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  • Writer's pictureDeson

Mt. Kalatungan | 5th Highest Mountain in the Philippines (Day 1)

Updated: 1 day ago

Mt. Kalatungan is located in the southern part of the Philippines. It is one of the top 10 highest mountains in the country placing the 5th spot, in fact, it is one of those mountains with the most difficult climb with difficulty level 8/9.

Top 10 Highest Mountains in the Philippines

1. Mount Apo (2,954 masl)

2. Mount Dulang-Dulang (2,938 masl)

3. Mount Pulag (2,922 masl)

4. Mount Kitanglad (2,899 masl)

5. Mount Kalatungan (2,880 masl)

6. Mount Tabayoc (2,842 masl)

7. Mount Ragang (2,815 masl)

8. Mount Maagnaw (2,742 masl)

9. Mount Timbak (2,717 masl)

10. Mount Kalawitan (2,714 masl)

Note: Mount Ragang is currently restricted and the next candidate for top 10 is Mount Amuyao with 2,702 masl. MASL means Meters Above Sea Level.

It wasn't my first Major Climb as I was already done with Mt. Makiling but it was my first to climb one of the top 10 highest mountains in the Philippines. I was excited but a bit worried because my body was not really prepared, I had only done a 2-hour exercise prior but the only thing I made sure to have was sleep because last time, I almost passed out as I didn't have even a single hour of sleep.

I joined other hikers who are mostly from Davao and other hikers from Manila and Bukidnon. For now, since I am just starting to explore places, I prefer to join rather than to do the do-it-yourself thing but sooner, I will be more active and observant as to the commute options, detailed expenses, etc.

Here is our sample itinerary which I already changed as to what we actually did.

Note that the time stamps and order are just an idea, it still depends on your pacing.



After having our breakfast at Maramag Station, we went to the Tourism office to sign a waiver and had the orientation. Rules were presented well that includes the consequences of our actions if we do stupid things. Basic rules include restrictions in using tissue or wet wipes, restrictions in having loud music during the trek and at the campsite. I don't want to spoil you for everything because being surprised by the entire experience is still valuable.

The Ritual

Before starting the climb, we had to have their local ritual which is a tradition to guard and guide us for the entire experience since Mt. Kalatungan is a very spiritual mountain, all of the mountains actually.

The ritual was started and honestly, I wasn't prepared for the fact that it included the cutting of a live chicken's head which is part of the tribal sacrifice in the Talaandig tribe. The ritual also includes our printed IDs and coins and stripes of clothes, red, white, and orange that has their specific symbols.

The Trek

We started the trek from Barangay Mendis gym, crossed a river, and prepared for an assault, The scenic view of the trees is classy, it was like the shades of those trees from the Tarzan movie. Nature itself is refreshing but your endurance will be really challenged. I was actually surprised that I can able to bring my 15kls Bag but my body was really exhausted.

View Deck

At approximate of 3 hours, we reached the first Kalatungan view deck where we spent the rest of our day. We were the first group to reach the place so we had the chance to use the upper level of the wooden cottage where we settled our things and set up our sleeping pads. We had our lunch and had some rest. Actually, I was the first one to sleep after reaching the view deck, I just loved the weather and my body was really tired.

I didn't notice that it was raining until my friend woke me up because my sleeping pad is getting wet. The rain is coming into the cottage because of the wind. We decided to set up our tents as the temperature was dropping. We had our dinner and some social talks and a little bit of vitamins. When I say vitamins, it means alcoholic drinks, lol. It is actually prohibited maybe because there have been some cases before that hikers lost their control. We just make sure that we will not fall in the insanity stage and still control ourselves. It actually helps in warming our bodies and to have a good night's sleep but everything must be in moderation.

There is a signal up there, which is a bit bothering for me because some of the hikers are answering calls from work, still connecting from the cloud that is full of unending thoughts. Water source is also available so you can refill your water bottles for tomorrow's assault. By the way, when we say assault, it means a very tiring hike which is always in an upward direction.

Our hardest enemy in this hike was not the tiring trail, it was the temperature. I do recommend bringing thick socks or a cocoon-style sleeping bag. Even if you have a winter jacket, cold will always come from your feet or it is actually a good idea if you wear your shoes while sleeping.

Read Day 2

Gallery (Day 1)


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