The grueling trails of Mt. Mantalingajan may have literally brought me to my knees but its natural beauty and astounding biodiversity blew me away.
Conservation International organized a biodiversity survey of the mountain in 2007 which documented 861 plant species including newly discovered ones, 169 species of vertebrates and 90 bird species. The mountain is also home to flora and fauna that are endemic to Palawan as well as to various endangered species.
Speaking of carnivorous plants, Mt. Mantalingajan also has an abundance of pitcher plants in its upper elevations. We started seeing a few wilted pitchers on our climb to Paray-Paray. The population steadily increased as we gained altitude. By the time we got to the summit, we were surrounded by pitcher plants. There is even one species, the Nepenthes mantalingajanensis, which can only be found in the summit region of the mountain.
Due to bad weather during our climb, we were not able to enjoy panoramic views on the summit or even on the numerous peaks we passed by. Good thing we still got to see these.