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Written by rio sebastian   
Sunday, 21 October 2012 10:53
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With a towering height of 2,922 meters, Mt. Pulag is Luzon's highest mountain. Located in the Cordillera mountain range of Benguet, it holds the record of being the third highest mountain in the Philippines, with the first two highest being Mt. Apo, and Mt. Dulang-Dulang, which are both located in Mindanao.

To get to Mt. Pulag from Manila, you can take the Victory Liner bus going to Baguio City.  The trip usually lasts for six hours if there is no traffic jam. From Baguio City, take the Norton bus going to Akiki Trail jump-off in Kabayan, Benguet. It will take another six hours to get there from Baguio City. It could be a long and tiring journey, but the spectacular view of the jagged cliffs from the zigzagged roads will make you forget about the passing hours.

 

Alighting at the Akiki Trail jump-off

Climbing the steep slopes at the jump off in Kabayan, Benguet

 

After registering at the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) office, you can begin to trek towards the first camp site beside the Eddet River. Usually, the DENR office will brief you about rules and regulations to follow during the climb, and give one trekking guide for every six persons. The trail is steep and dark and cold. But it is quite pleasant to have to sleep with the soothing sound of the Eddet river.

 

Crossing the rickety bridge over the turbulent waters of the Eddet River

 

Up next along the trail is the mossy forest, where lots of interesting plant species such as the pitcher plant and a species of the cancer-curing Yew tree can be found. But before you arrive there, it would be interesting to stop for lunch at an area called Marlboro Country, named as such for the view of the surrounding mounds of hills.

 

lovely view of the surroundings at Mt. Pulag

 

The vegetation dimishes as you head towards the summit. Mt. Pulag's name is actually from the word, Pulog, a word from the local dialect which means bald. The topmost area of the mountain, leading to the peak is mostly treeless, hence, the appellation. Due to the lack of trees, there would be little or no shelter at all from the winds and the rains, which would be coming from every direction, bringing a whole new level of climbing experience.

 

entrance to the mossy forest

the haunting trees of Mt. Pulag's mossy forest

 

Upon reaching the peak, being amongst the clouds is an exhilirating experience. And it sure is gratifying to finally reach a goal after all the obstacles and hardships of hours of climbing the steep slopes and enduring the wet and the cold.

 

seeking refuge amongst the dwarf bamboos (Yushania niitakayamensis), a species endemic to Mt. Pulag

finally at the summit

 

If you are the adventurous type, why not try this amazing challenge the next time you find yourself in the Philippines?

(photos and story contributed by Rio Sebastian)

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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 October 2012 19:43
 


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