By Roy Dimayuga
Looking for an exciting adventure in Oriental Mindoro, Philippines? Consider hiking Mount Malasimbo and Mount Iglit-Baco.
While Mount Halcon remains closed to hikers, these two peaks offer equally breathtaking views and unique experiences.
Mount Malasimbo, with an elevation of 1,748 meters above sea level, is a popular destination for both hikers and nature lovers. The hike to the peak takes approximately 4-6 hours, and hikers can expect a moderate to challenging trail with steep inclines and declines. Along the way, hikers will be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests, as well as the ocean.
According to Jhun Fajutagana, a seasoned hiker who has climbed Mount Malisimbo seven times, “Hiking Mount Malasimbo is one of the best adventures you can have in Oriental Mindoro. The trail is challenging but manageable, and the view from the peak is absolutely stunning. I always feel a sense of peace and fulfillment whenever I reach the summit.”
For those interested in wildlife, Mount Iglit-Baco is a must-visit destination. This mountain is home to the tamaraw, a critically endangered species of buffalo that can only be found in the Philippines. The mountain also features an eco lodge where hikers can stay overnight, as well as a view deck where they can observe the tamaraw in their natural habitat. Hikers can also hire a tour guide or ranger to accompany them for a fee.
Hiking Mount Malasimbo and Mount Iglit-Baco requires careful preparation and planning. Hikers must secure permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and coordinate with local guides and porters. It is also important to pack the necessary gear and supplies, such as a sturdy tent, sleeping bag, food, and water. Safety is a top priority, and hikers must be vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times.
In the end, the challenges of hiking Mount Malasimbo and Mount Iglit-Baco are well worth it for the breathtaking views and unique experiences they offer. These mountains are a testament to the beauty of the Philippine wilderness and the importance of preserving it for future generations.
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