Please do not look down on the Aetas. Acknowledge their presence with respect, and if you can, please give them some nutritional and/medicinal aid. Do you know that Mt. Pinatubo is now owned by Aetas? An area of at least 15,998 hectares including Mt. Pinatubo has been registered at the Registry of Deeds in Zambales as a Certificate of Ancestral...more
Mount Pinatubo is an active volcano at the intersection of the borders of the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga in Luzon, the biggest island of the Philippines. Before the volcano's eruption in June 1991, ancestral Pinatubo looked just like an ordinary mountain covered with dense forest. It served as home to several thousand indigenous...more
Swimming at the Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake is not recommended, BUT NOT PROHIBITED. Although there are warning signs that the crater lake has undetermined depth, and so swimming is not recommended, I saw many tourists taking a dip as soon as they arrived at the shore. Perhaps, after a long, dusty ride and tiring walk, it was most tempting to take a...more
There used to be open cottages made of indigenous materials for picnics at the Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake Park. Now, there are more stable and beautiful picnic cottages at the Park Grounds and at the Crater lake shore. We had our lunch at the cottage near the shore where the sight was breathtaking and the wind was so refreshing.more
Crater Boating is an exciting experience. You have to make arrangements and payments at the Pinatubo Spa Town beforehand if you'd like to go crater boating. (If you're joining a tour group, you have to inform your tour operator ahead, as crater boating is usually not part of the tour package.) The boat can accommodate up to 7persons. It is manually...more
Upon arrival at the Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake Park, head for the Photo Den if you'd like to take good shots... Well, it's not really a den as you would normally associate with the word; it's more like a view deck where it's best to set up your tripod, or even have your own souvenir pictures with the crater lake as background. There are two Photo...more
With the extension of the Skyway, trekking time was cut short. A wooden sign at the start of the trek trail has this inscription: "Welcome to Mount Pinatubo Your trek starts here For: Young Age 15 Minutes Middle Age 18 Minutes Senior Citizen 20 Minutes Where do you belong?"The sign seemed to put undue pressure on us...but I tell you, if you...more
A lake was formed in the volcano's crater. Although some people dare to swim along the shore, swimming is generally discouraged for safety and health reasons. While it may look calm and inviting, the blue-green water has high sulfur content and strong current. As an alternative activity, there is a paddle boat available at P250/pax (max of 3 pax)...more
Mt. Pinatubo's crater is a sight to behold! And the scenery along the trek is awesome! These are just 2 reasons why a trek to Mt. Pinatubo should not be missed.There are 2 routes on reaching the summit: (1) The long way which involves an hour 4x4 jeep ride on a desert-like valley and a trek of at least 2 hours on big rocks, streams, and vegetation;...more
From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway, exit at Sta. Ines toll gate. From there, take the MacArthur Hwy towards Bamban and Capas in Tarlac. Drive past the Capas market, take a left turn to Brgy. Sto. Rosario (first left turn after junction at Caltex Station). Drive straight ahead until you reach Brgy. Sta. Juliana, the gateway to Mt. Pinatubo...more
While Mt. Pinatubo is geographically part of Botolan (Zambales Province), the jump off point to the trek is Brgy. Sta. Juliana in Capas (Tarlac Province). It is the most accessible and nearest point from Manila. Capas is about 2 hours drive from Manila via the North Luzon Expressway. At the end of NLEX, there are 2 routes that can be taken: via...more
There has been so much controversy about the Skyway and the shortcut trail to Mt. Pinatubo crater. Even the Department of Tourism has issued a disclaimer re: accidents that may occur as a result of using the shortcut. To be sure about your safety, use the Skyway and shortcut only during dry season, NEVER during the rainy season... But with climate...more
After the long, bumpy ride and challenging trek up to Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake Park, I thought it was the end of our "exercie". I didn't realize our tour group would have lunch at the cottage by the shore, and that meant going down the 185 steps. The steps are jokingly called "American-size steps" because each step is wide and high, maybe easy to...more
While walking around the Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake grounds, I noticed signs that said: "No shouting please...Noise can cause soil erosion". Curious, I asked (in the vernacular) some Aeta girls who asked me to take their pictures if there were still parts of the crater that cave in or erode. They pointed to me the part of the crater wall which their...more
Luggage and bags:
Travel light, carry either a small backpack or a belt bag. The latter would be advisable, but the former is more practical especially for carrying your food supplies, first aid kit, change of clothes, towel, and camera.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Wear a shirt made of light material (e.g. cotton) with sleeves that can cover your arms and long pants (e.g. jogging pants, leggings) that can cover your legs. Wear socks, preferably the "mitten" type and a good traction sneakers or sandals. Make sure that you are comfortable with your footwear to avoid blisters. Bring a wide-brimmed hat.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring first aid kit, sun block, and wet tissues.
Photo Equipment: Place your camera in zip-lock plastic bag to protect it from getting wet or acquiring dust.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Camping and swimming are both allowed. Just bring jacket or blanket as it gets cold in the afternoon.
Miscellaneous: Carry at least a liter of water for obvious reason. Supplement it with energy-giving food and beverage such as chocolates, bananas, Gatorade. And whether you intend to do a day trip or stay overnight, bring enough food supplies (and cooking equipment, if necessary) as there is no fast food or restaurant in sight.
No need to bring your mobile phone as there is ABSOLUTELY NO NETWORK SIGNAL as soon as you enter Camp O'Donnell. Your mobile phone will just be an unnecessary baggage.