The Majestic Crater of Mount Pinatubo: A Thriving Tourist Attraction

I experienced the touch of Mount Pinatubo on the 9th of April 2015. Our family decided to trek at Mount Pinatubo to serve as our weekend getaway. Instead of relaxing at a beach, we decided to twist things up by having a close encounter with nature. Knowing that a lake formed inside a crater and a city got flattened by lahar made us more curious of what is in store for us. We heard it through stories and saw it in pictures, so we would want to experience it first hand.

It was at around 5 am, when our family left the house. Since the registration site is located at Tarlac, traveling takes 3 hours. We were also told to be around the site at 8 am.

When we reached Tarlac, the first thing we did was to register. Upon registration, we were assigned a tour guide and rented a 4×4 vehicle. This 4×4 vehicle is important, since this will take us to the majestic crater. We also purchased some bamboo sticks to serve as a guide to make trekking easier.

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4×4 vehicles at the registration area

Photo from philippinestravelwiki.com

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Kids selling bamboos to tourists

Photo from noreivillamator.wordpress.com

Finally! It was time to travel to Mount Pinatubo. Seeing the majestic crater wasn’t the only thing I was excited about, but also riding a 4×4 vehicle. Our tour guide told us that it will take 2 hours to reach the destination. Even though 2 hours is a long period of time, I wasn’t bored because I spent my time admiring and taking pictures of the wonders of nature. We were marveled by the scenery because it looks like a real desert full of lahar. There were stops along the way, for tourists to take more pictures.

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4×4 vehicle driving through the lahar desert

Photo from dude4food.blogspot.com

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View from the inside of a 4×4 vehicle

Photo by Bea Sison

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My mom posing at the rest stop

Photo by Bea Sison

After an hour of traveling, we noticed some Aeta families living at the bottom of the mountains. I was astonished to see them living their daily lives in the middle of a deserted area.

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Aeta kids posing for the picture

Photo from subselfie.com

The 4×4 vehicle stopped and it was already time to trek. Since this was my first time trekking, I was filled with excitement and joy. The tiring 2-hour drive didn’t stop me from enjoying my first ever trek.

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Trekking Starting Point

Photo by Bea Sison

I noticed that there is a significant difference between the view of the trekking track and the 4×4 track. Rivers, plants, trees and insects are seen at the trekking track while the mountain and mountains of lahar are seen at the 4×4 track. The farther we go, the steeper the tracks get. This is the perfect time to use the bamboo sticks. To reach the crater, you’d need to climb up and down flights of stairs.

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Forest side of the hiking track

Photo by Bea Sison

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Tourists hiking up the steep track

Photo from lakadpilipinas.com

After thousands of steps, we finally see the breathtaking view of the majestic crater of Mount Pinatubo! The view truly lives up to its name. I felt like I was in a completely different country. It’s hard to believe that Mount Pinatubo was the cause of a tragic eruption that affected the whole country. How can a dangerous volcano transform into a magnificent tourist attraction? The power of nature is indeed magical!

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Welcome sign of the crater of Mount Pinatubo

Photo by Bea Sison

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Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake

Photo by Bea Sison

Cover photo from lakadpilipinas.com

Bea Katrina Sison          11-G

 

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