It was just a couple of months ago, it had seemed like climbing Mount Pulag is such a perfect idea for 2013 but it happened earlier than expected. Thanks to Byaheng Victory for inviting Pinoy travel bloggers, it was such a good timing this holiday season.
Seriously, I wanted to try something new. I even told myself, beginning of the year 2013, I have to find myself lost in the ocean of new experiences. Of course I wont just sit back and relax. Yes you are reading it right. I wanted to dare myself into something radical this time in order to direct myself and my life in a different destination. I wanted to have a very meaningful vacation before I end my year 2012. And I thought this is one of the most enjoyable new years resolution I will ever make in life. Now whatever I intend to do, where ever I go and whatever happens, I want you to be part of my journey.
The headquarters where all climbers and participants are required for everyone to register seemed kind of like the atmosphere during the start of a school year in a university where everybody needs to enroll, meet and greet old classmates before engaging into a serious exploration. Mountaineers and climbers flocked together comparing gears, backpacks while others simply checking out trail maps, massive photos posted on the wall, banners hanging everywhere which recounts that there were organizations and groups who were there all the time.
Finally we’re all set and ready to go. It took us an hour to reach the ranger station. From there, we took our lunch at exactly 12:00 in the afternoon and additional three more hours to head to the camp site. Just for a while, we were greeted by locals and other climbers. Being welcomed in dense rainforest, shrubs, old trees and plants as well as natural free flowing spring water coming from the mountain is an incredible experience for someone like me. For someone who doesn’t have the confidence to climb one of the highest mountains in the Philippines.
At first, I was actually cursing myself and starting to seriously ask myself as to why in the hell I embarked on this ridiculous trip. I was painfully aware of my leg joints trust me. I am really not sure but at that point, I wish I could fly like birds so I could get to my destination real quick and for some reasons I felt envious of the birds. I was really hoping to cure some of the things that I had inflicted on myself.
I felt I was in a story book or a fairytale watching all my steps while progressively counting the number of pit stops we have made to rest for a few minutes. Reaching the camp site at exactly four in the afternoon seemed like a breath of fresh air. I congratulated myself for reaching the camp site. It was a moment to remember walking the trail with fellow wanderers who majority of them were first timers. Our tent accommodation and dinner were prepared. We sipped a couple of drinks before hitting the sack at exactly 12 midnight and reminisced our childhood memories.
I was not able to completely sleep the whole time because extreme cold was killing me. I found myself in the middle of nowhere the next morning. Walking in the vast sea of darkness just filled with the sound of innocence and those alluring sounds – the touch of the gentleness of the grass and the splash of the cold night. I was loving it!
Fidel and Diega battling for the extreme cold!
I was counting all my life and did not realize we were almost at the summit. All my joints were so numbed by the cold but the pain paved away after seeing the spectacular view of the sunrise. What a wonderful world~It’s indeed amazing to see the world below. I am telling you now that everything will be paid off once you reach the summit. After the photo sessions we went back to the camp and collected all our stuff. I took one last look at the panoramic scene and closed my eyes. Thanks for the good memories Mount Pulag. I will definitely see you soon.
Climbing mountains is a sport for life- for all ages. You must have faith,the right attitude and the right mindset but I am always discouraged by mountain horror stories.You know some films that turn to be an adventure to survival horror events in their lives.For me, mountain climbing is an extreme sport. For some, it could either be a leisure or a past time which would test your endurance, strength and faith. Mountaineering has a negative side but I bet when it’s done right, it is surely a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Do not climb Pulag without a preparation. If it’s going to be your first time then you better plan it. Your first trek must be suited for beginners and should be accompanied by an experienced guide.There are levels of difficulty in mountaineering. To begin with, a beginner mountaineer should always ascend with an easy mountain. Please bear in mind that a mountain is still a mountain mind you. No matter how easy you think it is to climb Mount Pulag, you still have to take extra precautions.
I hope that I inspire you to try new experiences in my own little way. Climbing the third highest mountain in the Philippines is still within me. More detailed post about my Pulag series will be coming your way shortly. Meanwhile here’s the itinerary used courtesy of Travel Factor Philippines.
9:00 PM Meeting Time at the Bus Terminal: Victory Liner Cubao, EDSA (Southbound)
10:00 PM ETD to Baguio City via Victory Liner commuter bus
Day 1 –
05:00 AM ETA Baguio City
06:30AM ETD for DENR via chartered jeep
09:30AM ETA DENR
Registration and Orientation
10:30AM ETD Ranger Station
11:30AM ETA Ranger Station
01:00PM Trekking Proper
04:00PM ETA Campsite
06:30PM Dinner and Socials ( May kasama harutan pa yan)
Day 2 – Dec 16
03:00 AM Wake Up Time
03:40 AM Summit Assault
05:30 AM ETA SUMMIT
07:00 AM Trek to campsite
08:00 AM Breakfast
09:00 AM Break camp
09:30 AM Trek to Ranger Station
12:00 NN ETA Ranger Station
03:00 PM ETD DENR
04:00 PM ETA DENR, Log out
07:00 PM ETA Baguio City
09:00 PM ETD Baguio City
Day 3 – Dec 17
03:00 AM ETA Manila
Full disclosure: This a sponsored trip by Byaheng Victory.
Thanks to my newly found friends I met during this memorable adventure. A big thanks to Travel Factor team and its organizing committee for inviting me. “Byaheng Victory” is a series of group tours initiated by Victory Liner, the country’s premier bus transportation company and in cooperation with Travel Factor, one of the biggest adventure tour organizers in the Philippines, it promotes a taste of adventure and extra ordinary destinations reached by Victory Liner. Byaheng Victory will take you to some of the most beautiful trips in the Northern Luzon. Special thanks to our tour coordinators Ron and Joven of Travel Factor. I will see you guys soon.