TEN MUST CLIMB Mountains in the Philippines ~ The Philippine Mountaineering

TEN MUST CLIMB Mountains in the Philippines

This is the List of MUST CLIMB Philippine mountains. The Philippines is abundant with mountains and peaks both challenging and enjoying for every outdoor enthusiast.  This is NOT the LIST OF THE TOUGH MOUNTAINS to CLIMB. The ten mountains listed came from the three major islands of the country. 

Philippine Mountains and Peaks in the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are the reasons to say that "Climbing is more fun in the Philippines."

1. Mt. Apo
Mount Apo is a solfataric, potentially- active volcano located in the south central part of Mindanao.  It is the highest point in the country and has an elevation of 9,692 feet (2,954 meters above sea level). Apo, which means "ancestor" and to lots of mountaineer this mountain is the grandfather of all the mountains within the country. This is a flat-topped mountain with three peaks and is capped by a 500-meter-wide (1,600 ft) volcanic crater containing a small crater lake. The date of its most recent eruption is unknown, and none are verified in historical times. The amazing Mt. Apo is located in between of Region XI and Region XII. This mountain is also a National Park, established in 1936, has an area of 199,819 acres (80,864 hectares) covering some part of three cities of Davao, Kidapawan and Digos. This mountain is also the natural habitat of the known Philippine monkey-eating eagle, Pag-asa. Some of the highlights of the mountain is Agco lake, Agco river, Lake Venado - the highest lake in the country, Sibulan River (the home of water tubing), Tud-aya falls. This is also the place of the local version of Kota Kinabalu's annual climbathon, the Sta. Cruz's Boulder Face Challenge.

For the tribe people within the Natural Park, there are deities residing near the summit. This sacred mountain is one of the mountains within the country suffering environmental stress due to too much human traffic. The first recorded climb was on October 10, 1880, by a party led by Joaquin Rajal, then Spanish governor of Davao. 

Mount Mayon, is an active composite volcano (conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash) in the province of Albay. Mayon gained the recognition as the "perfect cone" because of its almost symmetric conical shape. The mountain is a national park and a protected landscape in the country proclaimed as Mayon Volcano Natural Park in the year 2000. Mayon is the main landmark of my home province of Albay, rising 8,077 ft (2,462 meters above seal level) from the shores of the Albay Gulf about 10 kilometres away. The volcano is geographically shared by three cities of Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco and five municipalities of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Malilipot, and Santo Domingo which divide the cone like slices of a pie when viewed from above. Mt. Mayon gained popularity both from a Filipino and also with foreigners for being the most active volcano in the Philippines. Mayon had erupted 47 times in the past 400 years and the last recorded major eruption was in 1993 and the last recorded major activity was in December 2009.

This mountain consider as the highest peak within MIMIAROPA with elevation of  8,484 ft (2,586 meters above sea level).  This mountain is the natural boundary of the two provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro. For the vintage mountaineers consider this one as one of the toughest mountains on their list. The mountain has its own unique climate. It rains on its slopes nearly every day, and rains are especially strong during the wet months. Heavy rains can cause dangerous flash floods like what happened recently. 

The highlight of this mountain is to experience overlooking the entire Mindoro Island and the surrounding area while on the mountain peak. This mountain destination is also abundant in water and river crossing is the common experience here. For some mountaineers they identified four kinds of forests within this mountain destination- the rain forest, mossy forest, bonsai forest and the highland forest. The mountain is home of wide variety of flora and fauna. This mountain was closed due to 5-year climbing ban. We have a post Halcon Under Harrasment that deals with the issue of the said moratorium. The slope of the mountain is the haven of eight ethnic groups who maintains their traditional culture and way of life, collectively and they are known as the Mangyans. 

Mount Mantalingajan (or Mantalingahan or Mantaling) is located 140 km southeast of Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan. This is the highest peak of the Palawan province with elevation of 6,841 ft. (2,085 Meters above sea level). Its mountain range encompasses five municipalities of Quezon and Rizal. On the Western side are the Municipalities Sofronio Española, Brooke’s Point and Bataraza on the Eastern side. Landscape is bounded by Victoria Peak in the north and Mt. Bulanjao in the south. The local name of the mountain is Kabatangan. This is the haven of some Palawan tribes, Kunoy, Palau'an, Tawt' bato, Tawt' daram groups. The rugged mountain forms the center of the Mt. Mantalingajan Protected Landscape (MMPL), a national park covering the entire Mantalingahan Mountain Range. MMPL is now as protected area by the virtue of Proclamation No. 1815 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo proclaimed last June 23, 2009. The protected area covers an area of 120,457 hectares.

