Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mt. Pinatubo | Beauty of the Mighty Destroyer

The Mighty Destroyer

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
It was a dusty, shaky and dusty 4x4 ride across a wide lahar field. But it was really fun and enjoyable especially the spectacular views of mountain range seen from afar. It took us a little more than an hour to reach the main jump-off.

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
Honestly, I did not feel that we're ascending a mountain. We're like trekking on a flat graound the entire time until we reached the sheds.

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
At the Summit  

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
It was an easy trek to the summit, but there's still a little feeling of exhaustion. But who would mind to get exhausted in exchange for a stunning Pinatubo Lake 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
Returning Home

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

kuya Dom - thanks for organizing the trip
I was among the last to return to the jump-off (naka-relaxed mode ang pace ko e - ayoko ma-stress masyado). I was so sleepy during the 4x4 ride back to the tourism center, but somehow, I still managed to capture some images of the amazing lahar landscape.

I actually fell asleep almost the entire 4x4 ride.
God is great
Side Trip - Dinner at Isdaan

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.



  1. kakaibang experience ang 4x4 . At ang paglusong sa baha . este sa rumaragasang water galing sa taas ng bundok

  2. talagang WOW... dapat pala talaga pag pupunta diyan may dalang extra clothes noh? and i must say... duma dot com ka na rin! woot woot! go ivan :)

    1. oo nga e. sayang hndi ako naka-langoy.
      matagal na yang dot com na yan. ini-sponsor lang.

    2. Mabait kasi si Ivan, kaya daming nagssponsor! ;)

      Parang nadeadma ko ung cross na yun sa crater, napansin ko pero nalimutan kong picturean! :(

  3. winner talaga ang view ng crater, nakakawala ng pagod sa ganda :)

  4. Ang masaya dito is that kaya pala within one day!! Gusto ko rin!!!!

  5. Wow, goosebumps!!! That is by far the best gallery of upclose shots of Mt. Pinatubo. The crater is breathtaking -- how much more in person I could just imagine. Haven't been there but I will soon. Nakakapanggigil! Thanks for sharing.

  6. MOUNT PINATUBO is one of my most memorable mountain treks. :) Namiss ko tuloy maligo sa crater looking at you pic Ivan. :)

  7. A hell of an adventure indeed. I haven't been to this part of Zambales, Ivan, so thank you for somehow bringing me there through the photos.

  8. nakaka-miss naman. Nakarating ata ako diyan a year ago. wala pa yung cross... or hindi ko lang talaga napansin katulad ni marx. hihihi! Bakit nga ba may ganun? ginagawa na rin ba siyang pilgrimage?

    nagswimming din kami kahit hindi advisable. Kaya lang puro lumot that time. Sabuyang lumot kami ng mga friends ko. hahaha! Ang fun!

    Nice shots Ivan! So san kang range? sa young, middle or senior citizen? hihihi! Ako kasi sa Dying age. hahah! Lagpas lagpasan

  9. The place is so scenic that you sometimes forget that the lahar walls could collapse any time.

    Kakayanin ko siguro to kung hindi lang sa mabigat na bag. Hahaha. Major Bagets trip for 2012 was a success! :D

  10. Ivan, how did you go here? Is this is at Pinatubo Spa Town?

  11. meron po ba nag-organize ng pagpunta dito? pa-advice po gusto ko po experience ng trekking dito. kung meron po kyo kilala, pakishare po ng info, number na pwde matawagan para makasali. salamat.

  12. Sir try nio po via Sapang Uwak! astig!

  13. may contact po kayo sa 4x4 van package sir Ivan and budget expense po? thank you in advance.



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