Mount Pulag National Park Travel Tips
RULES OF ASCENT
1. Pre- Departure
Visitors should first contact the PAO either directly thru cell phone, radio or thru PAWD, Operations, and DENR-CAR Silang Street Baguio City. Information needed are the following:
1) Name of the group if any
2) Dates of travel
3) List of hikers
4) Itinerary of travel
Because of unpredictable weather whereby the possibility of rains could be anytime, it is advisable that hikers bring with them rain gear and warm clothing to ward of cold temperature. However, take only what is necessary. Remember that loads get heavier for every kilometer traversed.
All hikers whether using the Ambangeg route, Akiki trail or through round-about way of Ballay- Tawangan to the summit are advised to drop by at the Protected Area Office (PAO) to register, secure a permit and be given a short briefing. Registration per person includes paying the current park fee rates as follows; entrance fee- P100.00, camping fee- P50.00, green fee- P25.00. the green fee will be remitted to the Kabayan local treasury for their use. The other fees will be remitted to the Integrated Protected Area Fund (IPAF). Aside from the fees, hikers are required to engage an accredited guide (member of MPITGA) with a ratio of 1-7 hikers to 1 guide. The pay is P500.00 per guide per overnight.
Parks officers reserve the right to randomly inspect baggage to determine whether banned items such as liquor and dangerous drugs are present. Such, items when found will be automatically confiscated and kept for safekeeping. It will be given back upon return.
Hikers/hiking groups have their own set of rules to follow. However while inside Mt.Â Pulag, visitorsÂ are advised to follow these basic hiking pointers; Â
- Hikers must designate strong hikers (especially for big groups) who could act as sweepers to take care of stragglers. In these way, weaker members are assured that they could get help from others should they be in trouble. A case of a straggler being lost was recorded.
- All hikers must always be guided by the mountaineer's credo (take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time).
- Give way to hikers going up. Likewise, slower hikers must give courtesy to stronger hikers. On the other hand, stronger hikers should not tailgate weaker hikers.
- For trail junctions where there are no trail signs, advance group members should make temporary directional signs (eg. Sticks, scratch on the soil, etc.) for others to follow.
- It is always best to be on the side of caution. Help, especially medical in nature, may take some time to reach anybody. Always take precautionary steps in slippery trails. Light walking sticks/canes help a lot as it acts like another foot. In case of trouble, attract help by making such as much noise by hollering or shouting.
- For smokers, properly put off cigarettes to avoid creating wildfires. The nature of the pine forest floor is susceptible to fire. During summer months, smoking in the grassland is highly discouraged.
- Fill up canteens or water bottles before hiking. In areas where springs are available, the water is portable for people who do not have sensitive stomachs. Otherwise, use of purifying tablets is advisable.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Respect the serenity of the place by keeping noise to a minimum level. Wildlife like birds may get scared and interrupted from their normal routine.
- Communicate with your designated/hired guide. He possesses knowledge of the area.
- Respect the indigenous people's culture. Their culture may be different from yours but it is their culture. You are in their cultural ground.
- For the climbers from PAO/Ambangeg to Badabak, everybody is advised to spend the night at Badabak, Kabayan upon reaching the station at 5:00 pm. All hikers must not persist on hiking to the grassland area or camping area after 5:00 pm since the area is often unpredictable. It is always misty and cloudy that the directional signs and trails are not easily visible.
- Last of all, hiking should be fun. It is not a race. Take time to enjoy what nature offers. It is free.