Mount Arayat, Pampanga
Towering at 1,026 meters above sea level is Mount Arayat, an extinct stratovolcano and the only mountain in Pampanga. Dubbed as the roof of the province, it proudly stands in the middle of a flat land bordered by the towns of Magalang and Arayat.
According to local folklore, Mount Arayat is home to the mystical fairy Mariang Sinukuan, sister of Mariang Makiling of Laguna. But for adventurers, it is a playground! An ideal day hike for mountaineers based in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.
There are two trails leading to its two peaks in the caldera. The usual traverse itinerary is via Magalang to 984-meter South Peak, also known as Pinnacle Peak. From there, you can traverse along the caldera’s rim to the 1026-meter North Peak, then going down via Arayat’s San Juan Baño trail.
Here’s a snap from the pedestal of the South Peak, overlooking Arayat in Pampanga and Cabiao in Nueva Ecija, the province of Bulacan and the great mountain range of Sierra Madre from afar.