Monday, January 11, 2016

Bataan | Mt Natib, My First Trek In Bataan Province

BATAAN | Mt Natib, My First Trek In Bataan Province
Highest Peak In Bataan National Park

Beyond the gate of the DENR viewdeck is this beautiful but daunting view of Mt Natib.

It’s the time the year when I’m busy or try to get into hiking mountains more often. I did this climb six months ago in Bataan National Park; Mt Natib is known as the highest peak in the Natib Caldera System. A potentially active volcano with elevation of 1253 MASL, Mt Natib is higher and is much more challenging than my usual volcano favorites Mt Arayat and Mt Makiling climbs. I had a few misgivings regarding this climb, first is that Mt Natib is one of those mountains known to have Limatik (Mountain Leech) infestations and second is that I’m joining a strange group.  

Mountain Facts
• Is the highest peak of the Bataan National Park .
• Listed as potentially active volcano by The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
• Semi Major Climb for hikers, with proud elevation of 1,253 MASL.
• One of the few mountains in Luzon with known presence of Limatik (Mountain Leach) which means that part of the location is thickly forested with wet clime all year round.

The first part of the trek is this unpaved mountain road.

The forested trail remains wet with morning even by mid morning. My trek shoes are soaking wet

I’ve had traumatic experience with Limatiks in a previous climbs that I vowed to be ready when I get to face them again. When it comes to hiking, I’m used to hiking with my travel buddies, only rarely would I go and seek out events with people I’m not very familiar with as because my idea of comfort includes familiarity with the people I am with. I’m glad that I took the chance to join this climb with a short notice because I met some amazing hikers and a fellow blogger/hiker, the amazing woman behind the site Bluish Trekker (, I was also introduced to this beautiful mountain in Bataan only hours away from Metro Manila.

Sleeping throughout the van trip from Metro Manila to Orani Bataan which was our jump off for the climb, it proved to be a promising climb. The first hours of our ascent we passed by unpaved mountain roads until we reached the viewdeck of DENR that gave us a sweeping view of the Mariveles Mountain Range and the daunting view of our target summit Mt Natib.  Beyond the DENR gate, we started trekking through forested terrain. It’s almost mid morning yet the foliage are still wet with morning dew, the air is sweet making us realized that it’s really the end of Dry Season and that rainy days are coming. The trail had been pleasant and gradual until we got past the grassland where we had to pass through Cogon Grass as high as ourselves. This marks the spot where spot where the real challenge of Mt Natib lies, assault trekking from 70, 80 to 85 degrees, some with long rope segments and not to mention that the same terrain is also where Limatiks await any passing target.

Indeed I had curse myself for joining this trip on a Sunday, where every effort to raise my leg for every assault is painful, perhaps every hiker had asked themselves the same question in some of their climb. We reached the summit and had a few minutes of chance view of the beautiful landscape surrounding it before clouds enveloped us and blanketed every worthwhile view we could enjoy.  I may have regretted doing mountains hikes but that is always dissolve each time I reach a mountain summit and try to do a self pat in the back.

Passing through the grassland area with tall Cogon grass, beyond this grove marks the start of difficult assault terrain.

The Cogon grasses are taller than the tallest of us.

On this climb, I didnt get any Limatik bite which I found strange as Ive prepared against it, and that strange crowd I joined in this, became my friends and acquaintance at the end of the day. This mountain brought us together as kindred fellows in appreciating the outdoors. I’ve completed another challenge on a beautiful day. In Bataan National Park I found a mountain worthy of a poet’s word.

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Francis Balgos has declared himself a champion of weekend travel warriors, of call center agents who have less time for themselves, he feels everyone of you who has desires to be at two places at the same time, to see the world in their own eyes, to live fully at the best of their years. ...

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  1. Do you have any contact po sa Mt. Natib? Thanks!

  2. Planning to go here this coming holy week. Any contact?

  3. Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.

  4. How many hours (including take 5's) from jump-off to summit? TIA

  5. this is the first mountain na nakaencounter kami ng limatik. nice picture sir, high contrast!


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