TARAK RIDGE Mariveles, Bataan
Jump off point: Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles
LLA: 14°30.357′N, 120°30′E, 1,006 MASL (ridge); 1,130 MASL (peak)
Days required / Hours to summit: 2 days, 5-6 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 3
This year we took the challenge of conquering Mt. Mariveles popularly, known as Tarak Ridge. It is known for its steep cliffs and its rocky terrain. The ridge name “Tarak”, is from “Tabak” (hunting knife) and “Tarik” (steep). Tarak Ridge is just a part of the larger crater of Mt. Mariveles where Pantingan Peak is considered as the highest peak. Mt. Mariveles is considered a dormant stratovolcano because it hasn’t had an eruption for years and it has a crater at the summit. Today, Mt. Mariveles is an inactive volcano.
How to get to Tarak Ridge?
I’ve never been to Bataan, so I am excited about this trip. Me and my friends arrived at Cubao Bus Station at around 2 am. We took the Genesis bus bound for Mariveles but you can also try the Bataan Transit bus. It is only a three to four hours drive from Metro Manila. We got off at Brgy. Alas-asin. We secured our guide and did register.
Before we start the hike our group circled and had a short prayer for protection. After that our hike commenced.
The initial part of the trail is just pure walking on a well-established flat trail for about half an hour. We still have high energy when we reached Nanay Cording’s house. Everyone was enjoying and chatting as we took this group picture. According to our tour guide, there are different trails going to the summit. But our group decided to take the normal trail most hikers are following.
Minutes of walking from here, the trail becomes a wide forested pathway. It is a combination of short ascent and descent.
After almost two hours of trekking, we reached the Papaya River. The funny part is that I can’t see any papaya trees within the area. I’m not sure why it was called the papaya river. This area is a nice campsite as well. The water according to our guide is drinkable.
The challenge starts from this river going to the ridge. It was a gradual 90-degree assault that required us to pull ourselves up using the roots and branches of the trees available along the trail. I wasn’t able to get pictures because I was so focused on surviving. 😅 It was an hour of pulling myself up. I felt like my knees were giving up on me as well as my hands.
After enduring that long-hour assault, we finally reached the ridge/campsite. We saw some hikers resting. This is where we took our lunch. Also, what is noticeable when you get there was the strong gusty wind.
The ridge offers an amazing view of Bataan and its neighboring islands like Corregidor, Manila Bay, and, faintly, Cavite.
I thought the hardship was over as we already had our beautiful view here on the ridge. But NO! I was wrong! There’s more! Look at the summit at our back. That’s where we are heading next. I thought the ridge was already the summit.
Some hikers don’t usually go to the summit because the view at the ridge is already breathtaking. And here comes us, using all our might to reach the summit. It was another 30 minutes rocky assault to endure. But all the pain felt during the trek was rewarded by this beautiful view at the summit.
TARAK RIDGE SUMMIT
Enjoying the summit before we descend.
This is not my first major hike. But this is definitely one of the most challenging ones I’ve ever had so far. I know in myself that this is another achievement for me with the lesson of “a reward is waiting in every hardship, just don’t give up“.
Mountains are always there to remind us that when you are tired, rest. 😉 You can do it!
0200 – Assembly time at Cubao station
0230 – ETD Genesis Transit Cubao terminal
0430 – ETA Alas Asin Barangay Hall. Register
0500 – ETA to Aling Cording’s hut. Register and give donations.
0600 – Start trek
0730 – Arrival at Papaya River.
0900 – Start ascending to the Ridge
1030 – ETA Tarak Ridge.
1130 – ETA Summit
1300 – Start descend
1400 – ETA Papaya River
1520 – Back at jump-off. Wash up.
1700 – ETD Jump off
1730 – Back at the waiting shed. Ride bus going to Pasay/Cubao
2030 – ETA Manila
Bus Fare Cubao to Mariveles – Php 272.00
Bus Fare Mariveles to Cubao -Php 272.00
Registration Fee – Php 40.00
Fee at Wash Up Area- Php 20.00
Tour guide (Group of 10) – Php 1000.00
This is a beautiful mountain to hike and it’s worth the climb.
You might be interested: Mt. Binacayan (424 MASL) Itinerary – Climb to the Clouds
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