Hiking Mount Tarak (Bataan) with Couch Surfing

Mt. Tarak
Mount Tarak is one of the mountains in the Philippines which is in debate if it’s a major or a minor climb; major because of its long trail and altitude and minor because of its trail class. Tarak is situated in Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan, three hours travel from Manila. This mountain has an amazing and cool ambiance because of its rich forest areas.

The major jump off to hike Mt. Tarak is at Brgy. Alas-asin Hall, a walking distance from the highway. At the Barangay Hall, registration and fees are to be processed. Wash rooms are also available. By the highway, stores and restaurants are available for travelers.

2020 Mt. Tarak
Class picture before we started ascending.

Mt. Tarak trails
From the jump off, first part is walking on a concrete road, by the village, passing by the front of resident houses. The village area is wide and open, covered with green grass. There are dogs, cats, chickens, horses, cows and carabaos everywhere.

Mt. Tarak 2020
After the concrete roads at the village, next part is walking on an ascending terrain.

Mt. Tarak
Registration at Nanay Kurding’s house.

2020 Mount Tarak
The trail is ascending, covered with cogon grass; there’s also a part that is open and has a viewing deck, seeing the nearby island and provinces.  During our hike, the soil on the trail was very sticky and slippery. Ranges from afar can also be seen while walking on the trail. Everywhere is green.

Sandugo Bags

Hiking Essentials
After the open terrain, next part was a well-established trail covered with shade from the tree leaves. It’s an uphill and downhill to the Papaya River. Bodies of water like waterfalls, streams and river also spread in the area.

Mount Tarak Papaya River
 Papaya River is one of the gems of Tarak. This river has crystal clear waters, cool and totally refreshing.

Couch Surfing 2020
 We welcome our Couch Surfer and LGBT friends.

Camping Tents
Photo above was taken using my 3.2 MP cell phone camera before the storm started. Tarak has camp sites on both sides of Papaya River. The camp sites are both wide open space and slightly ascending. The relaxing sound of the splashing water can be heard while resting.

Pinoy Mountaineer
From Papaya River camp site, it’s a continuous ascend to the ridge. The trail wasn’t easy because the terrain muddy and slippery. The trail is complicated but trail marks are visible hanging on the trees or on the stones.

Mt. Tarak
 Upon our arrival, the ridge is covered with thick fog, making us not to see the gorgeous surroundings.

Batang Hamog Mountaineers
 Here we are, Batang Hamog Mountaineers, posing with the thick fog on the background.

Mount Tarak Ridge
Tarak Ridge is also perfect; the glamorous flowers were just blooming perfectly.

Mount Tarak Ridge
The ridge is an open and wide space to the summit, covered with cogon and grass. I didn’t see the real beauty of Tarak this time because of the fog, but I was satisfied with everything. This journey was remarkable because another people were added in my life. And to the storm that hit us that evening, it made us strong and was life changing.

HOW TO GET HERE: On EDSA, we rode in a Genesis Bus bound for Bataan and alighted at Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles. This spot is already a known drop off point for the hikers.

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