PINAYKEYPOINT TEAM’S YEARLY PROGRAM OF GIFT GIVING, TREE PLANTING AND MOUNT PINATUBO TREKKING ACTIVITY JANUARY 6, 2013

PINAYKEYPOINT TEAM’S YEARLY PROGRAM OF GIFT GIVING, TREE PLANTING AND MOUNT PINATUBO TREKKING ACTIVITY

JANUARY 6, 2013

THIS IS ONE OF OUR ADVOCACIES. COME AND JOIN US! LET’S GIVE BACK TO OUR MOTHER NATURE BY PLANTING TREES AND SHARE OUR BLESSINGS TO OUR LESS FORTUNATE  AETA COMMUNITIES AT THE GROUNDS OF MOUNT PINATUBO

REGISTRATION FEE: 1,500php

INCLUSIONS:

4WD Jeep ride (rental, driver, gas & trip dues), Evironmental fees & clearance, Snack after the trip

MODE OF PAYMENT:

FULL PAYMENT VIA BDO, PNB, WESTERN UNION, CEBUANA OR ML LHUILLIER

WHAT TO BRING:

Any gift that you want to share to the Aeta community, adults or kids

Clothings or Toys (used or new), groceries, rice etc..

Bring your own Lunch, Trail Snack & water

Tree seedlings (fruit bearing or not)

WHAT TO WEAR:

PREFERABLY RED SHIRT OR ANY COLOR, PANTS OR SHORTS, DURABLE FOOTWEAR

ITINERARY:

5:00 or earlier: MEET-UP @ PINAYKEYPOINT’S OFFICE, CAPAS TARLAC/ BRIEFING & PREPARATION
5:30 Take off to final dispatching Area
6:00 Off Road Ride
8:00 ETA Lipit Station – 4WD jump off point/Distribution of Gifts

9:00 Trekking to Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake
11:00 ETA Crater Lake
1:00 Pack-up time
1:30 Tree Planting Activity
3:00 4WD Parking @ Lipit station
5:00 ETA Pinaykeypoint Office/ Distribution of snacks

END OF THE TRIP

HOW TO REGISTER:

Send your complete names, age, address, contact number, nationality and person to notify in case of emergency. Assign your own team leader if you are 5pax & up.

Send it to pinaykeypoint.team@gmail.com

Registration & payment will close on January 4, 2013
THIS IS A FIRST-COME-FIRST SERVED ACTIVITY
Registration may close earlier if we reached the maximum number of participants.

HOW TO REACH OUR OFFICE:

VIA PRIVATE CAR:

We will provide maps & direction through e-mail

2 hours travel time from Manila, 1 hour from Angeles/Clark

VIA PUBLIC BUS

Ride a 3:00 am trip to any bus bound to Dagupan or Pangasinan

Estimated fare: 200php or less

Estimated travel time: More than 2 hours

You may contact us @ these numbers: 

0917 477 9156
0930 508 8494
0920 585 7239
0923 626 9088
(045) 324-0928

Contact Persons:

JULIET CORPUZ
JANE CASTANEDA
ROBIN CORPUZ
ERIC MANANSALA
JESSICA CORPUZ
EARL CORNISTA
ELIZA TAM
ARIS BRIONES SANTOS
SHIO BILONO
JR CABRERA GARCIA

www.pinaykeypoint.org
pinaykeypoint.team@gmail.com


 

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MOUNT PINATUBO OVERNIGHT CAMPING PROMO 2012

Every year we are giving rainy season promo for our regular clients and trekking enthusiasts who are waiting for cheap tour packages. This year, we are giving the cheapest tour ever. Read the mechanics carefully then grab your keyboard and register because this promo is only for the first 500pax. We will be closing the registration once we reach our target.

MOUNT PINATUBO OVERNIGHT CAMPING

SORRY THIS PROMO IS ALREADY CLOSED

WE WILL BE LAUNCHING OUR NEXT PROMO FOR 2013

VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR DETAILS

www.pinaykeypoint.org

Mount Pinatubo Overnight Camping Itinerary

MEET UP TIME: 8:00AM

MEET-UP POINT: PINAYKEYPOINT’S OFFICE

Capas, Tarlac, Philippines

We have a maps and direction in our website, please visit the link below:
You must settle your payments and ask your team to sign the waiver.
We usually send copies of trekking reminders, maps and waiver so
we are expecting that you already discussed this with your team.
We are conducting briefing prior to final clearance. This is a mandatory requirement before dispatching. Although we already sent you trekking reminders and waiver, we still have to remind everyone about the dangers in the area, the Do’s and Don’ts, what to do in case of emergency and pack up time. Sometimes during the briefing, team members blames their team leaders for lack of information and failure to disseminate copies of trekking reminders so they can pack their things right. We have a link for Trekking Preparation. Please click here to view

Take off to Final dispatching. This is around 30 minutes drive. If you have your own car, you can park it at the dispatching area. It’s safe because it’s already within the military vicinity. Parking Lots are usually maintained by the some villagers and they usually ask 50 to 100php parking fee

The Local Tourism and Local official will check our clearance and gatepass. Gatepass is a mandatory requirement to climb. Organizers will secure this document for you and this is the reason why you have to register you name, age, address, nationality and person/no. to be notified in case of emergency. These are required info in securing your gatepass. The Tourism officer and Local Official in-charge have to sign the documents for approval.

11:00am –  Final Check Point. The Philippine Air Force is in-charge of the security in the area. They usually make the final decision whether they will allow us to climb or not especially during rainy months which is from July to November. Military activity are usually held in the area and they are giving us time frame to pass, usually 7 to 7:30am before closing the road. Nobody is no longer allowed to climb once the road are closed.

4WD is one of the highlights of this trip. The terrain itself and river crossings while watching the breathtaking creation will make you feel that you’re in another era far from the hustling and bustling city life. One important reminder while riding a 4WD is avoid talking face to face. Some of my previous clients bumped into each other’s nose and the result is severe nose bleeding. Hah! How will you explain that to your officemates after the trek?  So please take our reminders and briefings seriously 🙂

Final take off to Mount Pinatubo. Very bumpy and dusty ride. You need towel and mask to protect yourself from dust. 

You may ask your driver to stop for some photo shoots along the way

12:30 pm – The 4WD jump off point at the base of Mount Pinatubo. 1.5 hours walk usually starts here. These maybe longer or shorter depending upon your trekking speed. You can do some final touch here like applying sunblock, prepare your slippers, sun/rain protection. If you bring some trail food & drinks, better to take some here to lighten your bag and feed your hunger. This will keep you going 🙂

Prepare yourself for a very rough terrain ahead. Remember, you are conquering a volcano and ‘no pain-no gain’. This will make you realize the significance of Light Packing because believe me, you will feel the weight of your back pack after 30 minutes and it’s no joke, the longer the trek, the heavier it becomes!

Wear proper footwear to protect your feet. Using socks is highly recommended. This will save your lovely feet from blisters. Believe me, most of my clients are swearing their’s footwear’s brand after the trip because of blisters and bleeding.

