Tarak – Pantingan Reverse Traverse

Tarak -Pantingan Reverse Traverse Dayhike part 2
The Descent
Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles to Sitio Gabon, Brgy. Saysayin, Bagac
Dayhike: 13hrs
Climb Date: April 23, 2016

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I would like to reiterate that the trail of Tarak – Pantingan Reverse Traverse is the same if not more difficult than that of Mt. Guiting Guiting. The first part of this article can be found here Tarak – Pantingan Reverse Traverse.

This is the continuation of our Reverse Traverse Dayhike and at the previous article I wrote the hardship we’ve been through from Tarak Peak to El Saco peak or the Cowboy Trail descending to the crater with the magnificent view of the caldera along the way and our rest stop at the Bakwat River. We have ascended the 80 degrees assault from Bakwat River to Garuchas Peak where we got very exhausted.

My body begun to feel the toil of the trail and as if all my energies were drained in an instant. I have given in to the call of my body to take a rest at one of the viewpoint before we reach the Mag-asawang bato. The photo below shows where I have taken a nap while my buddy poses for a good remembrance before my less than 15 minute nap time. She’s strong in fact she insisted on carrying the backpack going down while I regain my strength. I think the assault plus the heavy pack made me very exhausted plus the short 2 hour sleep during bus ride.

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The good 15 minute nap helps me get back my strength and continue on going down. I admit that my weakness lies in not having a few good minutes of rest but once I regain my strength I can continue on with the hike. Buddy was different she’s very strong and she rarely take a good minutes of rest just a couple of take five will do but in an open trail she usually breaks down, she can’t take too much heat while me on the other hand is more accustomed to heat. We have observe this when we got to the Marlboro grassland (more of this later).

I would say I’m very proud of her coz she’s very good in this. She can endure the long walk, the hard assault and the steep descent, she manage to do all that without hesitation. For me she’s a nonpareil.

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(The photo above was taken using my Xperia fone)

The trail going down is at the top of the ridge so most part has a viewpoint where you can have a look at the peaks nearby. There are also presence of wild animals as there are feces found along the trail. I’m still regaining my strength but we are not stopping because we have decided that this is a challenge to our limitations and we must continue as long as we can.

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The ridge has a lot of good trees surrounding the trail in fact the forest is still very dense. Sadly, once you get past the first campsite you will observe that logging is very present at the area. I have taken some photos to show cut down trees and what remains of it.

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We highly condemn logging as a serious offense to our mother nature and this kind of atrocities must be stop. We hope that this coming 2016 election more officials will turn their heads into this issues, especially giving priority to the marginalized sector who find their way to the forest to cut down trees just to provide their family with decent food and shelter.

Past the logging area you will notice that trees are getting thinner and getting smaller an you will arrive at the fork after the logging area.

At around 1:40pm we have reached the fork where according to some website (where they’ve done Pantingan Tarak) the trail to the right  if your facing Pantingan leads to the water source while the left where we came from leads to the summit. There’s a rest stop at the fork so we decided to have another take five before proceeding to Danny’s Gate.  We exchange backpack again as I have regained my strength. After another 5 minutes walk we found ourselves at the place dubbed as Danny’s Gate though there’s really no gate at all. Past Danny’s Gate is the Marlboro grassland and at this time of the day the sun is still at its peak and the heat is formidable but we continued to descend anyway.

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The 10 minute walk at the open trail is very exhausting for buddy, though there’s a chance of cloud covering the sun from time to time it is not enough so we stopped at the nearest forested area to have a rest. We ate the remaining biscocho and some energy bar while we waited for the clouds to cover the sun.

Finally, after minutes of waiting the clouds are still not moving so we decided to move forward because we want to avoid trekking after the sunset. We move faster in order to make for the lost time but the heat is still strong that’s why we stopped again at one of the tree in the middle of the grassland. Few minutes past we started walking fast to the point of running because the sun was covered by the clouds and we wanted to be out of the grassland. Buddy started to make face because the heat is not her thing. She fall behind but I kept on teasing her so that she would keep light of the situation. I know she’s exhausted and she wants to get this over with but I can’t promise her anything because we both know that we’ve never been here.

