In the span of 5 years, I have climbed Mount Pulag 5 times, 3 of which I arranged. One thing I like about arranging trips is that I get to talk a lot with the locals, guides and porters. And my climb last March 5-6 was one of the best talks I had with the locals, guides and porters.
Ma’am Mereng is the current Protected Area Superintendent (PASU). I admit one of the reasons why I love going back to the National Park is because of her lecture. She requires everyone to attend the lecture. When I say everyone, it means EVERYONE. The lecture will not start when one of the climbers is not in the room. But who’s complaining, her lecture is not the boring type. You’ll end up laughing throughout her serious lecture. You’ll ironically memorize and respect the mountain. I’ve attended her lecture twice. The 2nd time I thought it will no longer be as comic as my first but I was surprised that she did not use the same jokes as she did on my first time.
What I love about her is her passion to protect Mount Pulag and the locals that live within the area of the National Park. One time when we were logging out of the park, we chatted about the widening of the trails to the summit due to the established trails being muddy from the rains. She proposed that small rocks be put on the trails to lessen the mud effect. She also challenged me when I return, for added challenge, to carry a rock and place it on the trail.
Kuya Roy has been guiding people up Mount Pulag since 1987 and he was the guide in front of our group. He told his story about guiding more than 100 people up the mountain and he was the only single guide. Many of which got lost because they could not wait for Kuya Roy. He was