Mt. Mantalingajan is one of the toughest mountain in the Philippines, according to the rating given by mountaineers. This gigantic mountain is situated in Rizal, Palawan, four to five hours road travel from Puerto Princisa City, the capital of the province. In general, this mountains has a lot to offer; from the gorgeous flora and fauna which can be seen in any sides, and to the natives who are the protector of this native land.
After getting off the vehicle, the first part is walking on the well established trail going to Balin-Balin Village, it’s the location where we met our guides. This village looks so native because of the houses that are made up of bamboo and nipa. After this village, the next part is walking on an uphill terrain, with some river crossing, passing Ginoo (manguis tree, tallest tree in the Phillippines) to Tau’t Batu village.
The next part is much challenging (Day 2) because most part of the terrain is an uphill and covered with trees and shrubs. As we reach the higher altitude, I easily felt that the temperature is also decreasing. Then, I will not forget the famous rock scrambling, same as Mt. Guiting-guiting in Romblon, as we go nearer to Paray-paray, the final campsite. Before proceeding to the summit, we pitched our tents and did some final evening preparation in Paray-paray. From the campsite to the summit, it took us for two hours, that includes photo ops and rest. But take note, the terrain to the summit is another challenge because it’s also hopping on and off the boulders and passing through the bonsai area.
The photo above shows how gorgeous the summit was, during our hike. There was a clearing, so we have the 360 degrees view of the southern Palawan. The sky was blue and the clouds were all white, there was no sign of bad weather. The wind was cool and totally relaxing. We stayed at the summit for more than 30 minutes. It was an outstanding beauty of nature. Remarkable!
Descending the mountain is another challenge, especially the weather wasn’t that good. I always getting a hard time in descending than ascending. The terrain covered with gigantic trees and the trail is almost covered with shrubs, a proof that this mountain is still has a virgin forest. The mosses are present in everywhere, the birds are singing while we’re trekking, the gorgeous flowers scattered in every sides of the trail and everything seemed to be perfect. We descended 8:15AM but we reached highway at around 9PM – more or less 12 hours unlimited walk.
How to get here | NAIA to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. We hired a van from PPS to Rizal Palawan. Budget: my total expenses is around 6000 pesos (covers everything) and including my second ticket fare for MNL-PPS, because I was late for my flight, and no choice but to buy a new one.