Trekking Mt Pinatubo

16 04 2012
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Luzon, Philippines

Mt Pinatubo is located in the provinces of Zambales, Pampanga and Tarlac.

Hence there are 3 routes or jump off for your hiking adventure:

1.    Sta Juliana, Capas Tarlac – good for day hike because of the organized 4×4 association that could bring you to the last passable area. This trail was used to be “multiple days”. For the suggested itinerary >>

2.    Porac, Pampanga – takes multiple days with never ending river crossing. Be warned on the trail as it is composed of the Pinatubo’s lahar deposits characterized by sandy volcanic rock and ash. Although these are small particles, they could hit you real hard. My OMish friend Ran ended up with bruises even at the start of the hike while I ended up groping for light. My torch (head lamp) got busted while night river trekking.

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3. San Marcelino, Zambales – takes multiple days with abundant lush green foliage and flowing streams abound. Amidst the dense forest, there is an opportunity to immerse with Aetas, the local tribe as you hike up. Aetas are very friendly to the extent that they might give you some fruits and native baskets like what the wife of Manong William, the chieftain have given me and my friends during the exploratory climb in Q1 2006. Mind the routes as they are tricky during the night. My Breadship friend Bucopie almost got lost during our descend. h




4 responses

25 04 2012
Dipankar Ghosh

Very Nice, How many people went?

25 04 2012

Mt Pinatubo via Capas is a favorite place for even non-climbers.
During good months*, one will see visitors coming from various countries as well.
We were about 100 that weekend!

*best months to go, where SAFETY is the main thing to consider: Jan-May, Wk1-Wk2 of Dec, no typhoon months. Trails differ during wet season and water level goes high)

9 03 2013
PeeJay Lamug

Hi, can I just ask where the most challengging jumpoff is? Me and my friends are climbers and we want somekind of a challenge, after climbing Mt. Pulag, we’re longing to climb again..^^ thanks

11 03 2013

Hi PeeJay,
I was on my way for another adventure when you dropped by a line. Your question is very tricky. “Most challenging jumpoff” may be subjective. Your friends may have different likes or dislikes. However, if I could get your imagination for a quick second, you could try 1) San Marcelino, ZAMBALES jumpoff for a multiple day adventure (3 nights and 4 days). You could see different flora and fauna. Herds of cow, horses and carabaos abound towards end of the day while they cross the abundant river within the vast land of the area. Make sure you still catch the sun to make it more dramatic. That is, if you are into photography. See the locals popularly known as Aetas and observe how they spend Sundays with Koreans. Yes, there are quite a number of volunteer Koreans equipped with generator who shares Bible study with the Aetas. It is just sad that Filipinos didn’t choose to go to these places and share something about our Creator. As you go deep into the forest, you will be lucky to see civet cat known as “Alamid” or even their poop! Then, the following day, see birds of various species from “maya” to those loveable in “blue”-colored ones.

2)PORAC, Pampanga for a river crossing and bouldering adventure (1 night and 2 days). You could see water source in a nearby cave. But be warned: I survived the water deposit here (I guess), for our merienda coffee but not in Pampanga city (for my dinner soup in a carinderia!). A lingering thought though for I ended up like a vegetable in Makati Med after the hike. Root cause was H2O. My doctor and I could not decipher which water source – from Pinatubo or the one from carindera.
3) CAPAS, Tarlac for a day hike or break-in. Good for hike, swim, kayaking and boat ride.

I hope I could be of more help. The best is for you to connect with the local tourism office so they could guide you specially the ZAMBALES trail as this has not been commercially exploited.

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