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Exploring the Lahar Trail of Mt. Pinatubo with Capas ATV Adventure

Travel mishaps can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, it happened to me in the form of a bad weather forecast when I went to Capas,Tarlac to visit Mt. Pinatubo.

Reaching the summit crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo  was supposed to be the original plan. However, when my friends and I arrived to meet our organizer, the Tourism Office did not allow anyone to push through because rapid flooding is inevitable even in light to moderate rains in the crater area. It was disheartening! We just came from Cebu, and have not had any rest from the moment we got off of our plane at NAIA and immediately embarked on a bus ride from Manila to Capas, Tarlac.

Sensing our disappointed faces, our organizer offered us two options at no additional cost: go white water rafting or drive an ATV from Capas ATV Adventure going to the Lahar Trail of Mt. Pinatubo and Tambo Lake. We could go white water rafting in other places but we could never drive an ATV to the Lahar Trail of Mt. Pinatubo in other places so we chose the second option!

Capas ATV Adventure is just a stone’s throw away from the tourism office. After signing our waivers, we proceeded to choose our ATV of choice. Operating an ATV is straightforward, and even kids (so long as their feet can reach the pedals) can do it. It only took us a minute or two to know the basics and proceeded to our destination straight away.

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As we neared the start of the trail, we were greeted by the sight of carabaos eating grass and Aeta farmers carrying their produce. There were also children running around barefoot.

The sight of mountains and the rugged terrain of the valley is stunning. It is ironic how a dreadful destruction led to this beauty.

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I was born two years after the last time Mt. Pinatubo erupted, and I’ve only seen a handful of photos of the aftermath of the lahar that has taken the lives of thousands of people and livestock. Crossing the heavy mudflow made me think how awful it must have been to those who experienced the destructive eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

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After almost an hour of riding, we arrived at Tambo Lake. According to our guide, Tambo Lake is one of the places where Balikatan Exercises, the  annual military exercises between the Philippines and the United States, is held.

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It was time to return and our guide led us to the river where the lahar is quite heavy. Driving an ATV in the lahar is harder than you think, especially if you are facing against the current. In fact, one of my friend’s wheels got stuck in the uneven terrain. We had to do a lot of pulling and pushing to get it out.

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My friends and I raced like around the vastness of the terrain. We were wet and muddy after plunging through the heavy lahar. It was a two-hour crazy ride!

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I may not have visited the summit crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo, but I did enjoy that trip. All thanks to Capas ATV Adventure. Mt. Pinatubo is just there, and God-willing, I can always go back.

If you want to experience this one-of-a kind adventure, visit Capas ATV Adventure’s Facebook page or call them at 0917 571 4357 or 0922 868 2589. On the other hand, if you want to experience trekking towards the summit crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo, you can organize your trip with Ma’am Sonia Bognot of  Majestic Mount Pinatubo Tour and Homestay. You can reach her at 0918 602 1943.

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  • Marica Pidor

    This is great! 🙂 I hope next time you and your friends get to reach the crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo. 🙂

    • hannafrej

      Yes, I’m really hoping so!

  • JD

    There will always be beauty in after destruction: bright supernovas, ruins of ancient civilization after a war, beautiful shoals and bays after a meteorite crash. It’s devastating when it happens, the beauty emerges when it’s turned into a canvass for beautiful things like life.

  • JD

    There will always be beauty after destruction: bright supernovas, ruins of ancient civilization after a year-long war, beautiful shoals and bays after a meteorite crash. It’s devastating when it happens, the beauty emerges when it’s turned into a canvass for beautiful things like life.

    • hannafrej

      #nosebleed Hahaha.

  • CAOLANO

    I am definitely going to put this on my travel bucket list. I lived in Luzon for almost decades but I never explored the lahar areas of Pampanga. I realy like reading your adventures Hannah. It is indeed a good way to sooth your feelings after not winning in the National Bookstore contest. hehehe 😉

    • hannafrej

      SAMOKA! Don’t remind me of that heartbreak! Hahahaha

  • I really felt IT when you discovered you can’t push through your original plans because of some circumstances and you traveled miles just to get there. But, everything happens for a reason and glad the local tourism office have alternative options so tourists can still enjoy. I hope I can go to Pinatubo sooner!