The unique natural features and biological importance of Mantalingahan range offers challenge for every mountaineer to consider this as another mountain destination. Continuing discoveries of new species of plants and animals  are the highlights of this mountain destination like some pitcher plant species, Nepenthes mantalingajanensis, described in 2007, which named after the mountain itself. The mountain is said to be one of the most treated mountain in the country due to illegal logging, kaingin and mining pressures.

5. Mt. Hamiguitan
Mount Hamiguitan spans two municipalities and one city, namely, the municipalities of San Isidro and Governor Generoso, and the City of Mati in the Province of Davao Oriental. The elevation of this mountain is 5, 314.96 ft  (1,620 meters above sea level).

The Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has been declared last July 2004 under the Republic Act 9303 as a protected area under the category of wildlife sanctuary with an estimated area of 2,000 hectares. This is the only protected forest noted for its unique bonsai field or 'pygmy' forest of 100-year old trees in an ultramafic soil. Scientists has been found to have five (5) vegetation types and these are the agro-ecosystem, dipterocarp, montane and typical mossy and the mossy-pygmy forest.

The mountain range covers 6,834-hectare of total surface area of several forest-type characteristics harbouring endemic, threatened, rare and economically important species of flora and fauna. Among the wildlife found in the area are Philippine eagles and several species of Nepenthes. Some of the latter, such as the Nepenthes peltata, are endemic to the area.

In 2009, the provincial officials of Davao Oriental submitted the park for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

6. Mt. Guiting-guiting
Mount Guiting-Guiting is a mountain located in the heart of Sibuyan Island, one of the seven islands of Romblon Province in the Philippines. The word Guiting-Guiting in local dialect means "saw-toothed mountain". 

This mountain is the highest peak in Romblon at 6,752 ft. (2,058 meters above sea level). This mountain is still acknowledged as one of the most difficult and technical mountain to climb in the country because of series of nearly vertical, jagged rocks peaks that shred the clouds. One of the consideration for gaining the respect for being one of the difficult mountains to climb is the 87 degree slopes and several highly deceiving summits.

According to the history, May 1982, under the leadership of Arturo T. Valdez and a joint team from the Bacolod-based Philippine Mountaineering Society (PMS) and the University of the Philippines Mountaineers (UPM) team recorded the first assault to the mountain. As recognition for the endeavour of the PMS-UP some of the members some spots within the mountain named after them. The "Mayo's Peak" was named after one of the team members, Mayo Monteza, who celebrated his birthday during the climb. Also one of the local volunteer members name Bulod received the honour to name after him one of the spring known today as the "Bulod spring." It was recorded that in first week of June 1982 when four mountaineers became the first to stand at the summit. Mon Ruiz, Kim Valino, Bubot Tan Torre (the UP Mountaineers) and Edwin Gatia of the PMS team gained the respect of being the pioneers of this jagged mountain.

Mt. Guiting-Guiting Natural Park was proclaimed as a protected area under Presidential Proclamation No. 746 in February 20, 1996 signed by President Fidel V. Ramos. 

7. Mt. Kitanglad
Mt. Kitanglad is the home of the country’s oldest cultural communities– the Bukidnons, Higaonons, and Talaandigs. The name "Kitanglad" was derived from a legend that there was once a great flood that submerged the native lands of Bukidnon and only the tip of the mountain, the size of a "tanglad" (lemon grass), remained visible ("kita" in Visayan). It said to be the fourth highest mountain in the country with the elevation of 9,511 ft. (2,899 meters above sea level). The mountain range of Kitanglad encompasses Malaybalay City and the municipalities of Lantapan, Impasug-ong, Sumilao, and Libona.

The forest of Kitanglad characterized by the presence of mosses, lichens, and epiphyte species. The Mossy forest of this mountain is known which covers trees and forest floor. Some of the treasures of Mt. Kitanglad are the nineteen species of ferns and one fern ally species were observed on the mountain along with 50 species of pteridophytes and 60 species of angiosperms.

Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park was declared a protected area through Republic Act 8978, known as the Mt. Kitanglad Range Protected Area Act of 2000. It is also acknowledged not only as one of the country’s Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) but also an Important Bird Area (IBA) as it is a known nesting place of the majestic and threatened Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi). 

The MKRNP has about a dozen peaks, with the main ones being Mt. Imbayao, Mt. Kaatoan, Mt. Nangkabulos, Mt. Dulang-Dulang and Mt. Kitanglad. Five of its highest peaks (Mts. Kitanglad, Lumuluyaw, Maagnaw, Tuminungan, and Dulang-Dulang) have an average elevation of 2,718.2 meters. 

