Skip to main content

Mt. Natib Day Hike Traverse

Wide trails at the start of our hike
Over the weekend, I reunited with hiker friends Gideon, Ivan Lakwatsero, Arisse and Arvin for my first ever ascent up Mt. Natib in Bataan.  We boarded the 1:30 AM bus from Genesis terminal along EDSA-Cubao and arrived at the waiting shed in Orani after 2.5 hours.

Since we came too early, we were picked up by a hired tricycle driver (60 Pesos/head, 5 people in one trike).  Cold air blasted everywhere as we took the 30-minute uphill trike ride to Barangay Tala.

 After meeting with our guide Wilnor, and registering (30 Pesos/head) at the barangay hall, we started hiking at 5:08 AM. It was a little dark but we didn't need headlamps, dawn was about to break in a few minutes.

The trail started off in a rocky wide road where trees where abundant on the left side and birds gleefully chirping away, obscured by thick foliage.  As weather has not been good the past couple of days around Manila and  several provinces, we were only too glad that the sky was clear. As the sun rose from the sky, we were greeted by views of the mountains of Zambales on our right side. 

The happy gang :P  (L-R) : Arisse, Gideon, Ivan & Arvin :) 
In 30 minutes, we arrived at the gate that took us further up the mountain.  Trail was still even and I was grateful for a very easy start. Soon, we were hiking on a rocky trail, brushing on weeds and shrubs.

Classified by PHIVOLCS as a potentially active volcano, you can find lots of big rocks & sand and thick flora along trail. I felt like I was back in Mt. Hibok-hibok, a volcano in Camiguin which I hiked 3 months ago (blog here).

Wild and pretty :)
The notoriously steep trail to the summit came in a few hours later. I practically crawled my way to the top, using all four limbs on some parts just to get through. I was breathless as we emerged to the opening that led to the peak but I managed a huge smile as I met with the rest of the team who arrived earlier. Fog was beginning to encroach our surroundings but we were blessed with a view for a few minutes, allowing us to see Mt. Samat, Mt. Morong and other nearby mountains.
Group shot at the summit 
I checked for limatik bites this mountain is oh so popular for and saw I only had one on my arm. I struggled so hard with the assault to the peak, I didn't even notice it. While the blood gushing from my arm looks grotesque, it doesn't hurt at all. I had to put a bandage over it as the bleeding didn't stop for hours.

We left the summit after 30 minutes. The trail down was easier as I no longer have to lift my entire body up but the cliffs were scary. We had to slow down to avoid the slippery mud and enormous wet rocks. In under an hour, we reached the junction that marked the start of our long, arduous journey to Morong.

One of the two roped segments of the trail to the summit
The traverse trail  wasn't so bad but it was too long, around 7 hours long!  Occasionally steep on some sections, we had to cross several sections of Morong river about 8 times. 

Ivan summoning his ninja powers to get him to the other side :P
It's definitely one heck of a day hike but one that's worth the agony. I was enamored with what we saw, twisted branches of  giant trees that seemed to stretch towards the sky, ferns growing at the side of the trail, fruits scattered everywhere.  It's  a tree lover and plant enthusiast paradise!  I felt like I was in a fairytale, staring at grandiose creations rising from the ground. :)

Our last rest stop was at Sitio Kanawan, an Aeta community where we were received warmly by the people at the barangay. They seemed astonished that we came all the way from Orani that same day. We were only too happy to have completed it without incurring any serious injuries.  We bought cold Pop Colas which we finished off instantly. The best! :P
As we crossed the hanging bridge that marked the end of our journey, I couldn't help but feel giddy. Iwas here 12 years ago, (a newbie in our college outdoor club), trembling at the first step as I was extremely afraid of heights. I'm still acrophobic but I'm glad I made it halfway to the bridge before I started trembling again. Improving! Lol!

Thanks to Ivan for organizing this and to the rest of the team, (Gid, Arisse & Arvin)  for this wonderful adventure! :)

More photos from our hike here.

Hiking Notes :
Contact person : +639075681785 – Mr. Darwin Ganado, DENR (for guide assignments and reservations
Rate : 1,000 Pesos – One way; Traverse - 2,000 Pesos
Genesis Liner bus to Orani, Bataan (187 pesos; 2.5 hours), Cubao Terminal. First trip is at 1:30 AM but be there by 1:00 AM. You can also board at the Genesis terminal in Pasay.
Going back to Manila, we took the 8:30 PM bus from Victory Liner, Olongapo (200+ Pesos)

Traverse Itinerary is posted at Gid's blog at Pinoy Mountaineer. For timely updates, like his the page on Facebook : | Twitter : @gideonlasco, mine is @jovialwanderer

Popular posts from this blog

Part 2 : Bataan Adventures | Where to Eat in Bataan (Updated 2017)

Being an avid hiker and foodie, I've grown very fond of visiting  Bataan.  This province offers several hiking trails (check my post here) passing verdant forests and nicely decorated cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a proper cup of coffee and affordable comfort food. It is also highly accessible from Manila via land travel, making it a good option for a short but rewarding out of town adventure. 

Here's a list of restaurants in Bataan where you can enjoy satisfying meals. 

The restaurant's name which means little angels (male) was inspired by the owner's 3 young boys, Miguel (after St. Michael), Rafael and Gabriel.This 2 year old family owned restaurant has a homey ambiance and serves any type of food that the family enjoys.

Dishes are flavorful and priced affordably -100 Pesos above for the main dishes and 20 Pesos above for the desserts.Specialty includes, pork binagoongan and creamy tofu (my fave!). The restroom which has a mini garden is als…

Hiking in La Trinidad : Mt. Yangbew

To kickoff 2017, I  returned to the Cordillera region with one of my closest friends, Jules. We wanted to take it easy  so we decided to try a couple of short but very scenic trails in Benguet I found online (References posted below). 

Barangay Tawang in La Trinidad,the capital of the province of Benguet  is less than an hour from Baguio city and features several accessible, scenic mountain trails - Mt. Yangbew (also known as Mt. Jambo), Tayawan view deck and Mt. Kalugong. These are all beginner-friendly or as the younger Pinoy millenials would say, pabebe-friendly. :P
Since we were taking a super early bus ride,  (1:30 AM early! :P), we made sure  we got nice, comfy seats. Fortunately, with 3 days prior to the trip, we were able to book online via iWantSeats.

In five hours, we arrived in the City of Pines and walked towards Session Road to hunt for a hotel. Fortunately, a vacant room was immediately available at Benguet Prime Hotel so we were able to leave our bags.  We took our sweet t…

12 Useful things to Bring on your First Mountain Hike

Hiking has become very popular in the Philippines that it's now easier to find a mountain and come up with your own itinerary  or join an organized group. (Read 10 Tips on How to be a Good Climb Participant
If you're heading out to your first mountain hike and thinking of what to bring, here are a couple of tips. Note that this list was created as a guide and not a mandatory checklist. The items featured are based on what I observed to be  useful when hiking in tropical weather.

7 Hiking Tips for Beginners | 8 Essentials for Rainy Day Hikes by Basekamp PH

1.  Footwear
Footwear should enhance your experience outdoors and protect you from injury. There are shoes designed specifically for hiking but I encourage you to research the mountain  first before purchasing hiking shoes. Will there be sections where you need to cross rivers? How long will you be hiking?If the mountain has a clear and established trail that normally won't take more than 4 hours to complete, you can very w…