What can you do in ten hours? Climb Tarak Ridge, maybe?
Like any other employee, I have spent eight hours sitting on a swivel chair typing hours on end, and the other two commuting on the way to work and back. Before I know it, those ten hours have ended and just another weekday has passed. Rinse. Repeat.
But ten hours on the mountain is a different currency.
Labor Day, Literally!
On Labor Day, I chose to scale Mt. Mariveles (1,130 MASL) to see the scenic Tarak Ridge in Mariveles, Bataan. A dormant volcano, the Tarak Ridge affords us the view of the whole of Bataan, the Manila Bay, Corregidor Island and, faintly, Cavite.
If you are confused as to why Mt. Mariveles is used interchangeably with Tarak Ridge it’s because Mt. Mariveles has three famous peaks: Tarak Ridge, Pantingan Peak, and Mariveles Ridge. Other caldera (volcanic crater) peaks are yet to be explored. Mt. Mariveles’ last known eruption is about four millenniums ago but its active thermal features makes it potentially active.
Those Animated Five Hours to Tarak Ridge
A total of five hours is what it takes to get to Tarak Ridge, and another five hours back. Those ten hours of walking could not be more animated. Alarm-like calls of birds perched atop the canopy of trees filled the air. The sound of a clear, rushing water echoes through the forest. A variation of root, sand and rock filled our sandals.
The difficulty lies in endurance. Trail-wise, the hiker-friendly incline of Tarak Ridge continues until Papaya River where fresh, clean drinking water can be sourced. But after the river is the hour-long assault that sent my heart, lungs and legs into a frenzy.
The Incline Continues
The final assault to the campsite of Tarak Ridge already reveals the ghost of bluish mountain ranges that made us rush on our way up. According to PinoyMountaineer, Tarak Ridge is called so as the combination of the word “tabak” (hunting knife), being a long narrow mountain ridge and “tarik” (steep) characteristic of the assault.
Once at campsite, do not get comfortable and hike to the peak. Just a little push, and you get to this famous “tree” and the other peaks of the volcanic crater — sharp inclines reminiscent of rocks that collided to each other once upon a time. Its beauty made me want to study geology all over again!
Ten hours, back and forth. We made it back to jumpoff point at 5:30PM and showered at a local resident’s place. On a weekday, ten hours might seem an average time to spend at the office. But weekend spent well, such as this, ten hours is precious.
All work. All play. Happy Labor Day from Tarak Ridge!
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