My friend, what do you do after a break up? Don’t get me wrong, I am not broken-hearted. It was a question that we kept on answering for a friend who just ended her 6-year relationship. For anonimity sake, let’s call my friend “Marie”. As a friend, we tell her so many tips like finding a new guy, going out with friends, find a hobby or go on vacation. All of these she took note and tried her best to do it. Another thing she have in mind is to travel every month and do something she never did before. One of which is to go to Mt. Pinatubo and trek there.
As a friend and a travel-addict, I want to help her. Besides, I miss her companionship whenever we travel. So I fired up my lappie and researched on an agency to arrange for our trekking. I haven’t been to Pinatubo nor a trekker. Whenever I go somewhere, I usually do it DIY style. But I don’t want to risk our groups’ safety that’s why I opt to inquire at Trekking Pinatubo‘s website. Among all of the sites Google gave me, I chose this because of the great feedbacks posted on their site from locals & foreigners. I contacted my friends and asked if they are up for the challenge. After finalizing our headcount, I emailed Trekking Pinatubo and they responded immediately.
Our chosen tour agency arrange everything for us. Thought they have a preferred meeting place, they will give you option on your prefered pick-up point within Metro Manila. Their rate depends on the number of pax. Of course the more the merrier and the cheaper ;p. Their rate includes van pick-up/drop-off, hiring of 4×4 to go to the trekking area, fee for the Tour Guide, Driver & other fees (environmental, travel, whatever!). We tried to form a group of 10 to avail of their promo of Php 1,999. But because of schedule conflict and others opting for a more relaxing travel, we only form a group with 8 people which will cost Php 2,425/person. Not bad.
Though you may bring food, the agency can arrange for your lunch after the trip for Php 250 (Flipino Food) or Php 350 (Korean Food). If you don’t want to bring big towels & toilettries, you can add Php 100 for Shower Fee which includes every bath essensials. A side trip to Capas National Shrine is also offered for Php 10 only. We also thought of getting a massage for Php 500 & try the Volcanic Ash Spa also for Php 500.
TIPS FOR THE TRIP
Always do research before going somewhere for tips. Travel blogs were very helpful. A lot of them recommended January as the best time to go there because of the weather – it’s not too hot, temperature is cooler & the color of the lake is clearer. We chose January 12th because this is a special day for me and my other half, B. But for others whose schedule is too busy on that month, any cooler month will do. I guess December to February are the best months to go there. It can be scorching hot during summer not only because of the season but the temperature will be doubled because of the sand & lahar on that place.
As a fashion-conscious individual, I also want to wear the most comfortable get up. For this trip, I was more conscious about the footwear I will use since I’ve had an accident recently in which my right toenail cracked. You need something that will protect your feet from the sands, slippery terrain, rocks and water. Bloggers suggested to wear sandals or heavy-duty trekking shoes. The Tour Agency even suggested Crocs. All these suggestions were too expensive! A friend recommended the brand Sandugo as the best and the cheapest. It’s a local brand that caters to the Flipino’s adventurous feet. I bought an open-toe sandals named “River Crossing” and it cost me Php 650 only!
T-shirt, sports bra & shorts were my chosen get-up. To have extra protection, choose a get-up made of water & dust-resistant cloth. You don’t want your shirts to get dirty and hard to wash after the activity especially if you’re going to do photoshoots to document the event, right? ;D
Trekking will take half-a-day so you need lots of energy. Bring lots of water, snacks, energy bar or drinks for you to survive the trip. But make sure to pack light. Having extra load will make it harder for you to walk.
All’s set for our trip! Wait for my post on what happened on the actual trip.