Be careful and watch your step because you might be injured along the way. If this happens, inform your team leader to call the attention of the assigned trail guides and field coordinators. Pinaykeypoint Team has a basic first aid kit with bandages and basic medicine for headache and stomach trouble

Don’t just rely on your shoes. Bring your extra slipper. This will make you comfortable and flexible.

…And might be sprained along the way

Please note that you will be crossing a lot of rivers and streams

Trekking might be very tiring so take a break from time time. Inform your guides that you want to take some rest so they can wait for you. Never cope up with fast paced trekkers, most of the time this is the reason why some tourists will just fall and collapsed. They are too shy or too proud to say that they need some rest and pushing their limits. It’s a no no! Remember, we don’t have an ambulance here. You have 2 choices, ask your group to be patient and wait for you or spoil the entire trek!

It’s important to bring to bring some trail food to keep you going

…you have to ensure that you are wearing a durable footwear!
…We must be careful during trekking
…Because I cannot assure you that we can always provide a tape and slipper 😉
Because of this creature… But don’t worry! Snakes are typically timid creatures and they usually go away when they sensed a presence of humans, unless you step on them! So be careful and watch your step…
After more than 1 hour of walk, you will reach a real comfort room but you have to be patient enough because there are so many of you that are rushing to use it as well 😉
You can also refill your bottles. This is a spring water and it’s potable. We are using it for many years now
1:30pm – Few meters away is the ReyCat station. It is named after our previous municipal mayor, Reynaldo Catacutan  who is the person behind of these development. ReyCat played a vital role in advancing the Tourism Industry of our town, Capas which  eventually gives an employment to many, not just the local town’s folk of Capas but the adjacent places as well. This is also the old 4WD jump off point but because of several strong typhoons, trails were destroyed and it will take some time before it can be rehabilitated again. 
Next is a signage… Never let it trick you! It was used when we celebrated the feast of Pinatubo 2 years ago. A contest was held for that purpose and it’s not funny to see my clients beating the time carved in that wood! Most of them were sprained trying to beat it. Come on guys! you are not here to prove your speed. You are here to enjoy the trail, conquer Mount Pinatubo and see it’s majestic feature. Don’t let this signage ruin your day…
The remaining 30 minutes is Bush Trekking. You would see wild trees and ferns. Don’t try to pick and eat fruits if you’re not really a mountaineer. Some wild berries are available but if you cannot identify it it’s edible then, forget it!
…some ankle deep streams
until you reach a 58 steps stairs going up to Mount Pinatubo viewing deck. I know this will add pains to your injury 😉 but you can always sit down for few minutes before climbing
and finally, The Majestic Mount Pinatubo! You will feel the proud spirit of conquest and realized in the end that it’s all worth it. Remember, not all are given the opportunity to witness God’s creations. You can spend few minutes here to rest and take the best angle for your cam to capture…
…before taking another steps again going down to the crater side. This is roughly 198 uneven steps without railings so be careful and ask inform your guide if you are afraid of heights. You may opt to just stay at the viewing deck and wait for your team to come up.
We are not allowed to camp beside the crater lake for safety measure. The viewing deck was developed and we are encourage to use this place for overnight camping activity. This is more convenient because of the availability of rest room and water system.
Tourists usually preferred to camp underneath this wide and concrete cottage to take advantage of it shed in case of sudden rainfall
See to it that you packed easy to cook food or better if it’s already cooked and you will just heat it. People became impatient when hunger strikes! Basically, we provide plates, spoons, portable stove  and cooking utensils so just bring what you need which is not mentioned. Ask us if you are not sure to save your back
from too much baggage.
Overnight camping will not be complete without the bonfire magic. The local aetas usually pronounced it ‘vampire’ 😉 so don’t ever get them wrong if you hear them say that they will gather woods for your ‘vampire’ lol! To add some excitement, you may bring few hotdogs and marshmallow….
The picturesque and mystic caldera at night
It’s really amazing to see some groups with these things! Gosh, how did they made it? There is no limit for what you may bring when you climb as long as you can carry it. Remember we are not providing you a personal porter. The porter that will join your team will be in-charge of the camping gadgets mentioned earlier but you are always free to hire a local porter for 1,000php (overnight rate)
It’s not everyday that you will experience having your breakfast at the volcano 😉 so grab your favorite coffee and make sure that you capture that majestic moment…
And don’t forget to take that opportunity to thank the Great Creator above for giving you the opportunity to witness his Majestic creations 🙂
The difference of taking a boat ride in the morning is to save your skin from the heat of the sun. This activity is available only during summer.
We don’t really encourage swimming at the crater because according to PHILVOCS which regularly conduct routine check in the area, it’s roughly 280 to more than 300 feet deep. Bear in mind that this is not a beach, It is a stratovolcano! and it is sharp deep just few meter away from the crater side. We don’t have a stand by life guard in the area so as per Local Tourism advisory, we are not allowed to swim because we will not be liable if you are drowned. But typically, people are hardheaded and they would insist to take a quick dip. Pinaykeypoint is providing arm floaters to ensure that you are safe. Inform us if you plan to use some and keep in mind that swimming at night is strictly prohibited.
Wake up early and take that chance to enjoy the calmness of a once raging volcano. This is only possible during overnight camping trip  😉
Pack up time at 9:00am. It may be earlier or later depending upon your request but not later than 10am. Remember we are just paying for our personnel a 24hours rate. They might charges us an overtime if we exceed with the time limit.
Be a good neighbor, we encourage that you do some charity with the local Aetas before or after your trekking activity.
(:..T H E  E N D..;)
For inquiries, send your email to julietcorpuz@gmail.com

or text/call: Globe: (+63)917.477.9156/Smart: (+63)930.508.8494/Sun: (+63)923.626.9156

T H E  P I N A Y K E Y P O I N T   T E A M

all rights reserved. 2007-2012

Mount Pinatubo Day Tour Package Rates and Inclusions

MOUNT PINATUBO DAY TOUR PACKAGE  FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST TO DECEMBER 2014

All trips from August to November are weather dependent. We must ensure that the weather is fine before climbing. Tracking of weather forecast is important because we don’t dispatch trips even with the slightest threat of weather disturbance. The Philippine Air Force, Municipal office and Local Tourism will not allow us to climb if there is a threat of incoming typhoon or threat of heavy rains. To avoid wasting of time due to cancellation, it is best to call/SMS the night before your final trek date to follow up the actual weather condition in the area. Please also note that we only dispatch group tours. Climbing in groups is mandatory during rainy season to ensure that somebody is there to help us in time of unforeseen events.
RATE PER PERSON —–  TOTAL HEAD COUNT
1,800php ———————– 10-12 persons
THIS PACKAGE RATE STARTS AT STA JULIANA, CAPAS TARLAC. YOU MUST HAVE YOUR OWN TRANSPORT TO REACH US.
.
INCLUSIONS
  • 4×4 jeep ride (inclusive of whole day rental, gas and trip dues)
  • Driver
  • Service of a local trail guide (per jeep)
  • Entrance and Conservation Fees (per head)
  • Trip arrangement/clearances & permit (per group)
  • All applicable environmental fees

