I turned down 3 climb invites (Mt. Kinabalu, G2 and Mt. Mayon via Ligaw Trail) just to save my Vacation Leave Credits for this mountain.
For hiking enthusiasts, reaching the summit of Mt. Mantalingajan (Mt. Mallnuu) is a dream and traversing it is beyond achievement. To give you an overview, this mountain is rated 9/9 as its difficulty level and categorized as Major climb with a possible 6 days to traverse it by pinoymountaineer.com
Day 1 - Better late than Postponed
Because we missed our Guide, who was waiting for us at the meetup point, the trek started around 2:00 pm and our target was to reach Magtangob's Campsite (Bulldog's House)
It rained that time and we had to rest at Balin-balin village for a while, while waiting for the rain to stop. Most hikers stays at Balin balin village for a night before proceeding thus considering it as their Day 1 for their Itinerary.
The trail going to Bulldog's house will start from gradual to some slope terrain to full assault going to the campsite.
Luckily the 4 of us were able to manage our pace accordingly before nightfall. During the entire trek, we witnessed few slash and burn on the other parts of the mountain, we met some Palawenos Tribe near the campsite
Water source is available about 5 mins before reaching Bulldog's campsite
Day 2 : The 'Petiks' of all PetiksKabgun Village
Our target for Day 2 was Kawayanan Campsite to ensure that we are back on track with our itinerary. Our main goal was to shorten the entire traverse for 4 days (but deep in our soles, we wanted to finish it in 3 days) however Kuya Binoy suggested that we will stay at Kabgun's Village instead due to water supply issue.
Reaching the village was a challenge, few slippery trail and assaults that will surely test your patience. Thus from this portion 'til the end, Mantalingajan traverse is no doubt a Major Climb.
Kabgun's Village is actually an abandoned village by Tau't Daram (a tribe who practiced cannibalism in the olden days). They left the village after a massive climb was conducted and used their village for a night, a very unfortunate event shocked the entire tribe triggers them to leave the village for good however they visit the village every Saturday for Church activities.
We arrived earlier than expected and Kuya Binoy agreed that we can use one of those open Hut instead of using our tents and water source was also available thus we had a good bath that day.
Day 3 : Off to Mantalingajan's Summit
Squeezing the itinerary to make sure we're still on the right track, we were now heading to Paray-paray campsite, a campsite 2 hours away from the summit.
While we had our Petiks day, day 3 was the opposite... more assault, more difficult trail was way ahead. We arrived at Kawayanan Campsite (supposed to be campsite for day 2) early, a good sign that we will be at Paray paray before the sun sets as per Kuya Binoy.
At Kawayanan campsite, Kuya Binoy outlined the trail we need to pass reaching the summit and the traverse trail, one word.... FAR! the distance was way too long and few mountains needs to be crossed.
Few meters away from the campsite, this part of the trail wild boar's trap were installed. Kuya Binoy showed us a sample signs and yes it was installed almost every where. These traps contains some chemicals that paralyzed its victim, so better be careful.
Also, Kuya Binoy showed us a tree sap that ignite fire, used by local tribes for bonfires (even sold in the local market, sorry I forgot the name).
It was a tiring day however we managed to arrived at Paray paray campsite around 4:00pm. The camp site was big enough to possibly accommodate 7 -9 tents.
After we pitched our tent and rested for a few, we decided to scale all the way to the summit since we had enough time. As recorded, reaching the summit will take 2 hours from Paray - paray campsite but I guess that time frame only covers a non stop hike... The trail was so beautiful enough that you do not want to miss a "selfie" moment.... seriously, it was awesome.
P.A.C.K.E.R.S. at Manta's Summit
The trail was rocky, the team where able to scaled Mt. Guiting guiting for a day and they said it was more like a G2 trail. Rocks all over til summit and bonsai trees, felt like I was Gulliver for a day. And if you wish to see a garden of Pitcher Plants, this mountain will not fail you.
If some mountains are covered with Cogon grasses, this one is almost covered with Pitcher plants.... small, medium and large.
Another perfect spot is the water source area..... The sunset view was superb. We called it a night then, lights out...... while hundreds of fireflies lights the entire campsite
Day 4 : The End . . .We survived!
Counting the hours we accomplished so far, Day 4 would be our 3rd day of full trek. We opted to make sure that we will finish the entire traverse (budget wise, lol). And so the traverse started, it was a very long journey. We passed boulders covered with moss and lichens with cracks in between (no one knows how deep those cracks were), knife edges, a very steep trail (Magringgit), Landslide portions (going to Karim), and a lot of assaults.
This shot was taken from a knife edge trail.
The trails within that
range were technically difficult.
We passed that landslide portion (right side)
then exited at the back of that range.
Limatiks added some spice when we reached Karim's campsite. Almost giving up, we almost decided to stay at Kawang Kawang campsite (reaching this portion is really tiresome, with its full assault trail). We reached Kawang kawa a bit early, while the trail was still visible we opted to make a little stretch so we could reach Kupang village (safe place to start with if you plan to do night trek) where water source is available.
Our second guide gave up before he reached Kupang, he was old enough and it was his first time to do traverse, all of us reached Kupang village around 7:00pm, rested and cooked dinner. The plan was just to eat dinner, rest for an hour then proceed for a night trek.
Our second guide was nowhere to be found, we inform Kuya Binoy so he retraced and saw our second guide resting just below Kawang kawa slope. He planned to stay their instead because he was too exhausted already.
Cat's Tail ground. :)
Off to Kupang Village
The team agreed to stay and sleep until 2:00 am, as planned everyone was recharged then we were off to finish the last leg around 3:00am. According to some blog, this portion was steep with loose soil so I was thinking it would be too difficult specially at night or early dawn however I was wrong, the tail was manageable despite its steepness with loose soil.
By the time everyone was able to scaled that portion, we were now following a flat ground trail. We were ecstatic because as per blogs, way ahead will be the main highway but since it was too dark we just continued not expecting too much that we were almost there.
One of the Fauna's found in Manta
When suddenly a Tricycle passed by... honking.... then another vehicle.... with glee we shouted! We counted the hours we trekked.... it took us 32 hours for Mantalingajan Traverse.
This blog may be selfish in describing the terrain but hey! I don't want to spoil you on the things that awaits every hikers who wants to explore the mountain.
This was one Hell of Hiking Adventure..... To all of you who loves the mountain, pay a visit Mt. Mantalingajan one day. It's an adventure worth remembering, worthy of sharing.
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