Q: Is Mt. Pulag the highest mountain in the Philippines?
A: No, it is not. It is the third. The highest mountain in the Philippines is Mt. Apo in Mindanao. In Luzon, however, Mt. Pulag is the highest in the Island.
Q: When is the best season to climb Mt. Pulag?
A: Having been to Mt. Pulag, I can attest that there is no guarantee that you will have a perfect view of the sea of clouds, beautiful sunrise, sunset, etc. The weather is unpredictable every minute. A moment of all-sunshine can change in the next few minutes to drizzling; the moment of crystal clear atmosphere can change into foggy everywhere. So, please take this into account in scheduling your trip. By doing so, you will save yourself from any dissatisfaction due the weather condition.
- Dry Season: (March – May) 🙂
The weather is warmer. If you want to have a higher chance of experiencing the perfect sunrise and sunset, I highly recommend you to go during the summer months of the year. ^_^
- Wet Season: (June – October)
It’s almost raining all the time during this season
- Mt. Pulag at its coldest: (December-February)
These are the coldest months to go to Mt. Pulag when most of the frosts can be seen anywhere in the mountain.
When you climb Mt. Pulag, come prepared, expecting the coldest temperature and the most rain so that you are well-equipped
Q: How do you register with the DENR to get to Mt. Pulag?
A: If you are traveling through a travel agency, you do not have to worry about this. The agency can take care of it for you. On the other hand, if you are traveling on your own, you have to inform the Protected Areas Office of the DENR at Ambangeg for your clearance. You’ll have to call or text them through: +63-919-631-5402 (c/o Ms. Emerita “Ma’am Mering” Albas, the Superintendent at the DENR-PAO). You have to provide details of your group and the total number of people involved.
The pre-registration at the DENR:
i. Can anticipate the number of people going (so there will be enough guides)
ii. Can advise if the mountain can accommodate your group.
Maximum capacity (90-120 people per day)
iii. Can advise you if there are any security concerns
iv. Can advise you if the mountain is operational
Q: Is there potable water in Mt. Pulag? How much water should we bring?
A: You are advised to bring at least 3 liters of your own water especially if you have sensitive tummy and cannot drink unfamiliar water. The downside of this is that it can be heavy for you (unless you hire a porter).
If you are not sensitive, you can just bring 1 liter container of water because there is plenty of water to refill your container along the way to Mt. Pulag. The water is clean, and probably the sweetest water you could ever taste as it comes straight from the mountain. It can’t get any better than that. You can refill at the Ranger Station and at at least 2 spring water sources you will encounter along the way from the Ranger Station and towards Camp 2.
Q: What is the toilet situation in Mt. Pulag?
A: There’s only one real restroom located at the Ranger Station, a very basic one (I say it again, BASIC! as in SURVIVAL). 😀 In Camp 2, there is an open pit planked by wood you can step on and around you for a bit of privacy. And that’s as good as it gets. 🙂 You have to have your own wet wipes or tissue.
Honestly, this was the most challenging part of my trip haha 😀 But the perfect weather, sunrise and sea of clouds paid it off well (buti na lang!).
Q: How cold does it get in Mt. Pulag?
A: Never assume you will get the warmer weather when you go to Mt. Pulag. While some say the coldest was experienced at -4 degrees Celsius in months of December to February. Others say it has gone as low as -8 degrees Celsius. Regardless of the number, it’s still awfully cold so brace yourselves.
Q: Does it rain in Mt. Pulag?
A: Yes, yes, and yes. So bring a raincoat/light umbrella just in case.
Q: Can we drink alcohol in Mt. Pulag? And perhaps, smoke a cigarette or two?
A: No. Mt. Pulag is a sacred mountain and considered the dwelling place of the Gods of the natives there, as such, you are discouraged to smoke or drink alcohol. It is not only a sign of respect to the Gods of the mountain and of the native people, but also a measure to preserve the Mt. Pulag National Park which is a Protected Area.
Q: How many days can one stay in Mt. Pulag? How many days should we allot for a trip to the mountain?
A: A 2-Day trip is sufficient for the easiest trail.
Leave on a Friday night and be back on a Monday morning. If you have much more time, at least 3 days is good. Start hiking from the DENR Office as the views from there to the Ranger Station are precious. You can also try the Akiki Trail, known as the killer trail, as it also requires at least 3 days. Others come only for the sunrise, that’s why a weekend trip is sufficient, but you can stay longer if you want to view the sunset too. If you want to document more of Mt. Pulag Experience, you can opt to stay longer for the view, know the place, and learn from the locals.
Q: How do locals regard Mt. Pulag?
A: Mt. Pulag is sacred to the locals who call it home. Treat it like coming to someone’s home or place of worship. Treat it with care and with much respect. Moreover, Mt. Pulag is a tourist spot, a national park, a protected area, and is in the tentative list to be a World Heritage Site. Treat it with respect and reverence.
Q: Is there any guarantee we’ll experience great weather and see a beautiful sunrise and be above the clouds when we get to Mt. Pulag?
A: There is no guarantee. The weather condition in the mountain is very fickle. But if you come with the right attitude and with great company, you are guaranteed to have a great time nevertheless. As they say, “It is the journey, not the destination.”
Q: What level of physical fitness is required to conquer a mountain like Mt. Pulag?
A: Physically fit climbers need not to worry on this but being prepared physically is necessary for this adventure. Exercise at least 2 weeks prior to the climb. The exercise only serves to give you a much easier time and more chance to enjoy the view instead of always having to catch your breath.It is recommended to get clearance from your doctor first especially if you have any medical issues.
Q: Are there any conservation efforts being done to protect Mt. Pulag and is there anything I can do to support it?
Mt. Pulag is a National Integrated Protected Areas Programme (NIPAP) site. The Protected Areas Office of the DENR where you register before taking a hike collects environmental and conservation fees to help in protecting and maintaining the park. The DENR pledged to strictly enforcing the maximum capacity rule.
Q: What is the Leave No Trace Principle about, and why should I care?
The Leave No Trace Principle teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Simply, it is captured in the nugget “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.” The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics actually promotes the ff. principles: (1) Plan Ahead and Prepare, (2) Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, (3) Dispose of Waste Properly, (4) Leave What You Find, (5) Minimize Campfire Impacts, (6) Respect Wildlife, and (7) Be Considerate of Other Visitors.
Ciao! Trailblazers ^_^
The HistoryMaker/The Official Traveler
– See more at: Mt. Pulag Adventures
Mt.Pulag Adventure (Part 1): 8 Steps to Get There!
Mt.Pulag Adventure (Part 2): What To Bring?