Saturday, April 18, 2009

Conquering Mt. Pinatubo, Day 1

It started when I saw it featured on GMA 7's Kay Susan Tayo. Thus, sent an e-mail blast to my photographer friends of the idea. No need persuade them, they are excited as I am. Thus, coordinated with Juliet (of Mount Pinatubo Tour) for a day tour on April 19, 2009.

The plan was to leave Manila by 4AM so that we would be at the jump-off point in Capas, Tarlac by 6AM. Then, the Tilak Hettige suggested that we be there a day before for some bonding time. But since he has a Travel Photography Seminar on the 18th, we can only leave Manila after the seminar, about 7-8PM. A few weeks before the trek, he moved the schedule of his seminar so that we can leave around 6PM. The week of the trek, the seminar was cancelled. The sacrifices he has to make for us... c",)

Since we would be early in Tarlac, asked suggestions from Juliet as to where we can go to take some images. She suggested the Monasterio de Tarlac. Thus, it was worked out that someone would accompany us there.

The meeting place would be at Tilak's house around 12:30PM. It would be a two-car convoy, with the other car containing the students of Tilak from another batch. On the way, picked up one at McDonald's Munoz.

We are late. Hope we can catch the gates of the Monasterio still open.

We would be staying at Sun Garden Hotel (Juliet also suggested this because it has a promo). When we arrived there, the other car is already there. Then, Juliet with her friend, Bong, arrived. Decided not to check-in yet but proceed to the Monasterio to try to catch it open.

I guess we were really meant to be there as we were able to go in and take images to our heart's content. We were also able to venerate the Relic of the True Cross. It was opened, I assume, because of the three buses which arrived on a pilgrimage. Even Tilak was able to capture an image of light, which left us, his students, in awe.

We then had dinner at Huat Chan, bought some necessities at the supermarket near the restaurant, and started our bonding time at Sun Garden Hotel.


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