About Mount Pulag
Mount Pulag is the highest mountain in Luzon and the third highest mountain in the Philippines with a height of 2922 meters above sea level. It is famous for the sea of clouds and milky way view at dawn.
Four trails going to the summit: the Ambaguio trail from Nueva Viscaya and the Ambangeg, Akiki, Tawanagan trail from Benguet. All the trails are managed by the Mount Pulag National Park.
It is divided into three areas: pine forest which is the base of the mountain, the second is the mossy forest and the last part is the grassland area which you can find the dwarf bamboo.
Hiking Mount Pulag (Ambangeg trail)
Mount Pulag was the first mountain I hike in the Philippines. I am curious to see the sea of clouds and the milky way based on the photos and videos I see online. I decided to join groups of hikers who will go to Mount Pulag on two days and one-night trek through Ambangeg trail (the easy trail).
Things needed for hike:
- medical certificate – it is mandatory to provide the certificate before you can hike. You can bring your certificate or you can get the certificate in the hospital or clinic near the DENR office.
- hiking shoes/sandals
- thick hiking socks (bring extra)
- hiking pants or convertible pants
- raincoat (in case if there is rain)
- several layers of clothing (we can’t predict the temperature at the summit)
- thermal jacket
- bonnet or scarf
- trail foods
- headlamps or flashlights
- tent – if your camping (you can also rent)
- sleeping bag (for camping)
- trekking poles
- enough water
- power banks
- camera – for shooting photos and videos
DENR registration (Mt. Pulag National Park)
Reservation of slots for your date of the hike is a must due to the high volume of hikers, especially at weekends. We registered at DENR and submitted our medical certificate. You are also required to attend the orientation seminar which tackles guidelines about hiking in Mount Pulag. (I prefer to go during weekdays to avoid crowds)
- Facebook page – Mt Pulag National Park
- Contact no – 09106412678 or 09261626786
Securing guides at Ranger Station
After the DENR registration, time to secure the guides for our group. One guide was allowed for a maximum of six persons.
Homestay at Ranger Station
We were staying at Decio’s Homestay. You have a comfortable pillow and beds. The mobile signal is quite not good inside. Charging gadgets and hot water is available at a price. The water temperature was extremely cold especially if you want to take a shower.
The call time was midnight. Before starting our journey, Hannah (our Organizer) lead a prayer for our safety and protection. From the starting point to Camp 1 we reached 2 AM and rest for 15 minutes. Afterward, we reached Camp 2 at around 3-4 AM. We rest for a while and prepare to continue our quest. We have a chance to see the milky way and some meteorites in the clear sky before the ascent to the summit.
Finally, we reached the peak at 5:30 AM. We are the first group to reach the summit. Everyone enjoys shooting photos and wait for the sunrise. Thank God the weather was nice. After everyone has taken lots of photos it was time to go back to the starting point.
The beauty of the surrounding area of Mount Pulag was revealed after the broad daylight. Passing grassland field to camp 2, I take the opportunity to shoot a photo together of the lonely tree I see in this area.
We rest for a while after reaching camp 2 then continue towards camp 1. Between camp 2 and camp 1 you will pass through the enchanted mossy forest.
After the photoshoot at the mossy forest, we rest for a while at camp 1. We pass through the pine forest area then finally going back to our homestay.
The group went back to DENR for check out. We got our rewards certificate that we survived Mount Pulag.
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O Lord, how great is the number of your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of the things you have made.Psalms 104:24
Nathaniel Amoyen is co-founder of Joanathx. Full-time ex-pat worker at day and writer at night.