Our trek to Mt. Matutum last month was unforgettable. It took us almost 8 hours climbing this natural wonder standing at 2,286 meters above sea level which I am seeing almost everyday from my workplace or even at home. The climb was a dream come true for me. 

But it was not easy climbing  the most notable landmark of South Cotabato, its trail was more challenging compared to that of other mountains that I previously climbed.

Our day started early in the Municipal Hall of Tupi for a quick orientation and where we met our mountain guide. We then rode a habal-habal which brought us to Sitio Glandang in Brgy. Kablon, the jump off point for the Matutum Glandang trail and where the actual trekking begin. Phase 1 of the trail took us about 3-4 hours of enjoyable hiking before reaching the steeper and more difficult Phase 2 trail.
Along the trail I was fascinated by different flora and fauna, the sounds of wild birds, and many other unfamiliar things I encountered. The trees covered with moss was an amazing sight.
The trail became more steeper as we went on and became more difficult as it also rained during our climb.

Mt. Matutum is a protected landscape since 1995. It covers over 15,000 hectares and is considered as one of  the most threatened biodiversity hotspots in the Philippines.  According to studies, big old-growth trees called Dipterocarp are now very rare in the area. Over 90 species of bird, over 220 species of plant, around 20 species of mammal and at least 10 species of reptiles and amphibians can be found in Mt. Matutum. It is also home to at least 10 endangered species including the Philippine Eagle and the Philippine Tarsier.
The coldness of air and strong winds greeted us when we reached the summit of Mt. Matutum past 3 PM. The campsite is sorrounded with trees and you can only see clouds around. The feeling of tiredness and pains of climbing through huge rocks and slippery roots of trees were easily gone. It was a dream fulfilled.
We then pitched our tent and prepared our foods.
The night at the summit of Mt. Matutum was even more challenging. It was cold, really cold because it also rained that night and the wind was strong.
I Love South Cotabato finally conquered Mt. Matutum.
A beautiful scenery of greens then greeted us in the morning, leaves of trees were covered with dew from the night and more clouds and fogs sorrounded the campsite as we were taking our breakfast.

Breakfast at the summit of Mt. Matutum.
After a hearty breakfast and picture taking, we prepared for our descent. 
Team I Love South Cotabato :) at Mt. Matutum
By 4 PM we were already back at Sitio Glandang. 

By the way, I've also met these little creature (blood leech) in Mt. Matutum. It was another awesome experience!

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