Friday, February 19, 2016

Mt. Pulag: The Playground of the Gods Part 1

Mount Pulag
How do I even begin this post? I have already spent 10 minutes just staring at the blinking cursor of this blank page and the rest of 50 minutes were spent just looking at all our pictures in Mt. Pulag (for the nth time).

I'm still lost for words.

With this beauty, who wouldn't?

Well, first of all, I would like to thank Jan. Just a few months ago, he surprised me with a flight itinerary from Davao to Manila. Plus pogi points agad. Siyempre, I would finally be able to conquer Luzon's highest peak, not to mention, on a Valentine's Day. How's that for a gift? Better than all your bouquets, chocolates, teddy bears, and cheesy cards combined. Haha. ♥


Anyway, let me start off from DENR station - a 2-hour monster jeepney ride from Baguio - where hikers are required to register, pay fees, and attend their 30minute-to-1-hr orientation, where you get to learn stuff about the mountain, Dos-and-Don'ts during the climb, and pretty much everything you need to know about RESPECT.
Orientation at the DENR Station - Mt. Pulag
The orientation was far from being boring, it was actually entertaining. :)
At the DENR Station - Mt. Pulag
Leave no trace, you say? I'm sorry DENR,  but we have to leave this with you. Haha. :D
At the DENR Station - Mt. Pulag
This is how we say, "[insert name here] was here." :)
From DENR we took a 30-minute drive to the Ranger Station. Since DENR no longer allow hikers to camp at the campsite during weekends, we stayed for the rest of the day at the Ranger Station to prepare for our 1am night trek.
Ranger Station - Mount Pulag
Pictures courtesy of Jalaman's Adventure and Paola. :)
Ranger Station - Mount Pulag
Dinner and socials at the Ranger Station with people we've only met for the first time. 
We started our dinner earlier than usual because we have to retire early. We need to be able to rest at 6pm so we can wake up at 12 midnight and start trekking at 1 o'clock in the morning.
The sinigang na baboy was so good. Ang dami kong nakain.

Lights were out at 6pm. And by 9pm, I woke up because I could no longer feel my hands and feet. They were freezing. I could barely move them. I've already tripled my socks, worn my gloves, doubled the layers of clothing that I wore, but still, we were chilled to the bones. Jan and I were no longer able to sleep despite being bundled in blanket, shawl, and whatever we can cover our bodies with and despite being cuddled for human warmth. Ang lamig, sobra! 
Frosts at Mount Pulag
Cystallized plants and grasses. It's that cold.
I'm not really sure if I should be sharing this, but this played a big part of our sleepless-bone-chilling-night journey, so I hope you don't mind.

Despite being in miserable coldness like hell (oh the irony), Jan and I found ourselves in the comfort of our own farts. Haha!
Hindi lang naman kasi junkfood ang nagiging bloated sa taas eh... pati tiyan rin namin.
Apparently, our tummies were bloated and we were passing out gas. Take note, there's only two of us in the tent, so walang collateral damage. But we were still trying to suppress the sound and our laughter, baka kasi marinig ng iba. Salitan kami sa pag-utot. Tapos tawa pa kami ng tawa. I swear, ang baho na sa loob ng tent. But we have no choice. It's already freezing inside, we'd freeze to death if we open a window, let alone, go out. Then surprisingly (or not), it suddenly got warm (alam na this). If somebody passed by our tent with a cigarette on hand, I'm sure liliyab yung tent namin. 

Update: Turns out we had a bad case of High-altitude Flatus Expulsion (HAFE).

Everybody was already up at 12 midnight. We got out of our tents and I froze. Not because it was too cold but because the darkness revealed what seem to look like diamonds. I was stunned. My jaw dropped the entire time I was staring at the night sky. It was the first time I've seen such a starry night with shooting stars from time to time. It was such a spectacular sight!

We slept in a 5-billion star hotel. Better than any 5-star hotels combined. Perhaps the temperature dropped to almost zero, the comfort was far from what I have at home, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Mount Pulag
I'm in love. Photo courtesy of Sam.
Mount Pulag

After helping ourselves with a cup of hot noodles, we started the trek. It was my first time to trek at night. And I was so pumped up at first. But the next three hours were mini heart attacks for Jan. The higher we went, the sleepier I got. My senses and my mind were half-alert and half-asleep, mostly asleep. Gegewang-gewang na daw ako sa paglalakad ko. And Jan was afraid I might fall roll down the cliff. Actually, I don't remember how many times I have slept on the trail each time we took our breaks. My body was disregarding the cold, talagang bumabagsak yung mata ko. Tapos gigisingin nila ako, maaalimpungatan, at maglalakad na parang walang nangyari. Haha!

Well, I was apparently suffering from altitude sickness. I don't really feel tired. Just sleepy.
Mount Pulag
The trail was pretty easy. The ascent was just gradual. But what really got me was the coldness. I was cursing it the whole time. I had been warned about it, but it seems like those warnings were an understatement. Kaya kapag sinabi naming malamig, talagang malamig na malamig na malamig na malamig.

We reached the summit at around 5 o'clock in the morning and it was still dark.
Mount Pulag Summit

We looked for a spot, settled down, and then I slept until sunrise. Yep, I slept at the height of a freezing coldness. Well, the cold never bothered me anyway. Haha. Kidding!

Stay tuned for Mt. Pulag: The Playground of the Gods Part 2! :)

Some of these photos were grabbed from Jalaman's Adventures


  1. hahaha. so funny sa fart part!!! i wait for part 2!

  2. Hahaha! Grabe yung fart. Di ko kinaya. Hahaha. Can't wait to read part 2!

  3. waw maam galing! tawa gid ko sang utot. hahaha

  4. Grabe yung fart ha. Grabe kayo ni Jan. Hahaha. Kayo na talaga! Where's part 2?

  5. hahahahaha!!!!!! buang ka sarj!!!!

  6. Wait. Bakit parang nahighlight ang utot dito? Di nyo ba na appreciate yung starry night? Haha. >_<

  7. Hahaha. Pirti nakong katawa ani. Kaw dyud ako madumduman. Pagmanimaho na gani'g itlog, alam na kinsang salarin. Palautot gihapon ka. Way nag bag o.

  8. Hahaha. That was funny. Thank you for sharing. Fun and memorable times indeed.

  9. Thank you for sharing your experience Sarah. I enjoyed reading this I even laughed at some parts. Keep up the good work and always be as adventurous as you are.


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Maira Gall