Today, I want to share my experience in Tarlac, how I reached this place and witnessed the horrific eruption and how this turned me into a Pinatubo Tour Operator.
Philippines, though categorized as a third world country, is very rich in natural resources. We have extensive sea coast with good bays and harbors, navigable rivers and lakes, mountains and caves, land rich in minerals and agricultural products. Back in 70s, Philippines is one of the richest countries in Asia.
There are many factors why we are one of the poorest now. The Government seat has full of corrupt officials who never serve the interest of the Filipino people. Our Political system is one of the the few things that I can never proud of.
As requested by some of my blogger friends and readers, I will be featuring one of the most visited tourist spot in my place, Mount Pinatubo. This mountain is an active volcano located in the island of Luzon and can be found at the intersection of the borders of the provinces of Zambales, Pampanga and Tarlac. The volcano’s recent eruption in June 1991, two weeks after I was transferred here from Manila (I’m not a local here, I was assigned to work here). This eruption came after 500 years of dormancy and produced one of the largest and most violent eruptions of the 20th century. This resulted to dislocations of thousands of families, destroyed many towns, houses, churches and millions worth of properties and resources. One of our indigenous people, the Aetas, who were living peacefully at the foot of the mountain, were evacuated against their will but some stayed in the caves and just waited there to die.
I was sleeping peacefully on that early morning of June 15, 1991 when my room mates woke me up and told me that Mt. Pinatubo had erupted and when we go out we saw that big smoke of clouds circling the part where Mt. Pinatubo is located. The next days were storms of ash falls and we had to wear masks. Our company, International Wiring Systems Inc. (IWSPC), a subsidiary of a Japanese company Sumitomo Wiring Systems stopped its operation and sent us home. Most of us were pioneer employees of Kawasaki Motors Philippines from Sucat, Paranaque. We were offered a relocation to Luisita industrial Park to man and train the newly hired workers from different municipality in Tarlac province.
After a week, we were back to work but we have to sweep and help clean the ankle deep ashes surrounding the entire building. Those were the unforgettable story of my first weeks in Tarlac. We spent almost a month of clean up operation. This really sadden me but not as bad as those who lost their families and loved ones. Most of them never had the chance to recover even the remains as the ashes wiped out the entire towns and buried the houses turning the place into desert-like area.
More than a decade after, the trees started to grow, people started to build their houses again. That raging volcano turned into a beautiful tourist spot that is now visited by many tourists from parts of the world.
A local tourist from Manila will reach Mount Pinatubo in 5 hours depending upon the traffic and trekking speed. 2 hours travel time via private car, more than 1 hour off road ride and 2 hours trekking.
There are public bus going to North. To name a few are; Victory liner, 5 Star, Dagupan Bus, Philippine Rabbit heading to Dagupan or Baguio City. The exact destination is Capas, Tarlac. That is at least 200php- more or less $5.
If you are interested to book a trip, just visit my business website, www.pinaykeypoint.org.
When our company offered an early retirement program, I immediately grabbed it on October 2005. I started to work online and open a home-based printing shop. I personally designed the ID card of almost a hundred Mount Pinatubo Tour Guides and most of them were Aetas.
Pinatubo Local Tour Guide ID
Where to eat and stay at Tarlac
There are low cost hotels and transient houses at the adjacent areas surrounding Mount Pinatubo. Some range from 1000php/day- or at least $25/day but first class hotels range from $50 and up. Food from local food chains & restaurants like Jollibee, Max’s, KFC, Shakeys, Pizza Hut, & Mc Donalds range from $3-5/meal per person.
Another attraction is the Mud Spa, Hot Spring, Volcanic Sand Spa and Massage Spa
Our services were availed by different establishments here such as
advertisement banners, flyers, tarps & posters.
Because of the overwhelming response of my readers here, I included Mount Pinatubo Tour Guiding as part of our services.
Please click the link to see our First Mount Pinatubo Trek
For further inquiries, detailed info, trek schedules and itineraries please visit my other blog:
RECENT UPDATE: AS OF AUGUST 13, 2012
WE ARE NOW ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED GROUP IN THIS FIELD.
SINCE I POSTED THIS POST, I WAS ABLE TO ARRANGE NUMEROUS TRIPS TO THIS DATE 😉
BLOGGING is indeed a very fulfilling activity. This blog has given birth to PINAYKEYPOINT.ORG
Though, am am guilty that I almost abandon this blog. Each time I log in, it seems that this blog stared at me asking WHY DID YOU ABANDON ME?
I replied: NO! I WAS JUST BUSY GROWING OUR KID 😉
A BIG HUG TO MY BLOG! 😉