  • They say that if there’s a will, there’s a way! I can only imagine the tiring bus ride only to find out you wouldn’t get to do what you really came for in the first place. I think that anyone who has a sense of adventure would always find a way to have fun even when the original plan did not materialize! 😉

    • hannafrej

      Yes! In fact, 90% of our plans during this 6-day trip never happened. We had to find alternative places to go to. But it was fun!

  • Waaah..Wanna try the ATV.. hehehe.. pero ang tanong.. kailan aq makakapunta sa Mt. Pinatubomm sana by next year

  • That looks so much fun!! I definitely want to try it, and it’s already on my bucket list omg this got me stoked to travel! hahah – Gee

  • Rady James Bagnol

    I CAN FEEL YOUR PAIN. That’s exactly what happened to my Zambales trip. =(

    • hannafrej

      Oh, that’s so sad. 🙁 My Zambales trip was the same. Nagsasa Cove was the only place I was able to visit because of the storm. So sad. 🙁

  • Ariel Samangka

    Hello Hanna (LaagangaBata),

    Just before I comment, I simply want you to know that I’ve known you cause I landed on your blog few months ago and you have surprised me with all your remarkable adventures especially in Cebu.

    Okay, let me now start my comment.
    On every NO response from your expectation, there’s always a YES that has been waiting to unlock. You guys may didn’t able to make it to the crater lake, but there’s an exciting and amazing adventure that really made your visit an experience to remember.

  • Ramzy Magbitang

    I’ve always, ALWAYS wanted to just cruise around on an ATV! Hahaha. Specially in such a stunning place like that. Too bad about the challenging weather though, but it’s great you still managed to pull through albeit not as how it was originally planned.

  • Makasuya imong adventure! Basta masaag lagi ko dira, I’ll find a way to actually go there and do what you did! Hahahahaha. Di na lang ko mag-blog. I-link na lang tika para di kapoy. LOL

  • Jullian Robin Sibi

    Grabeha oy! Pirmi jud ku masuya sa mga mag adventure! Hopefully maka go mi diha puhon! Lingawa ninyu tan.awn! 😀

    http://www.utterlyrandomtechie.com

  • Is it alright it I say that it’s a beautiful disaster? Haha. But yah, I would like to experience the same pod! Nindota nimog mga adventure oy!

    x, Kat of Nested Thoughts

  • I always see my first visit to a place as an “ocular visit” and a test run so I know where to go and what to do the next time. Regardless, it was still an awesome adventure, Han! 😀

  • El Mundo

    What an incredible Han! Yes you might have that disappointment however seeing you riding in the ATV and seeing the other photos are like wow! Atleast they had the right compensation after that disheartening news. You can always come back and who knows with other CBC bloggers right?

  • Wandering Soul Scamper

    I feel you! It’s not easy when everything you’ve planned went south for some reasons. Even if your original plan didn’t push through but still you had an adventure packed trip. It’s really hard also for the organizers that the plan didn’t go as planned. Sometimes pursuing an adventure on a very bad weather is not a brave gesture but calling it off is!

    Looking at your pictures and reading your story, I can say that you had a great time despite of what happen. Come back and bring us there 🙂

  • Kriswanders

    That looks like a super fun adventure. The first time I saw the movie, Lahar, being a kid, I thought it was just another fiction of imagination but then realized that it was based from a true story. That was totally devastating. It’s a good thing now though that the local gov’t made something out of the place and convert it into a tourist attraction.

  • Channel Imperial

    I love ATV! And the scenery where you had an ATV adventure? Left me breathless! I better make that a part of my bucket list! But alas! Di ni puede sa Less than Php 1000 Challenge nimo. Hehehehehe!

    Love,
    http://www.channelmarie.com

    • hannafrej

      I guess the Php 1000 challenge only works here in Cebu. Hahaha

  • TheChris Climaco

    I was planning to try ATV there but I have on time and to look at the beautiful of Mt.pinatubo. 🙂

  • Any costing for this trip? The ATV looks fun!

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