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Pamulaklakin Forest Trail in Subic Bay Blog Review

PAMULAKLAKIN FOREST TRAIL SUBIC BAY

Pamulaklakin Forest Trail is one of Subic Bay's famous tourist attractions. This is the best spot to meet Aetas or Agtas in person. They are indigenous group of people who inhabited Olongapo, Zambales and Bataan long before the days of colonizers. The most famous indigenous people in the Philippines, Aetas or Agtas' hair is curly, typically shorter in height and has darker complexion. They live in mountainous areas in Luzon before but now, most of them settled in lowlands slowly embracing technology and current way of life  today. Pamulaklakin Forest Trail is our last stop from our three-day trip in Subic Bay courtesy of Le Charmé Suite Subic.


Pamulaklakin Forest Trail in Subic Bay Blog Review


We arrived just after lunch and we were introduced to Tata Kasuy, one of the elders and known leaders of the whole community of Aetas in Subic Bay. Already 64 years old, he introduced himself as fully licensed guide to give Jungle Survival lectures vouched by DENR and WWF.  He's also a Filipino Awardee in Tourism and has appeared in numerous international TV shows such as Survivor International.  In short, he's always the top choice when there's a need to represent Aetas in any opportunities to showcase their culture and heritage. He said he doesn't charge a fee for sharing his knowledge as an Aeta and how to survive in a jungle. This is his advocacy - as long as guests would pay the entrance fee or avail a particular tour package inside Pamulaklakin Forest Trail, he's fine with it. 



When there are important matters that affect the overall welfare of the Aeta community, Tata Kasuy is one of the three elder Aeta Chairmans who sign documents and/or make decisions for all. He's short, dark-skinned and white haired who is wearing traditional "bahag" or loin cloth showing his butt cheeks. Despite his age, he appears a very jolly person who never complains of what he is today. 


pamulaklakin forest trail entrance fee


The official group name of Aetas is Tribung Aetang Ampala. According to Tata Kasuy,  Aetas own 4, 355 hectares of land in Subic Bay. Around 330 Aeta families receive Php 26k per year from the local government as financial assistance. 

He said he doesn't charge talent fee. He's doing this for free  - guests like us just pay for the entrance fee and other additional tourist activities inside Pamulaklakin Forest Trail. 


pamulaklakin forest trail travel guide


Pamulaklakin Forest Trail Basic lesson on jungle survival 
Aetas are known to live in the jungles. It is therefore right that they'll be the ones to give us mountain survival tips.  Tata Kasuy said he was born in the jungle back when colonizers rule Subic Bay. They didn't even have a house because it is very easy for them to be caught and killed if they have one so they transfer from trees to trees  - anywhere that's near the river. He said it was a miracle when he was born - there were no doctors. Only old women helped her mother deliver him.  Tata Kasuy gave us the most basic tips like using bamboo shoots in preparing food and for self-defense as well.  He said back then when there's no "vetsin" or "monosodium glutamate" they use peebles. They throw a small one to the food they're cooking while boiling.  Can you imagine that? Aetas do not belong to a specific religion but Tata Kasuy said they believe in good and bad spirits. Before they eat, they also offer prayer to the One above.


PAMULAKLAKIN FOREST TRAIL SUBIC BAY review


Using bamboo shoots and his very sharp bolo or knife, he showed how to make fire, make cooking utensils and last but not the least he showed some ancient fighting tools like bows and arrows they use to hunt animals for food and for fighting as well.   

Pamulaklakin Forest Trail Trek
We also had a chance to do a very short 30-min trek around Pamulaklakin Forest Trail. We were guided by two Aeta women who shared to us their simple lives. In Pamulaklakin Forest Trail, there are very tall Lawaan trees where honeybees live at the very top. Aetas make a living out of selling honeys from these bees. We walked to a higher terrain then back. It's an easy feat that even those who do not like trekking will like it eventually. Since no one owns these trees where honeybees choose to stay on top, we asked who gets it? Well, they say the one who first saw it will be his or hers.  They will know because there's a mark of a piece of wood that points to that honeybee letting the rest know that there's an owner already. 
We also saw a Payapa tree that is said to be 145 years old. They say during Japanese times, Aetas hide behind this tree so that they are not seen by these enemies.

They say they rarely eat pork or beef. They eat snails, shrimps, fishes and of course meals made of vegetables, fruits and coconut milk.


pamulaklakin forest trail 2019


We also passed by a creek where we saw Asian tourists resting and being served with rice cooked using bamboo. We were told that Pamulaklakin Forest Trail is not their home. They walk for an hour to the village where the majority of Aetas live. One thing I enjoyed while walking in the woods is the presence of butterflies. It brought back memories when I was a child hunting for butterflies at the back of my grandma's house.


PAMULAKLAKIN FOREST TRAIL SUBIC BAY


Our visit to Pamulaklakin Forest Trail is short and sweet. We really wanted to stay a bit longer but we fear traffic so we left very soon. I do hope to go back to Pamulaklakin Forest Trail soon. I want to make sure that my next visit here I will get to eat rice and adobo cooked in bamboo for real.


PAMULAKLAKIN FOREST TRAIL in SUBIC BAY



Pamulaklakin Forest Trail address: Pamulaklakin Forest Trail, Binictican Drive, Subic Bay
Pamulaklakin Forest Trail rates:
Sightseeing Php 100
Tour around the area and picture taking Php 100
Mini-jungle tour (Trekking in the forest of Subic Bay with a native guide and jungle survival demo ) Php 100
Ecology Tour (a 2-3 hours trekking with an Aeta)
Pamulaklakin Forest Trail contact number: 09295721105

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