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Friday, May 9, 2014

Mt. Bulusan - Mountain Clean-up 2014

Mt. Bulusan in Bulusan Sorsogon
Mt. Mayon spotted on our way to sorsogon
Mt. Bulusan is an active volcano in the Province of Sorsogon. The last known eruption occured in 2011. It has a towering height of 1,565 meters above sea level. Today, it is declared a Natural Park and one of the hiking destinations in the region.

 Sorsogon may look so near but it's actually far, it may be a well-known city to some but not really as famous as other cities in the Bicol Region. Even though it is not being preferred by many as an exploration spot, I still decided to choose this place as my next adventure.

We again joined the Conquer Team and participated in "National Mountain Clean-up 2014", which aims to promote awareness of the importance of taking care of our natural resources in small and simple ways, to be responsible, to inspire others and to set a good example.

Mt. Bulusan seen from Irosin
Irosin Market
Heading to Bulusan Lake

Day 0

1800 - Assembly Philtranco Pasay (buy tickets)
1930 - ETD Sorsogon

Day 1

1130 - ETA Sorsogon
1200 - Lunch at near Cafetiria
1300 - Buy Supplies/Food
1330 - Take Tricycle/Jeep to Bulusan Lake
1400 - ETA Bulusan Lake
1500 - Arrange Guide/Porters/Permit/Medical requirements
1530 - Start kayaking
1545 - Start Trekking
1630 - First Nipa Hut
1700 - Second Nipa Hut
1730 - Ranger Station/Tree House
1715 - Tree Planting activity
1800 - 4th Nipa Hut/Sharp Peak Nipa Hut
1815 - Water Source
1845 - ETA Aguingay Camp Site/Pitch Tent
1900 -Prepare Dinner
1930 - Dinner
2000 - Socials
2130 - Lights-out

Day 2

0300 - Wake-up Call
0330 - Breakfast
0400 - Start Trek
0600 - ETD Nipa Hut (950 MASL) / Rest a bit
0700 - Resume Trek
0800 - ETA Bulusan Crater
0815 - ETA Bulusan Summit
0900 - Start Descend
1030 - ETA Nipa Hut (950 MASL)
1100 - Mountain Clean-up
1200 - ETA Aguingay Lake
1230 - Lunch/Break Camp

1330 - Start Descend
1400 - Nipa Hut Sharp Peak
1530 - ETA Ranger Station
1630 - ETA Bulusan Lake
1700 - Wash-up Cristal Spring Resort
1800 - ETD Irosin Bayan
1830 - Dinner
2000 - ETD Manila

Day 3
0830 - ETA Manila

filling up some needed documents

taking picture for the permits
Our day started at 7:00 in the evening along Elavil Tours Cubao. Then we headed to Sorsogon around 8:40PM. Getting there by land takes long hours of travel (approximately 10-14 hours) It really tiring and eats up too much time.

  After 16 hours of traveling, we took our lunch at El Amigo Restaurant and replenished our food supplies.  We then transfer to tricycle going to the Bulusan Natural Park. Upon arriving at the station,  friendly local's  greeted us with their sweet smile.

the CONQUER cleaners
We proceeded with the Wild Boar SOP (the group managing BVNP), had our blood pressure checked, listened to a short orientations including some dos and don'ts in the place. We are in a group of 8 Hikers, where we are provided with 1 porter and 2 guide. I salute "Wild Boars Phil" for managing BVNP and making the hikes in Bulusan Volcano well organized.

One unique thing in this climb is that before you start the hike, you need to cross Bulusan Lake first using a pump boat or through kayak. We started loading our bags on the boat with our guides, and all of us chose to do kayaking. This activity makes the trip more exciting.
Ready for tree planting
Tree Planting
After "kayaking" they gave us each seed/tree that we're going to plant along the middle part of the trail. The first part of the trail is gradual a "walk in the park". One will notice how guides here are well versed when it comes to the distance between the stops and ranger stations. As we reached the ranger station, we planted the given seed/tree as a required activity for every Bulusan hiker in compliance with DENR's reforestation program. Afterwards, we trekked to Aguingay campsite for an hour and a half. This time, the forest trail has become a bit more challenging, with steeper assaults and narrow paths.
Start Trek
Summit Assault
Near at the Crater
Glimpse of clearing
We reached Aguingay Campsite around 6:45 in the evening. The campsite was an old volcano crater according to our local guides. We took a short break, then started pitching our tents. We shared our packed dinner. Afterwards, we proceeded with our socials. It is my favorite part of any climb. It’s where everyone loosens up and mingles with one another, talked about life experiences and shared something about ourselves. We're glad to know more about our friendly local guides - on how they fight against the proposed geothermal project, and their actions on how they protect Mt. Bulusan Natural Park.

This served as a reminder that we need to exert efforts to preserve the things that are meant to last. (Lights-out!)
Panoramic view from the summit
Glimpse of scenery
The Conquerors at the summit of Mt. Bulusan
Crater of Mt. Bulusan
some of the garbage we saw along the trail
Day 2 - Wake-up call by 3AM. We took our light breakfast, then started our day with prayers for a safe summit assault. . We started our trek at exactly 4:00 in the morning. We started with a flat terrain, then an hour steep ascent up to the last Nipa Hut (950 MASL). There was no clearing for us when we reached the crater and the summit. We waited for almost an hour hoping for a clearing. We had few "nakaw na sandali" pictures and a few stolen shots every time we have a glimpse of the beautiful scenery.

Let's clean-up the mountain
Nipa Hut at 950 MASL
Team CONQUER with our Guide

Group pic at Aguingay Campsite
Group pic at Aguingay Lake

The group decided to descend around 9:00 in the morning. We then commenced with the main activity for this climb - the "mountain clean-up". Mt. Bulusan is well protected and preserved, that's why we were only able to fill half of the sack. It only means that the mountain is clean.

We also visited Aguingay Lake, where we had a clear view of Mt. Bulusan and its neighboring mountain "Sharp Peak".

Panoramic view from Aguingay Lake

Lunch prepared by Chef Choi and Sir Edmund
facing Mt. Bulusan
Every climb is different from the other, but the enjoyment and blissful experiences of mountaineering are priceless, these are the things that we will never get anywhere else.

Special Thanks to the Conquer Team - Sir Jessie, Ma'am Jane, Sir Choi and Sir Edmund for giving us an opportunity to be part of this "Mountain Clean-up"

Kudos to all mountaineers/hikers that participated in this Mountain Clean-up 2014. Let's keep up this spirit throughout the year!

Mt. Bulusan is definitely an exciting mountain to climb. For the adventurous and those that are ready for their next challenge, a trek up Mt. Bulusan is a must try! soyah!

Aguingay Campsite with Mt. Bulusan as the background
Ranger Station/Tree House
Sir Renn (thinking) "What's next?"
Group Picture

Mt. Bulusan - Mountain Clean-up 2014 Video <------


  1. Congrats Team Conquer! Keep it up :)

  2. Nice article sir. You inspire people by doing such activity.
    More power to you and to your group.

  3. Thank you for visiting our beloved province, also for creating this article so everyone can see the natural beauty of these place.

    Keep up the good work

  4. Salamat po sa compliment mga kapatid!

  5. The Pride of Sorsogon Province. Salamat Sir sa paggawa ng blogs. It helps to our community to know, what Mt. Bulusan has to offer