The Majestic Mt. Matutum: A Detailed Overview


What is Mt. Matutum?

Mt. Matutum is a landmark that embodies the breathtaking natural beauty of the Philippines. As an iconic part of the landscape in Mindanao, this mountain stands tall and splendid, captivating locals and visitors alike. Situated in the province of South Cotabato, it is specifically located in the municipality of Polomolok, a region famed for its agricultural productivity.

Standing at an impressive 2,286 meters above sea level, Mt. Matutum is classified as a potentially active stratovolcano. ‘Matutum’ is derived from a local Blaan term, which translates to ‘minimally altered.’ The word aptly reflects the untouched natural grandeur of this mountain.

Mt. Matutum is perhaps most distinguished by its unique, almost symmetrically conical shape. The dense forest cover blanketing the mountain and its distinctive peak render Mt. Matutum a scenic spectacle.

Given its ecological significance, Mt. Matutum has been declared a protected landscape. This protection has facilitated the preservation of its rich biodiversity. Among flora and fauna, the mountain hosts the Philippine Eagle, the country’s national bird, and a range of endemic species.

Aside from its ecological importance, Mt. Matutum is culturally significant for the local community. The mountain is deemed sacred by the Blaan people, the area’s indigenous inhabitants, and it is often the centerpiece of local myths and legends.

Another notable aspect of Mt. Matutum is its crucial role in local coffee production. The fertile volcanic soil of the region provides ideal conditions for coffee cultivation. As such, the mountain area is punctuated with lush coffee plantations, producing high-quality beans that are sought after nationwide.

The foot of Mt. Matutum is home to various settlements and commercial establishments. Notably, the mountain’s location within the Polomolok municipality contributes significantly to the region’s economic vitality, particularly in agriculture and tourism.

Historically, Mt. Matutum’s last recorded volcanic activity was in 1911. While its volcanic status is presently categorized as potentially active, the mountain remains a hub for eco-tourism. Hiking enthusiasts, particularly, are drawn to the hill for the remarkable trek leading up to the summit.

Whether for its aesthetic charm, ecological significance, cultural relevance, or economic impact, Mt. Matutum is undeniably an integral part of the Philippines’ rich natural heritage. This magnificent mountain continues to inspire and enrich those who experience its splendor.

For anyone visiting the Philippines, especially the province of South Cotabato, a trip to Mt. Matutum is a rewarding journey. The breathtaking vistas, the thriving biodiversity, and the rich cultural heritage of the mountain make it a must-see destination.

Where is Mt. Matutum located?

Being a prominent geographical landmark in the southern Philippines, Mt. Matutum is situated in the province of South Cotabato on the island of Mindanao. The mountain is specifically located within the boundaries of the municipality of Polomolok, which is part of the South Cotabato province. The position of Mt. Matutum holds significant importance due to its influence on the local ecology, agriculture, and culture.

South Cotabato, home to Mt. Matutum, is a province in the southern region of the Philippines. It’s part of the Soccsksargen region, which comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato.

Polomolok, the municipality hosting Mt. Matutum, is approximately 30 kilometers from General Santos City, one of the key urban centers in the region. The mountain’s proximity to General Santos City significantly attracts local and foreign tourists.

The location of Mt. Matutum, characterized by its volcanic soil, significantly impacts local agriculture. This is especially seen in cultivating high-quality coffee, pineapple, and other crops, contributing substantially to the region’s economy.

The coordinates for Mt. Matutum are approximately 6.37°N latitude and 125.07°E longitude. It’s positioning on the Philippine map adds to its strategic importance for the region’s biodiversity, climate, and cultural heritage.

The immediate area around Mt. Matutum comprises various barangays or local administrative divisions from Polomolok, Tupi, and T’boli municipalities. The mountain’s location within these barangays directly influences the life and livelihood of the local communities.

A key characteristic of Mt. Matutum’s location is its high elevation. With 2,286 meters above sea level, the mountain’s climate ranges from tropical regions to progressively cooler temperatures in the upper elevations. This climatic variation supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna.