TERMS & CONDITION ON HOW TO BOOK YOUR TRIP

  1.  Register by sending us your Tour date, Total No. of Trek Participants, Complete Names, Age, Address, Nationality, Contact No, Email address, Person & no. to notify in case of emergency
  2. Send your Email to pinaykeypoint.team@gmail.com. Please note that we are receiving so many inquiries everyday and we prioritize replying to emails with complete name and contact nos. because we consider this as credible queries and treat the rest as SPAM.
  3. Submission must be at least 1 week prior to your final trek date
  4. After receipt of registration details, we will confirm your mail and send tour details
  5. We require 50%  reservation payment to be deposited to our bank account (BDO). We must receive it at least 3 days prior to your final trek date. We will confirm your trip via email upon receipt of your payment and will send you a copy of your final itinerary, map and trekking reminders
  6. There is a 200php per head cancellation charge if trip is cancelled due to bad weather. No charge if you will re-book your trip at a later date. Trips are rebookable anytime or within  1 year from your actual trek date.
  7. We enforce a NO SHOW – NO REFUND POLICY and a 50% refund if you cancel your trip 48 hours prior to your actual trek date.
  8. You must be physically fit and no illness that might be triggered by this activity. No heart ailment, asthma, foot brace or any walking difficulty. Please note that there is no ambulance in the mountain.
  9. Full payment for 5 years old and up. Free for 4 years old and below. Proof of kid’s age will be required  if you declare your kid is 4 years old but the Tourism officer is in doubt because of your kid’s built and height. Only 1 free kid per jeep is allowed and you are required to hire a porter with 500php fee that will assist your group.
  10. Keep in touch until the final Trek date.
 
 
PRICES MAY CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE
You may call or send SMS to our numbers below: 

:
Globe:  (+63)917.477.9156
Smart:  (+63)930.508.8494
Sun:      (+63)923.626.9088
All rights reserved. 2007-2013

Preparation for Mount Pinatubo Trekking

We usually send trekking reminders to help you in packing. If you’re a team leader of your group, you have to ensure that info is properly disseminated among your team to help them pack the necessary things. Most of the time, Team Leaders were blamed by their members on the final trek date because they failed to forward or discuss these important reminders.

PACK YOUR THINGS RIGHT & LIGHTIt’s really a no no to pack things as if you’re going in a holiday abroad. Please note that you are going to a mountain so please don’t bring bulky baggage because it would make your trekking difficult & tiring. Pack only what you need. You may prepare 2 bags, the back pack that you will bring when you climb & small bag for things that you will use after the trekking. You may leave this at the dispatching area, in your car or in a paid locker with key.

Please use medium sized back pack. It’s just a one day trip so the lighter, the better. Just limit your baggage from 3 to 4kilos. 

You may bring the following:

  • Camera and extra battery
  • Umbrella or light raincoat
  • Big hat or cap
  • Towel/Scarf or Mask to protect you from dust
  • Shawl/malong (this is important esp for the female trekkers)
  • Medicine (Alaxan, paracetamol or meds for stomach trouble
  • Sunblock Lotion
  • Tissue/napkin
  • Extra trail water
  • Extra Trail Food
  • Slipper (Mandatory)
  • Swim wear

Please don’t bring valuables/jewelry during trekking. Most of our clients lost their mobile phones, jewelries or watches either at the trail, when they swim or during shower. Some cases, while applying sunblock, they will remove their watch or bracelet then forget it afterwards. There is no assurance that you can recover lost valuables so please leave it at home/car

Furthermore, you need to cover your things, mobile phones, wallets & camera or any other electronic gadgets with zip locked plastic to ensure safety. Please note that some of my past clients who disregarded this particular reminder were caught in the midst of heavy rain as they descend from the mountain and their cams & phones were soaking wet.
You may pack using small bag/plastic bag for the following and leave it in your car or paid locker

 

  • Extra clothing that you will use after shower
  • Soap, shampoo, toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Personal stuff: toothbrush, toothpaste, tissue, comb, shampoo, alcohol, liniment etc..

TREKKING OUTFIT

The principle, “the lighter, the better” is the rule of the game.

Lights shirt & your swim wear underneath
Short or leggings or quick dry trekking pants
Arm protection or long sleeved shirts/polo
Durable footwear

Footwear will depend upon your preference but as per experience, the most convenient & safe are rubberized footwear such as crocs type of footwear. If you prefer to use trekking sandals such as tribu or sandugo, we strongly advise using socks to protect your feet from blisters. This happens most of the time. Don’t forget to bring an extra slipper, this is mandatory because if your shoes, failed you then you still have an extra footwear and will not walk barefooted afterwards.

JUNE 2011 TREK SCHEDULES

TREK SCHEDULES

We are dispatching trips everyday (whole year round) except when there is a threat of weather disturbance such as typhoons, tropical depression, low pressure & rains. You  have to keep track of the weather condition prior to booking. You may check this link from our local weather bureau PAGASA.DOST.GOV.PH
______________________________________________________

Capas Tourism Advisory: 

Long Trek is the only route to Pinatubo (more or less 2 hours walk)
June – July 2011


June 1  – 2pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Jeremiah)
June 2  – 2pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (May)
June 2  – 2pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Beth)
June 3  – 6pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Luz)
June 3  – 3pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Sunny)
June 4  – 8pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Liza)
June 4  – 3pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Agnes)
June 5 – 3pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Nel)
June 9  – 2pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Pamela)
June 11- 2pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Marjorie)

June 12- 6pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Beverly)
June 13- 4pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour (Alexey)

June 15- 15pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour(group trip-Ardel)
June 15- 2pax – confirmed & paid – Pinatubo Day Tour(group trip-Haydn)
June 18- 2pax – confirmed & paid trip – day tour (Bill)
June 18- 4pax – for final confirmation & payment (Jack)
June 18- 4 to 5pax – for final confirmation & payment (Ashley)
June 18- 7 to 8pax – for final confirmation & payment (Lea)
June 25- 7pax – for final confirmation & payment (Anthony)
July 2- 8pax – for final confirmation & payment (Kris)
July 26 to Aug 2 – 3 to 4pax – for final confirmation & payment (Merlyn)
PARTICIPANTS LOOKING FOR A SHARED TOUR (Day Tour)
June 18, 2011 – 2pax  (Bill)

Any day from July 26 to 29 – 2pax (Yan)
Any Weekend – 1pax (Thea)
Any Sunday – 1pax (Cecilia)
Oct 22, 2011 – 2pax (Aleli)
PARTICIPANTS LOOKING FOR A SHARED TOUR (Overnight)
Any day from October 29 to Nov 1, 2011- 2pax  (Eric)

Please email/contact us if you want to join these dates. Only emails with contact numbers shall be entertained Thanks!

Note: These are just tentative reservation dates. We don’t consider these as reserved and confirmed until we receive the registration forms and partial payments. Please fill up an online registration form at the bottom of this blog just beneath the weather forecast widget
Click here for Mount Pinatubo Day Tour Package
For inquiries, send your email to julietcorpuz@gmail.com
or text/call
Globe:  (+63)917.477.2206
Smart:  (+63)930.508.8494
Sun:      (+63)923.626.9088
P I N A Y K E Y P O I N T  T E A M
all rights reserved. 2007-2012

.

Mount Pinatubo Crater

Over the years, since it’s eruption in 1991, Mount Pinatubo gradually change its features and turned into a beautiful tourist attraction. It never fails to amaze tourists from different corners of the world  by its Majestic Beauty.

