Bucket List: How To Get To Mt. Pinatubo?

I am so broke. This is my 3rd trip for this year but as they say travel while you are still young! I think my motto would be "Travel now, pulubi later (Travel now, get broke later)". LOL!

One of my bucket list trips is to witness the breathtaking crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo. It erupted on June 15, 1991 and was considered as the second largest eruption of the 20th century. Mt. Pinatubo wreaked havoc in the northern part of the Philippines specifically in the parts of Zambales (Pinatubo is part of the Zambales mountains), Tarlac and Pampanga. The same day of the eruption Typhoon Yunya passed through Luzon causing more damage in the form of lahar flows. According to reports the casualties of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption was less thanks to the close coordination of the communities and the government. Okay so let's stop talking about the disaster because right now the crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. It is right to call it a Beautiful Disaster.


We touched down in NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) from MCIA (Mactan Cebu International Airport) around 6:30 AM on August 6, 2016. Next stop is to go to Victory Liner Bus terminal in Pasay where you can ride buses going NORTH BOUND.  This can be a little tricky ---well at least for us because we spent almost two hours looking for the right Victory Liner terminal. That's 2 precious hours wasted ladies and gentlemen. So, Victory Liner has two bus terminals: NORTH BOUND and SOUTH BOUND.

You can ride a metered taxi from NAIA going to Victory Liner Bus terminal in Pasay. Taxi fare is around Php 100.00-150.00. In the bus terminal, you can ask the staff which bus will take you to Capas, Tarlac that will pass in Capas Junction. We took the bus bound for Baguio and just informed the bus conductor to drop us at McDonald's Capas, Tarlac. We departed in Pasay 10:40 AM and arrived in Capas 1:10 PM. Bus fare is PHP 180.00/person.

Once in Capas, Tarlac, there are tricycles who would offer you a ride going to known home stays for Mt. Pinatubo tourists. After we ate our lunch in McDonald's (which is like one of the worst because there were a lot of flies inside the vicinity), we rode a tricycle going to Bognot Homestay. While on our way to our hotel, the heavens started to rumble a bit then a little later it started to RAIN...hard!!! A Mt. Pinatubo tourist's worst nightmare!! Tours are cancelled if the weather is bad because there are still lahar flows up to this day.

It was an hour and a half tricycle ride with heavy rains pouring on us. We departed from McDonald's Capas 2:00 PM and arrived in Bognot Homestay 3:30 PM. Tricycle fare is PHP 300.00/one way trip not per person.


Bognot Homestay is a known place for Mt. Pinatubo tourists. We stayed here for PHP 1,000.00/per night so divided by 2 that's PHP 500.00/person. Their rooms are clean but the room where we stayed was part of a house that was made into a hotel. There was a kitchen and a living room just like a family home. One thing I didn't like though is that we had a common CR with other guests. Our room has no TV and the only telco with a cellphone signal is Smart.


I also suggest if you stay in Bognot Homestay you better buy your dinner in the town proper because their dinner menu was a bit pricey. Our dinner costs PHP 160.00/each. If you are on a beer budget, you can just buy a chicken fillet meal in McDonald's for dinner.


After searching thru the internet, we decided to book with Mt. Pinatubo Jolly Tours. They don't have an updated website but they are legit. They also don't issue an official receipt. Good thing with MPJT though is that the owner really helped us get the cheapest tour package. The minimum pax in a 4 x 4 ride is 5. There were only two of us so to get the cheapest package she let us joined the three Belgians during our Pinatubo tour. Our tour package inclusions with rates of PHP 1,900/person are:
4x4 ride
Local Guide
Conservation Fee
Entrance fee
Brgy Fee
Packed Lunch
Certificate of Conquest

Aside from that, Botolan fees of Php 700.00/person are collected halfway thru the trek. Botolan fees are imposed by the municipal government of Botolan, Zambales.  I hope they would use the fees to preserve the surroundings of Mt. Pinatubo. 

Mt. Pinatubo Jolly Tours partnered with Bognot Homestay so all their guests get to stay here. Inclusion of our PHP 500.00/night per person is a free breakfast.


You can contact Ms. Jo of Mt. Pinatubo Jolly Tours with these numbers:
Email: mtpinatubojollytour@yahoo.com

You have to be patient for her to reply because cellphone signal is limited in their area.

Summary of expenses PER PERSON:
Php 150.00 - taxi
Php 180.00 - bus fare to Capas, Tarlac
Php 100.00 - lunch at McDonald's
Php 300.00 - tricycle fare to and from Bognot Homestay
Php 500.00 - room rate
Php 1,900.00 - Mt. Pinatubo tour rate
Php 700.00 - Botolan fees
Php 3,830.00/person

Hope that helped! =) Stay tuned for my next blog entry. Our trek to Mt. Pinatubo and tips on what to wear and what to bring. =)


1 Thoughts:

Leslie said...

Im definitely adding this to my bucket list! Hah, im always broke now but i have a lot to get on once i retire, hah. This looks like a lot of fun!