The massive eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 has left this huge crater that is now filled with water. The guides suggest that the best time to go here is between the months of December and February. Its dry season so the hike is easy and its also when the waters of the lake is a beautiful turquoise in color. During the rainy season the water can turn muddy brown.
I'm not really sure what cause this blue-green color but I read somewhere that high concentrations of lime (calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide) can color the waters of rivers or lakes cyan. I don't know whether this is the case for Pinatubo's crater lake and I sure want to know exactly why the color is like that.
I was surprise to see a lot of sun bathers near the lake side that day. This place used to be a destination for hardy trekkers and mountaineers but the completion of the "Skyway" has been this lake an easy destination, as easy as a trip to your favorite beach resort.
They have boats/kayaks for rent (Php 300) if you want to explore the other sides of the lakes. You just have to be careful if you visit the other shores for I have noticed traces of rock slides in some of them. Its best to keep a safe distance from these shores.
There was a time, just after the eruption, when the water level is high. The water level used be almost 3/4 to the top the crater wall (see photo above). They have to drill a hole at the north western side to "relieve" the lake of some its water. Several towns of Zambales and Tarlac would be flooded if the crater walls break down with that water level.
As I gave the lake one last glance, I can help but think how this amazing beauty had wreak havoc in 1991: villages wiped out and buried under lahar, countless dead, thousands of folks displaced, and landscapes changed forever.
Clouds can be fast moving over the lake. The light changes by the second. It best to bring GND filters. If you have an ND400 filter(or an equivalent filter that can cut 10-13 f/stops), you can take nice long exposure shots with cloud movements. IR photography is also nice there.