Geographically, Mt. Matutum is located near several significant landmarks, such as Sarangani Bay to the south and the fertile plains of Allah Valley to the north. The mountain acts as a watershed for the surrounding lowland areas, contributing to the region’s water supply.

Moreover, the location of Mt. Matutum makes it an integral part of the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape. This protected area covers approximately 14,000 hectares, including the mountain and surrounding environment, and is intended to preserve its unique ecological features.

The strategic location of Mt. Matutum in the heart of South Cotabato in the southern Philippines gives it immense geographical, ecological, and socio-economic significance. Its position influences the region’s biodiversity, local climate, agricultural productivity, and cultural heritage, making it an invaluable asset for the Philippines.

What are the prominent features of Mt. Matutum’s crater?

Standing tall and majestic in the heart of the Philippines, Mt. Matutum has long intrigued geologists, adventurers, and tourists alike. One of its most fascinating features is its volcanic crater. The topography and formation of this crater offer valuable insights into the mountain’s geological history and volcanic activity.

The crater of Mt. Matutum is perched at the summit, a pinnacle of the steep and conical mountain. Over time, the forces of nature have carved out this crater, marking the site of the mountain’s past eruptions. Even though Mt. Matutum has not erupted in more than a century, the hole remains an emblem of its volcanic nature.


The crater presents a harsh contrast to the lush greenery that adorns the rest of the mountain. It is an open, barren space, a stark reminder of the fierce volcanic forces that once spewed from the mountain’s core. This juxtaposition between the verdant slopes and the stark crater adds a unique dimension to the mountain’s aesthetic appeal.

While the crater’s exact dimensions are not readily available, its expansive size is evident to those who embark on the challenging trek to Mt. Matutum’s summit. The crater’s size signifies the magnitude of the volcanic forces that have shaped this mountain.

Despite its barrenness, the crater contributes to Mt. Matutum’s ecological value. It influences the mountain’s microclimate, impacting the distribution of flora and fauna across various altitudes. The crater’s presence also affects the mountain’s water catchment, contributing to the region’s water cycle.

The crater of Mt. Matutum has a compelling appeal for adventurers and nature lovers. While strenuous, the trek to the crater offers rewarding views of the crater and the surrounding landscape. The crater’s vantage point offers unparalleled vistas of South Cotabato and the adjacent provinces.

Notably, the crater’s physical features also provide essential data for studying volcanic activities. Through geological investigations, researchers can glean insights into the patterns of past eruptions, contributing to a broader understanding of the Philippines’ seismic activity.

While the crater itself is barren, its surroundings are home to various endemic species, demonstrating the resilience of nature in the face of geological forces. The harshness of the crater environment juxtaposes with the lush biodiversity found along the crater’s perimeter.

The crater of Mt. Matutum also holds cultural significance for the local Blaan people. Indigenous myths and folklore often allude to the hole, further enriching the mountain’s artistic value. Thus, the crater is not merely a geographical feature but a symbol woven into the region’s cultural tapestry.

The crater of Mt. Matutum is a remarkable feature that underscores the mountain’s volcanic history and influences its ecological, aesthetic, and cultural characteristics. While the hole bears testament to the mountain’s past eruptions, it continues to shape the present and future of Mt. Matutum, making it an integral part of this magnificent landmark.

What does the Mt. Matutum protected landscape comprise?

The Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape is a natural area of immense biological significance, recognized and protected by the Philippine government. This protected region covers approximately 14,000 hectares, including Mt. Matutum and its surrounding environment, providing a haven for many flora and fauna.

At the heart of this protected area is the majestic Mt. Matutum. As a potentially active stratovolcano, the mountain adds a unique dimension to the area’s ecology. The volcanic soils provide a fertile landscape, encouraging rich vegetation and a thriving ecosystem.

The forest cover around Mt. Matutum comprises primarily lush tropical rainforests. These forests are a vital part of the protected landscape, serving as a natural habitat for numerous species. They also play a crucial role in maintaining the region’s water cycle, acting as a significant watershed area.

The Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape is home to various endemic and endangered species. This includes the Philippine Eagle, the country’s national bird classified as critically endangered. The preservation of this species and many others is a significant focus of conservation efforts within this protected region.

Apart from the dense forests, the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape includes multiple river systems and creeks. These water bodies contribute to the region’s biodiversity and support the water needs of surrounding communities and agricultural lands.

The protected landscape also includes agricultural lands on the lower slopes of Mt. Matutum. These lands are primarily used for cultivating crops such as coffee, thanks to the region’s fertile volcanic soil. This landscape’s harmonious balance between nature preservation and sustainable agriculture is noteworthy.

The area encompassed by the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape extends across several barangays (local administrative divisions) within Polomolok, Tupi, and T’boli municipalities. Each barangay contributes its unique socio-cultural aspects to the overall protected landscape.

The Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape is a biological hotspot and a significant cultural zone. It is considered sacred by the Blaan people, the region’s indigenous inhabitants. Various cultural and spiritual activities by the local community form an integral part of this landscape.

Recreation and eco-tourism are other components of the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape. The region attracts tourists and nature enthusiasts who wish to explore the mountain trails, enjoy the breathtaking scenery, and learn about the area’s unique biodiversity and cultural heritage. However, these activities are carefully managed to ensure minimal environmental disturbance.

The Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape perfectly blends natural splendor, rich biodiversity, cultural heritage, and sustainable human activity. The Philippine government’s commitment to protecting and preserving this landscape is pivotal to its continued survival and ecological vitality.

How is Mt. Matutum connected to coffee production?

Mt. Matutum is not only celebrated for its stunning natural beauty and ecological significance but also for its remarkable impact on coffee production. The mountain’s fertile volcanic soils and optimal climatic conditions create an ideal environment for coffee cultivation, making Mt. Matutum an essential part of the coffee landscape in the Philippines.

The volcanic soil around Mt. Matutum is rich in minerals, a critical factor that enhances the growth and quality of coffee beans. Coffee plants thrive in this fertile soil, yielding unique flavors influenced by the soil’s mineral content. These beans form the basis of the region’s high-quality coffee production.

Further, the region experiences a highly suitable climate for coffee cultivation. Consistent rainfall, balanced temperatures, and mountainous elevation all contribute to cultivating distinct coffee beans. This unique terroir results in the production of coffee with rich flavor profiles.

The coffee farms around Mt. Matutum are a significant part of the local economy. Many of these farms are family-owned businesses tending to coffee cultivation for generations. These local farmers contribute to the economy through sustainable farming practices and preserve the area’s biodiversity and natural beauty.


Various coffee species are grown in the region surrounding Mt. Matutum, including Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica, each of which has its distinctive flavor profile. Among these, Arabica coffee is prized for its superior taste and quality.

The coffee farms on the lower slopes of Mt. Matutum form part of the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape. This alliance supports sustainable agricultural practices, ensuring that coffee cultivation harmonizes with preserving the natural environment and protecting local wildlife.

Harvesting the coffee beans is a meticulous process requiring immense skill and care. The coffee beans are typically handpicked by local farmers during the harvest season, ensuring that only the ripest beans are selected. These beans are then processed and dried, ready to be sold locally and exported.

The region’s coffee is celebrated for its exceptional quality, rich flavors, and sustainable farming practices used in its production. Coffee from Mt. Matutum has received national recognition and continues to gain popularity among local and international coffee connoisseurs.

Beyond coffee cultivation, Mt. Matutum’s coffee farms also serve as educational and recreational destinations for tourists. Visitors can explore the coffee farms, learn about the production process, and taste the delicious locally-grown coffee.

What is the importance of Mt. Matutum in Polomolok, South Cotabato?

Mt. Matutum, located in the heart of Polomolok, South Cotabato, plays an integral role in various aspects of the region. From its influence on the local economy and ecology to its cultural significance, Mt. Matutum remains a cornerstone of life in Polomolok and the larger South Cotabato province.

