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Thursday, March 17, 2016

THE DAY I TREKKED MT. PINATUBO

Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com

Last March 5, 2016 was the day when I was able to tick Mount Pinatubo and 4x4 ride off my bucket list. This awesome experience was during the DERMPLUS SUNVENTURE event where the company invited select bloggers to participate in their Dermplus Sunventure campaign. Thanks to Dermplus team for making it happen. 

To those who know me so well, I know you are all surprised because I allowed myself to be engaged in such extreme adventure. For those who do not know me personally, just so you know - this kind of adventure is already a little too much for me because I am the type of person who doesn't exercise and hates the thought of getting dirty and sweaty. 

Yes, it's true that I love travelling~ but trekking and hiking were not included in my previous adventures. So when I got an invite from Dermplus and mentioned it to the husby, he was SUPER surprised to my eagerness in joining the activity. People change ya' know! haha! 

Seriously, I realised that life is short. I mean I'm not getting any younger so I guess I better get started in doing the things that I have not done before. Plus I told myself that maybe this could be the start that I get motivated and have an active lifestyle. So why not try and indulge right?!
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So our call time was set at 1:00 am.  Since Mt. Pinatubo is located 55 miles northwest of Manila, the Dermplus Team ideally arranged that we all meet at Mc Donalds in Mindanao Avenue  because it is strategically located near NLEX (North -Luzon Expressway). We left Manila at 2:00am and reached Tarlac at around 4:00am. 
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Upon reaching Capaz Tarlac, we went straight to Alvin's Mt. Pinatubo Guest House for our breakfast. A cute set-up of Dermplus products and banners welcomed us together with the rest of the Dermplus team.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com

Tip: If you plan to also do this similar trip, it is really advisable that you leave Manila by 2am to catch the sunrise during your 4x4 travel ride. If you are coming from Angeles City, you must leave by 4am.

Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com

Each of us received this Dermplus kits. The Dermplus team made sure that we all got really protected for our Sunventure activity.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
The jump off area is just a few meters away from the hostel. I think it was a short 5 minute walk so we were at the 4x4 vehicle's parking area as early as 5:30am. We signed waivers, filled up registration forms and took some photos while waiting for our ride and our guide. We also used this time to apply the Dermplus Sunblock for our skin's protection against the harmful UVs of the sun as we prepare ourselves for the adventure~
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
As it gets late, the number of people at the jump-off point increased. According to our Manong guide, the local government only allow  up to 500 persons in a day, however times have changed. Currently a limit of up to 1000 persons in a day are allowed to go up Mt. Pinatubo. We were there on a Saturday so just imagine the bulk of visitors that day. 
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
We left the area past 6:30am already so we are unable to catch the sunrise. Nevertheless, with or without sunrise, the whole 4x4 ride was pretty fun and scenic.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
I was riding at the back of a 4x4 pickup truck during the first half of my 4x4 ride then later on transferred to a 4x4 Jeep. Being the adventurous that I am, I tried and braved taking videos and photos standing at the back of the truck and it really gave us that Mad Max feels.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Along the trip, we have encountered a lot of beautiful scene that you don't get to see everyday. 
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Spot the beautiful scenic escape composed of volcano ash formations in different landscape. As we went along, I still cannot believe that something so tragic could turnout into something like this.

Click on here for a quick history about the Mount Pinatubo and its devastating eruption.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
We had a stop over in between the 2-hour 4x4 ride. 
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com

We took the opportunity to re-appy our DERMPLUS SUNBLOCK since we have been out for more than an hour already.

Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com

Our protector and the star of the day - - - Dermplus Moisturizing Sunscreen in SPF 80
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Meet the whole Dermplus Bloggers Squad! Teehee! :)
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
The whole travel time for the 4×4 ride took approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours of fun and excitement...

Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
You can see from our smiles that we did enjoy the ride! Woohoo!
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Another adventure has started the moment our 4x4 ride ended because this is the point where the trek begins. It may take up to 2 1/2 hours of walking (or more) depending on your pace (one way), so that's approximately 4--6hours in total. Rest assured, it’s a lot of fun cause you’ll be surrounded with nature the entire time.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
We encountered a lot of rocky areas along. Nevertheless, the trek is relatively easy since we never experienced a steep climb. I would suggest you wear a durable and water-resistant shoes since we walked across streams (yes, even during the summer and several of them actually).
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Like me, if it's your first time to experience trekking (with zero exercise), I bet you would also complain on how exhausted you were - (because I did!) Plus there were (a lot) of instances where in I don't want to finish the trek anymore. But hey, don't judge me yet ~  because experiencing the combination of exhaustion, thirst, hunger and heat is not a joke. That when you fail to do some prevention, it could put you in danger or worse could even cause your life---
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
You see, I came to realise that this activity is like our life. It is like the journey of our lives. 

