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Mount Parker of South Cotabato

Mount Parker, locally known as Melibengoy, is a stratovolcano in Mindanao Island. It is located in the province of South Cotabato, 30 kilometers west of General Santos City and 44 kilometers south of Koronadal City.

by Jhaypee Guia on July 16, 2012

Mount Parker, locally known as Melibengoy, is a stratovolcano in Mindanao Island. It is located in the province of South Cotabato, 30 kilometers west of General Santos City and 44 kilometers south of Koronadal City.

The volcano's English name is taken from an American General, General Frank Parker, who spotted the mountain and claimed to have "discovered" it during a flight he piloted in 1934. General Parker led an expedition up to the lake in the mountain's crater with other US colonial and Filipino government officials, including Vice-Governor-General Joseph Ralston Hayden and Provincial Governor Gutierrez, in the fall of 1934.


It is the older version of the now popular eco-tourism destination in Luzon, Mt. Pinatubo. Its peak known as Asamblak peak stands tall at 1,750 meters ASL and holds a mossy campsite. Overlooking is the Maughan Lake at 300 meters below. It is the crater lake of Mt. Parker and is estimated to be 300 hectares wide.

Two popular trails exist: the Salakafe Trail which goes directly to the lake via 4 to 5 hours of smooth trail where one could savor the coolness and serenity of Lake Maughan, and the San Jose Trail at GenSan City. This trail is strenuous and goes directly to Asamblak Peak where one could not go any further and can only view the Lake at the tree viewing deck of the peak. (Jump off point : 35 + Km from GSC proper.)  


Mount Parker can be found in the town of T'boli, South Cotabato.

Physical features

The elevation is given as 1,784 meters by some sources and as 1,824 meters by others. It has a base diameter of 40 km. It has a 2.9-km-wide caldera with steep walls that rise 200-500 meters above the crater lake that is now called Lake Maughan. The lake, which is officially called Lake Holon, was named after another American who was with Parker when he crashed.

Melibengoy is considered one of the sacred places of the T'boli tribe. It hosts a rare species, Parantica dannatti reyesi, which was discovered by the late Professor Josue de los Reyes of Notre Dame of Marbel University and published in the Entomological Journal of Senckerburg Research Institute in December 1994.

Government officials have also confirmed sightings of the Philippine Tarsier, Tarsius syrichta, which can supposedly be found in the barangays surrounding Lake Holon.


Mount Parker is believed to have erupted thrice over the past 3,800 years, the last one on January 4, 1641. The 1641 eruption caused the formation of the crater lake.

On September 6, 1995, local officials reported what they believed was volcanic activity at Lake Maughan. The alleged activity caused landslides and floodings along Ga-o River which drains Lake Maughan and joins the Allah River in the north. Due to this phenomenon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology installed monitoring equipment which established that the so-called activity was man-made.

Less than a year after the 1995 activity, a temporary dam was formed at about 250 meters from the outlet of Lake Maughan, alarming the residents within the area due to fear of flash floods. The deposited debris dammed the flowing Ga-o River and caused the lake level to rise by about 6 meters.

List of Accommodations

  • Ramona Plaza Hotel - Gensan drive, Koronadal city
  • Gensan drive, Koronadal city - GensanDrive, KoronadalCity
  • Rose Carmen Pension House - GensanDrive, KoronadalCity
  • ATI Dormitory - Brgy. San Felipe, Tantangan, South Cotabato
  • Sunrise Inn - Brgy. Morales, KoronadalCity
  • The Signature Place - Nat’l. Highway, Sto. Niño, South Cotabato
  • Greenwoods Retreat House and Convention Center - Brgy. Morales, KoronadalCity
  • Green State Suites - Arellano Street, KoronadalCity
  • SOCSARGEN SamahangNayon -  KoronadalCity, South Cotabato
  • Tourism Lodge - Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
  • The Farm @ Carpenter Hills - Brgy. Carpenter Hill, KoronadalCity
  • The Inn @ Lyndale’s Garden - Causing Comp, 1st Blk Baldostamon Subdivision, Koronadal City

List of Restaurants

  • ARPOCHI SEAFOODS - SMRAA Grounds, Koronadal City
  • BFE FOOD PRODUCT - Cannery, Polomolok, South Cotabato
  • BJ's LECHON HOUSE - Abad Santos St. Koronadal City
  • BUHAY BARYO PARK & RESTO - National Highway, Polomolok, South Cotabato
  • ESMA RESTAURANT - Cannery Road, Polomolok, South Cotabato
  • FERINZE BAKER AND RESTAURANT - Sinsuat St. , Koronadal City
  • FIGUEROA HIGHLANDS - Matulas, Koronadal City
  • GEORGE ANGEL'S FOOD HAUS - Gensan Drive , Koronadal City
  • JASMINE FARM & GRILL - Barangay Sto.Niño, Bo.2 Koronadal City
  • LANTAW MARBEL RESTAURANT - Brgy. Paraiso, Koronadal City
  • MANG GORIO BAHAY KAINAN - General Santos Drive , Koronadal City

How to get there

By Air: 

  • PAL       - Daily flights from Manila to Gensan City and back
  • Air Phil  -  Daily flights from Manila, Cebu and Ilo-ilo to Gensan City and vice-versa.

By Land:         

Yellow Bus Lines, Holidays, and STM maintain bus routes from Davao City to Koronadal via Gensan City (4hrs.). Husky and Unity Trans buses ply Gensan to Koronadal route for 1hour. Rural Transit serves the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Tacurong City (7-8hrs.).  Tacurong is mere 30 minutes by van to Koronadal. Rates are from PhP100-130 (Davao-GSC), PhP30-50 (GSC-Koronadal) and PhP336-350 (CDO-Tacurong) and PhP25-35 (Tacurong City-Koronadal).

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