Our 4 x 4 vehicle thudded along the scorched gravel road, forcefully freewheeling its way over the uneven terrain. The landscape was a sea of sunburned land and hills of towering ash set against a backdrop of a perfect blue sky.
I held on to the railings of the open-sided vehicle, torn between the desire to take photographs of the stunning scenery and the pressing need to hold on to something steady lest I be tossed from the jeep with one jolting movement.
We were on our way to Puning Hot Springs, a spa resort at the edge of Sapang Bato in Angeles, Pampanga. Save for a few stretches of paved road near one of the spa areas, most of the route is vast desert-like land, rugged canyons carved from lahar and shallow streams foggy with steam. The 4 x 4 jeep deftly navigated between canyons, cut a blazing path through the streams and was tossed heedlessly behind swirls of water.
The coolness within the ravine soon gave way to a blindingly bright sky and strange rock formations spewed by Mt. Pinatubo during its eruption two decades past.
Carved from the wrath of one of the world’s most infamous volcanic eruptions, Puning Hot Spring offers an exciting and different spa experience. Visitors defy the rough terrain just to soak in the hot spring on the foothills of the mountain.
Read the rest of this article in Sunday Inquirer Magazine.
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE TRIP:
Package tours to Puning costs P3,000 per person (minimum of 2) which includes a local guide, 4×4 Rental, Hot Spring Entrance, Sand Spa, Mudpack, Buffet Lunch & foot massage. Puning Hot Spring. Sitio Target, Sapang Bato, Angeles City. Tel: (045) 4990629, (0920) 8664246 & (0919) 3392795; (0917) 5360618 – Korean.