The photos below are taken during our numerous expeditions. We are covering each tour and web albums are created for each group of clients. These photos are uploaded in a paid storage of our Picasa Account. Every Month of each year, we noticed that the crater lake gradually change it color. At times it is muddy, murky green then will turn into turquoise after several rains. According to Philvocs which usually conducts a routine check in the area, this color change is weather dependent. We are posting some photos from our gallery of Trips and this  will show us how Mount Pinatubo Cater Lake changes its color and feature over the years.

JULY 2011

JUNE 2011

MAY 2011

 
APRIL 2011


MARCH 2011

FEBRUARY 2011

JANUARY 2011

DECEMBER 2010

NOVEMBER 2010
OCTOBER 2010
SEPTEMBER 2010
AUGUST 2010
JULY 2010
JUNE 2010
MAY 2010
APRIL 2010
MARCH 2010
FEBRUARY 2010
JANUARY 2010
DECEMBER 2009
NOVEMBER 2009
AUGUST 2009
JULY 2009
JUNE 2009
MAY 2009
APRIL 2009
MARCH 2009
FEBRUARY 2009
DECEMBER 2008

For inquiries, send your email to julietcorpuz@gmail.com
or text/call: 
Globe:  (+63)927.255.2206
Smart:  (+63)930.508.8494
Sun:      (+63)922.885.6103
LandLine:
(045) 324 0193 – Office
(045) 806 4544 – Residence
Yahoo ID: pinaykeypoint 

T H E  P I N A Y K E Y P O I N T   T E A M
All rights reserved. 2007-2011

Press Release and Police Report regarding the recent Mount Pinatubo Incident

There were different versions regarding the recent Mount Pinatubo incident. While scanning the newspapers, I noticed the names of the victims were different from one paper to another. I also received so many inquiries both on my mobile phone, landline and email regarding the actual account of the incident. Some were coming from my previous clients asking if those where from my team or if those guides where the one assigned to them when they hired our service. But most of the inquires are coming from radio/TV stations and newspapers.

I was in Bicol Region when this incident happened. Our 2 Trek schedules last August 1 and 2, 2008 were both booked to me while I was in Bikol. I have another schedule booked for August 6, 7, 8  and 9 .  These groups have already sent their partial payment thru, paypal, xoom and some were thru bank transfer a week before their schedule. Typhoon Kiko had passed our place (Naga) and based on my past experience, typhoons from Bikol will likely to pass Nort Luzon in 2 days time so I decided to cancel these groups and I posted here that I am cancelling all trips to Mount Pinatubo due to bad weather. I am doing this even without the advisory from Tourism office.

At first, my clients were so disappointed, especially Miss Charlene who had planned her trip to the Philippines and climb Mount Pinatubo for quite sometime. She’s from Singapore and booked her trip to me a month earlier and we were chatting about her preparation almost everyday. I also have clients from Hongkong who will be arriving on the 8th and will just visit Philippines primarily because of Mount Pinatubo. I really had a hard time explaining to them that I can’t allow them to trek for safety reason. In the end, we agreed to return their payment and other groups re-scheduled their trip at a later time.

When I received a call from the media early in the morning after the incident, I was so shocked upon learning that 2 foreigners died and there’s a rescue operation to find the rest of the group. Reporters were asking me if those where from my team, I told them that I cancelled all trek schedules in my website and I still need to clarify for the actual reports so I never make any comment regarding their inquiries.

A day after, there were so many news reports but most are misleading. Capas Municipal Mayor, Reynaldo Catacutan summoned a meeting last August 10, 2009. Said meeting was attended by representatives from different travel agencies, trip organizers, 4×4 jeep drivers & operators, Tourism staffs at representative from the Philippine Air Force. Actual accounts of the recent incident has been discussed and we were furnished a copy of the press release and police report.

Below are the scanned copy of the said documents. Please click the image for bigger view. I hope that this will enlighten all the presumption of the reading public.

Juliet Corpuz
Trip Orgainzer/Blog Host& Author








 

Capas: Public Hearing

As a result of our previous meeting, a public hearing has been held yesterday, August 18, 2009 at Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall, Sangguniang Bayan Bldg., Municipality of Capas.

Based on the documents below, this is a legislative inquiry in aide of legislation by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Chaired by councilor Ricardo L. Galang for the proposed adoption of a “Comprehensive Safety and Contingency Plan” aimed at deterring the happening of the recent typhoon Kiko tragedy at the environs of Mount Pinatubo.

The followings are the steps that shall be taken:

  • Creation of an inter-agency committee tasked to look after the safety and protection of local and foreign tourists engaging in trekking adventure.
  • Establishments of monitoring stations to filter out incoming dangers/disasters and inform the base station for such eventualities. The idea is to create at least 4 stations; at the “Kwadra (4×4 jump off point), Hot Spring, Skyway & at Baranggay Sta Juliana.
  • Dissemination of safety information brochures to tourists booking for Mount Pinatubo tour. I mentioned that my team are already implementing this given the fact that we are holding an actual briefing prior to dispatching and distribution a waiver to be signed by every trek participants.
  • Creation of disaster Response Personnel from the military or civilian volunteers.
  • Identification of rescue tools and equipment necessary on every 4×4 vehicle which can be utilized readily in the event of accident or disaster. The idea is that every 4×4 operators must provide life vests for every tourists riding their 4×4, a hard hat/helmet and a radio antenna to facilitate effective communication. This is mandatory for every 4×4 jeep to ensure safety. These will be checked by the staffs of DOT (Dept. of Tourism), Staffs at the office of the Baranggay Captain at Sta. Juliana and at the Air Force checkpoint. These are the 3 clearance points before final dispatching. No 4×4 jeeps shall be allowed entry without these mandatory safety equipments.
  • Providing seminars and first aide response trainings for every tour guides and 4×4 jeep drivers. It is also mandatory that they know how to swim otherwise they will not be allowed to be an official guide servicing the area.
  • The body is open for any inputs, views and suggestions from the residents, 4×4 jeep’s drivers & operators, trekkers, trip organizers, travel agencies, stakeholders and other concerned sectors and organizations in framing the comprehensive safety and contingency plan which would be an integral part of the proposed ordinance. So if you have fruitful ideas in mind, please email it to us and I will be glad to submit it at the Local Tourism Office and post it here as well.
So far, these are the unities at the said public hearing. Time frame of of 20 days to 1 month or more shall be given to all persons concerned to acquire mandatory safety gadgets & equipment and trainings before opening the trekking activity.

Hopefully, after compliance to all required safety equipments, trainings and clearances from the institutions mentioned by the Regional Tourism Office, Mount Pinatubo will be open for business again and maybe it’s not a very long way off since most of the people concerned are joining their hands in achieving this at the soonest time possible.

I’ll keep you posted.

Juliet Corpuz
Trip Organizer/Blog owner

 

Meeting with Mayor Rey Catacutan

Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan summoned an emergency meeting at Capas Municipal Hall last Monday, August 10, 2009. Said meeting was participated by different travel agencies, trip organizers, tour operators, 4×4 jeep associations, tour guides, local officials, representatives from the Air Force, Capas Tourism office and other concerned sectors engaged in Mount Pinatubo activities.

