25-26 May 2013
As soon as I touched down I had to rush to Victory Liner, Pasay terminal for my trip to Mt. Pulag, Benguet. Plan was to reach Baguio early then take the top loader jeepney to the jump off point of Mt.Pulag. (6 hours Manila to bag- about 1hr to breakfast shop-1.5 hours to DENR – 1.5 hours to Ranger station, the jump off point.)
We took the trip with trailadventours (trailadventours.com) once again, a bit pricey but at least; we didn’t really have to think about anything. We paid 3900 PhP for the whole thing plus 800 tent/2; 250/2 porter.
As planned, we arrived in Baguio at almost 6am. Took the jeepney immediately but we had to wait a bit for us to start going. After an hour of travelling via an ever winding road, while of course, I slept in the process, our jeepney’s tire went flat. The driver had to change it by himself. After changing, we headed to our breakfast place, and that’s where we’re supposed to also buy our packed lunch.
With our full tummy, we started to drive along a road they called ‘ washing machine’, as the name implied, it felt like we were in a machine dryer. It was indeed a convoluted and torturous road ascending to the DENR office then the ranger station. Afraid to puke away, I decided to sleep all throughout the road trip.
At the DENR office, we were oriented on proper manners and demeanours in the mountain. The speaker was extraordinarily funny and witty. Our guide said she was in a good mood that day otherwise, she would scold people away. Good thing she didn’t catch my sleepy head.
We then drove again for another 1.5 hours until we reached the ranger station and had our lunch. They started weighing our stuff for the porter to know how much to charge before we started to ascend. Before we even started the assault, Tadah! It started raining. Heavy rain it was. The poncho I had on my trekking pack from a long time ago had finally been utilized. I decided not to have my own things ported because I wanted to try on how it feels to trek loaded. And it was painful mostly on my back, but still tolerable.
After about 1.5 hours of wet trek, we reached camp 1. Then about 1-1.5 more hours, we reached the grass land camp where were supposed to pitch our tents. Convenience of getting a packaged tour, we arrived at the grassland with our tents already pitched. Though, a part of me wanted to experience pitching my own tent, at that particular instance, whereby it was cold and raining heavily and my current state, exhausted, I was grateful I didn’t need to it myself.
The weather didn’t allow us to do anything outside the tent. I honestly, slept away. Dinner was provided hence, the whole night I did nothing but sleep….. And eat. I was unaware if all the others did the same because as mentioned, I slept the whole night, soundly amidst the cold and chilling temperature.
Call time was 3am but I was awake at 2am. I just moved and watched the moon while preparing my stuff to bring to the summit. I just observed the night and moon, stuff I failed to experience the night before.
On time, we all prepared to summit-assault. It was about 1-1.5 hours to the summit. Muddy trail to the summit was another thing that made me smile, that squishy, slimy feeling that massaged my feet, cold and soft like icing.
We were at the summit at about 430am. Sunrise was said to happen at about 530am. We all descended few meters from the summit, which, according to our guide, has the best vantage point of the sunrise. King sun started to arise. We witnessed the most astonishing and majestic sunrise while standing on top of the clouds at the highest mountain in Luzon. Hay…
TrailAd guides prepared coffee for us to drink; I thought it was a wonderful, in fact, the greatest, the best unsurpassed idea to the superlative level. I love coffee. haha Coffee atop Luzons highest peak, with massif and sunrise as backdrop. The word overwhelmed was an understatement of how I felt and experienced that morning.
I thought, it was a romantic place to visit while of course, having coffee. It made me feel like I want to date again, up there. Haha I had three cups, by the way. Because I was ecstatic, I’ve totally forgotten the fact that coffee was a diuretic drink and we had to travel long that day.
Well good things did come to an end, we had to descend at about 7am, whereby the sun has already risen and the heat was almost scorching. We reached the camp back at about 8am. Pampered, our guides prepared breakfast for us. Well, I had enough coffee and TimTams (my baon) therefore, I didn’t really feel like having more stuff to fill in my already huge tummy. Aside from that, I could already feel the adverse effect of having too much coffee in a camp. I used the latrine more than I used to, that time, they were already overused by everyone.
After an hour of breakfast and packing up, we were all set for our descent using the same route.
It only took us 2 hours. Whoa. It was indeed an easy trek. We drove back that long and underdeveloped road to our lunch and wash up stop then back to the DENR office, bought some magnets for souvenir, as always then we headed back to Bagiuo. We reached Bagiuo at about 6pm, also faster than expected.
Joyce and I decided to separate ourselves from the group for the rest of our 3hour bus waiting time. We went to Bagiuo Cathedral to celebrate mass then SM Bagiuo for dinner and finally, to Harrison road’s open air ukay market which only Opens at 9pm onwards. Meeting time at Victory Liner terminal was at 10pm for our 1020pm bus back to Manila.
Hay, well just to for my final say, I was happy. I loved the trip. Thanks trailadvertours for yet another satisfying trip:)
P.S. before I forget some basic details, Mt Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak, standing grandiosely proud at 2922 meters above sea level….and I conquered it without much sweat.haha *delusional*