Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake

Mount Pinatubo is one of the active stratavolcano or composite volcano that was recorded in History when it erupted last June 15, 1991. Its eruption was the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century after the 1912 eruption of Novarupta in the Alaska Peninsula. Before that, however, its eruptive history was unknown to people. 
I was in High School when the eruption occurred and I knew that because the ashes reached us in Marinduque from Zambales. We woke up and wondered why the trees and the road are covered in white, not knowing that it's the ashes from the eruption. We didn't have a TV and not know until late in the afternoon that the biggest and catastrophic eruption in the history has happened.
I never knew how bad it affected the people living near and around the area until I saw a movie about what happened. How horrifying it was for the people when the eruption happened and how painful it was seeing their loved ones die before their eyes and can't do something about it. 
Ten of thousands of people were evacuated and saved during the eruption, it's said that it's the most successful rescue in a catastrophic event but it can't be said about the damages in the surrounding areas.
The eruption was complicated by the arrival of the typhoon Diding (International Name Yunya), bringing a lethal mix of ash and rain. The remnants of the eruption can still be seen in the river and around the areas. Before the eruption the volcano's summit was 1,745 m (5,725 ft) above sea level. In all of the damages the eruption left, there's one that is now very popular for tourists and locals, the resulting Crater Lake.
And ever since I heard about the Lake, I've wanted to visit it. I had a chance when my office mates found a travel agency that offered a trek to the Crate Lake. The first time we went there, the weather did not permit us to trek. 
We traveled from Manila for hours, only to be told when we arrived at the registration that it's raining and no one is allowed to trek the Lake. It's so disappointing but we had no choice but re-schedule it, the second time, we're lucky. 
All trekkers are required to register and sign a waiver at the Local Tourism Office in Sta. Juliana, Capaz, Tarlac. However, since we get a package from a travel agency, they handled everything for us. We just wait for less than half an hour until they get us a ride. And we took that opportunity to take several pictures or the area.
Going to the Lake, first you'll have to ride a 4x4 wheeler jeep for one and half hours. It's really a bumpy ride and I actually felt like I was in a movie, us chased by bad guys. It's a very long ride with only barren lands with rock formations created by the eruptions.
In the middle of the ride, we stopped for a while to take pictures. And then for another hour, we were dropped off where the jeep can't take us anymore. It's not raining when we started walking but it's gloomy and cloudy so it's not too hot.  
I can't remember how long we were walking but it feels like forever. Oh and if you need to pee along the way, you will have to do it behind the big rocks as there's no restroom you can use. And you have to do it knowing that there are lots of people on the other side of that big rock!
It rained the night before our trek so the road going to the Crater is wet and muddy. When we arrived at the foot of the Crater, it started raining. There are a couple of restrooms here but since there a lot of people wanting to use it and it's kind of dirty, you would want to just go behind big rocks again.
The trek to the Crater really starts from here and it should be like less than 20 minutes but I think we did more than that. Young Age or Middle Age? Not sure, maybe we confused! lol To think that half of path going to the top is made of concrete.
In the middle of our trek, it rained so it kind of slows us down, not to mention we took several pictures along the way. We were in a large group but my other office mates enjoyed taking pictures too much that they took too long to get to the Crater.
Make sure when you trek Mount Pinatubo to bring water, a hat or an umbrella, food and a lot of energy. We finally arrived at the top after less than 5 hours and since my other office mates have not arrived yet, we decided on eating lunch and rest for a while. 

Before our trek I have researched the web about Mount Pinatubo and found a lot of amazing pictures and excited to take my own. Unfortunately, since it was gloomy the image I took are not to my satisfaction, but I'm still amazed at how a catastrophic event left an amazing view like this.
The view is perfect from above, but if you want to take a dip in the late you can go down below. They said the water is therapeutic because of the sulfuric content. A lot of people were swimming when we were there and they are really enjoying it. 
If you want to get a better look of the lake, you can take a boat ride for Php350.00 (rate since 2012).  I was not able to join my office mates because I thought we're leaving soon and climb up to the top.
We just took more pictures and started our trek back to the town of Capaz. If you want to take a bath after a trek, you can use the shower at the Pinatubo Spa town, which by the way, offer a Hot Volcanic Mud Spa. Not just sure if the use of their facility is included in the package or not.
Trekking Mount Pinatubo is not easy if you are going to do it alone. That's because you will need a group of at least 4 to hire a 4x4 wheeler jeep. Unless, of course, you are willing to pay for it all by yourself.
The local people are very kind, one of them actually let us used their kitchen and utensils the first time we tried to trek. We haven't had breakfast and since the food in the Pinatubo Spa Town is expensive, we decided on cooking. We bought Tuyo (Sun-dried Fish or what my boyfriend calls "Stinky Fish" LOL), onions, sardines.
Its really a very tiring, but satisfying trek! I would want to go back there when it's not gloomy and raining so I will have a perfect view of the Crater.

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