Facts regarding the actual accounts of the recent typhoon Kiko tragedy resulting to 6 casualties have been discussed. The meeting primarily aims to formulate new guidelines and policies which shall be strictly enforced to prevent another incident in the future.

Please expect that when this temporary cancellation of of Mount Pinatubo Trips be lifted, we will be facing not just a difficult terrain but a more strict policies as well. But this is for the benefit of everybody so my fellow trekkers & trip organizers, kunting tyaga 🙂 Hangang sa muling pagbubukas ng byahe… kita kita kits! ~ 🙂

JULIET CORPUZ

TEAM HEAD/TRIP ORGANIZER

WWW.PINAYKEYPOINT.ORG

My deep Sympathy

….My deep sympathy to my fellow trekkers & tour guides who lost their lives during the trek to Mount Pinatubo. To my fellow trip organizers, travel agency & tour operators: Let’s be more strict and be aware of the weather before dispatching our team. Let this incident serves as a lesson to all of us….

Juliet Corpuz
Trip Organizer



LIMITED BUDGET TOUR PACKAGE

As a trip organizer, negotiation is the hardest part of my duty. I think it’s harder than the old route to Mt. Pinatubo wherein you have to trek for more than 2 hours passing bigger boulders and streams. Wala bang discount? or student lang kami or we’re on tight budget we dont need those packages These are the usual lines I often hear on the phone during the conversation or during private chat.

Tonight was one of those days. I lost 5 guests because of unresolved discussion. Naguluhan ata sa akin yung kausap ko kaya nag cancel na lang. This is one of my dilemma… So to resolve the matter, I created this post so reader and trekkers may understand and get an answer to their frequently asked questions.
Our package is 2500php per head for a minimum of 4pax per trip. Per trip means 1 4×4 jeep. So this is 10k for a group of 4 persons. “Why 4? Other blogs said 4×4 loads 5persons”. Yes, if we do that, that will be 12500php per trip. Pabor samin yung 12,500. But in this field, Hindi lang kita ang isyu. The services as well. Importante sakin ang referrals. I have many guests in line because of our services. Aanhin ko yung one time na malaking kita if afterwards and daming negative comments?
So Balikan natin bakit 4 lang? If you would read our inclusions, makikita mo sa package namin ay 1 local tour guide & 1 tour guide from our team. That’s the answer, the tour guide from my team will occupy the remaining seat so 4 guests + a tour guide from my team, that’s 5 persons and yes me bayad din sya, we also pay for the entrance fee of our team member. The next question is “bakit me tour guide pa from your team? eh me local tour guide naman”. Yes this is true, but most of the local guides are native Aetas. They don’t speak tagalog or english and will just lead your way. Although, there are also some class A tour guides who are local residents in the area and trained by the local tourism office. These guides can speak tagalog and basic english. Pero very few lang ang class A guides. Mas majority ang Aetas kasi this is their form of livelihood. Kami pa nga ang na hire ng Municipal Tourism office para gumawa ng mga tour guide ID nung 2007 pati na rin yung certificate of conquest. Bago ko kasi pinasok ang field na to, we are running a printing biz.
Importante sa team namin yung ma entertain yung guests, mapakain ng tama, masagot ang mga tanong and most of all ay ma enjoy ang trek kahit pa dumaan sila sa mahirap at maalikabok na terrain so we added some features sa services namin. There is no facility sa crater aside from portable toilet. Most comments na naririnig ko sa tourist ay “Hey Juliet, why dont you suggest to your local tourism to construct cottages here so we dont have to cram under the trees and boulders? I ‘m tired, I need to at least laydown and take a nap”
Kung tutuusin tama yung sabi ng tourist but I will just say that, this is a volcano, people visit here to have a bonding with nature. Tourism wants it to remain as is. This would look commercialized like a beach if they would construct cottages and the essence of nature will be defaced.
From that suggestion, we decided to add tents to our service. Dito na din naiiwan yung mga belongings ng tourist at mas safe naman talaga. Di na rin pipila sa toilet para magpalit ng damit incase naligo ang guests sa crater.
Speaking of naligo, swimming is one activity that you can do at the crater aside from taking pictures, video and crater boating. But swimming at the crater requires you to be an expert to be able to explore the 300 feet deep Mt. Pinatubo crater lake.
Just a meter away from the crater side is a sharp deep ice cold water 😉 Bihira lang din ang naliligo. Nakakatakot naman talaga kasi nga ang lalim! kahit pa nga marunong kang lumangoy, nakakapagod pa din noh, eh pano if atakehin ka pa ng cramps? lagot! wala pa namang life guard.
Another reason why we have a guide from our team. Sya na din kasi ang mag se-serve na life guard 🙂 We also provide first aid kit for minor wounds & injuries. meron din basic meds like paracetamol for headaches or stomach troubles. So syempre mahirap pa din makipagsapalaran sa 300 feet deep so we agreed to provide arm floaters as well. And since we provided that stuff, I noticed na halos lahat ng guests namin ay naliligo na sa crater unlike dati na picture-picture lang. Hindi na nga lang simpleng dip eh, as in nagbababad na kasi yung iba halos 1pm na sila umaahon few minutes before pack up time at yung iba naman, tumatawid pa sa kabilang wall! And they told me that they really enjoyed it. Swimming without effort. Hihiga ka na nga lang, dika lulubog. Salamat naimbento ang arm floaters, kahit di ka marunong lumangoy ay makaka explore ka sa water.
And lastly, the Food. This is one of the reason why we have a guide from my team. To serve the food hot.
As in iniinit yung food, we also have portable stove. And we dont use disposables kasi makalat yun. We bring pans, plates, cups, spoons & fork. Mas masarap pa rin kasing kumain sa plato. The first time na kumain ako sa disposable na styro na take out namin sa fast food, nilipad yung food ko. Masyado kasing windy sa may crater. nabali din yung spoon ko. Nakakainis yun, diko na enjoy yung meal ko. So from those experiences, we tried to improve our service.
I also ask for personal feedback. I can conclude that the best feedback from a person are their referrals at nakakatuwa whenever I heard that our new client is being referred by a previous guest and they would tell me, “at last nadito na kami, ganitong-ganito yung nasa picture!” ang sarap pakinggan.
As we provide these added features, it means mahirap na bitbitan ng gamit as in we have to pay additional cost for the baggage carriers. We may lose some amount of profit but it’s worth it. If we dont have a guide from our team, pano na lang yung mga albums per team sa picasa? sino ang kukuha nun? Yea, that’s one added feature. We cover your tour, we take pics and compile it per team per date at picasa so you can also grab or download it afterwards lalo na yung iba ay walang dalang cam. Just click here to view the recent Pinatubo trek activities & pictures and finally syempre me shower. Pwede kau maligo bago umuwi.
Pero nagtitipid nga eh. Di kami interested! Okay let’s remove those features. No guide from my team, No food, No water, No skyway fee, No tents, No arm floaters, No shower but just plain trek. Alright! I can give you a tour package of 10k for 5 persons. That is 2000 per head. Wow! so what are the inclusions na lang?
BUDGET PRICE FOR A TEAM ON TIGHT BUDGET
2000 per head
Inclusions:
Pick up from meet-up point to Mt. Pinatubo (Meet-up is along Mc Arthur Highway, Capas tarlac@6am)
4 x 4 jeep (inclusive of rental, gas & driver’s fee & meal)
Entrance/conservation fees
Road Fee
Trip arrangement/clearance & permits
Trail Guide
coke & ham & egg sandwich
Use of Locker & Shower facility after the trek
Book Now!
 
