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Bataan : Tarak Ridge Day Hike Itinerary (Updated December 2014)

Mt. Tarak is one of the destinations my friends and I frequented back in 2009. Despite the long travel from Manila (around 3 hours!), we enjoy going here because commute  is easy, its trails have become familiar to us, the locals are friendly and you can see plenty of enormous trees and colorful flowers along the trail. The historic fortress island of Corregidor can also be seen in one of the view points. 

Another rewarding stop in this mountain is Papaya river which is right beside the camp site, an hour or less away from the summit. From jump-off to the river, trail is easy and steep on some sections only.  I actually find it more appealing to take a dip in the river than hiking all the way to the peak :P. Water here is very shallow and cold. You can sit down and goof around with friends. It's like having a private pool in the middle of a forest.  Some even leave their bottled drinks here to cool it. 

Hiking time from jump-off to summit is around 9 hours out and back, even less if everyone in the group is fit. It's a good option if you're craving for an extended day hike. 

Here's the itinerary, enjoy! :) 
As always, please follow the leave no trace policy when hiking. (Don't leave any trash, no taking of plants or animals :P)
0330 - Assembly Time - Five Star Cubao (Map here)
0400 - Depart Five Star Terminal (4:00AM is the first trip to Mariveles)
0700 - Arrival at Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan; register at Brgy. Hall (P40)
*Near the barangay hall are sari-sari stores and eateries where you can buy supplies and eat after the hike
0715 - Start trek – (from the street leading outside the barangay hall – turn left – cross the street and go straight to where the signboard to Mt. Tarak is.)
* you will also need to register a second time at Nanay Curding's hut. They will just ask for a donation as registration fee. Trek time from highway to the old couple's hut is 30minutes (may be less depending on the pace of the group).
1015 – ETA Papaya River, lunch
1100 – Resume Trek
1230 – ETA – Tarak Ridge
1315 - ETA - Summit
1630 – ETA – Old couple’s hut – change
1645 - Depart from Old couple's hut
1715 – ETA – Highway; catch bus back to Manila (last bus of Five Star to Pasay departs at 6:00PM from Mariveles, usually arrives in Brgy. Alas-Asin at 6:20PM)
2200 - Arrival - EDSA - Boni

Expenses/Head (Updated Dec. 2014)
*Amount in Philippine Pesos
Bus, Five Star Cubao to Brgy. Alas-Asin, Mariveles (one way, aircon bus) - 267.00
Registration fee at the Barangay - 40.00
Donation To Nanay Curding - 20.00
Mini bus from Brgy. Alas-Asin to Balanga (ordinary bus) - 46.00
Bus, Balanga to Cubao (aircon) - 206.00
Total (please bring extra money for food) : 579.00

Notes : 
 - Genesis bus line also plies the Cubao/Pasay route to Mariveles
 - Although there are buses back to Cubao/Pasay passing Brgy. Alas-Asin, we decided to take a side trip to Balanga. There's a cluster of resto bars at The Port, a commercial area at the town proper but most open late, around 6PM so we ended up eating at Jollibee. :P
If you need to withdraw money, there are ATM machines near the area after the bridge.
- Visit Pinoy Mountaineer for more hiking information 
- Challenging traverses can also be done. There's Patingan Peak to Tarak, Paniquian falls to Tarak

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