The rocky parts, the streams that we crossed, the hunger, thirst, heat and exhaustion the we experienced are like the problems and trials that we encounter everyday. Sometimes, we encounter a little too much that we tend to forget and notice how beautiful our life is. We often complain instead of appreciating what we have which causes us to fail. I know that the road to having a good life is no easy task - that's for sure! But with constant will and determination- it would definitely let you sore high.

Always remember::: In life, no matter how rocky our journey it may seem, just think that it should always be MIND OVER MATTER. 
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
Did you know that upon reaching this spot I just cannot contain the sense of achievement that I felt. haha! For the non- trekkers, I'm sure you will also cherish this moment as much as I did.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
I know this may sound so cliche and so rusted, but I will say it again~"It's not about the destination. It's about the journey to get there." I believe a lot of you who loves to travel know what I really mean about this... :)

Across this signage, you'll be able to spot the resting area where you can buy food and drinks. The price though is waaaaay higher but trust me you won't mind the price tag anymore because the snacks and the drinks (which are served cold) would help you to re-fuel for the last remaining quarter of your trek. Oh and this is the place where you can find the toilet area too. So grab this opportunity for that water/snack and toilet break.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
The last remaining part of the trail to the crater was more refreshing compared to the first part.  You'll be able to cross a number of streams and the ambiance does have a lot of green sceneries.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
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Gaaaaaad! I finally made it!!!

The hike may be so tiring but all my exhaustion were gone the moment I laid my eyes on the crater’s lake.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
It is pretty amazing~~ It would really make you wonder and say how can something so disastrous could turn out to be soooooo breathtaking as this one. 
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
So Beautiful with clear turquoise waters and surrounding land formations.
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
What a BEAUTIFUL DISASTER indeed!
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
This amazing scene  is definitely worth all those dust, sweat, hunger, thirst, heat, exhaustion (plus my whining and complaining). 
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
If and when you are experiencing some trials in your life, always remember: 
Your bliss should always be greater than your suffering!
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com
WINNERS NEVER QUIT!
The clouds cleared up just right before we head back down - The deep blue water became blue green! 
God is truly amazing!
Mt. Pinatubo Trek Photos -Dermplus 2016 © themermaidinstilettos.com

Going back, we went through the same route although we had a shorter travel time. We were a bit faster in walking back along the trail since it is relatively easier going down. 

After another 4hours of walk and a 4×4 ride, we were back at Alvin's Guest House for a sumptuous boodle lunch. Thank you Dermplus for spoiling us!

Here are some tips for those who plan to trek Mount Pinatubo~
-Heavy breakfast is a must.
-Leave early.
-Visit the Restroom before you start the activity. The restrooms are only available until you reach the second stop over - that's 1 to 2 km before the crater area.
-There are two stop overs before you reach the crater so bring a lot of water because you will get reaaaally thirsty. There are available drinks at the trail but you'll be able to see the vendors during the half of the trek. You may find prices a little too high but I assure you that  the Php100 Gatorade (served cold) is all worth it!
-Everything is a mind over matter situation - Remember, no one else can help you but yourself.

What to bring: 
- Lots of water, to keep you hydrated.
- Energy bars and some munchies- it will save you a lot.
- Sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Cap or a bandana to to protect your hair from the sun and the dust.
- Wear Trekking Shoes.
- Extra clothes and a towel.
- Never ever forget to put on your SUNSCREEN that contains high SPF. Re-apply every hour.

As with any trekking adventures, I'm no expert on this but always remember to pack light so you can easily walk and move. Unfortunately, I can't share anything much as to how much budget one would need to prepare for a similar activity since this is a sponsored trip and everything has been arranged by the Dermplus team. Nevertheless, according to our guide, it is best to arrange a tour in group (like 5-10 pax) since discounted rates are being offered. You may check online for available promos and packages.

To cap it off, I enjoyed this activity so much! Who would have thought that through a fun activity, I would be able to come up with a great realisation and lesson in life.  It is also through this activity that I learn to value more the importance of protecting our skin (like re-applying sunblock regularly) 'cause honestly prior to this activity, I never really practice re-application of sunblock.

We all know that summer is the season when we all think about the sun, beach and vacations. However, all these happy and fun thoughts come along with the dangers of the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun that causes skin cancer and the aging process too. While it is true that even in the absence of sun exposure, we already need our dear sunblock~ so much more when we are going to engage in extreme adventure and will be exposed to the sun. Hence, it is really a must that we protect our skin by wearing a sunblock.

I have tried and tested Dermplus during our trek and it's really proven effective. It doesn't give a non-sticky feel and I didn't get any sunburn so I highly recommend it to you guys. If you have kids, I can guarantee you that your kids would love it too.

Thank you Dermplus! I consider this as one of my unforgettable experience.

