Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MT. KALATUNGAN: Every Climb Seems the First Time

The fifth highest peak of the Philippines, Mt. Kalatungan towers 2,880 meters ASL in the heart of Bukidnon. Being in my town, this mountain is my playground. Every climb to the mountain seems like my first time. Among my countless treks to Mt. Kalatungan, I find the latest the most exciting and memorable because I did it guided solo, I controlled my own time, I did not stick to the original plan, I enjoyed spontaneity and I was governed by instant decisions.  And I find it truly worth sharing.

I was supposed to be in Leyte and Samar, so the climb was not planned in the first place. The late night I was packing my baggage I was not so prepared for the tedious trek. I'm climbing a major mountain tomorrow was all I knew. With very little sleep, I woke up early and traveled for 3 hours from my workplace in Malaybalay City to my hometown Pangantucan. After securing my climb permit, I took a habal-habal to Mandum, Mendis for the jump-off.

I looked for a guide. Good thing I convinced a young man, though not yet seasoned to guide. We started the trek at 10 am which I knew was already very late.  

We arrived at the Camp1 by 11:30 and did waterloading. The rain poured down mercilessly so we stayed at a home nearby. I never wanted to soak in the rain with only 1/8 of the trek completed. I cooked, took our lunch and stayed for very long until the rain halted.

It was 1 pm when we resumed the trek. The air was still uncomfortably misty, the grass wet and the soil muddy. 

We reached at the Bukobuko sa Anay by 2:30 pm. To my disappointment, Muleta Falls which would stun every climber's eyes was nowhere in view. I trod the supposedly wonderful site with all-white view and a guide so distant that I seldom see. The rain abundantly blessed (pestered) me while panting my way up.

We arrived at the Sako Camp by 4:30 pm and took a short rest under the rain. The cold enveloped my system, weakened me and made me shiver. We were 2hours away from the peak. 

We continued the trek and decided to camp at the diversion to the peak and the bamboo camp. The heavens cast an abundant shower almost the whole night.

The morning started calm. The sun shed his rays inside the cool and fresh forest.

We headed to the summit by 8:00 am. In less than an hour, there we were. I took advantage of the view which I knew would hide right away. I saw other high mountains of the country--- Mt. Apo and Mt. Pianggayungan. 

Mt. Pianggayungan of Lanao del Sur, the 7th highest peak of the country.
Mt. Apo, the country's highest, floats above the clouds.


 True, a heavy raincloud chased the little sunshine until the sun finally went off-duty again.

Back to our camp, I decided not to traverse to Mt. Lumpanag for my energy would surely be worthless. I was disheartened to climb another mountain when all I see is white. 

We left the camp by 10:00 am and trailed our way back. 

We reached the viewing spot of Muleta Falls at Bukobuko sa Anay by 11:30 am. I decided to wait for the clouds to clear to view the falls. The rain poured again but never scared me. I took my rain cover and we sat by there to prove I am tougher than the rain. And it halted after an hour --- 12:30 pm. 

We hastily took our lunch. And gradually, I felt the sun starting to hit my skin. The clouds were starting to fly away.

Yes! The view got clearer. Muleta Falls showed! I chased every bit of that view. The outgoing and upcoming clouds added to the wonderful sight. Clouds came and went while I waited...


After barely 10 minutes, gigantic clouds again covered my surroundings. So I just enjoyed the  moments above the clouds.

Barely past 1:00 pm, the rain poured again so we trekked down, all soaked and cold. I was back at the jump-off by 4:00 pm.

To climb Mt. Kalatungan, click A QUICK GUIDE TO CLIMBING MT. KALATUNGAN.            


  1. I was amused when I was reading how you chased the clearing of the clouds just to see the Muleta Falls. Is it not possible to get closer to it? I love your post. Reading it seems that I was also there together with you and your guide.

    1. Thanks for passing by, Benedict... The weather was so frustrating so I decided to trail back. Hehe. And the view of the falls was the last consolation i knew i could have so i had to wait for it...

  2. Hi tupe, i so envy you witnessing muleta falls. we recently traversed mt. kalatungan-mt wiji and yes, all in store for us were thick clouds and zero visibility. i had no serious view on both mountain summit but it's ok, maybe i wasn't meant to see it yet. now i'm having a little difficulty drawing inspiration to write my blog, lol. love your pics and the idea of solo hiking (never done it before).

    1. thanks, marse. yes, during rainy days, muleta falls rarely shows. my 1hour waiting in the rain paid off during that climb. at least 15 minutes, i got to capture its wonder.
      but for sure, you enjoyed that climb...