After an hour of wild 4×4 Jeepney ride at the desert-like expanse of Crow Valley followed by a three-hour tiring trek at the giant’s foot, we finally reached the aimed summit of Mt. Pinatubo—an active stratovolcano named after a Tagalog word which means reared or nurtured.
Despite the struggles we had, the picturesque crater lake endowed us with inexplicable strength to move around and beheld every facades of the place. While strolling, the eroded sands on the rim of the crater flowing to the lakeshore caught my attention. It reminded me of the degrading mountain ranges in Anawangin Cove at Zambales I visited few years back. As I turned my look down the hypes, I saw troops of people enjoying the serene waters of the lake. Some were swimming, boating, taking pictures, while some were having their picnics.
After capturing the beauty of the place using my new digital camera I purposely bought for seamless adventures, we finally decided to descend a little more near waters. We scouted for a nice spot where we could munch our packed meals with no obstruction of the scenery. Unfortunately, a gentle drizzle came and left us with no choice but to take our lunch at the covered hall even if it was pretty crowded already . Also, it took away our dreams of boating to the other side of the lagoon.
Later on, I noticed some signage posted around which prohibit visitors from swimming, warning us that the lake’s depth is unknown. Ironically, a lot of people were drenching on waters while others were even crossing the center of the lake through freestyle swim.
Thinking it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I dragged my friends and leaped high to the cool turquoise lake disturbing its stillness. Floating was somehow easier in the said water, perhaps because of its density, making me feel an Olympian if not a school varsitarian. The water is cold as aggravated by the precipitation, but the assumed sulphuric elements known for its skin smoothening effect propelled the endurance in me to stay under low temperature.
However, the gentle drizzle turned to be a furious rain giving our local tour guides the fear of another tragedy. Hence, we were advised to rush, pack things up and trudge back as fast as we could.
Tranquility surrounded the place when we left Mt. Pinatubo. Who would have thought that the volcano’s last flare-up more than two decades ago, considered the second largest terrestrial eruption worldwide in the 20th century, would give birth to this rugged beauty?