28 years after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, a magnificent and greener panorama can now be witnessed in Pampanga, particularly in Porac. Along with it is the unveiling of 2 enormous waterfalls plus a new trail featuring a different view of the Mt. Pinatubo crater.
aroundthemetro.ph was privileged to be one of the first group of trekkers to witness the brand new trail to Mt. Pinatubo crater, as well as Inararo Falls and Ana-an Falls. Here’s a complete guide and information about the newest attraction in Porac, Pampanga by Golden Trail Travellers Resort and Adventure.
REGISTRATION and BRIEFING at SITIO TARGET
All visitors or trekkers are required to register at the Golden Trail Traveller’s Resort and Adventure office at Sitio Target, Brgy. Sapang Bato, Angeles City. Upon confirmation of booking and payment, a short briefing is conducted by the tour leader about the different trails and attractions to expect on the tour. The Golden Trail office is complete with tourists desks, lounge, clean restrooms and shower rooms. Trail food from local concessionaires are also available.
CAMPSITE “TANGKE” at BRGY. INARARO
The registration is followed by a 4×4 ride heading to the 1st campsite which is approximately 20-25 minutes away. The first campsite is within the bounds of Brgy. Inararo and is locally referred to as ‘tangke‘ (tank) because of the big concrete water tank installed in the area.
The water tank was a project made in partnership with Coca-Cola. It was installed to collect and store water straight from the mountains so our “kapatads” (Aeta community) can have access to clean water without going to and from the mountains. The water is also potable for drinking.
On the campsite you’ll find resting areas, clean restrooms and a view deck overlooking the majestic terrain of Brgy. Inararo. This area is also where tents are put up for campers who want to stay overnight after the trek.
4 x 4 ADVENTURE LIKE NO OTHER
After some photo ops and final stretching, our group was off to another 30 – 45 minutes of exhilarating 4×4 ride heading towards the next jump off point. This is definitely the highlight of the 4×4 adventure. The route will lead you into thrilling uphills and downhills that are almost 70 degrees!
Adding to the 4×4 thrill is an amazing view along the way. Be amazed at the tall lahar deposits that have settled into gorgeous mountains and are now vegetated with plants and wild flowers. The rocky terrain is lined with sparkling clear water from the mountains. It is hard to imagine that this was once a devastated land because now, it looks like a whole new different world. If there is a positive effect that the Mt.Pinatubo eruption did, this is probably one of them. Leaving Brgy. Inararo with a whole new terrain that our kapatads and even us can enjoy.
CAMPSITE 2: JUMP OFF POINT AND WAITING AREA
Campsite 2 serves as the waiting area for the 4×4 vehicles and the jump off point of the trek heading to Inararo and Ana-an Falls. We were once again reminded of basic safety guidelines and to wear sunblock to protect our skin from the sun. After a few minutes of preparation, we started heading to the falls.
TRAIL to INARARO and ANA-AN FALLS
The first trail is easy and consistent but very rocky with flat to minor uphills. Trek time is approximately 45 minutes to an hour. We had to stop a number of times to remove small stones that gets in between our toes because it was painful to walk with them. Along the way, we had to cross streams from the river which was a relief because of its soothing cold water. But most of the time we just had to stop to wonder at how clear the water is.
After a few minutes, the rustling sound of water became stronger – an indication that the waterfalls is nearby. When I joined the trek for the first time to see Ana-an waterfalls, I was asked to keep my eye on the ground if possible and only look at the falls when it’s already in full view in front of me because the guides wanted to see my initial reaction when I see it. And just like the first time, I was still filled with awe and wonder at how majestic these waterfalls are. I can’t believe we have this in Porac, Pampanga!
The first waterfall is the Inararo Falls. It is around 50 feet high, with its water cascading into a beautiful rock formation that looks like it’s been landscaped. It’s wider that the main falls but the area to roam around it is limited.
Not far from Inararo Falls is the Ana-an Falls – a two tier falls enclosed in gorgeous river rock walls. Standing tall at around 80 or so feet, its cold and strong water generously pours into a waist deep pool so wading around and underneath it is possible. It also has a bigger surrounding area where you can rest your tired feet and have a little snack. You can wait and finish the Pinatubo trek first before dipping into its cold water or, you can have a quick dip to refresh your body before embarking on the 2 hour trail heading to the crater of Mt. Pinatubo.
