Monday, February 19, 2024

Mt. Binaratan in Dakaran, Tanudan, Kalinga

Mt. Binaratan is a mountain that straddles the border of the provinces of Kalinga and Mt. Province. To climb the mountain, you can either start from Dakaran (Dacalan), Tanudan, Kalinga or from Maducayan, Natonin, Mt. Province. I hiked the mountain from the Kalinga side. It's not an easy hike because of the steep trail going up but it's a short one. Starting from the village of Dakaran, we made it to the summit in under three hours. I think it can be done in under two hours if you keep up a fast pace. We weren't carrying heavy backpacks. Just water and trail food. Our companions who were carrying packs (because they were planning to camp overnight at the mountain) made it to the top in 3.5 or more hours.

The trail to the summit basically winds through dense jungle. Locals told us that wild boar, deer, and monkeys still live on and around the mountain. I believe them. When we got to the top, I looked around and there's dense slopes everywhere. It's easy to imagine that within these thickly-forested slopes still live wild animals like deer and wild boar.

Is It Camping-Friendly?

Yes. About a half-kilometer below the summit, there's a two-story building which basically serves as a shelter. It's a house that can accommodate 40 to 50 people. Tents can also be pitched on the grounds outside the shelter. For people climbing Mt. Binaratan via Kalinga, I would recommend this shelter if you plan on camping overnight on the mountain. The spot also offers a great view of Tanudan. If you are coming from the Natonin side, I heard that there's a campsite near the summit where hikers can pitch tents. I haven't seen the campsite though since we immediately climbed down the mountain once we reached the summit.

How to get to Dakaran, Tanudan

This info is based on how we got there during the Lumin-awa Trek. I don't know if there are other ways or routes on how to get there. Basically, you need a vehicle to ferry you and your camping/hiking gear from Tabuk City to the village of Lubo. The drive to Lubo can take between 2.5 to 3.5 hours. From Lubo, you need to hike to Dakaran. This would be another 2 to 3 hours. As to accommodation, you need to get in touch with the locals. The Kalingas are very hospitable. Finding a place to rest and sleep shouldn't be a problem. If you are in need of a guide to climb Mt. Binaratan, again, just speak to the locals. They'd be more than willing to help.

Photo Credit: James Tellias