For a complete coverage of our Mt. Pinatubo experience, click and watch our adventure here ~ CLICK ME!!!
https://www.facebook.com/176628389047152/videos/vb.176628389047152/1051763691533613/?type=3&video_source=pages_video_set
video
What about you guys, do you have a similar experience? Share it to me... :)


Xoxo,

Jaimie 

xx THE MERMAID IN STILETTOS xx
All my images copyright to THEMERMAIDINSTILETTOS.COM
Other Photos and Video, Source : Dermplus Team

DON'T FORGET TO CONNECT WITH ME! 
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Dermplus Moisturizing Sunblock (in different variants) are available at Watsons, Mercury Drugstore, and supermarkets nationwide. You can also follow them on Facebook for more of their sunventure updates.

28 comments:

  1. These photographs are incredible, it really does look like the adventure of a lifetime
    So brave of you to go beyond your comfort zone in pursuit of such an incredible experience
    And well done for taking photos from the back of a 4x4!

    What Raj Wants

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    1. Thank you Raj~ it is indeed one of my unforgettable experience.

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  2. I agree with you. It is pretty amazing to think of the destruction caused by the eruption and today, PInatubo has become a tourist destination. I hope increasing the number of visitors from 500 to 1000 will not be a cause for degradation and they are strict with leaving mess.

    Awesome adventure for you and glad you had a grand time.

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  3. This adventure is a chance of a lifetime, thankyou for sharing this amazing journey of yours, the views are stunning and beautiful and especially the models too.

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  4. That looks like a great adventure for the day, and don't you just love 4x4ing?

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  5. Wow! This place looks gorgeous! I would love to go to a place like this, to see the sights they have to offer, to see how they live and how the people are there! Thank you for sharing. Xx

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  6. That was a very early start for such an active day. No wonder you had to have a good breakfast. Your adventure seems a lot of fun, especially that the trekking was combined with a 4x4 race.

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  7. Wow. The photos look extremely awesome. The lake looks majestic. It is indeed a beautiful disaster. Seems like a very fulfilling trip. Thanks for sharing this with us! :)

    http://lesteronearth.blogspot.com/

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  8. This has been on my bucket list for so so so long. And seeing your photos just made me want to do it even more 😞😞😞 hopefully this year hehe.

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  9. This has been on my bucket list for so so so long. And seeing your photos just made me want to do it even more 😞😞😞 hopefully this year hehe.

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  10. Wow the beautiful disaster! Mt. Pinatubo is definitely in my bucketlist. I am still starting to prepare for adventures like this, because I really do not do trekking. But hopefully, within this year I can visit this place.

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  11. I've had friends you did this trek as well and as you mentioned, it was worth the grueling hike once you see the crater. I'm not really outdoorsy but hey like you, maybe I'll give trekking a go next time too :)

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  12. Amazing experience! Just from looking at all the beautiful pictures. I've never been trekking before but after seeing all this I sure want to!

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  13. wow, what a breathtaking scenes... we just had a glimpse of mount pinatubo when we are on our way to Zambales and we saw that lahar trail... I would love to include this place on my bucket list... if not this year, hopefully next year!

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  14. That was a fruitful trip! I bet it was really exhausting, I can see from the trail how much effort your needed to go through the entire trek! Good job for not giving up and finishing the entire thing, the view is breathtaking!

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  15. wow lucky you! the place looks incredible! i would want to try this too when im back in philippines

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  16. This is definitely something that I want to do with my family. We're still planning on a vacation to do this summer so this is a good option.

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  17. Your post just made me want to pack my bags and head to Pinatubo tonight. Your photos are inviting enough to do this activity. That pickup truck or jeep ride is surely a fun thing especially if you're with great company and during sunrise. Too bad you did not catch it. Hoping to catch it when I plan out to go there.

    Even from watching KathNiel's movie shot here, I can already see the challenge of going up to the crater. But that view is definitely worth it.

    Louise

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  18. Wow these photos are awesome! This is something I would like to do something with my closest of friends.

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  19. Wow! Such an adventure! I would be scared with Jeep in the water! Love your pictures!

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  20. This seems so fun, I like adventures like these. Can't wait to do more of them. Great photos by the way.

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  21. Woah! What a great place to visit. Looks you have fun and great time! Glad you shared it.

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  22. Beautiful photographs!! and looks it was a great adventure!! :)

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  23. What a cool experience! I would love to do this.

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  24. The photos made me want to check this crater thingy. You're right, the havoc that altered the lives and livelihood of those affected by the volcanic eruption indeed turned into something beautiful. Just like in our lives, disaster may come with pain and injury. But after a while, can create a beautiful lake crater.

    I love the photos, you did a great job sharing your experience!

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  25. Life is short, we should do what we enjoy. Your pictures are amazing.

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  26. Love your photographs and how I wish I can go their soon. It's always in my plan but was postponed several times already :)

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  27. What an incredible adventure -- or, sunventure! Those sights are spectacular and it looks like you had a real blast!

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