You’ve seen the photos on your feed, You’ve encountered countless hashtags, and you have definitely been tagged in your friend’s breathtaking shot of the most coveted sunrise. You’ve pondered over booking that trip again and again, but you just never did. I won’t pretend I, myself, was not disturbed by this troublesome reality. What is it with Mount Pulag that makes people so drawn to it? You’re wondering why practically everyone is doing it? Well, let me ask you: why haven’t you?
It took years of planning and procrastination before I was able to finally cross this off my bucket list. My first peak was early this year in Rodriguez, Rizal. Mount Pulag just happened to be second on my expectantly long list of conquests and like you, there were a handful of reasons that had me feeling apprehensive about the climb. However, I just had to get it over with to satisfy my aching curiosity. I have been told that it’s one of the easiest trails, but it’s also something you would not tackle without preparatory measures. This is why I opted to get assistance from a tour group called Arcobaleno.
‘We bring people together in a fun, friendly, and inviting atmosphere with various outdoor activities in store for you: Mountain climbing, rockclimbing spelunking, skimboarding, swimming, waterfalls adventure, festivities and Basic Mountaineering Course!’ – Arcobaleno Team
Arcobaleno is a tour group composed of individuals who share a passion of making travel and adventure accessible and convenient. They believe that people have a natural thirst for adventure and thus provide them with the opportunity to explore what’s beyond the comforts of their homes through their guided tours to various destinations, one of which is Mount Pulag.
If you think the photos are too good to be true, if you sure as heck don’t have the time and patience to endure a gruelling 9-hour ride, or if you’re simply intimidated by the idea that you aren’t physically capable of climbing the highest peak in Luzon, here are 7 reasons that’ll make you pack your bags and free up your next weekend.
7 Reasons You Should Climb Mt. Pulag Now
7. It’s the perfect time to do so.
Climbing the 3rd highest peak in the Philippines gives you the opportunity to sport the latest fall collection from Uniqlo that you got on sale. You’ll have to don at least three layers of thermal wear, but that doesn’t mean you have to put on so much clothing that you’ll look more like the Michelin man than a mountaineer. Summertime in the mountain province provides the perfect amount of cold that will still allow your body to function and enjoy the trek.
6. You don’t need any experience.
Although I can’t say that it will be easy for everyone, at least you won’t have to follow a strict exercise regimen to complete this hike. There is one sole trail which is made evident by the army of headlights on the early morning climb that sort of depicts a luminescent path. Getting lost is even harder than sticking to the trail. It ranks just 3/10 on the PH Mountains App proving that no significant climbing experience is required. It’s almost like a walk in the park, especially when you’re with an experienced tour guide, like Arcobaleno.
5. Everybody needs some time to unplug.
Every now and then, you need to take a break from the toxicity of everyday life. With Manila’s traffic situation nowadays, the heightened stress levels and pollution can really taking a toll on your body. As such, it would be undeniably refreshing to spend a weekend with nature and just breathe fresh air. Go where your feet take you without having to worry about traffic, parking, or gas. Ditch your current playlists on Spotify and listen to the sound of the birds and the whisper of hustling winds instead. Let natural beauty and simplicity overwhelm you and allow you to appreciate the simple things, so that you realize that you don’t really need much to survive.
4. Nature is ever-changing.
With the growing popularity of the Mount Pulag park and the telltale signs of climate change, you can never be sure if it will still be pristine and majestic the next day. There may come a time when Mount Pulag loses its beauty or gets to an unbearable temperature. Don’t wait for that to happen.
3. You will learn to appreciate your own.
I bet at least 1 of every 4 people reading this has been to a foreign country, but has never set foot on the peak of Mount Pulag. While it’s great to experience what other countries have to offer, I believe you have to appreciate your own first and foremost. Don’t confine yourself to a single province or island. We are composed of 7,107 islands that are each unique on their own. The beauty of Pulag is our secret and privilege. We have to experience it for ourselves and take part in the current measures that are being done to preserve it. It’s our responsibility.
2. You will get free life advice and survival lessons.
Before attempting to discover a new place, people tend to ask other people for advice. However, it is rare for people to ask about what a place can teach. Anywhere you go outside of your comfort zone is something that’ll help build your character. New experiences let you discover things about yourself and may give you answers you’ve long been looking for:
‘My bag is really heavy and I’m getting really tired. Did I really need all of this? Why didn’t I just take the essentials?’
‘Oh no. My shoes have finally given up on me! Okay. What do I need to do?’
‘I’m so thirsty. I can’t feel my hands. But I can’t drink. I can’t.. cause then I’ll have to look for a non-existent toilet.’
‘I can’t do this. I can’t do this. But she can! And that little girl in the pink shoes can! Ok, Let’s go!’
They say mountains have a way of dealing with over-confidence. I couldn’t agree more. You can never be too fit nor too prepared. You’ll be completely detached and, more often than not, you’ll encounter things you never even saw coming. It’s a true test of character.
1. You will see the ‘Sea of Clouds’.
Cliche but true. There’s no other reason to climb Pulag but to see that lovely view. We all have our own version of this: sea of fog, sea of mountains, sea of rain? It’s always a different experience and it’s always unpredictable, but one thing’s for sure: nothing compares to the feeling of being on top.
I learned how to appreciate the significance of temperature change and how it disrupts the body’s ability to function. I learned that you can’t tell how a person can fair in the mountains based on their build. I learned there is a whole new world out there and that we have so much beauty in our home and that we have to do our best to protect it. Climbing Mount Pulag has taught me so much about myself and others that the sea of clouds was just a huge fat consolation.
So, if you’re still thinking twice about packing your bags and climbing Pulag, I suggest you book with Acrobaleno now. They’ve got plenty of weekends lined up for the rest of the year!
Arcobaleno Trail Tours