Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hiking Adventures #1: Mt. Pulag, the Playground of the Gods

Mt. Pulag
Mt. Pulag

There are many mountains in the Philippines that are worth climbing for, especially those with breathtaking views. And the most popular in all of those is the Mt. Pulag, the Playground of the Gods. Mt. Pulag is the 3rd highest mountain (but is currently the official 2nd highest) in the Philippines and the Luzon's highest peak at 2,922 meters above sea level, located at Kabayan, Benguet.

How do I get there? Continue reading. :)
Last April 2014, I was checking my newsfeed on Facebook when I saw my officemate's post sharing her adventures in Mt. Pulag. I was so amazed on the photos she posted because of the views up there, and I told myself "I want to climb up there too..". Then my co-division officemate Edmund, an experienced mountaineer invited me to join on there climb in Mt. Pulag on Labor Day, and I replied him a big yes. 



I immediately looked for jackets, bonnets, sweaters and gloves. I checked some of those items in the mall but the price is too much. So I just borrowed a sweater, brought my thin jacket and asked my father to bring me 3 pairs of working gloves, then I tell myself "Bahala na" (whatever happens, let it be). I packed all those clothes plus my other personal things on my 30 liters backpack bag until it became full. My officemate, Ish, lent me her sleeping bag that I attached outside my bag using the straps.

Mt. Pulag
Meet-up at the office


When we arrived in Baguio City, we rode a monster jeep heading to DENR for short seminar about Mt. Pulag and they gave us some tips before the climb. After the seminar, we headed to the jump-off. According to the driver we can ride on the jeep's top load to see the stunning views while heading to the jump-off. So I joined some of my hiking buddies on the top-load, and yes! it was really amazing.

Mt. Pulag - The Amazing Top-load Experience
The Amazing Top-Load Experience

Groupie at Ambuklao View Deck

at DENR Office for short seminar

Here are the amazing views we've saw while on the Jeep's top-load.

Mt. Pulag
Mountain ranges of Cordilleras

There are lot of pines on the road
Hey Runners out there, I'm sure you gonna love to run on this road and breathe the fresh air. :)

I wanna go jump and run this road.


When we got off the jeep, we walked 20 - 30 minutes to reach the jump-off. When we reached the jump-off, we had our lunch before we start hiking. I saw the excitement on my fellow hikers and so do I. I knew we're going to encounter difficult trails, but it makes me more excited. As a runner, it's not hard for me to catch my breath while hiking up, and I love the sweat flowing through my body. We have short breaks when we got to the stations along the trail. Some of my fellow hikers looked tired but you can still see that they are enjoying the adventure. When we got to the campsite (what a relief), we set up our tents, and cooked for our dinner. After our dinner, the rain poured and another unforgettable experience happened..

Let us take a Groupie before we start the adventure
Hi Girls! All of you are amazing :)
Hi Sir Zaldy, we've just get started :D

The future Mayor, Edmund Milanes
and we take a rest
To where are you guys going? :D

The unforgettable experience was that I slept with wet feet because the rain went inside our tent, and splashed where my feet lies.Take note the place is damn cold.


3am in the morning we woke up to reach the summit. We had our coffee first before we start to assault. While heading up, I used my phone as a flash light, but the light is too weak. Fortunately, my fellow hiker, Abbie lent me her Galaxy Note 3 and used it as a flash light. I owed her a lot, because of her I reached the summit without any wounds or fractures on my body. :) We reached the summit past 5am, and we waited for the sunrise.

Horizon at Mt. Pulag Summit

Me with Mountain range at the back
Mt. Pulag
Sunrise at Mt. Pulag Summit
Mt. Pulag
Group Shot at the Summit

My kababayan, Steph holding the Sun. LOL :P
Groupie at 2,922 meters above sea level

Abbie Giron with her Galaxy Note 3
F4 and Sanchai went to Mt. Pulag? :D
Descent to the camp site

Notice that there are only few clouds seen on the summit. Mt. Pulag is renowned because of the Sea of Clouds. According to our guides, it's because of the last night's rain that why there are few clouds shown on the summit. Before we assault the summit, I was expecting to witness the spectacular view, but I failed. I think it's a sign that I must go back there. :) Though the views on the summit are still amazing. I think the sunrise in Mt. Pulag lighting the mountain ranges is also a must-see views up there aside from the Sea of Clouds. All the struggles are all worth it.

We've came back to the camp site.  Some of us cooked for our breakfast while others were preparing their things to start descent to the jump-off. Going down was much challenging for me, it was harder than going up. We went back to Manila with smiles on our faces. It really worth all the money we spent and the struggles on the trail. I hope I could go back there to try the Akiki Trail and witness the Sea of Clouds.

MT. PULAG (2,922+)
Kayaban, Benguet
Difficulty: 3/9 - Ambangeg trail

Photos credit to: 
Abbie Giron
Butch Carpio


Day 0
2200 - ETD Manila

Day 1
0400 - ETA Baguio City. Take a monster jeep.
0500 - Breakfast.
0600 - ETD Carinderia
0800 - ETA DENR
0900 - ETD DENR
1100 - ETA jump-off
1130 - ETA Ranger Station. Secure Guide. Lunch
1300 - Start trek
1700 - ETA Camp site. Set camp
1900 - Dinner; socials
<Free Time>

Day 2

0300 - Coffee/Breakfast.
0330 - Start trek to summit.
0500 - ETA Summit. Wait for the sunrise.
0700 - Start descent to camp site
0830 - ETA to camsite. Cook and take a breakfast.
0930 - Decamp; Start descent to ranger station
1430 - ETA Ranger station; settle guide fees;
1500 - Jeepney descent
1800 - ETA Baguio City; heavy dinner
1900 - ETD Manila

Budget: P2,500 - P3,000
Participants: 12

A must-have to bring:
-Cold-weather gloves
-Sleeping bag
-Pair of socks
-First aid kit

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