PLEASE DON’T BOOK YOUR TRIPS VIA COMMENT.
THIS IS NOT MONITORED.
PLEASE SEND YOUR BOOKINGS TO: pinaykeypoint.org@gmail.com

Mount Pinatubo Tour Meet-UP and Pick-Up Points

Our common meet-up and pick-up point is infront of Capas Municipal Tourism office beside Capas Municipal Hall along Mc Arthur Higway.
Capas is a part of Tarlac Province. Just Ride a bus bound to Dagupan, Pangasinan, La Union or Baguio City as this will be passing along this route. Purchase your ticket at the ticket booth and tell the teller that your exact destination is Capas. The cost of tickets may vary depending on your point of Origin and bus company. Estimate cost is more or less 200php from Manila to Capas. Price for ordinary bus is also much cheaper. Estimate travel time is only 2 hours depending upon the traffic. You must catch the 4 am trip to meet the time requirement. In case you failed to catch the 4am trip, you have to inform us so we can dispatch the trekkers who arried earlier. Be sure to confirm that you are traveling via 4am trip before purchasing a ticket. Some of my guests’ experiences, they just bought a ticket without asking and they were assigned a 5:30 am trip, we waited for ages 🙂 and they arrived finally at 8:30am.
If you will be driving your own car, we will provide you a map after your final confirmation.
Pick up point along Mc Arthur Highway
Driving your own car will only take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your speed and traffic. We usually arrive at the meet up point at 5:50am but we have an advance party, usually the driver who usually arrive at 5:15am just in case you arrive early.
Reaching meet up point later than 6am but not beyond 9am is still fine. The only difference is that if you take off late, you have to endure extreme heat of the sun during 4×4 jeep ride and trekking. Please note that most of the 4×4 jeeps are top down as guests prefer open vehicles to be able to stand up and take pictures while traveling. You will also have a shortened trip since pack up is always at 2pm
Please Take Note of the following reminders:
  • Please call/text us before departing from your point of origin and another text as you approach Pampanga area so we can also have the time to prepare to meet you at the pick up point. Please note that we are preparing and cooking your lunch so we expect that you will observe the time requirement: 6AM
  • Other trek participants sometimes are too excited that they leave too early, sometimes at 2AM without informing us and will arrive at the pick up point at 4am. Please remember that travel time from manila to Capas is less than 2 hours by bus and 1.5 by private cars. Don’t expect us to be there immediately if you will arrive at 4am because we are in the midst of preparing your lunch, cooking the rice, viand etc…
  • If you will bring your own car, you can park it at our contact local resident’s private parking space near the entrance point with 100php parking fee.
Me & my eldest daughter Jessica waiting for trek participants

TO BOOK YOUR TRIP PLEASE SEND YOUR EMAIL TO: pinaykeypoint.org@gmail.com

Mount Pinatubo Hot Spring

Mount Pinatubo Hot Spring is a different route and you can’t do this on the same day especially now that skyway is no longer passable. The expenses to Pinatubo Hot Spring is the same as Mount Pinatubo Crater Trek. You will also avail of 4 x 4 wheel drive. 4×4 is the only transport service that will survive the difficult terrain of Mount Pinatubo areas. Travel time is more or less 1 hour. The required load are the driver, 4 guests and 1 tour guide.

Please note that it’s cheaper if you will come in group as you will shoulder the entire rent of 4×4 jeep, gas, driver, permits & conservation fee, entrance fee and local tour guides.
Minimum package: 12,500 for 5 persons (2500k per head)
Inclusions:
Transport ride from meet up point (infront of Capas Municipal Hall)
4 x 4 jeep (gas, rental, driver and trip dues)
Service of a local tour guide
Conservation fee/environmental fees
Entrance fee
Visit to Aeta village (optional but free)
Lunch
Snack
500 ml water
Optional Services: (Not included in the package)
You can avail this after the trip
600php per head – Volcanic Spa (30 minutes)
600php per head Siatsu – Massage (1 hour)
600php per head – Mud Spa

THE PINAYKEYPOINT TEAM
2007 – 2012
www.pinaykeypoint.org


For inquiries, send your email to pinaykeypoint.org@gmail.com
or text/call:
Globe:   (+63)917.477.9156
Smart:  (+63)930.508.8494
Sun:      (+63)923.626.9088

How to go to Mount Pinatubo

Route for 1st Timers Mount Pinatubo Trekkers from other country:

Departing from Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport, Makati or Pasay
  • Ride a taxi to Victory Liner or 5 Star Bus Line located at Pasay City
  • Ask the taxi to use the taxi meter
  • Secure a Bus ticket at a ticket booth bound for Dagupan or Pangasinan.
  • Your exact destination is Capas Tarlac.
  • Estimated Bus fare is 200php one way ticket
  • Estimated Travel time is more than 2 hours depending upon the traffic & driving speed
  • Exact drop off point is the first gate of Capas Municipal Hall
  • Our office is just a few walks away from the jump off point
  • Maps is available in our website, please click here
  • You may settle the rest of your at Pinaykeypoint Office.

Departing from Clark Airport

  • You may ride a taxi or any public transport available at the airport
  • Ask the driver to give you a lift to Mabalacat Bus Terminal
  • Ride any bus bound to Dagupan or Pangasinan
  • Your exact destination is Capas Tarlac.
  • Estimated Bus fare is more or less 75php
  • Estimated Travel time is more or less 1 hour depending upon the traffic & driving speed
  • Exact drop off point is the first gate of Capas Municipal Hall
  • Our office is just a few walks away from the jump off point
  • Maps is available in our website, please click here
  • You may settle the rest of your at Pinaykeypoint Office.
  • We also have a tour package that starts at any hotel in Clark/Angeles
  • Please visit our website for these tour packages  www.pinaykeypoint.org
 

DEPARTING FROM CUBAO

  • You may ride a taxi or any public transport available to go to the bus terminal
  • The most accessible is 5 Star bus near Farmers and Dagupan bus infront of Nepa Qmart
  • Ride any bus bound to Dagupan or Pangasinan
  • You must catch a 4am trip or earlier
  • Your exact destination is Capas Tarlac. 
  • Estimated Bus fare is 200php one way ticket
  • Estimated Travel time is more than 2 hours depending upon the traffic & driving speed 
  • Exact drop off point is the first gate of Capas Municipal Hall
  • Our office is just a few walks away from the jump off point
  • Maps is available in our website, please click here
  • You may settle the rest of your at Pinaykeypoint Office.
DEPARTING FROM AVENIDA (Malate, Manila, Recto)
       
Available bus are Philippine Rabbit & Victory Liner
Follow the same procedure above

DEPARTING FROM SUBIC OLONGAPO

I was informed by my previous clients from Olongapo that the first trip is departing at 3am. They don’t want to take chance  to wait for the next trip for fear that they won’t meet the required meet-up time which is 6am. The result is they arrived at 5am and spent 1 hour at seven eleven @ Capas Junction.
  • Ride a bus heading to Dagupan or Pangasinan or Baguio (Ask the dispatcher) If there is no available trip, you may take a cutting trip and may opt to take a bus bound to San Fernando or Dau.
  • Allocate at least 2 hours for your travel time.
  • Estimated fare for straight ride is more or less 200php
  • If you take a cutting trip: via San Fernando, Pampanga, just take any passenger jeep or mini bus bound to Dau (more or less 30 mins drive from San Fernando
  • When you reach Dau, Ride any bus bound to Dagupan or Pangasinan (more or less 45 mins drive)
  • Your exact destination is Capas, Tarlac
  • Exact drop off point is the first gate of Capas Municipal hall.
  • If you arrive early, just send an sms, we will send a guide to meet you at the jump off point. Our office is just few meters away.

