What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. - Rene Daumal
Since I got addicted to mountain climbing, Mt. Kanlaon has been on my top priority list of mountain to climb next to Mt. Apo which is the highest peak in the Philippines. Last February I survived the freezing temperature of Mt. Pulag, the highest mountain in Luzon and after that feat I said to myself that I will be climbing every single mountain in the country as possible, or perhaps the top highest mountain in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and the a mountain which is categorized as 9/9 in terms of its level of difficulty. I did not expect that I will be striking out Mt. Kanlaon in my bucket list on the same year I conquered Mt. Pulag, considering that I am a freelance mountaineer.
Mt. Lanaya of Alegria which stands 720+ meters above sea level (MASL) is dubbed as the "toughest" mountain to climb in Cebu. Since I have never been to this mountain before, I tried to research over the internet about what to expect, the trail and how to get there. All blogs that I have stumbled has something in common - everyone agrees that arguably its the hardest climb in Cebu with a constant 50-60 degrees non-stop ascent from the foot up to the summit and that a rope is necessary for the climb. But instead of getting discouraged, this pumped up my blood and excitement of checking this mountain and experienced the ruthless and merciless Legaspi trail of Mt. Lanaya.
Mt. Babag of barangay Sapangdaku, Cebu City stands 750+ meters above sea level making it the highest peak in Cebu City. Nowadays, Mt. Babag becomes the playground of Cebuano trekkers/mountaineers during weekends because of its accessibility from the city. This mountain also serves as a training ground in preparing for a major climb because of its steep and arduous trail especially if you are trekking via the Napo-Ernie's trail. There are two recommended camping sites: one in Manwel's Peak and the other one is at Camp Chalet because it is located just above the former Swiss Chalet Restaurant. Camp Chalet could be loaded with campers during weekends because it is pretty much accessible from Mountain View and relatively safer. Apart from that, Camp Chalet also provides a breathtaking view of the city especially at night.
Unlike Osmena peak and Mt. Manunggal, there's not a bunch of photos or itinerary can be found in Google if you try searching for "Mt. Mauyog." Not known to many Mt. Mauyog is just an hour away from the historical Mt. Manunggal, but the trail is way more challenging.
Since its less trodden, the trail is puzzling and covered with crawling and thorny plants. The soil is also loose and full of giant ants. Then we reached a small flat ground where a lone guava tree grew. I do not think that was the campsite because the area is too small. As we go higher, the trail becomes steeper and narrower where at times we need to take off our backpacks because it could stuck on the thorny shrubs/vines. Apart from that, we need to scramble some slippery rocks (taller than an average man) that is covered with red mosses. To avoid falling off the rock, we removed our sandals and grip any crevice to sustain our balance.
My love for the mountains started in 2011 after I solo backpack Zambales. It was an unplanned climb, because I was there not physically torture myself, but to bum and chill at the fine sand of Anawangin Cove. The decision of climbing Mt. Pundaquit (despite the typhoon signal) gave birth to this new hobby, mountain climbing. After that climbed, I dream of climbing the three highest mountains in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. That's how ambitious I am.
This adventurous trekking from sitio Budlaan in Talamban, Cebu happened last year in preparation for our Major Climb in Mt. Kanlaon. Mt. Kan-irag or Sirao Peak stands more or less 700+ meters above sea level and this is one of the mountain in Cebu that is very accessible from the city. I have trekked this mountain for a couple of times and never get bored of conquering this mountain again and again. Personally, I think Sirao Peak has the most scenic trail amongst the mountains in Cebu. From Budlaan you'll passed by cascading water falls and the highest is called Kabang Falls, but you've got to scramble boulders. Careful with your footing because a single mistake could brutally injure you because the rocks are solid and sharp. Apart from the waterfalls, the trail is also adorned with flowering plants especially during the months of October where the flowers started to blossom. Note: avoid taking pictures of the flowers with a flash.