Rediscovering Baguio: An Encounter with Mount Pulag.

First encounter with Mount Pulag

Before the year end, God blessed me with an unforgettable travel adventure. I had the opportunity to climb the third highest mountain in the Philippines, Mount Pulag. Mount Pulag is located at Benguet. It is Luzon’s highest peak at 2,922 meters (9,587 ft) above sea level. This mountain is famous for it’s “sea of clouds” and “milky way galaxy” at dawn. If you want to experience the cold breeze at it’s finest, then Mount Pulag is the place to be. Especially during the month of February.

From Pampanga, we rode a bus going to Baguio to meet our travel agent. The meeting time is usually at around 03:30am (0330H in military time) at 711 near the Victory Liner bus station.

At exactly 04:00am we left the meeting place via jeepney (included in our travel fee) to head to Kabayan, Benguet. This travel includes side trips such as visiting the Ambuklao dam, Jangjang hanging bridge and Bedekbek (also known as Daclan sulfur spring).

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From Baguio, it’s a 3-4 hrs ride (side trips not included) to Mount Pulag’s ranger station. we head towards our first stop which is the Ambuklao dam. Unfortunately, we didn’t appreciate the view since it was still dark when we arrived at the place. Some activities that you may experience in this place is boat riding which we didn’t experience because it was still too dark. Swiming is not allowed, besides who would want to swim in a freezing lake? After our first side trip, we went to Lolo Cancio’s Inn and Restaurant which is located at Nueva Vizcaya Rd., Bokod, Benguet to have our breakfast. This restaurant serves a nice breakfast at a very affordable price.

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img_1921Experience good food, fresh air and a good view at Lolo Cancio’s Inn and Restaurant.

After having a delicious breakfast and experiencing  a breath taking view, it was time to set our foots down and go back on track. It’s time for a hanging bridge experience. Jangjang Hanging bridge can also be found at Brgy. Ambuklao. This hanging bridge is mainly used to facilitate the transportation of products from local livelihood like fish and provide safe passage for school children especially during elevated water level in the river that benefited about 85 households from 10 sitios in the area. This is highly recommended for outdoor adventure seekers. Imagine crossing a 290 meters, narrow hanging bridge. However, this hanging bridge can only accommodate ten persons.

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This is one memorable experience so I guess, it will not hurt to do a little selfie right?

From the hanging bridge we went to Daclan sulfur spring or also know as Bedekbek Sulfur Spring for a little side trip and picture taking. Bedekbek Sulfur Spring is one place in the mountain that will surely give you the reason to sweat and cover your nose. It is basically a small spring of boiling sulfur found on the way to Mount Pulag’s ranger station. The smoke and sulfuric scent emitted could be seen and smelled from a distance. The hot water from the spring is believed to have some therapeutic effects. watch out for your steps because the soil on this place is a little soft and muddy. Better be safe and have no injuries before the hike.

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After our side trips, it’s time to head to Kabayan, Benguet to start the hike. We arrived to a local town at around 12:00nn, just exact for our lunch. After our lunch we set our tents at the ranger station to rest and mingle with the other hikers and campers. So basically, you will have all your time to do what you want before the start of the trek. Always remember to respect your fellow hikers and the locals within the area. Avoid creating too much noise and littering. At around 12:00mn we started the trek and we were guided by our local tour guides and arrived at the peak at around 05:00am. Unfortunately, it was raining during that time and it was too foggy that we didn’t had the opportunity to see the famous sea of clouds. However, hiking on a night time at Mt. Pulag is an undeniably an extraordinary experience because we had the opportunity to experience a beautiful night sky full of stars. And of course, the cool breeze never failed us. Especially once you reach the peak of the mountain.
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It’s one memorable experience not just because of the majestic view, but because of the experience it self. We had a hard time with our hike because of the weather but it was still all worth it. This is how God revealed himself  to me during the hike: just like our life where we go to different kinds of hardships, you will experience a lot of difficulties with this hike. Different roads and different terrains. And just like your journey in life, you can’t finish this journey without God’s grace. You have to pray and seek for God’s guidance and ask God to give you the strength that you need to finish the journey. Always seek God first before the start and the end of any journey. Because after all the hardships, that will be the time you will see the beauty of why God allowed you to experience the hard pathways. Because he is a loving God and he is just trying to mold you in to a better person that you can be. At the end the journey you will know that it was God who carried you all the way to the top of the highest mountain. Remember that God is always higher than any mountains and always allow him to take control of your life.
If you are planning to experience the majestic view and scenery of this mountain, I highly recommend you to get a travel agency. One of them is Traveling Adventure. They offer different hiking travels and experience.
Follow this link to visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Traveling-Adventure-241235525945959/
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