Mt. Hambubuyog, Ginatilan, Cebu - 5th Annual Friendship Climb

Friendship Climb, Katkat Pakighimamat, Mt. Hambubuyog
The Annual Katkat Pakighimamat or Friendship Climb was first initiated or spearheaded by two mountaineering group - EWIT and ZETS. The first friendship climb happened last August 1 and 2, 2009, and this was held in Mt. Manghilao, Danao City, Cebu. This was created for the sole purpose of unifying the mountaineering groups in Cebu both the 'gurus' and the neophytes.

The first friendship climb gained good feedback which is why during the 2nd Friendship Climb (February 27–28, 2010) almost hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts from different mountaineering societies as well as freelancers supported and participated the annual event. It was held in Mt. Kan-Irag and just like during the first event, clean up drive and tree planting was still practiced.

The 3rd Annual Friendship Climb (February 26 and 27, 2011) was held in Danasan Eco-Adventure Park in Danao City, Cebu. And just like the past events, clean up drive and tree planting was practiced. This is our way of helping preserved mother nature. Last year (Febuary 25 and 26, 2012), the organizers decided to bring the event outside Cebu, and it was held in Mt. Hibok-Hibok, Camiguin. I failed to join last years event because I had a solo climb in Mt. Hibok-Hibok months prior to the event.

Mt Hambubuyog Ginatilan
This year, the 5th Annual Friendship Climb was held in Mt. Hambubuyog, Ginatilan, Cebu. There was a votation as to where the the 5th Annual Friendship Climb be held. Amongst the three mountains that where pre-picked, Mt. Hambubuyog gained majority of the votes. The other two mountains were Mt. Lanaya in Alegria, and Mt. Naopa in Naga. I personally voted for Mt. Naopa because of its proximity to the city and the scenic view from the campsite.

Ginatilan is located in the southern most part of Cebu. That's around four to five hours from the City. This municipality is known for its waterfalls (Kampael, Bugnawan and Inambakan Falls). Our second saint, Pedro Calungsod was also believed as a local resident of Ginatilan.

The participants rendezvoused at Taboan Ceres Bus Terminal and departed at around 9:30 in the morning. It was already past 1:00 in the afternoon when we arrived in Ginatilan. We were all surprised when local students dressed in native attire welcome us as we alight the bus and hang some garlands on our neck. That is what you call hospitality.

Mt Hambubuyog, Friendship Climb, Katkat Pakighimamat
We had a courtesy call with the Mayor and the registration was held in Municipal Hall. FYI: this is the biggest climb in the history of Katkat Pakighimamat. From the jump off point, there were at least 4 dump trucks which we will be using instead of trekking towards the summit. We were one of the first group who arrived the summit, and immediately we pitched our tents because of the impending rain. Actually it was already drizzling when we arrived at the campsite and fog enveloped the area.

Mt. Hambubuyog is the highest mountain in Ginatilan and atop of this mountain is where the Divine Mercy Chapel was built.

The participants where divided into four sub-groups and each group has a specific task. I belonged to the group four where we are assigned to do the clean-up. Other groups task includes tree planting and outreach program. After the activities, the participants gathered at Ginatilan Plaza for the activities like Amazing Race and some Pinoy Games. This is supposed to be a 3-day activity, but due to responsibilities at work, we (United Backpackers) need to be back at the city the soonest. Prior to heading back to the city, we had a short dip in the pristine waters of Ginatilan.

Although I not able to join the entire 3-day activity, I can say that at 770 meters above sea level, I was able to achieved my goal of meeting new friends and making new ones. Kudos to the organizers and the municipality of Ginatilan for supporting this program.  

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