What Mt. Pinatubo Made Me Realize

I was in a disastrous state when I went to the once disastrous Mt. Pinatubo. My mind then was on the brink of exploding as I dealt with what I call pre-quarter life crisis. In fact, I almost backed out from the trip. But thank goodness I was surrounded by positive people who pushed me enough to leave my fears and anxieties behind even just for a little while. Hence, I dropped my final “yes” and trekked my way towards a priceless prize that awaits me.

Countryside feels at Mt. Pinatubo

On the rocks

On a steady February, we headed to Zambales from Manila at around 11 in the evening. Since I was demotivated during that time, I just chose to sleep through the ride, hoping that my mood would shift into the bright side upon waking up. It seemed like my prayer was answered because during our breakfast-slash-bladder break, I finally felt the excitement growing inside me and found myself participating in conversations which I don’t typically do when I’m bluer than blue.

We arrived at the jump-off point in Botolan, Zambales at past 5:00 AM, with numerous parked 4×4 jeepneys in sight. At that moment, the excitement I mentioned earlier was nearing its peak. Before starting the adventure, TRIPinas, our tour partner, facilitated a short orientation on what to expect from the whole nature adventure. Don’t worry, hindi ka paaasahin ng Mt. Pinatubo. It may even exceed your expectations. 😉

Mt. Pinatubo 4x4 Ride

Humpy bumpy

The first part of the adventure was the bumpy 4×4 ride. This usually lasts for two hours, so for those who have vertigo or any motion sickness, get prepared. Make sure to drink medicine to manage the dizziness and nausea, and bring plastic bags in case of OMG-I-feel-like-throwing-up instances. Ito na lang ang isipin mo: Mas mabuti nang mahilo sa 4×4 kaysa naman ang mahilo nang dahil sa pinaikot-ikot ka lang n’ya. Charot.

Since the vehicle will also pass through a dusty and muddy soil, better gear yourself with a cap, a pair of sunglasses, and a mask. Tying your hair into a bun will also save you big time ’cause it can get windy especially during early mornings. You may feel irritable at first due to the inconveniences, but just consider those as part of the package. Brush the bad temper off—after all, a rollercoaster ride is something that must be enjoyed!

Women Empowerment at Mt. Pinatubo!
Our iconic “Gabriela” photo #WomenEmpowerment!

Keep going

The second half of the terrain can no longer be accessed by 4×4 vehicles, so we went all the way to the crater by foot. Here are the essentials that may come useful for you during the hiking proper:

  • Sunblock. It’s an active volcano, thus heat is expected. And don’t remove your cap and sunglasses just yet because it might get hotter when you encounter a couple of cuties along the way. A-luh-luh-luh.
  • Trekking pole. I used an improvised one which is made of kawayan. This will make your trekking journey a lot easier for it balances your weight during ascents and descents, therefore preventing you from falling. O, alam na!
  • Trekking sandals. Aside from rocky landscapes, you will pass by rivers as well; so I advise you to wear trekking sandals instead of rubber shoes (unless you have a waterproof one).
  • Food. Of course, that is needed for you to be energized from time to time. Don’t be selfish, though. Share your food not just with your trekking buddies, but also with our beloved Aetas. The tribe has a village there, so they’re basically all over the place.

I enjoyed this part a lot because (1) I got to do some cardio; (2) I was able to see (and touch!) massive rock formations which resulted from volcanic ashes and lava; and most importantly, (3) I was able to interact and share my blessings with some members of our Aeta community. That last one was definitely the highlight. It served as a wake-up call, reminding me yet again of how lucky and blessed I am. I was busy ranting about work, school, and other petty issues, but there they were, happily and contently living and surviving the simple life. Walang karapatang magreklamo, bes!

Lava Formations at Mt. Pinatubo

Smooth sailing

So after three hours of walking, a little bit of climbing, and lots of picture-taking, we finally set foot at Mt. Pinatubo’s main attraction—the crater made possible by the Creator. No exaggeration intended, but I literally stopped and stared for seconds, just savoring such a beauty in front of me. The scorching sun warmed and melted my tough heart. The crystal, turquoise waters calmed my nerves. Mt. Pinatubo as a whole allowed me to make peace with myself—that is, to accept that life isn’t all piso fare tickets and unlimited samgyeopsal. We’ve got to acknowledge our weaknesses, embrace our imperfections, keep going amidst challenges, and believe that there’s always a rainbow after the rain.

Mt. Pinatubo Crater
Who else have noticed that the Mt. Pinatubo crater is heart-shaped? <3

We conquered Mt. Pinatubo!

So, with that being said…

What Mt. Pinatubo made me realize is that just like her, we are a beautiful disaster.


  • Lava ka ba? Kasi I lava like a love song, e.
  • Paano tumawa ang bulkan? Eh ‘di LAHARHARHAR.
  • Girls who just came from a break-up be like: Nagmahal. Nasaktan. Sumabog. Gumanda. Pak!


Did this post thrill you to conquer Mt. Pinatubo? 🙂

About Author

Broken Biyahera

Bianca is a banker by day, blogger by night, biyahera by nature, and broken by heart. Chos.


  1. Joe Henri Ortega says:

    Hi Bianca, I also went there just last december i think. Was quite lycky at that time because the weather was in our favor. Cloudy which helped us lessen the heat and some occasional raindrops which only lasted a few minutes.

    Great thing to know that your experience has been in some way ..life changing

    I also have a few realizations of my own.. While people call it a beautiful disaster, i find it hard to call a disaster beautiful.. Instead a see this beauty as a symbol of hope. That no matter how damaged and distruction the eruption has caused this wonderful nature, the new pinatabo still retained ita beauty. A reminder for us that in our lives, there will dark days and pains to come, but like the pinatubo the new us can still be wonderful and beautiful no matter what..

    God Bless ya!

    1. Wow, thanks for sharing your realization, Sir! This is what I like about going on a nature adventure. It allows us to reflect and re-connect with ourselves and our environment. It glads me that there are travelers like you who really took time to appreciate the beauty of our natural wonders, because let’s face it – some people just go on trips for the sake of showing off on social media.

      Again, thanks and God bless you as well! 🙂

      1. yup.. likewise.. I great to appreciate the beauty of nature. even the powerful splashing of waves in the sea or beautiful scenery of mountains and rice fields.. I find it so stress relieving. mountain climbing is also a great place to meditate or pray.. I read an article before that tells the significance of mountains in the bible.. that was a great read.

        Thank you again.


        1. Couldn’t agree more. 🙂

        2. sorry.. mali mali spelling ko sa ibang text. 😀

          1. Haha, no problem po! 😀

  2. Wow, a very entertaining yet informative piece of work. Well done!

    1. HAHAHAHAHA ang taray. Salamat! 😛

  3. AYYY GRABE!! Tagos tagos naman dun sa “Mt. Pinatubo as a whole allowed me to make peace with myself – that is, to accept that life isn’t all piso fare tickets and unlimited samgyeopsal.” It made me want to go to Mt Pinatubo na rin.

    1. Yes, witness it yourself! It will surely make you realize a lot of things. 🙂

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