There’s no more taking photos while we descend fast to the river. Once we are at the river we thought of staying a bit and taking a quick bath but my instinct told me that we might still be far from the jump off so we push ourselves more. As we walked through the forest I saw her again making faces signaling her weariness so I told her that according to our map we might be near the village.

The trail is already flat and was littered with a lot of non timber forest with a few acacia trees and native trees around. After another hour of walking we finally saw a wide rough road and then voila we saw a tricycle with a driver waiting for someone. We are glad to see another human after this grueling trek. We immediately asked him if we are near the highway. He says Yes and were very glad to hear it. It was past 3pm when we reached the Aeta village (3;12pm to be exact) and saw a small store offering a halo-halo manage by an Aeta. We stopped there and had a very refreshing halo-halo. We ordered 3 halo-halo to satisfy our craving. While we eat with gusto we asked the store owner if there’s a tricycle we can hire from there place to La Salle Bagac. He says there is and he called someone to talk to us.

This is how we ended our Tarak Pantingan Reverse Traverse dayhike. Overall the hike is very grueling and exhausting especially the Marlboro grassland part where the sun made us succumb. We started very early, we finished after 13 hrs of long and arduous trek but it was definitely worth it. The experience is rather very memorable so to those who wants to do the same I suggest that you prepare physically and mentally.

Tarak Pantingan Reverse Traverse dayhike Itinerary

  • 0100 Arrival at Alas-asin, Mariveles
  • 0200 Start Trek
  • 0430 Arrival at Papaya River
  • 0520 Arrival Ridge Campsite
  • 0610 Tarak Summit
  • 1020 Bakwat River/Brunch
  • 1200 Mag Asawang Bato
  • 1340 Fork near watersource
  • 1350 Arrival Grassland
  • 1420 Arrival River
  • 1512 Arrival Aeta Village, Bagac, Bataan

Our adventure didn’t stop there because after the halo-halo we went to La Salle Bagac where I spend my summer of 2008 teaching the kids of La Salle as a volunteer and made a connections with the family nearby and I used to visit the place at least once a year because it was located near the beach. The tricycle brought us to the school and we immediately went to Ate Sophie’s house to  put our things and wash up. Ate Sophie is the caretaker and the cook for La Salle brothers , she always welcome me together with her kids whenever I visit their place. Thanks to them for making me part of their family.

We take a dip at the beach by nightfall and immediately washed up to prepare dinner. After dinner instead of staying at Ate Sophie’s house we insisted on putting our hammock near the beach to enjoy the sea breeze. We immediately fall to sleep

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This photo was taken on the second day.

The beach cove near La Salle Bagac has been gaining popularity among the locals since 2010. During my 2008 Summer Tutorial Program here there’s no resort nearby but to date there are numerous resort along the area.

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During that time, this place is one of those remote places you want to visit with only fishing villagers along the coast. But now, I cannot recommend the place because some land owners cannot regulate the proper disposal of trash in the area thus resulting to lots of trashes along the coast.

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We were invited inside La Salle by Ate Sophie to meet the brothers and at the same time meet with Kuya one of Benide’s driver I’ve known for quite a while. Some basketball and volleyball athlete had just finished a 3 day tutorial for the kids yesterday and they are leaving for Manila today so Kuya Jun invited us to join them instead of us commuting back to Manila. What a treat!!! 😀  

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DSC_0749Here’s our ride home with Kuya Jun. 


For those mountaineer who wants to do a Tarak Pantingan Reverse Traverse Dayhike I hope this would help. If you are happy with this post kindly like our page Lakwatserong Sulit. You may also check that same page to know our upcoming adventure schedule and feel free to subscribe if you want to join us. Thank you!!!

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