be worth it. =)

The Aeta kids says thank you for coming...=)




The Aetas had been given the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title on May 27, 2009. According to ABS-CBN news article, the title covers over 7,000 hectares of land in some parts of Zambales and Pampanga. This gives the Aetas legal ownership of the lands near Mt. Pinatubo.

LET ME LEAVE YOU WITH THE "LEAVE NO TRACE" PHILOSOPHY...


"Take nothing but pictures."
"Bring nothing but memories."
"Leave nothing but footprints."


-Jen

4 Thoughts:

Juliette @ Snorkels To Snow said...

What an awesome experience! And certainly breathtaking views as well. There are a couple of similar treks in New Zealand which I must get round to doing - Tongariro Crossing & White Island (White Island being the more active volcano & you need gas mask etc). Sounds like an epic journey!

Larry and Jaala said...

Thank you for the great write up on Mt. Pinatubo. It looks like a great adventure!

Olivia Tennant said...

Such a gorgeous view! Your outfit is adorable too!

Louis jo said...

Nice blog & i like it!!!
thanks for sharing & thanks for information


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