For mountaineers, they understand that there are many reasons why a mountain ought to be climbed. Some mountains are climbed because of their height. Height has always been a big factor as it sounds as if it is more difficult to climb and therefore ore challenging. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the accomplishment. Other mountains are climbed because of its history. The past makes things more sacred or more interesting and the same can be said of mountains. Still others may not have the height and may not have the history as other mountains but to veteran mountaineers, they are more challenging. The Philippines is one of the best places to climb and here are ten of their very best.
1) Mt. Apo - The top of the list the top of all mountains in the Philippines based on height. Towering at 2954 meters is Mt. Apo, located in Davao del Sur in Mindanao. Mt. Apo is a dormant volcano, long inactive in terms of eruptions but the local folk believe that there is still some activity going on deep inside it. We are reminded of this fact through sulfur vents and small yet still noticeable vibrations of the earth. The mountain has three peaks and going up is difficult because of the mossy trek through thick foliage. It is the home of many wild species of animals and, if you’re lucky, you may be able to see the world-famous monkey-eating eagle otherwise known as the Philippine Eagle.
2) Mt. Pinatubo - Recent history made this volcano famous when it was otherwise an unknown mountain. One of the greatest eruptions in history happened in 1991 after a 500 year dormant stage. While it was taller than what it used to be because of the explosion, it has become more interesting to climb now. What used to be mostly green foliage, this magnificent Zambales mountain has turned a shade of grey after all the ashes that has been expelled from its crater and lahar (volcanic mudflows) has flowed down its mountainside after heavy rains. It has become a tourist destination of sorts with several tours and treks available.
3) Mt. Pulag - The third highest peak in the Philippines can be found in the Cordillera Region in Luzon. The Cordillera region has a lot of mountains and therefore has a lot f peaks. Mt. Pulag is the crowning glory in the mountain range and has been nicknamed “playground of the gods”. Mt. Pulag is as diverse as they come in the Philippines and mountaineers should be prepared to encounter three types of vegetation. Initially there is are dry pine patches and as you go up, it would be mostly mossy and finally near the top, would be mostly grassy fields.
4) Mt. Pico de Loro - For beginners or those who are just about to try some mountain climbing, Mt. Pico de Loro is the ideal choice. Named in the 1500s by the Spaniard who thought that it looked like a parrot’s beak, this mountain in Cavite stands less than 700 meters tall. It has beautiful flora fauna and the terrains are not to challenging so as to discourage further mountain explorations.
5) Mt. Guiting-guiting - Danger is what you get in this mountain in Romblon. The saw tooth mountain is one of the most dangerous mountains in the world and stands just above 2000 meters. With the danger come the many rewards as you are treated to a virtual ecological heaven.
6) Mt. Banahaw - While Mount Banahaw is not exactly a challenging mountain to climb, its appeal is nonetheless powerful. How powerful? Try mystical. Mt. Banahaw is known to be one of the most mystical of all the mountains in the Philipines. For the longest time, many people have gathered here for any mystical or holy or downright weird reasons. It is said to be the home of fairies as well as ghosts good and bad and for some religious people, a place where miracles happen. During Good Friday, people gather here to bless their amulets and to test them as well. While these all seem to be crazy stuff, the mountain is also said to be the site of numerous UFO landings.
7) Mt. Kanlaon - The Philippines is filled with mountains that are in fact volcanoes. Kanlaon is probably one of the most famous of them all having just erupted recently. Unlike a lot of the volcanoes in the list, Kanlaon is an active volcano and people who have trekked it in the past has felt its volcanic power in some form or another. It is also known for its rich flora and fauna as well as its majestic scenery.
8) Mt. Mariveles- A lot of the mountains in the list have claimed lives and Mt. Mariveles has blood on its slopes as well. Not because of mountaineering climbing actually but because it was the site of many gun battles during the Japanese occupation. The mountainside has experienced many battles and one can just imagine the hardships of people there just a few decades ago. The river in the middle of the climb will help you out somehat but it is still a pretty difficult climb.
9) Mt. Daguldol - A little more leisurely time can be had in Mt. Daguldol. It’s main features is not merely the mountainside which one can climb but also the beautiful beach on its foot. The mountain is fairly easy to climb and the summit is nothing less than a beautiful, serene park. Even if you get tired on your way up, the trail itself is fun with the streams and the waterfalls that can be found.
10) Mt. Makiling - Mt.Makiling is not a difficult mountain to climb but just like Mt. Banahaw, the allure of the place is mysticism. Legend has it that it was named after a lady “Maria Makiling” who now haunts the mountain. It is said that the mountain’s shape is in fact Maria lying on her side. While as I mentioned, it is not difficult to climb, people have been know to get lost in it because of some unknown reasons. It is also the site of the Jamboree campsite of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and it is likewise a popular picnic site for a lot of families.