Fujifilm x Mt. Pulag (Part 1)

Are you a fan of Fujifilm Philippines on Facebook? I bet you've seen this ad posted back in November 2014.

Fujifilm Philippines sponsored a trip to Mt. Pulag. Among the 14,500+ fans they had in FB back in November 2014, 25 lang ang makakapasok. Parang ang liit nung chance na masama. But I was motivated to join, nakaka miss din yung feeling na kasama ka sa fieldtrip. LOL. I remember waking up around 7:30 the morning of November 14. Logged-in my Eventbrite account, bookmarked the given link and patiently waited for the registration to go live at 8AM. Luckily, I got in. By 8:02AM the tickets were sold out. Swerte di ba? :)

Participants attended the pre-climb meeting where I finally met X-Photographers Randall Cipriano and Rommel Bundalian.

I got really excited and bought a ton of stuff to be used for camping. Bought most items from ROX and Daiso. Btw, sending a shoutout to my friend Joy for lending/selling me her North Face backpack at a friendly price. Hehe. Also to my co-participant Jen for lending me her extra sleeping bag and mat. :)

While waiting for the Mt. Pulag climb, I was able to "train and warm up" with the cold weather in Seoul. Temperatures at the time were 0 to -10C. Tagos talaga sa buto ang lamig! Haha. Unfortunately the Mt. Pulag climb got cancelled due to bad weather and got moved to January 7-10, 2015.

Fast forward to January 7, 2015, went to the Victory Liner terminal in Pasay where we're riding a bus to Baguio. Photo by Brian Santos. To be honest I was having second thoughts if I should join or not. Wala kasi ako training and the sound of climbing the highest mountain in Luzon scared the shit out of me. Haha.

We arrived in Baguio around 3-4AM and rode a jeep going to Brgy. Daklan in Bokod, Benguet to have breakfast at Ate Gina's place. Sikat ang karinderia ni Ms. Gina Epe sa mga climbers going to Mt. Pulag. ;)

Before the climb, you need to stop by and log-in at the DENR office. There's also a briefing for first time climbers. :) Photo by RA Valderama.

Even before we started our climb, may view na ng sea of clouds. :)

That's me showing off my biggest smile before we started our hike/trek to Mt. Pulag. We left before lunch around 11:00AM. Original plan was to carry my bag (that weighed 13kgs), I wanted to challenge myself sana but failed coz I hired a porter. Hehe. Starting rate is ₱600.00 for bags below 15kgs.

That's sir Rommel Bundalian in action, taking photos of the landscape using his Fujifilm X-T1. ;)

Mapapatigil ka naman kasi talaga sa ganda ng view. ;)

By 12 noon we made it to Camp 1 where we took 10-20 min. breaks. The climb wasn't that hard as I expected it to be. Again, I didn't have proper training prior this trip. It's just that I really love walking so inisip ko na lang nasa mall lang ako window shopping. Hehe.

By 1:30PM we finally arrived at Camp 2 where we'll be staying 'til end of our trip. Our guide Stephen from TrekTravel was quite amazed by how fast we got to our campsite despite climbing with first timers. :) Na-amaze din ako bilang may 3G sa ibabaw ng Pulag. Hahaha. I was able to post this video using my Smart 3G sim.

At around 5:00PM we're all set up but failed to get a descent sunset shot due to clouds surrounding/hugging the mountain. Temperature was slowly but surely dropping by this time. Ang lamig!

The night of January 8, 2015 has got to be one of the longest nights of my life. Weather wasn't cooperating, it started drizzling and our tents weren't waterproof so we had to move somewhere dry. We found a shelter near Camp 1 (which was only for guides, porters and locals) and moved all our stuff there. Hinayaan na namin yung mga tents and sleeping mats. Important lang na wag mabasa yung mga bags namin.

Believe it or not some of us (including me!) actually slept on the floor (as seen on the right photo). Yes we had mats/sleeping bags but it wasn't really enough to protect us from the cold weather. Akala ko talaga mamamatay na ako. I probably woke up every 10 mins or so because my body shivered nonstop due to cold weather. If you're climbing Mt. Pulag during the cold season, make sure you invest in proper winter clothing.

We obviously experienced the not so good weather of Mt. Pulag during our first camping day. I wanted to back out and go home but the rest of the group was very supportive. Sabagay, isang araw na nga lang naman. How hard can that be di ba? Buti na lang the weather was slowly improving.. TO BE CONTINUED.

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