Nhagzventures

The Best Of Both Worlds: Find Adventure And Relaxation In Dalaguete, Cebu

Sometimes, we need to sit back and enjoy some beautiful scenery. If you are thinking of taking a break from the bustling City of Cebu and looking forward to laying back for a vacation, try to visit the “Vegetable Basket of Cebu”, “Summer Capital of Cebu” and “The Little Baguio of Cebu”, Dalaguete!

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That was one fine Sunday morning when my friends with the same interests as me met up in Cebu South Bus Terminal for a two days escape to this beautiful destination in the Southern part of Cebu. Obviously, my adventurous spirit was fully electrified that moment the fact that I haven’t explored the town yet.

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After 4 hours of riding on a bus, we finally arrived the Municipality of Dalaguete on a chilly afternoon. We drop-off in one the convenience store in the town where Tina and Daphne waited for us and the rest of the group. Finally, the waiting game was finally over after a couple of minutes. We instantly headed ourselves along with the big bag packs on our back to the cab that we rented for our 2 days adventuring and wandering in the town.

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Dalaguete Church

Before proceeding to our first destination, we took a midday meal to recharged our body and proceeded to Mantalongon Public Market to buy food for our overnight camp. In that moment time, it obviously shows that it will be a great yet fun adventure with the circle.

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Under that scorching heat of the sun, everyone was so excited to go on with our journey. As we’ve looked all around the environment we felt so lucky because of the opportunity that we were able to treat ourselves to an adventurous relaxation.

Whether you’re craving adventure or relaxation, I can say that this town is the perfect one. Here are the cool places that we’ve visited during this two days adventure!

  1. DALAGUETE ROCK FORMATIONS

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    While we are on our way to the community of Lugsungan to unmask the spectacular  Casino Peak. I was rewarded with a cool breeze and the sight of unique rock formations along the way. Since we want to cool down first after basking around under the heat of the sun, we decided to explore the place. I was surprised with what I’ve seen, from its lofty peaks, scenic landscapes, extremely impressive rock formations and mystical caves.

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    Most of its rock is still intact since it is not yet often visited. Thus, I instantly grabbed the opportunity to climb to the top of the stunning rocks and took photos with the picturesque background of Osmeña Peak.

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  2. CASINO PEAK | Lunsangan, Dalaguete, Cebu

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    When Casino Peak opened officially this year, it got trending on social medias and the crowd gets loco especially those thrill trekkers. Aside from that, once you’ve reached the top it will give you the majestic and photogenic view. The background is like you are in Bohol Chocolate Hills!

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    After the uphill ride, we started our trek going to the peak. The trek was not difficult. The only challenge we encountered is the uphill rocky climb with a narrow path along the way.

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    It took us 30 minutes before we reached the stunning view of Lunsagan from the top.  I was surprised with the seemingly giant mole in the background that looks like the Chocolate Hills in Bohol.

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    What’s with the name CASINO?

    When we reached the jump-off area going to the peak, I’ve got the chance to speak with one of the locals and asked why they called it Casino and here’s what I’ve learned. The land was owned namely “Seno”, locals called it “Kang Seno” or “Ka Sino” which means owned by Seno. Until the land was being acknowledged as “Casino Peak”.
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    HOW TO GET THERE:

    From Cebu South Bus Terminal take a Bus going to Dalaguete (One-way fare is 140.00 Php/Bus with AC and 120.00 Php/ Non-AC). Inform the driver to drop you off at downtown Dalaguete, Cebu or at 7/11 Convenience Store, travel time may take 3-4 hours depends on the traffic. From downtown Dalaguete, take a habal-habal/motorbike ride going to Brgy. Lunsangan, Dalaguete, Casino Peak. The fare is 150 Php, depends on how you will negotiate with the driver.

    KANDUNGAW ( CANDONGAO )PEAK | Maloray, Dalaguete, Cebu

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    The Municipality of Dalaguete has been famous to its cooling and relaxing Osmeña Peak. But you can’t end up your trail there! There’s actually a place in the town where you can see a huge monolithic rock called the Kandungaw Peak situated in an uphill community of Maloray, Dalaguete, Cebu.