THE GOLDEN TRAIL to MT. PINATUBO CRATER
From Ana-an waterfalls, a narrow, rocky path is the entry to the trail going to the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. If I may use a hikers terminology, what we meant by a narrow rocky path means a 70 to almost 90 degrees assault is waiting for you. We forgot to keep track on how many meters it was but the assault took about half an hour or so to complete.
After the first climb, what awaits is a long stretch of another rocky terrain combined with uphill trails through the mountains. This trail is going to be drier than the first terrain so asked for a refill of water because the stretch is long and dry. Based on how fast your phase is, the trail can be completed in 2 hours if you’re walking steady or, 3 hours if you’re slow with a lot of stops. Professional hikers would cover the stretch in one and a half according to our guides.
The last 100 meters going up the summit to the crater is greener and the air is more forgiving because the area is surrounded with bigger mountains. But nothing really prepares you for what awaits at the summit which is a breathtaking view of the Mt. Pinatubo crater. Peaceful, calm, and just plain beautiful. It’s almost surreal to think that this is the same place where the second largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century started.
BEHIND THE ATTRACTION IS A WORTHY CAUSE
Brgy. Inararo is the ancestral land of the Mag-Antsi of Porac, Pampanga. When the volcano erupted in 1991, they were all displaced and were forced to live in resettlement areas all over the country halting most if not all of their livelihood.
Putting aside the discovery of the new Mt. Pinatubo trail and Ana-an Falls, this project was more than just finding a new attraction in Pampanga. The project is a partnership between the local investors and the Aeta community to establish an eco-tourism project and the ‘Balik Barangay‘ – an advocacy which aims to gather all the displaced Aetas back into their own lands and rebuild the homes they have lost 28 years ago.
Since most of them were displaced, they have been found in locations as far as Mindanao, working mostly as house aids. More often than not, they are discriminated and paid below the standard minimum wage. Unfortunately, they don’t have an option because they are unable to come home to their own land. That’s why supporting the ‘Balik Barangay‘ through Golden Trail Adventure is worth every penny spent. Every step we take on the trail is giving an Aeta a step closer back to their homes.
The trail with its new roads will also help the Aeta community to transport their local produce faster and more convenient to the low lands. Making it easier for them to earn and provide products that are abundant and fresh.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Private Vehicle via Jose P. Laurel Avenue
From Clark main gate, take Don Juico Avenue (Friendship) then take Jose P. Laurel Avenue (going to Brgy. Margot).
Travel time is approximately 32 minutes.
Private Vehicle via Clark
From Clark main gate, head east on Manuel A. Roxas Highway toward Clark – Mabalacat – Angeles Road.
On the 4th stoplight (Philexcel intersection) take left towards Jose Abad Santos Avenue.
On the next stoplight (Sutherland) take left and head towards Sapang Bato side gate.
Take right and drive to Golden Trail Adventure Office.
Travel time is approximately 30 minutes
Via Public Commute
Option 1: From Clark main gate terminal, ride the Route 2 jeepney and asked to be dropped off at Sapang Bato.
From the Sapang Bato gate, ride a tricycle going to the Golden Trail Adventure Office. As of this writing, there’s no establish standard rates yet so you may have to barter with the rate.
Option 2: Ride a jeepney heading to Sapang Bato. The terminal is located beside the Philippine Rabbit bus terminal in Angeles City.
From Sapang Bato, ride a tricicle going to the Golden Trail Adventure Office.
Alternatively, you can also coordinate with Golden Trail Adventure Office and arrange for the 4×4 vehicle to pick you up at a certain location inside Clark
FEES AND RATES:
Golden Trail Travellers Resort and Adventure
0939.748.6999 and 0927.424.2110
Golden Trail Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Golden-Trail-Travelers-Resort-Adventure-198805967579030/
SAMPLE 1- DAY ITINERARY:
CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS HERE: https://www.facebook.com/aroundthemetro.ph/
DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW US FOR MORE TRAVEL AND FOOD ADVENTURES!