A beautiful disaster: Conquering Mt. Pinatubo

headerA beautiful disaster- that’s the best way to describe the beauty of Mt. Pinatubo.

“I met a group of travelers who are going to Mt. Pinatubo next week. Do you want to join?” my friend, Sarah, asked. Upon hearing her question,  my initial reaction was: “of course I want to! Game!’

Mt. Pinatubo, just like Mt. Pulag, is one of my dream hikes. I’ve seen countless photos of Mt. Pinatubo from the people that I follow on social media and admittedly, it has piqued my interest. The blue-green water and huge white rocks looked so good on Instagram that I came to a point where I’ve pinned countless blog posts about the place. Not to mention that Mt. Pinatubo has been featured in a local rom-com movie which hyped my interest to see this gorgeous volcano even more in person.

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Aeta kids selling bamboos to hikers.

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It was 2:30 AM that Sunday of March, when we met up with the travel group at Jollibee Cubao. I was surprised to see so many groups of hikers inside. I later learned that Jollibee Cubao was a common meeting place for hikers and it’s so nice to see different groups headed to different destinations. I was sleepy and hungry that time but my heart was bursting with excitement.

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Our journey to Pinatubo began by riding the 4×4. I was excited (and at the same time disappointed because I wanted the open 4×4 but we ended up in a closed one hahaha) to try this ride for the first time. Well, it was fun but also tiring- imagine being shaken for an hour, with dust and mud all sticking to your hair and face. But it was thrilling nevertheless and I’m looking forward to trying it again.

DSC_7202DSC_7245.jpgTrekking this volcano is easy. I’d rate it a 2/9, and you can finish the trek up to the crater within 3-4 hours max.  The landscape was surreal. It was white and gray all over, with large rocks and canyon-like walls. There were Aeta kids around and they were friendly enough to take photos with us.

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Upon reaching the summit, we were greeted by a beautiful crater that took our breaths away. Never mind the heat of the sun and the exhausting 2 hour trek, the view of the crater was worth the effort. I was staring at the view  with my mouth open and endless “ang ganda” (so beautiful!) comments coming from my mouth as I take pictures of the view.

Sadly, kayaking and swimming are no longer allowed here but you can still hike down to the edge and dip your toes just to feel the water while admiring the view. We sat down by the grassy area near the lake where we savored our lunch while talking with our fellow hikers.

To say that we took lots of photos was an understatement. You can sit here for hours and just admire the beauty that surrounds you. What an amazing Creator we have. His works are truly amazing!

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Mt. Pinatubo is one of the world’s most famous volcanoes. When it erupted back in 1991, it was considered the second most intense eruption of the 20th century. It was catastrophic and the event even caused sulfuric haze, causing the global temperature to go down by a few centigrade. But now, hikers from all over are coming to Pinatubo to witness its beauty.

It’s amazing how God creates and how He transforms. From the ashes Mt. Pinatubo turned into something this breathtaking. As I stood there taking it all in, I knew how amazing our God is. He can transform something chaotic into something this magnificent. A beautiful disaster, indeed.

TIPS & WHATNOT:

  • Usually, people join organized tours for this trip. But if you’re opting for DIY, you can ride a bus going to Capas Public Market, Tarlac. From there, you may catch a jeepney going to Pinatubo Spa Town in Sta. Juliana.
  • Pack light! Though an easy trek, you’d still opt to bring less so your shoulders won’t be sore from hiking.
  • Bring LOTS of water. It is a long trek and that time, it was really hot plus the prices of food & drinks there are really expensive (about 100php for a bottle of coke).
  • Bring light snacks too. I recommend Jelly Ace, it helps regain your energy.
  • Wear comfortable trekking sandals/shoes.
  • Bring your sun gear! A cap and sunglasses will do.
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