And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.~ William Shakespeare

Our Mt. Pinatubo Day Trek Challenge was a challenge from the start. It was quite demanding when you have a changing weather, tentative participants and a certain budget to meet.

After some last minute cancellations, we ironed out the final details from budget to transportation and groupings. Check out our Mt. Pinatubo Itinerary here. In the end, we were able to list 18 participants.

18 participants, that goes to say that we were lacking 2 people in the group to make it an even number.  We didn’t get any discount with the 4×4 jeeps so we still have to divide the expenses of 20 down to 18. Good thing, we were able to cancel the other van we reserved and the owner was very understanding.

Our meeting time is 2 in the morning at Shell Station in Ayala Avenue. By half past 2, we were already sailing through NLEX.

We we’re down with 1 van and Mhike’s SUV. Mhike agreed to use his car after finding out that the van will not be as comfy if we crowd it.

Tines, Regs, Grace, Malen, Jen A, Jen G, Joanne, Badette, Icze, Cat, Ace, Ferdie and I fit ourselves to the van. We were ready to catch some sleep.

Rogel, Liezl, Anna, Dang & Mhike were behind us.

Since we are going on a convoy. We made a Stop over at Shell Select Bulacan for early breakfast and take-out. Then off to a long road trip again.

Dropped by at Mc Donald’s in Capas to ask for direction and last minute meal provisions. After a few more turns, and gazillion Reycat’s political posters later, we landed at the tourism office.

7:00 AM : We registered and divided the group by 4 jeeps. Each has one driver and a guide. We were so ready for the rough ride, sans any injuries. There were other groups ahead of us and a few more trailing behind.

One hour of rough ride, shallow waters, soft lahar land, ah, this makes a different weekend haven. It is equally an amazing experience should we proceeded by foot. It’s unsafe though during rainy season.

If you want to bring your own off road vehicle, you just need to register from the tourism office and get a guide.

The bumpy ride, amazing blue skies, and rolling hills are some things we love about a nature getaway. Something that our future generation might not see if we aren’t keen on keeping it the way it should be. An all natural stress-relief just by energizing the body and mind while embracing nature.

After bouncing off our energy, we reached a dead end, that seems to be a huge parking lot. From here, we have to walk to the crater for about 1 hour. But since, we weren’t in a hurry and we don’t have enough preparation to trek, we’re taking it slowly. Photo op for the most part of the break.

The trail seemed unending. I was so close in asking our guide, “are we there yet?”

So much for expecting a 30 minutes trek. The road was badly out of shape. Huge rocks from everywhere, which forced the jeep club to make the parking area a pit stop. This left us with only one choice, to trek for 1 hour and 20 minutes to the crater lake.

A light drizzle welcomed us when we reach the crater. The sky is a mix of dark clouds and blue horizon with the occasional sun streak.

The view is breathtaking, I can’t even imagine if I can make a fine print of Mt. Pinatubo in my mind. Everywhere we stand is a different landscape view. The crater lake  have taken the boundaries of 3 towns, Pampanga, Zambales and Tarlac.

It saddens me that  years from now, this place will just be a part of history. The surrounding lahar mountain walls are eroding gradually. The caldera may eventually collapse and this park and crater will be gone forever.

We positioned ourselves to eat lunch down the crater. Some groups hired the boat to transport them to the other side of the crater for P350 each. The others were more adventurous and took a dip through the cold waters.

The heavy rain poured after our delicious meal. We had to seek comfort at the nearest picnic hut. We used the time to introduce everyone to each other.

When the rain finally stopped, our guide proposed to start our trek back to the jeep. We are an hour early but we never know if the rain will be stronger so instead of risking to be trapped in our soaking clothes, we followed our guide without uncertainty.

It was a different trekking experience this time. The rain shower was heavier but I enjoyed it and almost everyone did. Its a nice diversion while concentrating on not to trip over the sharp rock edges. The cool water streams are soothing too. I miss the rain. and it was the first time I trek under such bad weather. But it was a blessing. No one was hurt.

As if the weather was teasing us, the rain stopped when we reached the parking area. And for the record, some of us were able to doze off during a bumpy ride. Exhaustion took its toll that even the sharp turn and rugged terrain  feels like a rhythm swinging us to sleep.

Use of bathroom at Mt. Pinatubo Spa Town is P100 each. It comes with a towel, soap and locker. We find the price a bit steep but we can’t help but to avail this to shower and change clothes following our encounter with dusty road and a surprised nature shower.

When everyone is refreshed, It is then a battle between Sisig Restaurant and Isdaan. Sisig Restaurant won by slightly a few more votes. Headed to Angeles City to savor the best Sisig in town, tokwa’t baboy and more before going home.

We had a blast and even if it was just a day of adventure, we were able to shake off some stress, get away from the bustling city life, reunite with old friends and gain some new ones.

Contact Numbers:
Wendell – 4×4 Jeep Service 09196084313
Rent A Van – Sally 215-5645  | 0917-8239111 or Efren 964-8534  | 0917-8070911

Photo Credits:

Independence Day at Mt. Pinatubo by Rogel
Mt. Pinatubo Independence Day Trek by Ferdie
Pinatubo Shots by Malen
Mt. Pinatubo Trek by Tines
Independence Trek by Jen

Special thanks to Chyng for the itinerary and 4×4 jeep contact details.

All natural cardio workout!

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