Throwback Thursday: My Mt. Pulag Experience

I'm posting this because I'm not sure if I can ever do this again. Hihi! This by far was one of the highlights of my mountaineering life. Climbing Mt. Pulag via the Tawangan Trail took us, if I remember correctly, two days to reach the camp. On the third day on an early morning, we climbed the summit. That was the day we were inducted as mountaineers. Yes, at the top of Mt. Pulag. And opo, may induction po ang mga mountaineers. :-)

There are I think four major trails going up Mt. Pulag. Ambangeg, Akiki, Tawangan and Ambagiuao. Some are easy, some are hard and challenging. I think Ambangeg daw ata is the easiest. We took the Tawangan Trail going up and Akiki Trail going down. 

Tawangan Trail was really a challenging and looooonnngg trail! We got to encounter a lot of limatiks, too! But, no! It didn't stop us from climbing all the way up. Rain was non-stop. It was exhausting. It was freezing cold. Straight to the bone! Tagos sa buto ang lamig. But there's no way but up. As a mountaineer, I have learned to accept and cherish the challenges along the way. The view and feeling at the top is just so amazing you'll forget all the things you encountered along the way. The best! In fact, the view along the way is already beautiful. The flora & fauna, the mossy rain forest, the pine trees, the wild orchids, and everything else is wonderful! But being at the summit is something even more. The joy, the serenity, the nature, the bed of clouds, the calmness of the mountain. Everything. You will really be awed and say a thankful prayer to see God's perfect creations. At the same time, a prayer hoping that nature will stay like this, untouched, not destroyed by mankind.

We took the Akiki Trail going down the mountain on the fourth day. Akiki Trail is considered the hardest trail going up, but for me and for some, it is also the hardest trail going down. It really put hell on my already injured right knee! I got the injury on our second climb I think, a few months before this climb. As in ouch! I barely couldn't walk anymore. I was just so thankful that I have very supportive co-mountaineers who never left my side until we reached the foot of Mt. Pulag. Akiki Trail kasi is an almost continuous inclined trail going down. Hindi siya gradually pababa. Again, it didn't stop me from finishing this challenge. I had to do it one step at a time, baby steps at that. For me, the hardest part in climbing mountains is actually not going up, but the stage when you start to descend. You know the feeling of already being exhausted from several days of walking and feeling cold, all wet from the continuous rain (rainforest kasi :-)) and with a heavy backpack all the time, and you still have to gather all the remaining strengths you have because of course, you still have a long way going down. That's the hardest but for me, that's also the best experience. Once you're down the mountain safely with everybody, the fulfillment strikes me. The happiness that I got to conquer another challenge is just absolutely amazing! I really thank the Lord for the wonderful experience. Nature is such an absolutely beautiful sight to see. 

Side note: Another challenging mountain to climb is Mt. Napulauan. If Mt. Pulag via Tawangan-Akiki Trail is overwhelming enough, Mt. Napulauan is another story! I'll share my experience in another post. :-)

Mount Pulag (or sometimes Mount Pulog) is the third highest mountain in the Philippines. It is Luzon’s highest peak at 2,922 meters above sea level. The borders between the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya meet at the mountain's peak.
Because of its high elevation, the climate on Mount Pulag is temperate with rains predominating the whole year. Rainfall on the mountain averages 4,489 mm yearly with August being the wettest month with an average rainfall of 1,135 mm. -- Source

May 27 - May 31, 2009 
That's me wearing the baseball cap, with two of my ever supportive co-mountaineers.  :-)
The limatik that bit me! Wondering what limatiks are? Well, these are blood-thirsty sucking leeches that is very prolific in some mountains! Hitik na hitik ang Tawangan Trail nito! :-)

Solo Shot, hihi! :-)

Hindi obvious but it was freezing cold here! As in tagos sa laman! I was wearing a big plastic bag underneath my shirt to keep me warm. :-)
Two of our friends going up the summit. I just love this shot. :-)

That's me wearing the maroon jacket. We're almost at the summit! Konting konti na lang. :-)

The view at the summit! Beautiful! Look at that sea of clouds! :-)

Another angle. Hay... So calm and peaceful, right?
This is Akiki Trail and the sight at the center is the Edet River. View at the Akiki Trail is also a sight to behold. Perfect! :-)

Wonder where Allan was during this climb? Wala sa picture eh. Haha! Actually, he was not able to join this climb because his work sched didn't permit him to. Sad. But he was able to climb Mt. Pulag a year before I did. :-)


  1. oh, looks like another remarkable experience to you
    nice header and dress of your blog!

  2. 2 days? It's that high. Galing mo for doing it. I hope you can climb again, looks like its your passion eh.

  3. Wow! You're a mountaineer pala. What an adventure that is! I don't know if I have the stamina to do that.

  4. Uyy, galing! Mt Pulag is on my bucket list (such a shame cuz I live in Baguio and I havent been there!) I was wondering what limatiks are until i realized they are leeches pala :). the ilocanos call them alimatek, so that must be how the word evolved. YOU are so blessed to be there :)


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