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Mt. Tarak

Mt. Tarak
This mountain was my first major climb with Batang Hamog Mountaineers.  Our preparation for this climb was ordinary, like others, we don't care if it's major or minor, as long as we are together, everything is in good hands, that's how we cherish our relationship.  This was one of the most challenging climb I had, not because of its trail, but because we encountered typhoon when we're at the camp site, that was the longest night ever. Everyone of us were always waking up just to see if it's already morning.  Everything we were wearing were all wet. We slept in sideways, while our bodies were getting thermal energy from our camp mates.

Before the Papaya River the trail was simple because of the marks; there were parts wherein you need hold the roots of the trees or anything that can support you balance because it's almost 90 degrees assault; cold wind is so refreshing and the beautiful view of Corregidor Island is unforgettable.  Let's see the mountain's specifications.

Alas Asin
Registration at Brgy. Hall of Alas-Asin - every hiker before ascending is advisable to register. This is to make sure that the Barangay has the record of all the hikers information. In this hall, rest rooms are available. Registration fee will also be collected here.

Batang Hamog
Before we ascent, we took our breakfast at the cafeteria along the high way. Since we have new friends who will be with us in the entire journey, it served as our pre-climb socials.

Mt. Tarak
Nanay Kording's House, another registration, then donation

Our Group reached the Papaya River in 3 hours and 30 minutes (including the picture breaks, rest, etc...)  Our plan was to take our lunch at the river then to the summit, but because there were mountaineers going to the summit exactly on that time, and we knew that the camp site is just a small area, then we decided to camp beside the Papaya River. 

Corregidor Island
 The Amazing view of Corregidor Island

Papaya River
A shot of Papaya River
Papaya river is amazing, the water is cold, clear and the pressure is perfect for my tired muscles; the rocks have different formation and that's perfect for the nature lovers.

summit mt. tarak
I thought everything will be fine at night, but the weather just became worst. Nung una, ambon lang, pangalawa medyo lumakas na, at aba nung pangatlo bagyo na ang dumating, nakakainis, yung balak naming socials, napurnada dahil sa lakas ng ulan.

Maganda yung pinag-campan namin, as in secured talaga from flood and other things. But at around 8PM, our tents can't handle the pressure of the rains, napenetrate na ng tubig ang water proofing ng tent ko, mumurahin lang kasi eh. But, even the others who have new and branded tents, encountered the same thing.

Dahil sa lamig, inisip naming buksan ang isang bote ng GSM kasi sobrang lamig talaga at basang-basa kami lahat. It became worst as the time went by, pero hindi kami nawalan ng pag-asa. Punas dito, punas doon, pero wala kaming nagawa para mahinto ang pag-tagas ng tubig sa tent.

The last resort that we did was, natulog kaming pa-side tapos mag-kakadikit ang aming mga likod para at least mag-share kaming thermal energy. It was successful! Nakatulog kaming less than three hours, and it was good. We woke up at around 4AM, and we were still wet. We changed our out fit with the dry ones.

We prepared hot coffee and soup then our breakfast. Since we didn't have time for socials last night, it was the perfect time. We have more time asking personal questions to other participants. Makulimlim parin ang panahon at medyo mahangin pa, kaya pinag-usapan namin if we're going to the summit or not. Nung una, walang interested, given the fact that there's no one will be left at the camp site to secure our stuff. Pero nung may nag-YES na, hala nag-YES na lahat. So inshort, we proceeded to the summit.

summit mt. tarak
Photo Above: flowers at the ridge. We took an hour and thirty minutes to reach the summit. As what you can see on the photo above, the weather wasn't fine, and there's no clearing. Pero nung medyo tumagal na, medyo umaaraw na at medyo nakikita na namin ang mga karatig na mga kabundukan. While at the ridge, picture picture lang ginawa namin while enjoying the beauty of nature.

Summit Mt. Tarak
At the ridge, there are boulders covered with mosses. The grasses on the area are really healthy and the violet flowers look amazing. We were still waiting for the clearing, photo above shows that the fog still covers the area and we even can't see the summit.

Water Falls Mt. Tarak
the gorgeous view of the water falls from afar

Mt. Tarak Summit
Medyo umiinit pero agad naman itong nawawala. Nilisan namin ang Ridge na medyo frustrated, but everything goes well. While descending, we also met the other hikers who opted to stay and camp at the ridge even the weather wasn't fine last night. In descending we chose to do a trail run with Joseph. And it took us 45 minutes to reach Papaya River.

When we reached the camp site, we took our breakfast then did breakcamp. We offered prayer before leaving the site. Descending was more challenging because the trail was muddy and slippery. Naabutan na nga kami ng sun set nung nasa kabayanan na kami eh, tapos photos shoot ulit. Ayun mas lalong naabutan na kami ng gabi pagdating ng high way.

HOW TO GET HERE? Here's what we've done

From Genesis Bus Terminal in Cubao, travel time is almost 3 hours going to Brgy. Alas-Asin.
Register first at the Barangay Hall.
Another registration at Nanay Kording's house

From the gate of Brgy. Alas-asin, we took ordinary bus going to Balanga, Bataan.
Take note: Buses from Brgy. Alas-asin going to Manila is only until 7PM, buses going to Balanga are only until 9PM; from Balanga bus terminal going to Manila is only until 9PM)

Because we weren't able to get the last trip of any of the schedules, we rented a jeep from Bataan Bus Terminal going to Mabalacat Bus Terminal in Dau, Pampanga for 1,500 pesos.

Then from Dau bus terminal going to Cubao-Pasay.
After what happened to our climb in Tarak, like encountering the rain, raining on both outside and inside the tent, sleeping while everything on our body is wet, we from Batang Hamog Mountaineers and Couch Surfing Manila is still looking for another mountain for another experience.
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