DEPARTING FROM BAGUIO CITY

According to our previous clients from Baguio, estimated travel time via public bus is 4 to 5 hours. They took a 2am trip and reached capas at past 6:30am. Just ride any bus bound to Manila. Almost all trips from North Luzon are passing infront of our office 24/7
  • Estimated fare is more or less 300php
  • Your exact destination is Capas, Tarlac
  • Exact drop off point is the 3rd gate of Capas Municipal hall.
  • Send an SMS when you reach Tarlac so we can anticipate your time of arrival.
  • We will assign a guide that would wait for you at the vicinity of Capas Municipal Hall

If you will travel here via private car, you may print the map below. We provided several maps depending upon your point of departure

 
PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MAPS AND DIRECTIONS
 
 

Wisnu Arrived – Dec 9, 2008

Wisnu Mega Wijaya, a blogger friend arrived for 3 days vacation. He is an indonesian working at Petronas Malaysia. He found my blog and availed our tour guiding service. He is on 1 month vacation and geared to travel asian countries.

After climbing Mount Kinabalu, he called me to book for Mount Pinatubo Trek. He arrived last December 9, 2008 at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. Hub meet him at the Airport at 7pm.

We agreed that we will book him in a cheap hotel but when he arrived here, he preferred to spend the night with us so we can have enough time to know each other and share each other’s experiences.

Mount Pinatubo Trek

Due to overwhelming response of my readers to my Mt. Pinatubo Post, which also becomes my no. 1 post since I started blogging, we added another service in our homebase business. This is Tour Guiding Services

My hub and I has particular task in running the business. With IT related works, I am in-charge of the internet, design and documentations while hub is doing the field work. But when the need arises, I also assist hub with field work activities.

Recently, I have many inquiries in my inbox particularly Mount Pinatubo Trek. I used to have a computer shop at Capas Tarlac and Tarlac Municipal Tourism had been one of our clients. I designed and created the Identification cards for Mt. Pinatubo Tour guides and most of them are Aetas. I also designed banners, flyers and brochures.

Last week, 2 clients from the internet hired our service thru this blog, Greg and Wisnu. Greg arrived last week but he went to Puerto Galera first and he scheduled trekking on Saturday, Dec. 13. Wisnu Wijaya, an Indonesian based in Malaysia arrived last Dec. 9 at 5:30pm. Hub meet him at the airport. They arrived home at almost 10pm. Although we had an agreement that we will book him in a hotel but because we were so excited sharing each others’ experiences, he decided to stay with us. Our house suddenly turned into a transient home.

The next day hub included Wisnu in the group of trekkers bound to Mount. Pinatubo.

Hub (in white shirt) with Wisnu and Mt. Pinatubo trekkers

Hub (in white shirt) with Wisnu and Mt. Pinatubo trekkers

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Hub during the actual trek

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Weee! Samson or Hercules?

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Natural and Fresh Spring Water from Mt. Pinatubo

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Mt. Pinatubo Crater

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Mt. Pinatubo Crater Boating

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Have fun, experience swimming at Mt. Pinatubo crater

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4 x 4 wheel drive, the only transport system that would survive rocks and boulders

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After a tiring day, sooth your muscles and enjoy full massage spa

Spa comes in different packages; mud spa, volcanic ash spa and many more.

What are you waiting for? experience a once in a lifetime trekking adventure at Mt. Pinatubo Philippines. You can come in group or you can trek alone with native tour guide.

For more inquiries, leave your comment here or email me pinaykeypoint@yahoo.com

Update 2/8/2009

Please click the link to see our recent Mount Pinatubo Trek last February 6 & 7, 2009

For further inquiries, detailed info, trek schedules and itineraries please visit my other blog:

HTTP://PINATUBOTREK.BLOGSPOT.COM/

POST UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 14, 2012

WE ARE NOW ONE OF THE MOST TRUSTED TEAM IN THIS FIELD.

THANKS GOD FOR MY BLOG AND FOR THIS POST;)

Visits, Moves and Transfers to New Locations

NOVEMBER 16, 2008

I have many blogger friends here who are blogging about their adjustments in the Philippines. They are sharing their experiences both good and bad to warn their fellow citizen just in case they want to visit, move or settle here. According to them, they feel that they have to share what they have gone through because it’s something they don’t have when they move here. Nobody warn them about the consequences and because of these, they never enjoy their stay.

Moving to a new place is not easy. It would take a lot of adjustment. I personally experienced this because my dad was in the army and he used to move from one place to another and sometime, we have to go with him. It was only when I started studying that he decided to retire so we can settle in one place. He preferred to settle in a little Barrio along the bayside at the foot of the mountain. That was his dream place. He had motorboats which he used for fishing. The sea has been an extension of my playground. Every Saturday, we usually hike to visit his coconut farm at the middle of the mountain called “Balanga” and “Sarimao”. We would hike at least 4 to 5 hours before we reach the place. I used to climb trees to get my favorite fruits; mango, dalanghita, guyabano, santol, guava etc… Dad has a green thumb and he can grow any tree 🙂 I grew up with abundant fruits and fish. I also help drying coffee beans both “barako” and the regular ones. Life was simpler then until Martial Law has been declared.

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My Hometown: Caranan, Pasacao Camarines Sur

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My eldest daughter Jessica (4 yrs old)

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This was taken on 1998

I won’t elaborate Martial Law because it’s for another post but as far as I can remember, it was a chaos. Many of my dad’s comrades has been killed so we decided to leave the place and moved in the city. I lost my childhood. At grade 4 I had to transfer and leave my friends. It was a painful experience.

After high school, we moved to Manila and it was another adjustment. But these moving and transfers made me flexible. When I have my first regular job at Kawasaki Motors Philippines, I was selected for company training abroad. I had been to Japan twice for 6 months, first in 1990 and 1992. That was a great experience. I had my trainings at Sumitomo Wiring Systems (SWS), Yokkaichi City, one of the biggest corporations in Japan.

Dad like a typical army is always ready. He helped me with my preparations. He gave me a checklist of important things that I have to prepare. Because Japan is not an English speaking country, he advised me to enroll Nippongo. I learned my basics at Pros International, it’s a language school located at the second floor of Manila Hotel Nikko then. It’s not a very difficult language since I learned my basics in just 1 month. Dad gave me books and magazines to read about the culture and ways of the Japanese people so I can easily get along with them.

