P1000617Most climbers view hiking as an interaction between man and nature. In Mt. Iglit, this interaction is added with extra dimensions for it is also home to the Mangyan tribesfolk, and the habitat of the endangered tamaraw. Indeed, aside from the summit assault which is quite challenging, a chance to encounter our ethnic brothers, free from the dilution of modern culture, is a unique experience. They, after all, are the real mountaineers – they live with the mountain and understand it more than we do. Until 2007, they continue to wear their traditional ‘bahag’ (loincloth) costume, although some have added a modern touch to it – wearing briefs instead.
Then, there is a chance to see tamaraw in the wild. These beasts, like their carabao cousins, love to roam on grasslands; but hunting and habitat destruction have pushed them up to the mountains. Sadly, the chance to see them is getting slimmer and slimmer as their numbers dwindle. As of the last count, which the author of this itinerary witnessed, only 500 tamaraw remain in the wild. They can be best viewed in Mt. Magawang, which is part of Iglit. DENR officials in Mindoro call on mountaineers to help save the tamaraw by publicizing this advocacy.


Source: http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/

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