Friday, July 23, 2010

Exploring Mount Pinatubo

June 1991. Woke up. When my feet touched the floor, I felt...flour.
I looked out and I thought it snowed in the Philippines.
Mount Pinatubo erupted.
It rained ashes in Metro Manila.
Mount Pinatubo's eruption killed lives, and rendered people homeless and helpless.

Scary yet magnificent

December 2009. 18 years later, Mount Pinatubo is now a tourist destination. I saw amazing pictures of the crater and I wondered if the crater was as blue as it was in the photos of a DSLR.

We got the package offered by Nature Spa Town.

Package Inclusion (minimum of 4 pax)
4 x 4 Ride to the crater
Service of a local guide
Conservation Fee
Lunch in Pinatubo Spa Town
Use of facilities

Boating was actually included. However, Typhoon Ondoy destroyed them. We were not able to do boating. Boooooooo.

Our journey began at 4:00am. We arrived in Capas, Tarlac at around 6:30am. No Globe signal there. Booo.

Army guys around town

The jump-off point is Spa Town. Their HQ is pretty organized. They list down the groups that went off, for precautionary measures. Each guide is equipped with a walkie talkie.

We then rode the oh-so-cool 4 x 4 jeep for a one-hour bumpy and dusty ride.

One dusty trip comin up!

I learned that these were high high mountains before the eruption.

This is the starting point of the trek. Of course we belong to the Young Age group!

The trek to the crater was pretty easy. What took time was...picture taking!

Sulfur and Stones:

Around 10am. We are here! The guy in yellow is our guide.

Breathtaking. Ang ganda talaga ng Pilipinas!

Couldn't figure out why the water was sooooo blue. Or how it became that blue. Even the guides can't explain them. All they say is that "It is natural". I am flabbergasted how a lake could be this amazingly blue when it all came from...rainfall, right?

Time for the group pic.

The motto of the Pinatubo Council:
Take nothing but pictures.
Kill nothing but time.
Leave nothing but footprints

This is nature's way of healing itself, and saying "Sorry" perhaps.

Pinatubo Alps

We basically just camwhored and swam for a couple of hours. The water in the crater has a sulfuric flavor =). You can swim, although there were signs that swimming was not allowed. Some group lent us the lifejackets. Don't jump in if you don't know how to swim. There's no lifeguard.

2pm. We were famished, tired and dirty when we returned in Spa Town. We decided that food was the priority. We proceeded with scrubbing the dust off after.

Nature Spa Town offers massage, Hot Volcanic Sand Spa, Mud Bath and other relaxing treatments. Although I am not a fan of massages (coz I’m ticklish), I tried their overall body massage. The massage costs Php 500 for 1 hour and 20mins of massage. It was delightful - felt so light after.

The Budget

Approximate Cost per pax

Pinatubo Spa Town Package






Gas/toll fees contribution (4 pax)

Approximately 300

Mcdo stopover on the way home




No pasalubong items. I thought some of the souvenir items in the Spa Town were quite pricey.

Travel Attire
Protect yourself from the sun! Wear a light long-sleeved jacket!
The trek is pretty easy.
A good pair of walking sandals with straps is advisable for the trek.
If you plan to dip in the water, wear your swimclothes underneath. There were no changing areas in the crater. You can wash all the ashes and sulphur away in Spa Town.

Things to Bring
Small packpack
Light towel
Camera & accessories
Plastic bag for wet clothes
Insect repellant
Drinking water
Food stash

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! Pinatubo has been sitting on my list for so long. I should go there soon!


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