I went to: Mt. Pinatubo

Mount Pinatubo became well known because of its destructive volcanic eruption back in 1991 and was the second largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century. In fact, its massive eruption contributed to ozone depletion and worldwide decrease in temperature. Affecting 30,000 lives and billions of properties, Mt. Pinatubo was really felt. Devastating as it may be, but Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption left us stunning sights to which most of the tourists are enjoying up to this day.

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Mt. Pinatubo is located in the middle of Zambales, Pampanga, and Tarlac. It is a two-hour drive from Manila to Capas, Tarlac town proper and another 30 minutes travel to Municipal Tourism Satellite Office of Sta. Juliana. Registration starts as early as 5 A.M. and cut off time is at 6 A.M. In the registration area, you have to fill up an information sheet and sign a waiver as well. This is where you have to pay for conservation and tour guide fees. Now, don’t get confused because there will be another fee that you are required to in Botolan area as you go your way to the crater since it’s a different municipal already.

You need to rent a 4×4 jeep to reach the drop-off point going to the crater and be ready for an hour bumpy ride! But worry not, because the sights along the way are stunning! Every view will capture your attention and you’ll get puzzled on where to look. It’s like you’re in a different world, seriously! While we were on our way, I kept telling to myself, “grabe, ang ganda!”.

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4×4 Jeeps parked at drop-off point

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From the drop-off point, you will start to trek for 2-3 hours depending on your pace. It’s better to start as early as 7 AM so that it’ll not be too hot to trek. There will be a lot of river crossing going to the trek but it’s not as hard as you imagine. There are some parts that are rocky road so you have to be extra careful to avoid tripping over.

Drop-off point

After an hour of trekking, you’ll reach the Botolan station, which is the boundary of Zambales and Tarlac. This is where you have to pay different conservation fees. There is a sari-sari store available in Botolan station and you can also rest your feet before proceeding to another one-hour trek to the crater.


After a short trek from Botolan station, you’ll reach the stop over area going to Mt. Pinatubo. There are rest rooms and cottages available where you can catch your breath before proceeding. This is also the area where you can spot the famous Mt. Pinatubo’s signage.

Which one are you?

The trail from here going to the crater itself is cooler since there are trees along the way and there will be more river crossings as well.

Ascending to the peak of Mt. Pinatubo is not that hard since there are already concrete stairs going up. You’re adrenaline rush will suddenly boost once you see the welcome sign of Mt. Pinatubo!

From that point, a breathtaking view will welcome you. When I got there, it was like I’m in a different place at all! It was a scenic view that you can’t take your eyes off once you laid on it. You’ll be amazed by what the eruption did to the place. It’ll take your worries away.

There are cottages in the area where you can have your lunch or you can do it under the shade of tree if you want. It’s free of charge, anyway. Just be mindful of your trashes and don’t litter anywhere. The tour guides bring their own plastic bags but still, you have to be responsible with your own trash. Also, don’t forget to share your packed lunch with your tour guide or whatever snacks you have.

Swimming is not allowed so don’t try to break this rule because your tour guide might get suspended if you do so. When we were there, some foreigner still broke the rule and it’s really disappointing since there is already signage saying “No Lifeguard. Swimming is not allowed”.

You can stay there long enough to recharge your energy for another 2-hour trek back to the drop-off point. You can take your photo ops or just enjoy the view since there is no cellular signal everywhere. Perfect time to spend your muni-muni time.

Pinatubo trekking fees:

3,000 – 4×4 vehicle rental (maximum of 5 passengers)

500 – local guide (group of 5 pax)

Fees charged per person:

300 – conservation/maintenance fee

700 – Botolan, Zambales Fee

Additional information:

Guests ages from 40 years old to 59 years old are required to present their proper identification such as passport or government issued IDs. For those who are 60 years and above, they have to present either medical certificate and health insurance or medical practitioner or travel insurance together with their identification cards.

Go after your dreams!

Go after your dreams!

       Chasing our dreams will never be easy. You’ll go through different up and down pavements along the way. It will be a bumpy journey before you will finally reach the destination of your goals. Sometimes in our lives, we question ourselves if we are still on the right track going to our dreams. Our “what ifs” kept bombarding us and our “whys” kept haunting us. Confusions are creeping up on us which makes us tremble over and over again. We begin to doubt our capabilities to succeed because we thought there are no progress on what we are doing. We are envious to our colleagues because they are living their dreams. We are on the verge of giving up our dreams and be what it is. But hey, dreams might take some time to arrive but one thing for sure it will come in your most unexpected time and  in unexpected way.

                 For me, I know it is not there yet but it is just around the corner waiting for me. I know that my dreams are some kind of a blurry and I don’t even know where to start. I even read articles on finding your passions, things to know your passions and everything like that. I was desperate. But I am still hopeful and positive about my future, that God has better plans than me though it is kind of tricky sometimes, still I am optimistic about it. It is all about taking time slowly and analyzing things deeply. Listen to the things around you, listen to what your heart desires, listen where the calling is coming from. It’s no easy, I know, but trust in God that he will give you what is the best for you. That is a 100% win-win. Together with that, be persevere on everything you do. Keep the mantra of being optimistic and without knowing you almost reach the goals that you once dream of.

