This beauty shown in the picture above (not me, the sea of clouds!) is the reason why you will climb Mt. Pulag, the 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines at 2,922 meters above sea level. Don’t worry, you wont be climbing that height because you are already in Benguet. You will only climb maybe 7 kilometers or so. But is it hard? For me, it was. And I even hired a porter for my 9-kilo bag. I am not at my fittest, but still this is not my first mountain (but the highest, of course). So, how do you go about climbing Mt. Pulag?
Here is how we did it.
There are now so many tour operators that bring people to Mt. Pulag. And I said people, not just mountaineers. Anybody can do it really, and we have a 10-year old in our group who climbed with her mom! So anyway, as to the how, well just gather a group of friends and find your tour operator. We opted to go with UP Org so we had Jaxq, Mitch and Rey to guide us and cook for us. We met in Victory Liner in Cubao at 8pm on a Friday, we were in Baguio by morning and was aboard a jeep to Benguet to go to the DENR office for registration. We paid P3,500 each, inclusive of all transpo to and from Cubao, 3 meals, all registration fees and guide fees and tents. We paid for our own porters (P250 per way for a 10-kilo bag).
It was raining heavily when we reached the campsite. So once our tents were up, we went in to change into our clean clothes. We layered: thermal sando, moisture-wicking shirt, fleece jacket, windbreaker, bonnet, gloves, 3 socks and a scarf. It was cold!
And then it rained again. By this time, I had a skull-splitting migraine and I blame the elevation. So we were served dinner of Sinigang, but I only had two spoonfuls and then I went to sleep inside my sleeping bag. Rainwater seeped on our tent, but we sucked it up and tried to sleep-no socials!
We were woken up at 3am and we started the assault to the summit. It took maybe an hour or more, but we were walking in the dark, with only our headlamp on. Only the anticipation of what we will see fueled our feet.
And oh boy, we were so rewarded!
It was beautiful, and there are really no words to describe how it was. Just believe me when I say that you should see this before you die! It was so worth it!