Mt. Halcon | Mindoro

Mt. Halcon
Mt. Halcon is another giant of MIMAROPA Region. This is one of the most difficult mountains to climb in the Philippines, garnered 9/9 rating in terms of its difficulty, but that rating is not enough to rate the lessons we learned during this climb.  I can say: “this mountain has a brain and intelligence as it transformed all of us into a different individual,” after the climb.

Agriculture in Mindoro
We chose Mayabig Trail for our ascent. Mayabig is a long trail covered with banana, coconuts, vegetables, and other plants cultivated by the residents (mostly the mangyans). During our climb, the weather wasn’t fine; it was July which is a rainy season. 

Mangyan Tribe in the Philippines

 Iglesiang Ebanghelika ng Aruta at the mangyan village

Camping tents

For our first day, Ayambukog Camp was our resting place. Ayambukog is an open area, 4-5 hours from the village. This area serves as the green pastures for the cattle, horses, carabaos and goats. Few minutes from this camp, a clean river can be found.

Mt. Halcon
the Virgin Rainforest

Mt. Halcon

Photo above was taken at the Camp 1. This area is a wide open space that can handle several tents. This spot has an amazing view of Halcon’s range. This range keeps on hiding in a thick layer of white clouds. The trail from Camp 1 to Dulangan River, the trail was very steep. Our hands and feet only depended on the roots passing the 90 degrees assault. Trail marks are available, so your keen eyesight is very essential.

Dulangan River
 From afar, I easily noticed the relaxing sound from a splashing water. At first, I did not know where that sound was coming from, I thought from waterfalls, but I was wrong – it was Dulangan River. Aside from that sound, I also heard the sopranos from birds and insects. Dulangan river is amazing; the waters are crystal clear, cool and really clean.

Falls in Mindoro
 From Dulangan River, the trail is ascending and with assault. Bodies of water spread in most of the areas, so expect for hopping on and off the boulders, crossing the river and waterfalls. Halcon still has an amazing rainforest; so majority of the trails were wet, slippery and accident prone. But, I can’t deny that the ambiance, while on the trail, was remarkable.

Mt. Halcon
At the Karawyan area
Photo above was taken at the Karawyan area, while everything and everywhere were wet. I wasn’t able to capture more photos because the battery of my camera was almost in draining stage. Temperature during our hike was a challenge, plus the fact that the wind was strong and raining hard – it was an ouch!!!

Darwin Dalisay
at the Azothea
Pinoy Mountaineer

Photo above was taken at the Azothea, few meters to reach the knife edge, while waiting for the weather to calm. We thought the weather will be fine afterwards, but we were wrong, the wind became more powerful and the fog became thicker. Our guide did not permit us to continue crossing the knife edge and to the summit. We were almost 200 meters away to the summit, but we don’t want to risk our security, so we took gorgeous shoots and descent. It was a challenge hike, but I will definitely be back to Mt. Halcon. Physical preparation is needed before the hike. Permits from the DENR and guides are needed!

How to Get Here | At Batangas Port, we took a ride in a RoRo to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.