The road to Pinatubo
The Road to Pinatubo
They say that there’s always a rainbow after the rain. And true to that, the mighty Mount Pinatubo in Zambales is a living testament to that adage. Once the site of one of the most devastative natural catastrophe to ever happen in the Philippine history, the 1991 eruption of this mighty volcano has literally buried the town of Capas, Tarlac and nearby environs with tons and tons of volcanic ashes or more known as ‘Lahar’. As I recall my mom’s story, we were still living in Manila during the eruption of Pinatubo, I was still a toddler then and she told me she still felt the ground shook all the way to our house. The ash cloud was still visible in Manila all the way from Tarlac and Zambales. And our car back then was also covered with ashes. That’s how she described how powerful the blast of the mighty Pinatubo was. Now, fast forward to 2012, who would have thought that the same site that took hundreds of people lives and left many more without shelter is now a tourist spot and has seen a steady increase in its visitor every year. Well with its history alone, people would flock this place just to see the actual site, but find out more why this once feared Mountain has been drawing lots and lots of interest from travellers.

The way that leads to the crater of Mount Pinatubo in Zambales is still mainly covered with ‘lahar’. The jump-off point though is in the province of Tarlac. From the town of Capas, you will need to rent a 4x4 vehicle and register to acquire the services of a local guide, which mostly also offers packed lunch as part of the package. From there, it’s about an hour or so of bumpy ride with ‘lahar’ hitting you in the face every now and then.

This trip was special to me since this is the first time me and my girlfriend went on a trip outside Pangasinan. This is also the largest gathering of our group the PTB Bagets, there were 30 of us I think, and I finally got to meet most of the manila-based travel bloggers, even met some Davao and Cebu-based bloggers, Hi Renz! Hi Ms. Doi!

Since the skyway has been destroyed by recent typhoons, the trekking part starts earlier than it should have been before, say from 30-minutes to I guess just around 3 hours. The parking area for the 4x4’s though will give time for rest and some photo ops before starting the 3-hour trek to the crater.


From thereon, it’s 3-hours of non-stop walk under the scorching sun with nothing to see but tons and tons of ‘lahar’ oh and small bodies of water too.


_DSC1919But after all that, just the sight of this view will make it all worth-while.
Mount Pinatubo Crater
Who would have thought that the strong destructive blast of Pinatubo could shape this wonderful crater and produced pristine waters.

Some of us took a dipped in the turquoise water, while some decided to explore the other side of the crate where part of the water was boiling, I guess still due to some volcanic activity. Yikes!


Pinatubo Stone Art
We stayed until around 5 in the afternoon, and our guide made a ‘Stone Art’ while waiting for us. Guess they got bored. Should have offered them stories of my flights tenerife to kept them from being impatient.

After the 3-hour hike back to the 4x4’s, I can only muster so much of my strength to take this last shot of the sunset on the way back. Finally I can say, I have conquered the mighty Mount Pinatubo!


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