Monday, August 31, 2015

A Perfect Sunday Hike in Natib: A Farewell to Summer

Location: Orani, Bataan
Elevation: 1,253masl
Difficulty: semi-major climb, with rope segments approaching summit

I just witnessed that boundary of season --- such a beautiful day when summer seemed to end and rainy days begin. It was 28th of June and the last weekend of the month. We saw the sun and skies simultaneously smiling though seemingly turned to be annoyed at us afterwards causing an increased level of heat. Eventually, the skies turned gloomy until finally, we saw them crying and pouring their tears over us in the form of rain. Well, farewell to you Summer.. Hello Rainy Season!

I could still say, it was one perfect day to hike Mt. Natib.

I thought I have forgotten this wonderful mountain. I thought it would remain a target ever since I've started to love mountaineering. But hey no! I decided to finally make climbing this one a reality.

Mt. Natib, being 1,253masl and perched at the town of Orani, is claimed to be the highest peak in Bataan province.  One should be able to face semi-major kind of terrains and encounter with mountain leeches/limatik.

The convenient part for me in this climb event was that we got a chartered van and so we were directly dropped off to its jump off point. But the point that we missed was the registration as we thought that we were supposed to pay the fee and lodge our names in the barangay where we would be starting the trek out.

We’re a group of 15 climbers for this – a combination of old mountaineering fellas, newbie climbers, “current friends turned being together” in this climb and new acquaintances.

The first two hours of the trek was a wide, open trail... slowly but surely elevated kind of trail. So we can already feel the ascending force. I loved such perfect time of walking early in the morning enveloped by the freshness of the surroundings and absolute nature.

hello morning sunshine!

Until we arrived at a quite new DENR building, it was nice climbing at the veranda part of that building. We could already see the wholeness of what surrounds the Natib mountain.

at the DENR building

Moving on, I realized we had already entered the typical forested part. 

trek, trek, trek!
We saw many kinds of resident living creatures amd so I took every single opportunity given to me to have a snapshot of them. ^_^ 

We reached a grassland part wherein we can see the peak signifying the last ascent up the summit. Yet this one appeared to be the ultimate ascent. Indeed, that was the hardest part. 

Nearing the real challenge :) view of Natib summit

So we sort of gathered our strength first by taking a break at a resting area appearing to be the foot of such highest peak.

True enough, the battle began from the time we started the act of scaling. The trail was around 70-80  (or even almost 90 degrees). For some, they were thankful to the rope segment to aid the ascending. I was, of course! Somehow, I guess. Sometimes, I was better off relying on my own grabbing and handling through rocks and trunks of the trees. Fine, I am actually scared of the possibility to sway while clinging on the ropes. Perhaps, I am not used to it. And I am this hard-headed to learn the correct way of ascending through it.

And everyone was helping each other or at least trying their very best to ascend safely and win over that challenge. So this is what makes the Natib a semi-major climb.

Finally, we made it. We arrived at the summit by almost lunchtime (can’t remember the exact time). Unfortunately, the summit wasn’t able to give us the 360-degree view as fog dominated the whole surroundings. I don't know if it's normal but from my observation in every mountain the we climb, typically clouds start to form on or before noon time and begin pouring in the afternoon. Maybe it's really better to arrive at the summit way earlier than 11am.

So, there! There was an attempt to rain as it drizzled during our almost one-hour stay there. We took our lunch then some initiated to take some photos despite the cloudy atmosphere. Some decided to take a nap.

Time to relax and slumber at the summit :-P

Lira and friends (Leah and MJ)

With Lira, a Lingkod sister and friend who's also into mountaineering

I think she's one of my best buds in climbing, Shiela

Nice to meet ya, fellow blogger, Francis of Ang Pala-lagaw :)

One of my timeless friends in mountaineering, Rheysonn :)

Jumpshot in the middle of fog :-P

And before we bid goodbye, a groupie pic shouldn’t be missed.

A group pic full of real laughter and fun (photo credit: Jim Pachi)

Upon seeing this dragonfly while sitting down at the summit (apart from the fact that it's already cloudy), I knew it would rain.

It rained when we started to descend making a bit harder to manage the slippery and wet trails.

Due to time constraints and lack of guide, we were not able to explore this mountain further as we missed the trekking to Pasukulan falls. So I have the reason to re-visit this mountain. Maybe, it’s better to do an overnight climb to allow an ample time to do the sidetrip.

Whew! We arrived at the jump off point and tidied up with the sun still up. While still a lengthy trek, thankful that this dayhike was sort of light and relaxing one to every one of us. I just realized our companions ahead was enjoying throwing some #hugot lines which added laughter during their trek.

And perhaps the attempt to still go to the Pasukulan falls can relate to - “wag na i-pilit kung hindi na talaga kaya!” hehehe… (don’t try so hard, if it would no longer work out!)

Note: The term “hugot” is a Filipino word which means to draw or to pull out. The usage of the hashtag “#hugot” became popular not so long ago and is usually used along with song lyrics, a quote, etc that the person tweeting relates to; “#hugot means the accompanying words draw emotions out of him/her. (

Well, I just realized climbing a mountain draws you with a lot of #hugot lines. Hehehe. Oh yes, because with the experiences encountered, one is able to reflect really well.

A big thank you for letting us experience your beauty, Mt. Natib!

P.S. Luckily, we only spotted no greater than five limatiks. Hmmm, they are not rampant yet, it only indicates that there's still a touch of dry season. Well, just my wild guess.

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