The park also serves as a natural habitat for several endemic mammals such as the endangered golden crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) and Mindanao moon rat (Podogymnura truei); the vulnerable Philippine brown deer (Cervus mariannus), Philippine tailless roundleaf bat (Coelops hirsutus), Philippine flying lemur (Cynocephalus volans), Philippine pygmy fruit bat (Haplonycteris fischeri), Philippine warty pig (Sus philippinensis) and Mindanao tree shrew (Urogale everetti); and the conservation-dependent Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta).

The 47,270-hectare Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP) in Bukidnon was declared as an ASEAN Heritage Park in October 2009, recognizing its status as one of the last sanctuaries of the country’s natural heritage, providing an educational and inspirational site of high conservation importance.

8. Mt. Dulang-dulang
Mount Dulang-dulang, known for the mountaineering community as "D2." Considered as the chief among the high elevation peaks in the Kitanglad Mountain Range. D2 is located in the nortsituated in Lantapan, Bukidnon, Philippines. With the elevation of 9,639 ft (2,938 metres above sea level) and recognized as the second highest mountain of the Philippines.

The glorious D2 is sacred to the local residents from various people tribes within the mountain. Some of the documented sightings of animals include bats, squirrels, monkeys, Philippine eagle, flying lemurs, and wild boars. Dulang-Dulang is rich in pine trees and grassland, making it one of the most magnificent forests in the country.

Mount Pulag (or Mount Pulog) is the third highest mountain in the Philippines. It is Luzon’s highest peak at 9,587 ft (2,922 meters above sea level). The borders between the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya meet at the mountain's peak.

This heavenly mountain is the natural habitat of the endemic dwarf bamboo, (Yushania niitakayamensis) and the Benguet pine (Pinus insularis) which dominates the areas of Luzon tropical pine forests found on the mountainside. Philippine Deer, Giant Bushy-Tailed Cloud Rat, Long-Haired Fruit Bat and 33 bird species are some of the endangered species of the mountain.

On February 20, 1987, a large part of the mountain was designated as a National Park with Proclamation No. 75. This act aims to preserve the environment around the mountain due to threats from increased development such as conversion to agricultural lands, timber production, hunting, and increased tourism.

As the highest mountain in Luzon, Mount Pulag attracts a lot of mountain climbers. The highlights of the climb include the montane forests and the grassland summit with its "sea of clouds" phenomenon. The mountain is under the management of the Mount Pulag National Park and DENR.

The indigenous people of Benguet like Ibalois, Kalanguya, Kankana-eys, Karao, Ifugaos consider the mountain to be a sacred place.

10. Mt. Kanlaon
Mt. Kanlaon, (Kanla-on or Canlaon), is an active volcano on Negros island. This  stratovolcano covers the two provinces of Negros Occidental and Oriental. Mt. Kanlaon was originally established as Natural Park in August 8, 1934. Considered as the highest mountain in the central Philippines with the elevation of 7,989 ft (2,435 meters above sea level)

The volcano has three hot springs on its slopes: Mambucal Hot Springs on the northwest, Bucalan Hot Spring, Bungol Hot Spring. Its adjacent volcanic edifices are Mt. Silay and Mt. Mandalagan, north of Kanlaon. Canlaon City has jurisdiction on the Negros Oriental side of the mountain. The central part of the mountain is rich in wildlife including bleeding-heart pigeon, Philippine spotted deer and also of several species of orchids.

It is one of the active volcanoes in central Philippines. As an implication of being active volcano, in the 8 days from 23 August to 1 September, 2009 there were 257 volcanic earthquakes records, the usual seismic activity during quiet periods is 0 to 4 quakes in any 24 hour period. As of this year this mountain destination was temporarily closed to mountaineers due to some cracks due to earthquake that damaged some part of Negros Island.

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  1. this is nice! pero halos lahat mahirap akyatin hehhe i just reached 1 out 10 from the list above! It will be great if i can reach 5 more..LOL

  2. good for you.. continue to enjoy the wonderful creations of the LORD. sana more than five pa ang maabot mo.

  3. thnaks for posting this challenging list, i hope that i might finish this list before i die.

  4. finishing this list is one of the dreams of every member of Philippine mountaineering community.

  5. i also just reached 1 mountain which is mt. apo..hehehe

  6. congrats yashane for reaching the highest peak of our country. may you continue to aspire to finish 9 more mountains on the list. GOD bless you!

