At, 2,286 meters above sea level, it is the highest peak in South Cotabato region. Although classified as an active volcano, it showed no volcanic activity since March of 1911, thus is seismically quiet. Located at its foot is the sprawling Dole Pineapple Plantations. It’s 16,000 hectares of forest is a subject of a wildlife conservation project by UNESCO. Of these cover, only 3,000 hectares are primary forest home to some endemic birds and animal species. The Philippine eagle is its latest tenant, as experimental release of eagles in captivity was undertaken by the Philippine Eagle Foundation recently.
So what are my goals for this climb?
- Get to the peak and down alive and happy!
- Bond with my mountaineering friends. (There are new ones I heard)
- See as many birds and plant species as I can.(Reading about birds now)
- Take many landscape pictures as possible. (have to hone my photography skills)
- Relax from the stress of two week long work intoxication (remember the blast?)
- Get away from nuisance calls and pesky individuals.( Including bird calls)
Who are my companions? Fellow mountaineers Joanne and friends will come all the way from Bukidnon, another one from Digos and still another from Davao City. There are five of us from Tacurong City, another group will come from BAGTAC.
Let’s climb Matutum. It’s smiling on me!