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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mt. Pinatubo Trek


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*Trek was done back in 2010.

The volcano that changed my life.

I was five when Mt. Pinatubo erupted. We were living in Zambales - which is where I was born and where my parents met. I remember only a few bits, but one thing I remember distinctly was that one afternoon when my father pointed something out in the sky – it was a massive gray cloud of ashes. I remember there were earthquakes and aftershocks every five minutes. I also remember walking in lahar - in my raincoat and rain boots with my favorite lunch box - and I think I was a bit giddy (I really didn’t understand what was happening). I also remember riding a truck with pigs and other animals, and a tv antenna getting stuck in one of the tree branches. I remember a very generous jeepney owner/driver offering us a free ride from Tarlac to Manila to stay with my relatives. And going to SM North to buy a new pair of slippers since we weren’t able to bring any other footwear. My brother and I were forced to live with our grandparents for two years while our parents fix everything and work in Zambales. Our house and most of our properties were destroyed even some of our childhood photos.

This made going to Mt. Pinatubo quite, hard is not the exact word, but weird for me. I didn’t know if I was ready to see it as a beautiful place to go to rather than as the volcano that once made life hard for my family. My brother was even surprised that I did the trek. 

Mt. Pinatubo Today

It's a spectacular view that leaves you breathless. You just can't stop staring at it. You just can't stop taking photos of it.

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It's got a unique charm. The exciting 4x4 ride, the barren land, the land formations that anytime may just erode, the never-ending dust – all that you have go through is quite the opposite of the view that awaits you.

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our 4x4 ride. exciting!!!

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who could have thought a place this dead/barren can be so picturesque?

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some Aetas during the ride going to the crater

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The blue-green water, the crater formation surrounding the lake, that one ash-covered side of the crater that looked like a mountain covered in snow – it's so serene and relaxing.

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first shot. everything was in place. :)

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looked like snow from afar

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just can't get enough of it :)