Wednesday, January 2, 2013


From the highways of Pampanga, one can hardly resist the tempting splendor of Mt. Arayat. The 1,026 meter high mountain is known to be an extinct volcano. It has no eruption record.

Another unguided solo climb. Due to rebel infestation, I decided not to push through my planned Mt. Arayat trek but a day-stay in Luzon is a sheer waste without doing any adventure.

I and a former colleague, Kleo departed the metro at almost 9am. He drove me to Pampanga in his Strada. We arrived at the town of Magalang barely past 10am. 

Kleo asked  for a direction from an acquaintance, who said that the peak can be reached for 3 hours. 

We arrived at the jump off point in Brgy. Ayala, Magalang at 11:00am.

It was a sunny Saturday. I started the trek. Alone. Kleo waited for me at the base setting a time for my arrival. He said 5 hours and I said I’ll make it 4 hours.

The view of the statues of the 14 stations of the cross caught my eyes and ate my time. My tripod started its job as photographer. I encountered few hikers going down.

After 30 minutes, the view of the white rock astonished me. I continued the trek.

After an hour, that is 12 noon, I halted at the entrance of the forested area, ate my trail foods and wore my anticramps “tikos” I bought from the natives of Bukidnon. 

I passed by a group of hikers from Manila who admitted they started the trek as early as 7 am. We interchangeably asked about the direction and the time to summit the mountain. Our questions remained questions. 

The trail was so dry; no hint of any water source. My eyes started to see the lowlands.

The trail truly reminded me of Mt. Kitanglad where electric posts mark the direction to the peak. 

I encountered a number of fells along the trail. I didn’t know why. If they’re doing this to clear the trail, I really find it so unnecessary.

Nearing to the peak, there are steep areas with ropes to aid the hikers.

At 1 o’ clock, I finally arrived at the peak. 

I was welcomed by a big signage, a communications tower and a group of armed men in uniform.

I continued a very short walk to the viewing area. And oh, the view so delighted my eyes!

I, being so obsessed and appreciative of mountains, was more than astonished with the landscapes.      

I ate my remaining trail foods in one of the most magnificent dining area I've ever been to under the scorching sun.

Two foreign nationals shared my delight of the view so much to enjoy.   

After savoring the height, I went down taking the same trail. I encountered other hikers still going up. Armed men were still visible.

 When I almost reached at the base, fully drained, a young local hiker joined and chatted with me. He also led me to the water source to address my dried throat.

At 3 pm, I fulfilled my 4 hour trekking time target. Kleo was bored waiting at the base.

After having a cold drink, we took photo of a nicely designed church. We then proceeded to Marquee Mall, dined and parted ways.

Darkness started to embrace the surround. On my way to Manila, my fulfilled heart leaped with joy of conquering another peak which I always love doing. And again, I did it all alone… 


  1. SIR required ba ang guide at mahirap ba ang arayat ?

    1. manong unyol, guide is not required here. napaka-established na ng trail. madali lang akyatin to...

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