Ecologically, Mt. Matutum is a treasure trove of biodiversity. Its lush forests and diverse landscapes, forming part of the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape, are home to numerous species of flora and fauna, some of which are unique to this region. The mountain’s ecosystem is crucial in maintaining the region’s environmental balance and overall health.

Economically, Mt. Matutum significantly contributes to Polomolok and the broader South Cotabato region. The mountain’s fertile volcanic soils are ideal for agriculture, supporting crops like coffee and pineapples, leading to prosperous local farming communities and a vibrant agricultural sector.

Moreover, Mt. Matutum is a source of livelihood for many in Polomolok. Its forests provide wood and non-timber forest products, while its slopes are cultivated for high-value crops. The mountainside also offers grazing land for livestock, and its rivers and streams serve as freshwater sources for communities and agriculture.

The mountain is also integral to the region’s water system. Mt. Matutum acts as a significant watershed, its forests helping regulate the water cycle and ensuring a steady water supply for the surrounding lowlands. This water is vital for domestic use, irrigation, and power generation.

From a cultural perspective, Mt. Matutum holds deep significance for the local indigenous communities. For the Blaan people, it is considered a sacred place, and the mountain and its surroundings feature prominently in local myths, traditions, and spiritual practices.

Mt. Matutum is also a symbol of regional pride and identity for Polomolok and South Cotabato residents. Its unique silhouette is a well-known sight for locals and tourists and is often depicted in local art and literature.

In terms of recreation and tourism, Mt. Matutum is a significant attraction. Its challenging trails attract mountaineers and nature enthusiasts, while its rich biodiversity makes it a favorite among researchers and wildlife enthusiasts. This influx of tourists contributes to local economies through tourism-related businesses.

The conservation efforts centered around Mt. Matutum have also inspired local communities toward environmental stewardship. Many initiatives, from tree planting to wildlife preservation, are carried out by local groups, creating a culture of sustainability and respect for nature.

The significance of Mt. Matutum in Polomolok, South Cotabato, is multifaceted, impacting the region’s economy, ecology, culture, and lifestyle. It symbolizes the area’s rich natural heritage and is a beacon of sustainable development and conservation in the Philippines.

What is the history of Mt. Matutum?

Rich in natural beauty and steeped in cultural significance, Mt. Matutum carries a fascinating history deeply intertwined with the surrounding communities. Its story is a captivating blend of geological evolution, ecological preservation, cultural traditions, and socio-economic development.

Geologically, Mt. Matutum is a potentially active stratovolcano, a testament to the Philippines’ location within the Pacific Ring of Fire. The formation of this volcano has been a gradual process over thousands of years, resulting from the movement of tectonic plates in the earth’s crust. Over time, successive eruptions have shaped the mountain into the imposing structure it is today.

The mountain’s volcanic past has significantly influenced its surrounding environment. Volcanic soils, known for their high fertility, support the mountain’s rich vegetation. The biodiversity in this region is a direct consequence of the ecological conditions created by the mountain’s geological history.

Mt. Matutum has been home to indigenous communities for centuries. The Blaan people, among the region’s earliest inhabitants, hold the mountain sacred and have a deep spiritual connection with it. The hill features their myths and folklore, symbolizing their relationship with nature.

Significant milestones in ecological conservation also mark the mountain’s history. The establishment of the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape in 1995 highlighted the mountain’s environmental importance and marked the start of concerted efforts to preserve its biodiversity and natural resources.

Mt. Matutum has also influenced the area’s economic history. The fertile soils and a favorable climate have made the region around the mountain suitable for agriculture. Over time, this led to the development of robust farming communities, producing crops like coffee and pineapples.


The history of Mt. Matutum is also characterized by its recreational use. Over the years, it has attracted outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and wildlife researchers, enhancing its reputation as a hub for eco-tourism and outdoor activities.

The mountain has also witnessed efforts toward sustainable agriculture and responsible resource management. Integrating coffee farms into the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape highlights the balance between economic growth and environmental protection.

