More than 2 decades ago, terror was spread across the rich land of Central Luzon. Terror that was caused by the destructive 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption. Giant boulders, flowing lava and suffocating gases were unleashed by a mighty volcano. It left many families homeless, destroyed millions worth of properties and ended numerous lives. It seems that nature took vengeance to mankind. However, it did not end there, soon after the explosion, heavy downpour of rain came in. Ashes spewed by the volcano mixed with the raging flood, creating a lahar which destroyed anything that blocked its path.
I was not yet born by that time, but by just listening to the stories and watching footage of this of this grim past really horrifies me, and I really feel sorry for the victims of this catastrophic event.
A Tourist Spot Was Born
I was one of the 30 travelers who were given a chance to visit the mighty destroyer 21 years after the great Pinatubo eruption. The mountain that was once cursed by most people now brings them ka-ching.
Extreme 4x4 Ride
After an approx 3 hour road trip from Manila, our group arrived at Capas, Tarlac (around 6:00 am). Our 4x4 adventure began as soon as we registered and paid for the package.
|at the Capas Tourism Center|
|another one bites the dust|
it was really dusty the entire 4x4 ride
|awesome landscape along the way|
|we were halted by this incident for like 10 minutes|
its wheel was stuck in the sand
|another awesome landscape|
Trekking on the Lahar Field
Fields of sand, water streams, and a few grassy area - these are the scenes you'll encounter during the entire 2 hour trek. We were just so lucky that the sun wasn't striking so bad that day.
|the trek started from this point|
|then it was followed by lots of sandy terrain|
|the weather was perfect|
|there's a lot of river crossings during the trek|
|sand cliffs encloses the long field of lahar|
|from this point, the peak will be just 15-20 minutes away|
|and the trail was now vegetated, different from the previous sandy lahar field|
It was around 11 am when we reached the AWESOME, SPECTACULAR, AMAZING, DUMBFOUNDING, SURREAL summit of Mt. Pinatubo. The whole place - the caldera and the lake - seems like a painting from a museum. Now I can't remember how many times I said the word wow.
|there's a cross at the summit of Mt. Pinatubo|
|welcome to the crater lake|
|this is really AWESOME. jaw-dropping view|
Closer to the Lake
After the required photo ops at the viewdeck, we went down to the lake for a closer look. Some of us did not resist to dip into the lake (gusto ko din sana kaya lang wala akong extra clothes), others paddled a boat to the other side of the lake (sponsored by ninang Doi, I joined them to the other side).
|some opted to swim|
|while others (including me) went to the other side of the lake|
|the brown colored spot on the shore seen on this photo is really hot,|
steaming and boiling
|Batang Lakwatsero conquered his 4th mountain|
We spent more than 3 hours at the Pinatubo Lake, I guess we're all satisfied with the experience. So we trekked back to the jump-off where the 4x4's are waiting for us. Along the way, I had a nice conversation with this trip's organizer, Kuya Dom of escapeislands.com.
|kuya Dom - thanks for organizing the trip|
|I actually fell asleep almost the entire 4x4 ride.|
|God is great|
A dinner at Tarlac's famous Isdaan - floating restaurant. It was my first time eating there, food are a bit pricey but taste great for a hungry individual. They also have this famous Tacsiyapo wherein you can release you anger by throwing a plate, a cups or even an old TV against the Tacsiyapo Wall. Of course you're required to shout TACSIYAPO while throwing your object of choice.
|yes, they're selling object for smashing. small plates are the cheapest (P16), the TV is the most expensive (P2000)|
|choose one whom you hated most, TACSIYAPO!|
It was a great 1 day adventure. So great that I forgot all of Mt. Pinatubo's depressing past. Nature can be so harsh at times, mysterious and very unpredictable, but that is her way of creating marvelous wonders, it's her way of shaping and re-shaping her features for us, people, to enjoy and take care of.