Information about Mt. Matarem
Mount Matarem is located at the southern end of Mount Iraya, an active volcano on
Batan Island. As an adjacent volcanic edifice of the heavily forested volcano, it is bound by three Ivatan towns: Mahatao, Uyugan and Ivana. The word matatarem means steep, which aptly describes both the weather-beaten trails and the craggy contours of this natural attraction.
You may climb the mountain by foot by following several trails, the most established one of which starts at Brgy. San Vicente, Ivana. It takes about two hours or so to reach the top of the mountain summit, so make sure you have adequate provisions on your way up. The trail leading up to the peak starts off with a pasture area that leads up to wide pathways. There are evergreen trees and other tall plants, fruit bearing trees, colorful birds, and flowers all around the trail. As you make your way to the top, you will have to cross some steep and slippery areas as well so be sure to wear shoes with a good grip. It’s all worth it once you reach the peak, where you’ll find unmatched views of both sides of Batan, Sabtang, Itbayat, and other areas; some say on cloudless days you might even catch a glimpse of Taiwan on the horizon!
Aside from the view at the top, Mt. Matarem is also popular for the "Blow Ur Horn" signage. This signage stands along the cement road leading to the mountain to remind drivers to blow their horns before passing to avoid any collisions with oncoming traffic. It has also become the unofficial pit stop of sorts, the perfect site for taking breathtaking views of the majestic surroundings. Social media is rife with wacky photos of tourists pretending to move the rocky hillsides with their bare hands.
Best time to visit
Like the rest of Batanes, it is best to head to the mountain during the summer months of March to May when there are fewer chances of heavy rainfall.