Mount Arayat Traverse


Background

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°12N 120°45E/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).

Notes

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.

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10 thoughts on “Mount Arayat Traverse

    • Very much, John! To date, ano mang pangyayari ang nagaganap at magaganap sa mga “akyat” namin, kasiyahan parin ang nanaig at mananaig kahit pa punum-puno ng pasakit ang mga ito. Anyway, I am glad that you found this place scenic. But, I must say that the next mountain (Mount Cristobal in Quezon), on my list of conquered giants, is a lot better – at least for me. Hehe … I think this year marked my improvement in photography so watch out for more scenic places I’ve visited particularly on the shoulders and heads of the giants.

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  1. Pingback: Trekking the Enervating Trail of Mount “Gulugod Baboy” | Stories of My Wandering Feet & Mind

  2. My parents are from Pampanga and everytime we go visit the ancestral home, we get a glimpse of Mount Arayat. In my youth, the stories about Arayat that I heard from my uncles and aunts were more of how the guerillas hid in the mountain during WWII. In the sixties, I recall the Huk which was originated from the WWII guerilla group used the mountain as one of their enclaves. Thanks for the picture and sorry that it did not go smoothly as you would have wanted. But it was a great blog entry!

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    • Thanks for the info! I really didn’t know that. I must say that the guerilla groups did a good job in making their dugouts unexplored to date. Or, I just didn’t ask the locals about it. Well, the reason for my assumption (about the dugouts) is that back in the time of war, if a mountain is infested by guerillas, then they will surely make an excavation for shelter. Wanting to know more about what you said is interesting. I’ll research on that.

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