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Saturday, October 20, 2012


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.

Matutum is a stratovolcano that rises 2,286 meters asl with a base diameter of 25 km.

It has 2 hot springs, called Acmonan and Linan, 5.7 km west-southwest of the volcano. Adjacent volcanic edifices are Landayao, Tampad, and Albulhek, which are all west of the volcano, and Magolo to the north.

There is a well-preserved 320 metre wide crater at the volcano's summit. The crater is breached by three gorges and has a 120 metre deep, densely forested floor.

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 hills 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 mountain 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, the Daguma ranges, and of course, majestic Mt. Apo. 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.


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