“Mount Arayat is a potentially active stratovolcano on Luzon Island, Philippines, rising to a height of 1,026 metres (3,366 ft) There is no recorded eruption of the volcano, and its last activity probably dates to the Holocene era. The volcano is located in a flat agricultural region at 15°12′N 120°45′E/15.2°N 120.75°E / 15.2; 120.75. The southern half of the mountain lies within the municipality of Arayat, Pampanga, while the north half and the mountain summit lies within Magalang, Pampanga. Ten miles to the west of Mount Arayat is Angeles City and the former Clark Air Base. Mount Pinatubo is located a further 16 km (10 mi) west. The Mountain is also considered a mystical mountain, the legendary home of the diwata Mariang Sinukuan, and was once believed to contain a wealth of fruit”(pinoymountaineer.com).
1. This is one of the most challenging climbs on my list because the expected easy climb developed into an exploration when we were led astray by our guide. Several hours before that plight, the group’s captain/organizer anticipated that we can’t make it to the mountain’s foot by dusk. Further, he announced that eleven o’clock would be the calculated time for us to fulfill the traverse. That’s where the little problem arose because of two things:
First, our group is made up of pure daytime hikers to be exact.
Second, we did not bring headlamps; therefore, it would be perilous to descend without a clear view of the trail.
So what our group did was we proffered to be the pacers of the climb on purpose–to set a “racing” pace in blue streak. Together with my able-bodied hiking buddies and friends (Charina, Master Paul, Katrina, Matet&Jay, Ron&Ebalin), we cut the red tape despite our awareness on what was wagered on. As a result, several eyebrows raised.
Based on the information from pinoymountaineer.com (pm), it will only take four hours to summit the giant’s head but since this is a traverse, it will take longer for the hikers to complete the journey. Rather than being consumed with giving consideration to the delicate hikers, we transposed our plan as an extra challenge for them to go with our pace and for us to test our limits. We may not have succeeded in making it to the giant’s foot before sunset but we were triumphant to bate four hours from the estimated time of arrival at the washup area. But then again, I am confident to say that if we did not get lost, the plan would have been favorable to our group. Still, I was proud that our group mutated into hardcores for that matter.
2. This is the second time I experienced the deadweight of getting lost on a boondocks’ trail. I actually had a provisional conjecture to that predicament: Some of the hikers acted as campingers thereby bringing the “original spirit dwellers” of the place to fury especially the prenominal deity of the mountain, Mariang Sinkuan. If only all of us succumbed to the “Leave No Trace” principles…
3. So far, this is the only mountain that made me feel horripilated, particularly when I reached that part where I took that glittering photo.
4. I found the surroundings somehow really mystical, and I felt like the air I charged into my lungs is like a panacea that fortified my body systems. There’s an ineffable thing that is enveloping the mountain. The child in me took over as I was writing this note and the last.
5. It’s here where I exposed my “lucky piece”. I am one of those who believe that precious stones have powers.
Mount Arayat is my tenth conquered mountain (23 January 2011).
For more information (how to get to the place, climbing notes, trivia, more stories, etc.), click this website: pinoymountaineer.com.
- “Why is Mt. Arayat called Mt. Arayat?” (thekayumanggitrails.org)
- Is a super-volcano just 390 miles from London about to erupt? (theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com)
- Why we need to help Mt. Pinatubo Aetas do Organic Farming cum Rainforestation (mvillariba.wordpress.com)
- Traversing Table Mountain – in the Dark! (runningthecape.wordpress.com)
- Memoirs of Twenty Eleven – MT. PINATUBO (iamchizkeyk.wordpress.com)