This adventurous Pinoy toddler has climbed 26 mountains with his parents

Vernise Tantuco
Little Wyatt Maktrav has climbed 26 mountains and hills – and he's only 3 years old

WYATT MAKTRAV. This 3-year-old has climbed the Philippines' 4 highest mountains. Photo courtesy of Eduardo and Sha Bedural

MANILA, Philippines – Not everyone can say they’ve climbed at least one mountain – let alone 26 – in the past 3 years. But Wyatt Maktrav Bedural y de los Reyes, a seasoned hiker and adventurer, certainly can – and he is only 3 years old.

According to his blog, run by his parents, Wyatt Maktrav was born on July 31, 2012 and went on his first hike at Pico de Loro when he was 8 months old.

Photo by Kevin Jason Manuel

Since then, Wyatt’s also climbed the 4 highest mountains in the Philippines: Mt Apo, Mt Dulang-dulang, Mt Pulag, Mt Kitanglad.

Of course, he couldn’t have done all of that alone. Wyatt’s parents, Eduardo and Sha, are both mountain climbers themselves. They first met on a mountain in Anilao, Batangas, and they want to pass on this love of the outdoors to their young son.

Ed is an IT professional for a transportation company, while Sha is an SEO specialist who also does some basic web development.

According to their blog, the couple named their son “Wyatt” because it means “strong” (check out more here). “Maktrav,” on the other hand, is short for “Makiling Traverse,” a trail on Mount Makiling. The couple was choosing among other trails to name their son after, but settled on the Makiling Traverse. Coincidentally, they climbed the Makiling Traverse in November 2011, not knowing that Sha was already pregnant at that time. 

Photo courtesy of Eduardo and Sha Bedural

It looks like the name suits Wyatt perfectly – his mountain adventures have made him as strong as his name suggests. Sha and Ed told Rappler through email, “Aside from the fun that climbing brings, we noticed that Wyatt’s stamina is getting stronger and he was able to resist a lot of sickness. Unlike other kids, he seldom gets sick and has never been hospitalized.”

The couple also told Rappler that they choose mountains carefully, making sure that Wyatt can walk and run on his own from time to time. “As a result, his legs are full of muscles even though he’s still a baby,” they said.

Photo courtesy of Eduardo and Sha Bedural  

The couple couldn’t have known that Wyatt would love climbing as much as does. After finding out Sha was pregnant, she and Eduardo stopped their outdoor activities for a year and 5 months. When they decided to get back into it, they found that no one could take care of their baby while they were away.

“We don’t have yaya (nanny) for Wyatt, and since there were only 3 of us in the house, we decided to go camping with our baby,” the couple shared to Rappler. “Surprisingly, Wyatt showed interest in being one with nature. He’s really happy with the trees, the environment, and the people we met on the trail. The funny part is that he didn’t want us to stop walking. Yes, he didn’t want to rest. We had fun climbing together as a family so we decided to do it often when the schedule and budget permits.”

Photo courtesy of Eduardo and Sha Bedural

From there, starting a blog to document Wyatt’s trips felt natural to his parents. “At first, it was a private site because Ed and I were both busy so we couldn’t write anything to be published on that blog,” shared Sha with Rappler. “We just wanted to compile Wyatt’s photos of his climbs, travel and other adventures through WordPress. Hence, I just made it more like a photo blog.”

Aside from schedules and budgets, the couple also does a lot to prepare for their climbs with Wyatt. For one, they have to consider the kind of mountain they’ll climb – how long it will take for them to climb it, if it’s too rocky for the baby, and if it’s known to have limatiks (blood-sucking insects).

Photo by Andro Molina

Supplies are also a huge part of the preparation, because they can’t run out. “Aside from the allotted food for the estimated days, we also have some buffer supplies (emergency food) just in case there are unexpected circumstances,” they told Rappler.

When they first started out hiking with Wyatt, one of the supplies Sha and Eduardo brought along was a baby carrier, but today, Wyatt can walk part of the way on his own.

Photo courtesy of Eduardo and Sha Bedural

The weather also plays a big part in whether or not the family pushes through with a climb: “We have to know the weather forecast on the location of the mountain, although we know that mountains have their own weather that we can’t control. In fact, we have scheduled climbs in the past that we aborted due to bad weather in the area.”

Photo courtesy of Eduardo and Sha Bedural

“We’re also searching for some contact persons who will assist us,” they continued. “Especially for the logistics such as the transportation going to the jump-off [point] and processing of permits, so that our focus will be on our internal preparation – mostly for our baby.”

Climbing mountains isn’t all Wyatt does though. Like all curious toddlers, he’s been learning about shapes, colors, and numbers, mostly through educational videos. “He loves to read every letter that he can see anywhere, and telling the shapes and colors of the objects,” share Eduardo and Sha. “Of course, we’re really amazed because nobody teaches him. He also loves to run no matter where he is.”

Photo courtesy of Eduardo and Sha Bedural

As to which mountain Wyatt Maktrav will be running on next, Sha and Eduardo aren’t sure. “Most of the time, we just go on a ‘biglaan’ (sudden) trip due to schedule changes and workloads. Probably, we’ll just go on a nearby mountain.”

Have you gone climbing with friends? What’s the experience like? Share your travel stories with us in the comments below. – Rappler.com

Vernise Tantuco

Vernise Tantuco is on Rappler's Research Team, fact checking suspicious claims, wrangling data, and telling stories that need to be heard.