Mount Halcon, Puerto Galera

4.6
#6 of 9 in Nature in Puerto Galera
EXPLORING MT. HALCON VIA TATLONG LIGAW TRAIL (3LT)

Brief history of the trail

Tatlong Ligaw Trail (3LT) is a new access route to the summit of Mt. Halcon. However, it is not an entirely new trail; a good length of it consists of old trails frequented by hunters, rattan gatherers, and other forest users, mostly native Mangyans (Alangan and Iraya), as they explore the forest for resources they collect for their subsistence. In fact, the lower part of the trail, up to about 900 m elevation, tree cutters and timber poachers were active at the time of our survey. What is entirely new about this trail is the section that links it to Aplaya, the traditional base camp of mountaineers, and common rest area of the Mangyans. It was the difficulty of connecting and reconnecting these criscrossing trails that the trail is named after; the team of wildlife researchers and their Mangyan guides was mislaid thrice (thus, tatlong ligaw; literally, thrice lost) in establishing a passable connection to Aplaya. The trail name was chosen to capture both the excitement and hardship of the trail construction, and in honor of the team that made it possible.

The jump off is at barangay Bayanan, where competent guides and porters are available to provide their services. They are the only ones familiar with the ins and outs of this trail, as well as the wildlife found along the way.

Features of the 3LT

Tatlong Ligaw trail is an ideal route to the summit of Mt. Halcon. An important feature of 3LT is convenience. It was established away from the many river tributaries that during the rainy season render these trails impassable and a not so minor inconvenience even during the dry season. 3LT is incomparable in offering hikers an unparalleled experience of the habitat diversity of Mt. Halcon. This trail traverses an almost complete representation of available forest habitats of Mt. Halcon, including lowland dipterocarp forest, forest over limestone, ultramafic forest, lower montane forest, mossy forest, and sub-alpine vegetation. Additionally, karst landscape and associated caves are found within the forest over limestone.

A remarkable abundance and diversity of wildlife, both flora and fauna, can be observed along the trail. The three sub-camps along 3LT were named after the most common wildlife at each, in fact. Adasan camp, located within forest over limestone at ca. 700 m, was named after the Iraya Mangyan word for bats (adas) because of the caves around the camp that the bats use as roost. Pangrot camp in mossy forest at ca. 1650 m was named after the Iraya Mangyan word for a species of Mindoro endemic frog (Leptobrachium mangyanorum) that frequent this camp. At ca. 2100 m, in transitional montane-mossy forest, we called the camp Karaoyan, from the Iraya Mangyan word for a species of an endemic forest mouse (currently undescribed Apomys) that was abundant at the site. Mt. Halcon is well known for its rich plant diversity, and the trail provides the observant hiker the experience of a lifetime. Orchids, medinillas, and pitcher plants are practically everywhere. Mt. Halcon is one of only three mountains in the Philippines known for the presence of native iris, and the only place in the Philippines where Matonia fern grows. Two species of the carnivorous sundews are also found on the mountain. Don’t miss these wildlife gems along the 3LT.

Proposed itinerary:

A. Departure from Bayanan in the morning no later than 8 am:

Day 1 – start hike to & overnight at Aplaya, with lunch at Pangrot camp

Day 2 - hike to & overnight at Karaoyan camp, dinner at Karaoyan

Day 3 - hike to summit pre-dawn or later; hike back to Bayanan.

Note: If the group plans to be back in Bayanan before night fall of Day 3, they must leave Karaoyan camp by 9 am, with just a quick stop for lunch at Aplaya, and short rest at Pangrot camp. Overnight either in barangay Bayanan or Baco town proper. Alternatively, the group could camp at Adasan and spend the night there; then hike back down to Bayanan early in the morning of Day 4. Or they can take their time at the peak, leave Karaoyan camp after 9 am, have lunch at Aplaya, overnight at Pangrot camp, and on Day 4 – hike back to Bayanan. But see Reminder no. 2.

B. Departure from Bayanan after 8 am but no later than 2 pm.

Day 1 – start hike to and overnight at Adasan camp.

Day 2 - hike to & overnight at Aplaya, with lunch at Pangrot camp

Day 3 - hike to & overnight at Karaoyan camp

Day 4 - hike to summit pre-dawn or later; hike back to Bayanan.

Note: If the group plans to be back in Bayanan before night fall of Day 4, they must leave Karaoyan camp by 9 am, with just a quick stop for lunch at Aplaya, and short rest at Pangrot camp. Overnight either in barangay Bayanan or Baco town proper. Alternatively, the group could camp at Adasan and spend the night there; then hike back down to Bayanan early in the morning of Day 5. Or they can take their time at the peak during Day 4, leave Karaoyan camp after 9 am, have lunch at Aplaya, overnight at Pangrot camp, and on Day 5 – hike back to Bayanan. But see Reminder no. 2

Reminders:

1. Register at the tourism office of Baco municipality, located at the municipal hall, and at the barangay office of Bayanan.

2. No departure later than 2 pm from either Bayanan (unless overnighting at Adasan camp), or Karaoyan camp (unless overnighting at Aplaya or Pangrot camp).

3. Strictly walk on designated trails: no off-trail hiking, viewing, or photography at the summit.

4. Strictly observe wildlife laws (no collection of plant and animals).

5. Garbage in, garbage out.

For further inquiries regarding access to this new trail to Mt.

Halcon, please contact the Tourism Office of Baco Municipality, c/o Jojo: +63 (919) 8821442, or the guides and porters association of Bayanan,

Baco, c/o Ephraim Dalaghan: smart - 63(918)2958663, globe 63(915)8613598.
By using our Puerto Galera trip planner , you can arrange your visit to Mount Halcon and other attractions in Puerto Galera.
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Mount Halcon Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
9 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • Super beautiful, but if I were to do it again I would choose to do it in January as it was incredibly hot in High summer which is April-may then it can be a poor ride even if you are up in the heights, but beautifully it was... And one of the great experiences of the Philippines so far... And I highly recommend this trip.
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  • Spend 3 days going to the summit of Mt. Halcon and the climb was more than worth it upon reaching the summit. The pleasure was great. Hopefuly next summer my schedule will permit to go back here.  more »
Google
  • Majestic Mt. Halcon where it was told that the guardian of the said mountain only allows certain people to reach the top and is prevented to cross the Dulangan River. Achieved a good weather, a sea of clouds, and a new set of friends and hiking experience. April 26-29, 2018
  • i was able to climb mt. halcon for the second time. we were not given a good weather but we went home with lots of new experience. i will definitely be back! i love mt. halcon!
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