It is a long hiatus for me in the mountains before this hike in Tarak Ridge. I spent traveling mostly on the beach because I got vertigo. From the time of diagnosis, I was really heartbroken because I need to stop hiking for a while. The thing about this illness is that it occurs suddenly without any warning, and that makes it really dangerous if I am in the mountain since it will largely likely for me to get into an accident. Symptoms ceased to come for a few months already but another challenge is that I am not ready to hike yet, most likely because I am doubting myself if I still can hike and run the trails as I did before.
With all these mental battles that are going on my head, I summoned my courage to hike Tarak Ridge in Mariveles, Bataan. It felt so exciting, it is almost euphoric, that it feels like coming back home; coming back to my first love, the mountains and ridges, the sea of greens and the breeze of freshly released oxygen.
Tarak Ridge is a wordplay of two Tagalog words namely; Tarik and Tabak which means “high” and “Machete” respectively the latter connoting the sharpness of the blade that resembles the ridge.
Hiking Mt. Mariveles
The day started young even before the sun peeked at the horizon. Our group departed from Manila at around 2:00 am and reached Alas-asin, Mariveles at sunrise. We headed immediately to the Barangay Hall and had ourselves registered for our hike after which we then eat our breakfast and prepared for the hike.
The vast fields of grass only show the distance that we need to cover to reach our destination. That mountain over there is really not an easy task but definitely manageable.
After we reached Lola Sayong’s House we got ourselves registered one more time and we headed now to the trail that leads to the mountain. The trail starts wide and slowly getting narrower and by the time that you reach the dense part of the vegetation the trail will compel everyone to keep a single file.
This is the reason I love Mt. Mariveles so much! I was immediately got hooked by this river. The water is clean enough to drink and it is so cool that taking a quick dip easily relaxes someone that took the grueling hike. I was tempted to swim after ascending and descending from the ridge.
Mt. Mariveles has water sources that are coming from streams, rivers and water springs. I do have a sensitive stomach but I did not feel any discomfort after consuming the water from the trail.
The hike took 6 hours to reach the ridge. It is windy and cloud does touch the surrounding landscape. For several months this is the feeling that I am longing for, to be on the mountain basking on the luscious greens, a horizon that extends further than what I can see in the city. It was a really good climb but what is more satisfying is that I can say to myself that I am back, back in the trail, back to my first love. After a short nap among the trees, we headed back using the same path and we arrived at where we started at around 6:30 pm.