South Cotabato joins PHL’s bid to set world record in mountain climbing

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/30 May)—Three mountain peaks in South Cotabato are joining an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the most number of people converging at different mountain peaks on the same day, an official said on Monday.

Cesar Sulit, Jr., provincial tourism office chief, said Mt. Matutum and Tampad Peak, both in Tupi town, and Lake Holon in T’boli town would be simultaneously scaled by mountaineers on June 12 as part also of the celebration of the 113th anniversary of Independence Day.

“Together with other areas in the country, there will be simultaneous climbing of peaks to break the Guinness record. This is also touted as the ‘freedom climb’ where we will hoist the Philippine flag and sing the national anthem at the top of the mountain,” he said.

The Alliance of Filipino Mountaineers, Inc., the event organizer, has identified 110 mountains that will be scaled during the record-breaking attempt, which should be done within a 24-hour period.

The United Kingdom and Ireland reportedly are the record holders with 600 people simultaneously climbing some 112 mountains on September 10, 2000.

Sulit said the organizers are expecting 10,000 people to simultaneously climb designated peaks across the country to break the record.

In South Cotabato, he added, they are expecting 200 people to scale Tampad Peak where three hectares may be planted with various tree species.

Tampad, which is located within the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape, towers 1,145 meters above sea level (masl). Mt. Matutum’s summit is 2,286 masl while Lake Holon is also over 1,000 masl.

Only mountains over 1,000 masl were selected to join the climb which seeks to set a new world record, Sulit said.

He said the climb would also be part of the national government’s national greening program to rehabilitate the mountains.

Likewise, the climb is in line with stakeholders’ plan to establish a “biodiversity corridor” around the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape, he added.

Participants would plant around 200 indigenous trees during the climb and formally launch Tampad peak as a freedom park and the center of the biodiversity corridor, a report from the Tupi local government said.

The planned biodiversity corridor stretches from Susong Dalaga peak in Tampakan town to Landayao peak in Cebuano, Tampad peak in Linan, Kapok in Acmonan and Glandang in Kablon all of Tupi, South Cotabato. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)