Tupi, South Cotabato
Major jump-off: Sito Glandang, Brgy. Kablon, Tupi
LLA: 6°22'N, 125°06.5'E, 2293 MASL Days required / hours to summit: 1-2 days / 4-6 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 5/9, Trail class 3
Beautifully rising in Tupi, South Cotabato, a town famous for its pineapple plantations, is Mt. Matutum. Its characteristic irregular but imposing cone shape dominates the landscape from General Santos to Koronadal City. It is so grand in its rise that it literally beckons climbers passing by the road from GenSan to Koronadal to climb it. Rising to 2293 MASL, it is considered a active volcano.
Realizing the need to protect the mountain, local officials have made it an ecotourism spot, regulating hiking activity. An interesting feature is the requirement for each climber to plant a seedling in a designated area in the mountain (a good idea!). The motto is "Amyak Maleh Matutum!": Climb and plant Matutum!
Commencing at Brgy. Kablon, the first leg is an open trail passing by rolling hillds surrounded with fields and plantations. An hour away is the first camp, which is also the entrance to the forest. There is a water source here. From this camp to the summit is 3-4 hours of trekking through a dense montane forest, full of vines, mosses, and the usual flora. This forest is host to diverse plant and animal species including the Philippine Eagle. In all, there are 110 plant species and 57 animal species.
At the summit, a 360-degree view is at hand, offering splendid views of General Santos City, Koronadal, and Polomolok, as well as Mt. Parker (NW), the Daguma ranges, and of course, majestic Mt. Apo (NE). A metal railing fences the viewdeck, and a marker bearing the history of the mountain as an ecotourist destination can be found. The summit is a suitable place for camping -- it is the highest point in South Cotabato.
0500 Take bus / transport to Tupi, South Cotabato
0900 ETA Kablon Crossing, Tupi. Take vehicle to Sitio Glandang
0930 ETA jump-off; register at Tourist Guard House / DENR
1100 Start trek
1200 Lunch at Camp 1
1300 Resume trek
1700 ETA summit of Mt. Matutum
1800 Dinner / socials
0600 Breakfast / sunrise views
0700 Break camp
0800 Start descent
1200 Back at jump-off; return to highway
1300 Take bus back to Davao / GenSan / Koronadal
The municipality of Tupi requests climbers to secure permission beforehand / coordinate with the Tourism office before climbing. a P150 climb fee is collected together with a P10 fee for seedlings. Guides may be secured at the tourism office, as well as porters.
Safety, a major concern especially among hikers from Luzon and foreigners, is generally assured in Mt. Matutum. Rain protection, insect repellants, are advised. 3 L of water would suffice for each climber from water source at Camp 1 until Day 2.
It is possible to dayhike Mt. Matutum, especially if you're coming from Koronadal or GenSan. It is comparable to Mt. Makiling (starting from the UPLB College of Forestry) in difficulty.
It is theorized that Matutum may have exploded on March 7, 1911, and is classified as one of the 22 active volcanos in the country.
This article is a work in progress: PinoyMountaineer is still making inquiries on contact numbers.
Sunday, January 6, 2008