Most of us are not familiar with this sleeping volcano. Some would say, they’d rather climb other peaks than wasting their cracks going up the, what is known to be, Mount Matutum. But for those who live and grew up on the municipalities, cities, and provinces surrounding this almost perfect cone, it is as if they’ll be missing half their lives if they won’t be able to climb its highest point.
And who said Mount Matutum is just like that of an effortless mountain to climb? Located within Barangays Kinilis, Landan, Maligo and Palkan of the Municipality of Polomolok, this cone formed by volcanic uplift during its previous periods of activities is such a superb and thrilling mountain for those who are seeking for an outrageous adventure; in time for the summer fun.
With much lesser expenses and an immense physical preparation, I bet you’ll have the satisfaction that a climber feels when reaching the crest. Actually, I only spent less than a grand during our ascent. The summit registration fee is Php 150.00- this is inclusive of the climber’s certificate. A jeepney or coaster rental can be bargained to as low as Php 800.00 good for 14 people (Php 58.00 per head), in a Cannery Park to Registration Site (Glandang/Lembisong, Linan/Akmunan and Kyumang) and vice versa route. A porter/guide fee is required which costs Php 500.00 per 7 people (Php 71.43 per head). If you feel you can’t endure the steepness of the mountain in carrying your stuff while you’re still at the foot, you better let these tireless porters carry them for you. For those coming from the northern part of the country, there are air travels courtesy of the country’s large domestic air transport companies, through General Santos City International Airport. If you prefer traveling through seas or by land, likewise, these are available options.
Mountaineers can choose on three officially promoted trails, namely, the Glandang/Lembisong Trail, Datal Ngesi Trail and the Limos Trail. These paths, although they have different starting points, will meet in one common summit which is the Phase 2. Phase 2 is somewhat the start of a more difficult climb for those coming from Glandang or Lembisong.
My team was brave enough to take the Limos Trail which requires the use of a “4-wheel drive” (hands and feet) from the foot upto Phase 2 then to the peak. At the starting point, Baranggay Kyumang, you will spot a freshwater brook coming from a spring on top of the mountain, the source of the community’s clean water. After having your names listed on the logbook, it will take you about an hour to trek from the hall up to the rest house which is yet the start of the real climb. As the porter would tell us during our climb, it will take about 6 hours to reach the peak when trailing this rarely taken path. That is if you are an experienced climber, but for us amateurs, it took us about 10 hours. Quite a long and tiring climb, but honestly, I enjoyed it, especially, when I used almost all of my body parts to move from one rock to the other, from one root to another and from one elevation to a higher.