Mt. Halcon Expedition

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The Mount Halcon [Philippines] Expedition of October 30 to December 10 1906, was a geographical and biological expedition directed by Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood. The goal was to “determine some feasible route to the mountain, to ascend the highest peak, to secure as much data as possible and to collect objects of natural history.” Halcon, at 8,500 feet the third highest mountain in the Philippines, is located on northern island, Mindoro. A party of forestry and military personnel became the first people to reach the summit in November after twenty days of climbing. Expedition participants included: E. A. Mearns, (surgeon who collected ornithological specimens), W. I. Hutchinson of the Philippine Forestry Bureau, and Elmer Drew Merrill (botanist from the Philippine Bureau of Science). Additional members of the team consisted of a topographer, a sergeant and five privates from the Twenty-Fifth Company of Philippine Scots, and a number of native assistants to aid in carrying supplies and specimens collected. The team assembled in the capital of Mindoro, Calapan, and made their way down the coast to the small village of Subaan. From there, the journey inland to Halcon brought them along the Alag River and indigenous trails of Mangyans. On November 22, the team reached the summit at an elevation of over 8,000 feet. During the excursion, the group made large collections of natural history specimens, focusing on the Philippine flora. Upon reaching the peak, Merrill also took barometric measurements.


  • Merrill, Elmer Drew. (1907). The Ascent of Mount Halcon, Mindoro. Manila.
  • Hay, Ida. (1998). E. D. Merrill, From Maine to Manilla. Arnoldia : the Magazine of the Arnold Arboretum, 58 (1), 11-26.

Date Range

1906 - 1906


  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Ornithology


  • Halcon, Mount
  • Mindoro
  • Alag River
  • Philippines
  • City of Calapan
  • Subaan


Expedition name