text | Carla Ocampo and Lester Valle
photography | Carla Ocampo and Lester Valle
ELEVATION | DIFFICULTY: ~ 2,922 meters above sea level (MASL) | Class 2
COORDINATES: 16°35’54.13″N 120°53’56.31″E
Harrrrr, ain’t Rap Rios’ photo collage an orgasmic teaser to this huge project? It is a summary of the Pulag climb that was, through the camera lenses of Lester, Wing Larase, and of course Rap. For those who missed the entry, check it out at http://thekayumanggitrails.org/2010/01/02/mt-pulag-akiki-trail/
Now let’s get down to business, shall we? We’ve jotted down some pertinent details everyone would wish to know, the moment a light bulb pops out of nowhere with the thought-balloon “An Akiki-Ambangeg Traverse would be a great idea, hm?”
Some specific thought-balloon, that is. And so, here we are with the specifics (as of 10 February 2013)
|EXPENSES (for a group of eight)||AMOUNT|
|Bus fare, Victory Liner (Cubao Station to Baguio Station)||Php 445.00 per head (with insurance)|
|Jeepney Ride, Baguio to Kabayan Ranger Station, vice versa (per head allotment may vary)||Php 10,000.00|
|Breakfast at an Ambuklao eatery (per head allotment may vary)||Php 600.00|
|Registration FeeGreen FeeCamping FeeCultural Fee||Php 100.00 per headPhp 50.00 per head per nightPhp 30.00 per head|
|Mountain Guide Fee (Php 2100 for 10 persons, +P100 per exceeding); if more than 10 persons, two (2) mountain guides are required||Php 210 per head|
|Porter Fee (0ptional)||Php 350.00 per day|
|Baguio City, Session Road Dinner (per head allotment may vary)||Php 1300.00|
|Bus fare, Victory Liner, from Baguio Station to Cubao Station||Php 445.00 per head (with insurance)|
Doing some loose Math would tell that you may have to peg your Pulag budget at Php 4,000.00. A safer budget would be Php 5,000.00 per person (as of February 2013), keeping in mind that there could be emergencies along the way.
But then, preparations for the climb would make you spend MORE cash considerably. Allocate money for the proper Pulag wear (clothes, thermal gloves, waterproof jackets and waterproof hiking shoes that would protect you from hypothermia), equipment (LED headlamps are a must; trekking in the night is highly likely throughout the long Akiki hike), and camp food (think: the Akiki-Ambangeg traverse spans approximately three days. Plan your meals wisely).
Tip for the budget-conscious: to minimize spending for clothes, raid your nearest Ukay-Ukay. Be on the look-out for waterproof Gore-Tex jackets, fleece sweaters, thermal gloves, and if you’re lucky, a pair of wonderful hiking boots or shoes with soles kissable enough to be called “good-as-new”.
The peak season— that’s from December to February— spells H-Y-P-O-T-H-E-R-M-I-A with recorded temperatures from 5 to -5 Centigrade… even less. Important pieces of clothing would be the thermal undershirt/ underwear/ underpants. The tiangge at Greenhills, San Juan has these things aplenty; Filipino balikbayans buy them here before flying to their chilly winter destinations. Then again, almost any Pinoy tiangge or flea market would sell these, especially the underpants, for Php 100.00. Lester bought his at the Marikina Christmas tiangge by the Riverbanks.
In addition, it is also mandatory that you establish contact with Ma’am Mering for your Pulag plans. It is advised that you contact her weeks before the climb for transportation and mountain guide arrangements and other important matters.
Ms. Emerita Albas
DENR Mt. Pulag National Park Superintendent
+63919 631 5402
+63929 166 8864 (DENR Ambangeg Office)
(074) 444 2720 – Fax
E-mail address: email@example.com
GOOD TO GO? HERE’S ANOTHER STERN REMINDER
Mount Pulag is called the “Playground of the Gods” for a solemn reason. Indigenous communities around the mountain consider it sacred… for this, it is very unwise (not to mention EXTREMELY ANNOYING) to engage in boisterous talk— or worse, drunken pandemonium— during the trek, and within campsites. Would anyone do these things inside churches, or mosques, or temples? For shame! The Cordillerans have done us a great favor by allowing us to set foot upon their ancestral holy place, might we not behave accordingly, to humbly return the favor?
It is not enough to merely follow the Leave No Trace Principles to the letter. As any thinking Filipino mountaineer should know, and take to heart, we must all respect the beliefs of the Indigenous People, and consequently do more than just keep the place physically clean.
Yes, here in our manifold Mother Land, the mountains demand spiritual cleanliness as well.
(Two more Pulag articles, coming up. Stay tuned!)
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