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Ang Pagbabalik | Mt. Pulag | Benguet

Photo above was taken on the summit of Mt. Pulag - it was February 14, 2013. First time to hike Mt. Pulag and I was able to experience the famous Sea of Clouds. And this 2014, I want more. Kasi naman hindi ako prepared last time, ayan oh, nag-camouflage ako sa background. Kaya sabi ko, uulit-ulitin ko talaga ang pag-akyat sa Pulag with vibrant colors na. This time, prepared na ako sa wardrobe ko, yung talagang makikita na ako.

We booked our tickets almost a week before the scheduled hike. We met at Victory Liner Cubao and Baguio City was the destination. We left Manila at 8:00PM Friday and arrived in Baguio at around 2AM Saturday. Iba talaga pag Victory Liner ang sinasakyan, siguradong makakarating ka ng matiwasay sa iyong patutunguhan. Mababait pa ang driver at konduktor; sinisigurado nilang walang maiiwang tao o mga bagahe bago umalis. Napaka-komportable pa sa loob ng bus kahit nasa likod kami naka-upo. First time na nag-byahe kami na nakatulog ako sa byahe.

Since we left the bus terminal so early, we arrived at DENR Office before the sunrise. But before falling on the line for the seminar, we had our breakfast in Ma'am Gina's Carinderia,  and bought our packed lunch. After breakfast, proceeded to DENR. We were still early that time and the office was still closed. We had a lot of time for photo ops and chatting. As the office admins opened the doors, I saw the people falling on the line for seminar, as in a lot, numerous, countless people – OA masyado no? Basta marami, majority were students na kutis mala-sutla. Nakakaloka nga mga eksena eh; kaharap ko tagalog, sa right side ko may mag-jowa at naghaharutang Japanese, sa left side naman yung mga englesherang students na akala mo eh lahat may brashes at sa likod mga Ilokano. Ako yung naguluhan kung kanino ako makikinig eh. Para akong nasa Miss World together with the other contestants na iba't-iba ang lengwahe. At the DENR Office, hikers should comply with the policies and procedures. Needs to register and attend the seminar. You can also buy souvenir items, shirts and many more. Powder and wash rooms are also available.

After the seminar was one of the most challenging part, the zigzag and muddy road to Ranger Station. Regardless of those challenges, we still enjoyed the whole journey because we are Batang Hamog, kahit san ilagay, kahit pa sa EDSA, hindi nawawalan ng mga katatawanan. The breeze was really cool and the ambiance was perfect for nature lovers. While taking the winding road, it’s very essential to always ready yourself and your camera for the gorgeous spots. You can easily notice the vegetable plantations, in terraces style. Everything is really green - pati mga isipan namin, dumikit ang green.

11:16 AM we reached the Ranger Station. After getting off the jeepney, we processed the registration, secured porters and guides. Did the final packing. After 30 minutes, we started ascending. Syempre mawawala ba ang group shot? May maganda sa picture nato - may blue sa katawan nya nya.

 
Few meters walk from the Rangers station; I was able to see this gorgeous cabbage plantation. Napaka presko ng hanging at mga tanawin. Nagmukhang paintings ang bawat detalye ng mga taniman. Matapos kumuha ng ilang larawan, dumeretso na ako sa paglalakad. Habang tumataas ang elevation ng trail mas lalong numinipis ang hangin at lumalamig pa lalo. 12:45 PM, narating ko ang Camp 1.

Mt. Pulag is really one of the mountains in the Philippines that attract tourists and hikers. Look at the shot above, not only EDSA is experiencing the slow moving traffic but also on the trail, taken few meters from the first spring water.

Photo taken at the Camp 2 at around 1:57 PM. Pahinga ng very light, kuhang pictur. At dumeretsong extension camp ng Camp 2. Dun kami mag-papalipas ng gabi. Medyo very light palang ng mga tents at mga campers, pero ilang minuto lang ang pagitan dumami na agad. Check the photos below.

Pag-karating ko ng Extension Camp, ganito pa yung ambiance, kaunti pa lamang ang mga tents, pero after few hours, please check the photo below:
Mabilis na napuno ang extension camp ng iba't-ibang kulay na tents. Habang tumatagal mas lalong lumalamig ang hangin at napupuno ng fog ang lokasyon namin,nag-zezero visibility pa nga kahit alas kwatro palang ng hapon.

Habang mga liwanag pa, nag-luto ang nag-handa muna kami ng aming meryenda para sa isang birthday boy. Isinunod naman namin ang preparation for dinner. Mawawala ba ang pinaka-bagong  putahing tatawagin nating "sinigang?" syempre mawawala ba ang "at marami pang iba?"

