Location: Mariveles, Bataan|
Jump-off point: Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles
Coordinates: 14°30.357′N, 120°30′E
Elevation (Ridge): 1,006 MASL (3,300 feet)
Elevation (Peak): 1,130 MASL (3,707 feet)
Days required/Hours to summit: 1 day / 5-6 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 3
Descriptive Summary: Its craggy landscape, sharp rocks, and steep location may have given rise to its name “Tarak” which was coined by the locals from two words: “Tabak” which means “hunting knife” in English and “Tarik” which means “steep”. Rich dramatic hues of sunset can be viewed at its best from the ridge. Whether you are on the ridge or at the summit, you will have a 270-degree view of sprawling hills and plains as well as its coastline and that is to include Corregidor Island and its neighboring islands and islets and the majestic Manila Bay for the farthest point of Cavite..
View Tarak Peak in a larger map
Mount Tarak is an ideal mountain for workout in preparation for major climbs. Partly, its trail and terrain is the similar to that of Mount Kanlaon and a few others. To really enjoy the climb, it is best to have it overnight. However, on my part, I was taking it as a workout.
From the jump-off point, the trail is a dusty road where vehicles can pass and gradually trees are increasing in number and gradual elevation is evident that is why it is still manageable to trek. Occasional long cardiac assaults will then be experienced one hour before approaching the Papaya River with deep gullies (ravines) which as far as I can recall totals to five though it is a consolation that the trail is becoming too shady because of thick concentration of trees along the trail. At the most, for an average-paced climber, it will take more than three to trek from the jump-off point to Papaya River.
Papaya River, which I am wondering why it was called such despite of the non-presence of papaya plant around. This is point here is the only known water source to climbers though a few guides revealed that there are some minor water sources available though not accessible near the usual trails. Water here is so fresh it is safe to drink. From this point to the ridge is challenging since you must have longer strides and more cardiac assaults are evident, jumping over the roots or holding on to branches for support. Emerging to the ridge is a rewarding sight as it is an open clearing grown with cogon. The campsite at the ridge is protected with thick bonsai trees. However, you are advised to bring with you extra pegs as gusts of wind from the South China Sea at night will still uncontrollably be penetrating to the hidden camp site on the ridge.
It is advisable for first-time climbers to hire a guide since the trails can be misleading. In my second time here, I was lost together with a friend. We were leading to a pineapple plantation and there was nobody there where we can ask for assistance.
ACTUAL CLOCKED TIME OF ACTIVITIES
04:30 Board Bataan Transit on its Doroteo Jose Terminal to Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles
08:30 Brgy. Alas-asin; register at the barangay hall
09:40 Start trek
12:30 Papaya River, take a break for lunch
13:00 Resume trek
15:00 Tarak Ridge, take pictures for 15 minutes
15:15 Summit assault
16:00 Summit just for picture taking
16:30 Back to the ridge and without rest descend
17:00 Papaya River (without taking rest)
19:30 Back to the jump-off Point
20:00 Dinner in Brgy Alas-asin
20:30 Left Brgy. Alas-asin boarding a mini-bus for Balanga
21:50 Balanga, Bataan
12:00 Left Balanga boarding Genesis airconditioned bus
02:20 Arrived Boni MRT Station
|Bus Fare (Bataan Transit Airconditioned Bus from Doroteo Jose, Sta. Cruz to Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles)|
|Breakfast in Brgy. Alas-asin (Eatery)|
|Registration fee (Barangay Alas-asin Hall)|
|Dinner in Brgy. Alas-asin (Eatery)|
|Minibus Fare from Brgy. Alas-asin to Balanga, Bataan|
|Bus Fare (Genesis Airconditioned Bus from Balanga to Boni MRT Station)|