  7. Hmn, I summitted two (Mt. Apo and Mt. Pulag) ... Long way to go:-(

  8. Ms. LT, let's enjoy every opportunity to fulfill the lists in accordance with His grace.

  9. wow! manta at hamiguitan na lang kulang sa list ko..

    next next next!goarder hands

  10. 2/10 (Mt. Apo and Mt. Pulag), still a lot of mountains to climb..
    Anyways, bata pa ko, kaya ko pa makumpleto yang list na yan.. hehe! ^__^

  11. frederick, kayang kaya yan... tapusin natin ang listahan... GOD bless you

  12. oh i have climbed 5/5.. =) I have summited Luzon Visayas Mindanao or Pulag in Luzon Kanlaon in Visayas & Apo in Mindanao..Ü i also climbed G2 but failed to reach summit due to bad weather condition & we were struck by a lightning at Mayo's Peak.. hehe.. we are planning to climb Mt. Kitanglad D2 & H2 next year.. =)

  13. Sana maka akyat ako sa listahan na yan.. So far dalawa pa na akyat ko dya. Kitanglad at dulang. Sana matapos ko lahat sa lista. Thank you for sharing. ;)

  14. Magkikita din tayo Mt. Halcon and G2!!

  15. 0/10 pa ko sa mga yan. pero sana pulag, mayon, d2, and kitanglad this year

  16. kanlaon pa lang so far... sana matapos ko lahat pataas... number 9 ang susunod i hope :)

  17. Phurba Tashi, Guiting-guiting is a must summit mountain. we hope and pray that you will reach the summit on your next journey.

  18. AdventureAce, don't worry we still have more time and opportunity to finish the list.

  19. Sir, Chad Bacolod, i do believe that you can finish this list.

  20. sir philmon open naba mt halcon??puede na ba siyang akyatin etong holy week??any info sir.

  21. good list. i only have 2 more to go. halcon is still close and hamiguitan is elusive. mts. sicapoo and white peak is included in my own list though i've been to sicapoo and it is my toughest so far next to mantalingajan...

  22. sir, Mt. Halcon is still a closed mountain as of now. We are one of you pray for the immediate re-opening of Halcon for the mountaineers. They must open Halcon.

  23. We also wanting to climb Sicappo and White Peak.

  24. So far, Mount Apo and Mount Pulag palang. Im in my golden age, maybe I need to push my self to set the eight mountains to be in my priority list. Iwasan na ang party climb....

  25. sir Albert the Backpacker, thanks for the desire to finish the list. we do believe that you will check the 10 mountains listed in the near future. enjoy climbing

  26. nice post sir.. I hope po makacrosslink din po kayo ng blog ng asawa ko po www.philippineclimb.com po.. Thanks po Sir! :) More blogs to come! ^^_^^

  27. i am ignorant about these two sir: mantalingajan and hamiguitan. honestly ngayon lang po ko ito narinig. i hope u'l have more write-ups about these mountains. i haven't climbed pulag, mayon and guiting-guiting yet. hopefully next year if knees-willing. you are doing a good work here. more power sir.

  28. Wow, nice list! I'm done with Mt. Apo, Mt. Dulang-Dulang, Mt. Kitanglad and Mt. Kanlaon. 6 more to go to complete the list. Probably, next target is Mt. Pulag. Hehehehe......

  29. Hi po! Gusto ko rin sana maka-akyat kahit isa dyan. Alin po ba ang the best na akyatin para sa beginner? Thank u!

  30. Nice topics & article posted on blog. I like these tips. This is great and important elements in the modern world that mean top ten highest mountain. I have always wanted to know where all the yummy Vegan places were and now i can easily eat out at these place or order in! thanks so much!

  31. Thanks for the comment sir amit mukherjee, we have a lot of Vegan restaurant here in the Philippines. we hope and pray that you could visit our place.

  32. 6/10 po ako...G2 ang pinaka handsdown.

  33. btw, Halcon is open as in present tense.
    dami ng umakyat this summer.

  34. done with four major climbs already: Mt. Apo (highest peak), Mt. Dulang-dulang (2nd), Mt. Kitanglad (4th), Mt. Kalatungan (5th). To complete the top 5, I am planning to climb Mt. Pulag (3rd highest) by this summer. Among the climbs I've had, the K2D (Kitanglad traverse Dulang-dulang) experience was the hardest. But the Mt. Apo adventure amazed me most. By the way, we name our team as The Social Climbers. We're from Cotabato City.
    In South Cotabato, you should try Mt. Parker/Lake Holon. The place is so beautiful especially the lake.

  35. iyong mt. Pamitinan the best malapit sa manila check ninyo dito http://www.odysseyawaits.com/2015/06/Mt-Pamitinan-and-Binacayan-itinerary-travel-guide-rodriguez-rizal.html


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