He told me that I must bring the following to make my life easier:

  • Biscuits good for at least 3 days just in case I don’t like the food and grocery is not scheduled yet.
  • Pack of my soap, shampoo and toiletries including pads for my period.
  • Medicine kit with cotton, band-aid and basic meds for first aid.
  • Sewing kit with needles, thread of different colors and scissors
  • Manicure set. Complete with nipper, nail cutter, pusher, brush, acetone and nail polish
  • Beauty products. My face powder, make ups, lotion, cologne etc…
  • Drawing tools. I have a complete set of water color, brush, colored pens, pentel pens etc…
  • I also have a complete set of hair cutting materials. Yes, I can cut my own hair lolz!
  • Writing tools. Stationeries, envelopes, pad papers and notebook. PC and mobile phones are not yet popular that time so post mail and long distance call were our means of communication.
  • My Bible & rosary, magazine, a Japanese-english and English-japanese dictionary, and Japanese grammar book and recipe book.
  • Camera and films, my favorite cassette tapes and CDs and of course my walkman (No iPod yet then)
  • My little scrabble set and playing cards
  • He told me not to bring many clothes and footwear since I can buy those things at the mall. He just told me to bring formal clothing for important events.
  • Of course I also brought a frame of our family picture so I can still see them while I’m away.
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Sumitomo Wiring Systems Japanese Management and Staff

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Makiyama Factory Management and Staff

Those things are not too bulky so I just have 1 big bag and a hand carry bag. We were leaving on the month of May so dad asked me to bring a warm jacket and insisted that I wear a type of dress that would fit for cold season. He told me to bring an extra sandwich in my bag just in case I don’t like the food so I won’t get starved.

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Me and my close friend Roselle Sandejas (Nasaan ka na ngaun?)

Before leaving, we still have to go at the company for further orientation, they were surprised because I had the smallest bag while my other officemates has bulky bags like a cabinet 🙂 They were making fun of me because I am wearing winter clothes and summer was at its peak then. But daddy knows best. He saw my ticket and we will be stopping at Korea, and he told me that Korea is a very cold country.

makiyama-tuchinaga-san

Having fun with Tuchinaga San (I wish I can communicate with you…)

I really have a smart dad. He was so right. My officemates who were wearing sexy clothes and thin blouses were swearing when we had our stopover. Icy cold wind touched our skins when we walked at the tarmac to take a Cathay domestic plane to Japan. They can’t even walk and they were all trembling. Since our baggages were in the compartment, they cannot get their jackets. I was so thankful that my dad told me to wear proper clothes and keep a jacket in my hand carried bag.

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Fall kaya walang dahon pero madaming bunga 🙂

We arrived at Osaka airport at 12pm. We were all starving and we have to wait for our guide. Thanks to dad, I have 3 sandwiches which made me full. Of course I’m not greedy so I shared it with them. We were 10 trainees then and they were apologetic for teasing me and very thankful for that sandwich.

Indeed, I had an easier life than my officemates. I have a complete supply of my basic needs while they have so many clothes in their baggage. It was after a week that we were allowed to go at the grocery but since most of the products were labeled with Japanese characters, they don’t know which is which. And because they never give time to learn the basic Japanese language, they can’t communicate with the Japanese sales persons. I had a month supply of my personal needs so I already knew the labels before my supply runs out.

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Tuchinanga san’s kids. Naomi San yung panganay. Nakalimutan ko na yung bunso 🙂

Of course they forgot to bring the lists I had above, they borrowed my scissors, my nail cutter, my nail polish, my needles etc… They told me it would be too costly if they would buy those things in Japan. Those were just one of the reasons why I adore dad 🙂

Because I knew the basic language, I had the easiest task and most of the time, I just have to translate their concepts from Japanese to English and let me do the explaining for my group. I was also assigned to do a lot of Kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanese concept of making suggestions that will improve production operation. First, I have to observe the old method making a time study then I have to introduce a new method which is more effective, speedy and will save cost and time.

inaba-san-yoko-san

Inaba San and Yoko tsan (Yoko, musta na kaya kau ni kuya Jun? I hope we can still communicate )

If my new method is proven to be effective; of course I have to implement it for at least a week and if it brings positive result then, I have to document it and submit it to the management. The great thing is that, they would pay you for that. From the simplest to complex suggestions and implementations that you imparted, it will be paid accordingly and take note, I earned a lot from that and that’s my edge because I knew the basic language. I can explain and defend my suggestion kahit pa nga barok niponggo lang haha.

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My bestfriend Dhey (sobrang miss na kita friend, diko na maalala kung kelan tau last na nagkita) Behind us was Edzel, isa pa yan, nasa US kna daw… sana maka pag chat naman tau)

Japan, is a very clean country. If you throw something on the road, say it’s a candy wrapper, a Japanese walking behind you will stop, will pick it and throw it in a trash can. I swear, you will be very embarrassed if you do that.

They are very honest. I accidentally left my wallet at the counter and the cashier was running after me to return my wallet. They also follow traffic rules strictly. I remember when we spend the night at the city, then we have to go home at dawn, we hired a taxi. Stopping at the junction, we noticed that there was no car because it’s too early then but he was patiently waiting for the green light. My officemate who was sitting at the front seat teased him and asked him to go on red light anyway there’s no car and no cop around. He sternly said: “No! That’s why there are so many accidents in the Philippines” and we all laugh and marvel at his good attitude.

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Dabarkads sa Tokyo Disneyland. Hay naku miss ko na kau lahat. Gusto ko na atang maiyak jabang pino post ko to 🙂

We had funny moments though. Like for example when we were at the park, and we really have to use the toilet, we have to wait for somebody who will walk in or go out because we don’t understand the signage and we have to endure what we feel.

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Narra Park, one of the oldest park in Japan. Mountain peak ito. They considered these deers holy. I’m feeding them with biscuit

And the first time that we used the vending machine hahaha! 🙂 It’s terrible. So embarrassing, we dropped the wrong amount of coin and it was stuck and we have to ask for an assistance to fix it. We also meet a Pinoy friend who want to make fun of us. He told us seriously that every bottle has a deposit, all we have to do is to return it inside the vending machine so we can get the coin deposit.

roselle-sandejas

Selle, sobrang miss na kita, 1993 pa ng last tau nagkita… saan nb kau friend?

I didn’t took it seriously but one of my officemate did! (siguro matinding pangangailangan) She was trying to return the bottle inside the vending machine and pressing the button hoping that she can get the coin when a Japanese asked her why she’s doing it. She was crying when she went home because of that incident.

Those were part of great experiences. I made a lot of friends and they even go to the Philippines to visit us. 4 of my officemates married a Japanese, Teresa Lontok Watanabe, Lynette Garcia Kawakami, Fides Cardenas and Goy but sadly I lost communication with them when I was transferred in Tarlac. More than a decade had passed before the mobile phones and Internet arrives and I can’t trace their locations anymore.

I wish to meet them one day in the internet like my childhood friends from Bicol who found me through my “Promdi from Pasacao Post” .