Habang lumalalim ang gabi, akalain nyong nasukat ko ang lalim ng gabi? Mas lalong lumalakas ang hagupit ng napakalakas na hangin na may kasamang ambon. Kinakabahan ako na baka habang tulog kami eh, tangayin na kami ng hangin at pag-gising namin nasa Maynila na kami? Diba nakakakaba yun?

Bago matulog, itinago muna namin ang mga pag-kain at mga kagamitan. Pero pag-pasok ng aming tent, napansin naming basa na ang loob. Dahil ito sa lamig at pati loob na-penetrate na ng moisture. Syempre dahil sa pagod, ayun burlogz kami lahat. Pero every after two hours, nagigising-gising kami dahil sa basa ang aming kinahihigaan.

Ang balak naming gumising ng 2:30AM ay nawala na dahil tinatamad na kaming lahat lumabas ng tent dahil sa fog at lamig. Sabayan pa ng malakas na hangin na may dalang manipis na ambon. 3:30AM kami nag-silabasan ng tent at nag-prepare ng pampainit. 4AM started ascending to summit. The trail going to summit is easier because of the rock placed on it but some parts were still an assault and muddy.

Pag-dating namin sa summit, ayun mala-fiesta ang peg, napakaraming tao at napaka-colorful. Everyone was waiting for the clearing and hoping to witness the spectacular Sea of Clouds. We staryed there for more an hour, but we didn't see the Sea of Clouds, instead we saw the Sea of Fogs.

After taking photos by the marker, we left the summit. Descending is much challenging, because we were facing against the position of the cold wind. Disadvantage talaga kapag may kalaparan mukha mo, salo mo lahat. Tinakbo ko nalang pababa para mas maramdaman ko ang init ng aking *pag-nanasa; - pag-nanasang makarating agad ng camp site. Pagkarating ng camp site, prepared breakfast. Then, *breakcamp and left the camp site at around 10:30AM. Same scenario, traffic on trail.

12:08PM, I finally reached the Ranger Station. Ayun, same scenario, dami paring tao. Sa dinami-dami kong makikita at makikilala, tong mga boys nato pa?? Hahaha. Tagal narin naming hindi nakikita. Last was the unforgettable Mt. Romelo, na gusto ko nang kalimutan, for some reasons. Hahaha. At dahil inaantay namin ang iba naming mga kasama, mas nagkaroon pa kami ng maraming oras para mag-repack ng mga gamit, malibot ang Ranger Station at nakapagpa-picture pa kung saan-saan. Nung kumpleto na, push na pababa. Haaayyy. Ingay parin namin sa jeep kahit pagud.

Kana Ma'am Gina parin kami nag-banlaw at at kumain ng meryenda. Pag-katapos naming madumihan, mabasa, lamigin; ito talaga ang aming mukha sa likod ng camera. Ganda nung naka-blue no? Ilang oras din kaming tumambay at nag-ingay sa lugar na yun. Tapos byahe ulit papuntang City of Pines - Baguio City! Iniwan lang namin yung gamit namin sa Victory Liner tapos deretsong pakengke para mamiling mga pasalubong sa mga fans. Tapos daan ng SM Baguio, tsinek lang namin kung naka ON ang kanilang aircon, tapos deretsong Good Taste - lumang branch.

9:20 PM, we had a dinner at GoodTaste Cafe & Restaurant. Prices were affordable. Tapos dami pang servings. Dami tuloy naming take out. Sarap nung buttered chicken, nung chopseuy, at nung kanin. Syempre yun lang inorder namin eh. Tapos kunting kembot lang Burnham Park na.

Pag-katapos ng dinner, at ang alis ng bus namin eh 11:10 PM, lakad lang ng very light patungong Burnham Park para ma-experience ang tinatawag na "Night Market" sa gabi. Kakaiba no? Night market sa gabi? Siguro mahigit isang kilometrong kalsada yun na puno ng mga ukay-ukay at mga pagkain. Kalahati palang nalalakad namin, bumalik agad kami eh. Panu malalate na kami sa trip namin. Ikaw anu bang trip mo?

Hindi man namin nakita ang Sea of Clouds ng Mt. Pulag, naging matiwasay naman ang aming byahe, marami pa namang pag-kakataong darating. Sa akyat na ito, mas naramdaman at nalaman pa naming ang kalikasan ay may sariling pag-iisip. Kaya nyang iparanas ang mga bagay-bagay na hindi ini-expect ng mga tao.

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