Mt. Matutum, a true gift from Mother Nature.
Text and Images by Ronald de Jong
Mt. Matutum, a steep, non active, volcano is located
north of the town of General Santos in the province of South
It’s irregular and characteristic shape is formed by volcanic uplift during previous periods of activity. Mt. Matutum has a well-preserved 320-m-wide crater at the volcano's summit, it’s last
eruption was recorded in 1911. At a 2,286 meters rising high above sea level, Mt. Matutum is undoubtedly the provinces most imposing land mark that dominates the entire landscape from General Santos
to Koronadal City.
The name Matutum is derived from the Blaa’n term “Amyak
Maleh”, that means Climb and Plant. The forested slopes of this majestic mountain are covered with huge ferns, trees
and plants that abundantly grow in the wild and are host to diverse animal and plant species, including the national bird,
the Philippine Eagle. One of the tallest, rarest, largest and most powerful birds in the world. There are many creeks with
free, cool and clear flowing water coming from the hillsides. Mt. Matutum is eyed as one of the greenest outdoor destinations in South Cotabato, this place is a perfect hub for promoting ecotourism in a big way. The slopes
and steps of Mt.
Matutum will lure the imagination of many visitors.
This mountain is nominated as a new UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mt. Matutum’s forest is being protected and managed by the Blaa’n,
an indigenous group that inhabits the southern part of South Cotabato.
The prominent Mt. Matutum is one of the favorite climbing destinations in the area and is considered as an outstanding challenge
to mountaineers and nature lovers. Climbers are requested to plant a seedling on the mountain, a great initiative in making
a positive contribution to the preservation of the local ecosystem. The hillside of Mt. Matutum is a stunning place where nature is abundant and unrestrained, a place where one
feels a humble respect for nature and the environment. The top of the volcano is offering a magnificent panoramic view of
Polomolok, Koronadal City and General Santos City.
All of this creates one of the most amazing natural experiences that
people can enjoy.
Mt. Matutum Trappistine Monastery of Landan, Polomolok.
Polomolok is home to two monasteries. One of them is a Trappistine's
monastery located at the foot of Mt.
Matutum, in Landan. Towering on top of a hill this
Trappistine Monastery of Our Lady of Matutum, it offers an amazing view of Mt. Matutum, after which the monastery was named. It is a place of worship and mediation that
breaths an atmosphere of silence, far away from the noise and distractions of daily life. This isolated place is an expression of pure
faith and peace, it is the first of its kind in the Philippines. The red roofed monastery stands majestically in the landscape
and has an impressive architecture. The simple, but beautiful and intimate chapel of the monastery is a centre of devotion
and prayer. The Cistercian Order was first established in the year 1098 in France and during the centuries spread all over
the world, including Asia. The Cistercian nuns are more popularly
named as Trappistines, their daily work consists of praying in perpetual silence, living a life of Solitude and Prayer. These
nuns support themselves by selling religious items, cookies and postcards to their visitors.
Visiting the Trappistine Monastery is a truly impressive and moving
experience, once inside you will encounter a feeling of homecoming, no matter your religion or background. This
monastery is visited by many pilgrims and benefactors coming from every corner of the earth. A perfect place for people seeking
tranquillity, reflection and spiritual refreshment.
Under the shadows of Mt. Matutum, in Polomok lies the world's biggest integrated pineapple plantation, owned and operated by Dole Philippines. Polomolok is also dubbed as “Pineapple
country”, it’s vast and fertile fields are an awesome scenery that is waiting to be discovered. These
lush and green-coloured pineapple fields are stretched across the interior landscape
of the region as far as the eye can see. The gorgeous fields have a fresh, tropical smell of ripe pineapples and kalachuchi
flowers, it gives a breathtaking view that is a constant reminder of the beauty of the region. The delicious pineapples
from Polomolok have a unique sweet and tangy taste, they are consumed locally as fresh fruit and used to produce juice and
slices for exports. The pineapple has become a symbol of welcome and hospitality all around the world and is known
as one of the most versatile food. A visit to Polomolok would not be complete without taking home some freshly harvested “Queen
Mt. Matutum, a volcano that nourished the soil of the province, giving food and life to the
people of South Cotabato, is truly a gift of Mother Nature.