Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tarak Ridge – Partying with Altitude

Tarak Ridge

A ridge is a geological feature that features a chain of mountains or hills that are of a continuous elevated crest for some distance. (

From that, you’ll get the idea that Tarak Ridge is not the summit of Mariveles, however it gets the most attention from mountaineers. Why? It is because the steep location of the ridge offers a spectacular view of Bataan, neighboring islands, Corregidor and Manila Bay.

Camps are usually being set up at the ridge then climbers may go for the optional assault either on El Saco and Tarak peaks. We assaulted El Saco. I think the popular feature of it is the fire tree (I actually don’t know what tree is that) beside the cliff.

The trek can be finished for 3-4 hours and yet we took it for 7 hours! Not just because our team (10 people) was composed of first timers and mountaineers who do not have major climb experience yet, but also because we savor the trail too much and we seem to have all the time in the world.  This was also the climb I promised my friend Alvin Marin for his birthday during our Pangasinan Beach Bummin.

Partying with Altitude

the birthday celebrant - Alvin Marin
Tarak beauties
under the sky. atop the stone
the party goers at the ridge
the complete cast
How to get There

There are several ways to get to Mariveles Bataan. You can take buses from Pasay or Cubao (Genesis / Bataan Transit) or you can take ferry from CCP to Mariveles then jeep to Brgy. Alas-asin (jump-ff). We chose taking the Genesis bus from from Pasay Terminal (near MRT Taft) straight to jump off at Brgy. Alas-Asin, Bataan.

No one from our group ever climbed Tarak yet, however we opted not to avail of a guide since mountaineers said that the trail is clear-cut. True enough, the trail was already established that we had no difficulty determining where to take a curve and when to go straight. And since the mountain is one of the favorites of mountaineers you can always ask assistance from other climbers you’ll sure meet along the trail.

Only after the climb that I realized that there’s a Brgy. Hall at the jump-off where climbers can register for Php40.00 each. From here also, you can ask for an aid of guide to assist you in trekking. I thought the nipa hut we pass through was the area for registration. We just gave Php200.00 as voluntary donation.

Keep in Mind

different trail features
The trail changes from an open, field, forest, dense grasslands, rocky trail and steep trails (from which you can hold on to tree branches and roots for support). Thus bring all necessities.

Also since the wind from South China Sea is celebrating at the ridge of the mountain, thus make sure to bring enough pegs even ropes to support your tent. Despite the feeling of being tormented amidst the whirlwind, the feeling of thrill and excitement is worth an experience.

Papaya River - the 'tadpole' water source
Papaya River is the only water source and it’s an hour away from the ridge. I noticed tadpoles inhabiting the cold river water. If you’re fine drinking from straight from it (like what we did, since I lost the puritab) then maybe you will ‘somehow’ be fine like us. But if not, make sure to bring enough drinking water and/or use the aid of puritab.

Possible Expenses

Bus from Manila to Bataan (Php269.00)
Registration Fee (Php20.00)
Bath Fee (Php20.00)
Registration Fee (Php200.00/10 pax)
Mini Bus from Brgy Alas-Asin to Balanga (Php40.00)
Balanga to Manila (Php220.00)

Important: Last trip from Mariveles to Manila is 6:30PM. We took mini bus from Mariveles to Balanga and another bus from Balanga to Manila because we failed to get to the last trip. Last trip from Balanga to Manila is 9:30PM

check video and photos at 

photo credits to : Kish Rvd


  1. Where did you take a bath? Is there a nearby resort where we can check-in after the climb (also for parking car in case we want to drive to Mariveles)? Thanks.

  2. at the Brgy. Alas Asin's residential area. A lot of household there are offering their washrooms for Php20. As of the parking space, you can also leave your service at the brgy hall or residential parking lot (you can ask around there) for a certain price. The nearest resorts I know around there are Camaya and Villa Imperial.


I may not be able to reply to your comment/s, but rest assured that I am reading each and everyone of them. Thank you for dropping by and taking some time to drop me a note. I do appreciate.

I wish you luck and happiness. Keep on travelling, find your happy place. :)