Don’t stop running after your dreams, don’t quit. You’ll get there, you’ll see. When you feel like failing, think of it like a trampoline keeping you bounce until you will finally reach the highest peak. “Never give up” as the saying goes which is in fact, true. Be a man to your dreams and live with it. Whatever your dreams may be, it might be small or big, it might be too far from reality or simple as plain but a dream will always be a dream. Don’t wait for the day you will regret everything and all you can say is, “How I wish I did everything”.

Remember! 

Remember! 

When he forgot to text you in the morning,Remember that he’s working.

When he didn’t ask to fetch you,

Remember that he is just tired.

When he left you hanging during your convo,

Remember he worked night shift.
If he still talk to her,

Remember they’re just friends.

If he refuse to do what you want,

Remember he is just being reasonable.

If he keeps on communicating with her,

Remember they’re in the same circle.
But if you feel tired from all of these,

Remember that it’s okay to stop.

If you feel like getting drunk,

Go buy yourself a rum.

If it is your only way for escape,

Find where the ocean is.
Remember, you are a gem.

You deserve the love from a King.

Don’t let him outsmart you.

You deserve the royal treatment.

You are not an option.

Leave when you feel like leaving.
A real man is true to his words.

Respects your decisions.

Accepts your opinions.

Love your whole being.

So, you quit?

If you are reading this and about to quit, it’s okay. Quitting does not mean that you are weak to handle things that are beyond your control. It’s just that you know yourself too much and you know that you will be much braver if you quit.

Quitting means you’re getting out from your comfort zone because you seek for more challenging roles in life. And it is not being a loser. It is way more than a winner, my friend. Why? Because you wanted to become the person that you’ve always imagine. Soaring high up above the sky one day.

You’re quitting not because you are running away from the responsibilities but because you know your worth as a person and taking all the responsibilities in one hand is too much like it swallows your personality.

Quitting is knowing your priority, which one to give up and to save. You quit because there is something that you are starting to neglect and without knowing you’re starting to lose it. You know when to quit because you know your priority.

And sometimes, quitting can be a wake up call for someone out there for them to do something. You can be their sign.

It’s me,

Aira

Staying away for a little while.

Staying away for a little while.

 

Sometimes, you have to keep yourself away from the person you love even for a short period of time.

It’s not because you fell out of love.

It’s not because you’re being prideful.

It’s not because you are bored.

It is because you just need to take a break from all the pains it caused.

But, the love is still on fire.

You just want to take things slowly and recall why your relationship is still going strong despite all the heart breaking things happened.  You just want to know if the love you’re giving is too much that it chokes them. Or not enough that they feel neglected and unimportant.

To be away from them for awhile doesn’t make your love fade away but instead it makes you independent from their love. To free yourself from being clingy and give them the time to breathe. Without you.

To be away from them is not necessarily leaving them alone and broken but finding your worth as their other half. If they will look for you when you are trying to idle in a little while. Finding your place.

To be away from them makes you a whole person again after you have been broken into pieces and be able to love them again. Wholeheartedly.

That is, a part of the epitome of love.

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It’s me,

Aira

Why I’m not happy after college?

Why I’m not happy after college?

It has been three months today since I walked down the aisle of the plenary hall wearing my baccalaureate toga to receive my certificate of graduation and medal for being Cum Laude. It was one magical and unbelievable moment in my life because after four years in college, I will finally be landing on my dream job and be financially independent which is the best thing after college. 

Disclaimer: even before our graduation day came, I was able to find a work on a project base basis advertising agency. 

So going back, as I was walking down the aisle, thoughts were popping out on my mind. First, after this very long ceremony I will go back to my work and earn money. Second, after my contract in that hilarious advertising agency I will look for a job that will satisfy my passion, traveling. And third, since I was already employed, I am once step ahead from my batch mates and besides graduating as Cum Laude is an advantage. I know, I was a little bit competitive but who could’ve blame an excited soon-to-be working adult? Graduation day ended and and ready to go back to work. But then I realised I was not happy on what really I was doing. Everyday when I come to the office, I would first go to the bathroom and cry then ended up praying. Praying that hopefully this contract will end soon. I was not really happy then. My heart was not on what I was doing the entire time and I was just fooling myself because of my ego: “I have a job right after college, that means I am on my road to success” and that’s how it supposed to be, right? Well, that ego brought me to the job that doesn’t really aligned with my degree and most importantly my passion. I go to work like a robot trying to finish everything as soon as I can because I want to go home early and lay on my bed. Then, I began to realise the advice of my witty friend, Getting a job right after college won’t define your self-worth” which is damn true! When I got hired, I felt different about myself in a vey best way but it didn’t last longer than I expected. Days went by and I felt like I don’t belong here though my workmates were easy to get along with. I felt like a trying hard idiot competing everyone I know at my age but still ended up being a loser. I became the person that is seeking for self-worthiness because I lost it when I thought I had it by the time I had my job. Being a degree holder is something that could boost your self-esteem on a greater value. And it’s not bad at all. But what’s after that? Find yourself a job that could suffice your self-worth? What if it’ll take too long? Would you settle on something that couldn’t make you happy? Now this is what I am realising after almost two months of not working. Stretching my arms and embracing whatever God has planned for me.