Two weeks ago, I swore (kind of) never to climb Mt. Pulag (or any mountain) ever again. If you’re reading this for tips, I’m sorry. It’s just me recalling my traumatic experience.

Despite my persistent headache and the endless warnings about the extreme weather, I decided to push through for a number of reasons:

  • I already paid the downpayment. Sayang naman.
  • I don’t want to back out at the last minute. Hassle sa organizers at paano na yung kasama kong friend (Hi Melinda! I am no “leaver” hehe).
  • I need to get out of the city / fresh air / scenic views.
  • At least if I die, I died doing something adventurous / IOLO
  • I’ve never climbed a mountain at sabi nga ni pareng Jack Kerouac: “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”
  • Para may bagong profile pic…

So I went.


The trek was bearable. I struggled during the first half hour or so but it became a bit easier eventually.

The camping experience was at par with with normal camping situations, I guess. I have limited to almost no experience camping out.

It was sweltering hot when we got to the camping grounds around noon. Extreme weather nga.

There were cubicles for peeing (I very much doubt people do #2 here) and they were, for lack of a better term, kadiri, but you have no choice unless you want to pee amongst the flora and fauna, which some people preferred. The cubicles were that insufferable! So we held our pee for as long as we could. But it became the least of our worries come night time.

At sunset, the cold instantly swept across the whole mountain. There was nothing else to do. After an early supper, we tried to sleep. Tried.

That night, fate / my choices threw me the coldest night and worst headache of my life so far. NOT KIDDING. COLDEST. NIGHT. AND. MOST. PAINFUL. HEADACHE. OF. MY. LIFE. TO. DATE. I was pretty sure I was going to die from hypothermia and/or migraine.

Sleep-deprived but hopeful (also thankful we survived the night), we trudged to the peak at around 4am to catch the sunrise. Only there was no sunrise. We didn’t see the supposed highlight of a Mt. Pulag trip either, the “sea of clouds”.

It was foggy and drizzling when we got to the peak. No breathtaking views. NONE. ZILCH. WALA. WALEY. All that for nothing (insert crying GIF here).

So I went home a bit heartbroken but very relieved. Hello warmth, hello bed, hello family that I thought I was never gonna see again!

Once in a while I will see photos of the glorious view above Mt. Pulag taken by people fortunate enough to see it at its best. This one from Travel Factor is so beautiful.

I. cannot. even.


Photos like this make me want to do it all over again if only for THAT view. If there is a next time, I would be more prepared and braver. Maybe I would be luckier too.