Mt. Pulag

MT. PULAG

Location:Parts of it are located in Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines.
Google Map:
Coordinates:16°34’58″N 120°53’15″E.
Major Jump-Off Areas: Babadak Ranger Station, Bokod, Benguet (Ambangeg Trail), Brgy. Doacan, Kabayan, Benguet (Akiki Trail), Sitio Labang, Brgy. Tawangan, Kabayan (Tawangan Trail).
Trails:Ambangeg Trail, Akiki Trail, Vizcaya Trail, and Tawangan Trail.
Contact Person: Emerita Albas (DENR-PASU): 09196315402.
Registration Fee: Php225.00 (For updated fees, contact Ms. Albas).
Description
At 2,922 meters above sea level, Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon (UNESCO, 2006). Its fame is attributed to the scenic view at the peak especially during sunrise and sunset. The heaven-like scene at the summit, the “sea-of-clouds” phenomenon, and the unobstructed view of the Milky Way at dawn are but some reasons why mountain climbers kept on coming back in this “playground of the Ibaloi gods”. During sunrise, the changing of colors in the horizon and the mountainsides turning into gold when kissed by the early morning sun are breath taking. In order to protect and preserve the outstanding natural features particularly the wildlife, vegetation and the tarns of the area, Mt. Pulag was proclaimed National Park by virtue of Pres. Proclamation No. 75 on February 20, 1987 covering an area of 11,550 hectares (Pres. Proclamation No. 75 s. 1987). The preservation of Mt. Pulag also greatly reflects the cultural values of the locals. The lakes and mountains, like Mount Pulag, are deemed sacred and home of the spirits of their ancestors; thus, protected and kept safe.
There are three types of vegetation in the area suggesting the transition of elevations. The summit is covered with grass and the dwarf bamboo (Yushania niitakayamensis). At lower elevation, the mossy forest covers the mountainside. Below the small tree, fern, lichen, moss, and fog-covered mountainside is the coniferous forest. Mt. Pulag is also home to the Philippine Brown Deer, cloud rat (Crateromys schadenbergi) and the Luzon pygmy fruit bat (Otopteropus cartilagonodus).
Braving to camp at the summit during December, January and February exposes climbers to freezing temperatures and sometimes accompanied with rainfall. Planning ahead of time and considering the season of the year would prepare climbers from undue situations.
Respect and Protect
Respect the people and their culture. The beauty of Mt. Pulag has persevered until today mainly because of the belief and tradition of the locals surrounding it. Paying the meager registration, tour guide, and porter fee does not mean that you own them and the land. Give due respect to the locals, their culture and to the mountain.
Protect the environment. The influx of weekend and holiday tourists has a drastic impact on the mountain. For one, a lot of footpaths have been created in spite of the pre-climb orientation that only one path should be followed. Always practice the LNT principle when mountain climbing or camping. You can freely take pictures but don’t take any plant, stone or moss.
Gallery
Sunset at the campsite. Unfortunately, the foggy afternoon blocked our view of the colourful sunset. During rainy season, this also becomes a problem during sunrise when the sun is covered with heavy fog and rain clouds.
During the dawn, the dark silhouette of the mountains adds to the beauty of the imminent sunrise. This is a common scene halfway to the summit.
The colors of the horizon will take your breath away. All you can do is widely open your eyes… and often your mouth, too.
The colourful sunrise and the sea of clouds will always be a treat to the early birds at the summit. You need to wake up and start the ascent to the summit as early as 4:00AM if you want to see this.
The sea of clouds sometimes become like a fast flowing river. Every minute, the wind changes the cloud scene.
The face of the mountains turns gold as it is kissed by the early morning sun.
Here comes the sun!
 You can witness mountain tops upon mountain tops touched by the rays of the sun.
The clusters of dwarf bamboos (Yushania niitakayamensis) at the summit grow as high as three to four feet.
During December to January, the dwarf bamboos are often moist from the fog. And they are haven for the ill-clothed climbers when the fog and chilly wind blows.
The rolling hills with the sea of clouds as background. When you thought you had your fill, more breath taking views are yet to be seen.
As the sun goes higher, the color of the grass-laden mountains turns to green.
The fog plays like a playful carpet. But this adds to the beauty of the moment making the mountaintops and hills like an elusive lady.
And just when a clear blue sky is needed, the fog and clouds obediently withdrew.
The sun warms the chilly atmosphere. Take note, however, that you are at high risk of sunburn without proper sun protection at this time and onwards.
It is not uncommon that you will just sit on the ground and be mesmerized by the wonder of God’s creation.
And yes, they’re grasses. And they’re beautiful.
It really must be the playground of the gods!

Even the trees are beautiful to behold.
REFERENCE LIST:
Pres. Proclamation No. 75 (February 20, 1987). Retrieved on April 09, 2015 from http://www.gov.ph/1987/02/20/proclamation-no-75-s-1987/.
UNESCO (2006). Mt. Pulag National Park. Retrieved on April 09, 2015 from http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5030/.

2 thoughts on “Mt. Pulag

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