Sunday, March 21, 2010

Conquering Mt. Pinatubo

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6:45am we left Cubao terminal via Victory liner bus. Without any particular contact, we (I am with three gal friends) went off with the only thing in mind is to reach Mt. Pinatubo’s crater. Yes, it’s a hit or miss plan.

8:53am we took off Capaz Tarlac junction and the real journey began. (Mt. Pinatubo is physically located at Zambales but the only trail available to reach the mountain is through Tarlac)

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With a limited budget, we considered every single cent we spent. The original plan was to work with agency. The cheapest we got was Php2000.00/pax for a minimum of eight people. But since we’re just four it went up to almost Php4000.00 just for a single day. Thus we decided to do it ourselves.

From junction we took tricycle to Sta. Juliana where we coordinated with Pinatubo Spa Town for 4x4 vehicle, local tour guide, food (lunch - they offer Filipino and Korean foods) and permit to climb Pinatubo Mountain. I believe it is also the contact of agencies offering Pinatubo trek. There are no fixers in the area the prices offered are fixed.  All 4x4 rides are members of association.

The 4x4 ride was one of the highlights of the journey. Crossing the desert of El Dyablo’s vast area of volcanic mud and ascending the skyway to the crater gave way to magnificent scenes of mountains. There were mountain walls that looked like assemblage of stalactites; and some that looked like a painting with arrays of colors - it's a masterpiece! There were carabaos, chickens, colorful birds  along the way.  It was a 1 ½ ride of awespme excitement and astonishment. 

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From the jump off area we trekked for at least 20 minutes to the crater. Upon reaching Mt. Pinatubo's crater my initial reaction was ‘Whoa, magnificent!". Imagine, we were inside the crater of the country’s most disastrous volcano! The blue green color of the ‘lake’ as they call it amused us, and it’s so beautiful and serene. Out of curiosity I tasted the lake's water and it's neither putrid nor sulfuric. It's just plain and insipid.

From inside we can see the volcanoes wall. The scene was very splendid and “It’s all worth it”!

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We reached Mt. Pinatubo crater for Php1940.00!

Expenses

Bus from Cubao to Capaz Tarlac = Php145.00 2
Trysicle to Sta. Juliana Php300.00/4 pax =  Php75.00 2
4x4 ride (inclusive of lunch, driver/guide = Php1500.00/3

*Be informed that there is no mobile network available at the crater.
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Note:  To save bring essentials with you (foods,water), the prices in the crater is twice the original price of commodities. 

A revised sample coordinates the mod wallet.



10 comments:

  1. thanks for this.. great info re: Pinatubo trekking.

    cheers!

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  2. hello! thanks for the info... is it easier or hassle if we commute, or would you prefer if we plan to get a package of 2,200/pax roundtrip(mnl-capas-mnl? thanks a lot

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  3. @Anonymous:

    Yes it's a hassle if you will commute compared to havin your own service.

    The Php2,200.00/pax is not a bad deal.
    That includes everything right? (van service, lunch, permits, 4x4, tour guide?)

    How many are you traveling? Are you traveling with kids?

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  4. i've always wanted to try trekking and i really wanna go to mt.pinatubo..but i have no idea how to start and give it a try..did you hire any guide for your trekking?

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  5. @Anonymous:

    Don't worry, you don't need trekking experience to reach the Pinatubo Crater. It's just 15-20 minutes walk literally.

    The Php1500.00 4x4 ride is inclusive of everything (permits, lunch, driver and GUIDE) you really don't need to worry.

    Keep me posted :-)

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  6. Hey there! thanks for the guideline this would be a big help on a wonderful escapade going to pinatubo. thanks missy

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  7. hi.. were planning to go to mt. pinatubo this sunday.. can we ask for directions? where to ride a bus, san baba in capaz tarlac etc? thanks... and how long will it take to complete the tour.. thanks thanks! :)-sophie

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  8. @Sophie: are you comin from Manila? It's in Victory Liner Cubao along edsa. You may check their site http://www.victoryliner.com/tripschedules2.htm (contact numbers included) so you can choose whichever is accessible to you.

    Jump off point is at Capaz Tarlac JUNCTION then tricycle to Sta. Juliana. Full detail discussed in this blog.

    If you're referring to the 'tour' itself one day is enough.

    bus ride from manila to tarlac - 3-4 hrs
    tricycle from junction to Sta Juliana - almost an hour
    4x4 ride to pinatubo - 1 hour

    Have fun!

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  9. Thanks for this... very informative!

    ReplyDelete

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