In recent years, the mountain has been a focal point for environmental education and awareness campaigns. Maintaining its health and vitality is often seen as a community responsibility, fostering a deep sense of environmental stewardship among the local population.

The history of Mt. Matutum is a captivating tale of geological transformations, ecological abundance, cultural significance, and sustainable development. As a vital element in the landscape of South Cotabato, Mt. Matutum continues to write its history, influencing and being influenced by the communities and environment surrounding it.

When was the last eruption of Mt. Matutum?

The enigmatic Mt. Matutum, known for its natural beauty and agricultural abundance, is a potentially active stratovolcano. However, its volcanic activity is not well-documented due to a lack of precise historical records. As of my last update in September 2021, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) does not report any known historical eruptions of Mt. Matutum. However, let’s delve into understanding the volcanic nature of the mountain and its potential implications.

Mt. Matutum is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, known for its frequent seismic and volcanic activity. This tectonic boundary is home to numerous active volcanoes, including some in the Philippines. However, not all volcanoes in this region have regular eruptions, and Mt. Matutum falls into this category.

Despite the lack of recorded eruptions, evidence of Mt. Matutum’s volcanic past is evident in its landscape—the mountain’s stratovolcano shape, crater, and surrounding fertile soils all point to its volcanic origins. Enriched by past volcanic material, the earth is ideal for growing crops such as coffee and pineapple.

The lack of recent volcanic activity does not mean that the volcano is extinct. Many volcanoes can remain dormant for centuries before experiencing an eruption. It’s important to note that monitoring and understanding the patterns of volcanic activity is a complex task, and accurate predictions are not always possible.

PHIVOLCS manages the monitoring of Mt. Matutum and other volcanoes in the Philippines. They use various tools and techniques, from seismic monitoring to ground deformation measurements, to closely monitor the country’s potentially active volcanoes. This continuous monitoring helps identify any changes that could signal an imminent eruption.

While Mt. Matutum has not erupted in recorded history, the potential for future volcanic activity cannot be discounted. If an eruption were to occur, it would have significant implications for the local communities and the surrounding environment. Potential hazards from a volcanic eruption include lava flows, ashfall, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Understanding and preparing for these hazards is critical to living near a volcano. Local communities, government authorities, and organizations work together to develop and implement disaster risk reduction strategies. These include everything from education and preparedness drills to evacuation plans.

Moreover, Mt. Matutum’s status as a potentially active volcano adds more importance to its conservation. The Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape includes efforts to maintain the health and stability of the volcano, in addition to protecting its biodiversity and promoting sustainable agriculture.

As a potentially active volcano, Mt. Matutum reminds us of the dynamic and powerful forces that have shaped and continue to shape our planet. Its peaceful presence today belies its fiery past and potential future, adding an element of intrigue to its already captivating persona.

While there’s no recorded date of the last eruption of Mt. Matutum, its volcanic nature is an integral part of its identity, influencing its landscape, biodiversity, and the livelihoods of its surrounding people. As we continue to study and monitor it, Mt. Matutum symbolizes the dynamic interplay between human life, nature, and the geological forces beneath our feet.


LocationSouth Cotabato, Philippines
Geographical FeaturePotentially active stratovolcano
Protected LandscapeRich volcanic soils and a unique microclimate conducive to coffee farming
Historical SignificanceHome to indigenous communities, site of agricultural development, and eco-tourism
Last EruptionNo recorded eruptions as of 2021
Coffee ProductionSignificant for the local economy, biodiversity, and cultural heritage
Role in CommunitySignificant for local economy, biodiversity, and cultural heritage


1. Where is Mt. Matutum located?

2. What is the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape?

3. What is the historical significance of Mt. Matutum?

4. When was the last eruption of Mt Matutum?

5. How does Mt. Matutum contribute to coffee production?

6. What is the role of Mt. Matutum in the local community?

7. How does Mt. Matutum contribute to the area’s biodiversity?


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