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    Our trail ended up in Kandungaw Peak but our story doesn’t end here. We arrived the jump off area of Brgy. Maloray at around 6:00 o’clock in the evening. Obviously, the uphill trail going to the peak is a bit dark and good thing I have my headlamp with me. We are so lucky as well as the trail going to the top was well established and there’s a concrete footpath so nothing to worry about.

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    After 30 minutes of enduring the dark trail of Kandungaw, we finally reached the camp site. The spot was just maybe around 15 diameters and a cliff on the side. Even though it was a bit dark, I can see the isolated and spectacular surface rock outcrop standing just ahead of us and the heavens were filled with a cacophony of stars.

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    Photo by Joseph Baya

    We then quickly set up our tents and prepared our dinner. After we took the main meal of the day, we had the socials night. That was one of the best camp outs I had, as we shared great stories under the cooling darkness of the mountain. All of us embracing the night that is full of laughter, giggling and chuckling. Best night ever, really!

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    At around 11:00 o’clock in the evening, small drops of water starting to fall from the sky and the atmosphere started to become icy. There were no trees even where we can hide the cold winds. And here you again, being weak in cold temperature started to flow my human body. So I rapidly went inside the tent to give comfort with my chilly body. Good thing, I have Jaimro who spent the night with me in the same tent. Unfortunately, the both of us are having trouble to get some sleep because of the pebbly surface in our back. Even though it was a sufferable one, we were still able to get some sleep.

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    The next day, we were so lucky with the friendly weather surrounded by the azure skies and natural background of mountains covered with grass and trees. And I finally saw the prominent peak of Kandungaw  in a clearer vision.

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    At the top of Kandungaw Peak

    Everyone was so excited to climb the peak, so after breakfast, we quickly packed our pieces of stuff including our tents. Because of the excitement,  Joseph and I are the first who rapidly climbed the marvelous rock standing in front of us that’s towering 650 meters above sea level.  Upon reaching the top of Kandungaw, my adventurous spirit was rewarded with the mesmerizing landscapes. Aside from that, I was able to unmask the lovely peaks of Lovers and Sunset Peak that is facing in front of Kandungaw Peak. Because of the picturesque view and awe-inspiring background, we spent a lot of time in taking photos.20170828_091113-01[1].jpegOur climb to Kandungaw Peak was one of the breathtaking scenery that I’ve seen in my adventures. As I saw Kandungaw, I knew an adventure was going to happen.

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    HOW TO GET THERE:

    From Cebu South Bus Terminal take a Bus going to Dalaguete (One-way fare is 140.00 Php/Bus with AC and 120.00 Php/ Non-AC). Inform the driver to drop you off at downtown Dalaguete, Cebu or at 7/11 Convenience Store, travel time may take 3-4 hours depends on the traffic. From downtown Dalaguete, take a habal-habal/motorbike ride going to Brgy. Maloray, Dalaguete, Cebu. The fare is 150 Php, depends on how you will negotiate with the driver.

  3. KANDUNGAW CAVE

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    Photo by: Joseph Baya

    After the group photo session at Kandungaw Peak, we decided to take a quick peek to the majestic Kandungaw Cave.  Since the cave is just situated under the peak so there’s nothing to worry about of getting there even though it is a 90 degrees trail down from the peak.

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    As we reached the entrance of the cave, I’m a bit frightened. In that moment in time, I had the feeling that someone will be going to munch and chomp me inside. Lol! But as a conqueror, I tried to enter the cave and my eyes got surprised with the mix crystalline formation. Inside the cave is muddy and dark so you need to bring a flashlight with you. But since I left my headlamp inside the bag, I used my mobile phone instead.
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    I saw terrific and fantastic stone arrangement and is full of life and reserves a tremendously beautiful sight inside. Our quick peeks in Kandungaw Cave was truly worth it.

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After we explore the cave, we supposed to climb the Lovers and Sunset Peak, but Kandungaw Peak is more than enough already. Also, everyone was excited to chase the Cambais Falls in Alegria, Cebu.  Thus, we ended up to take the descending trail back to the jump off area.

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SIDE TRIPPING TO CAMBAIS FALLS IN ALEGRIA, CEBU

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Our journey to Dalaguete, Cebu was not the end of our story. We continued our adventure at Cambais Falls, Alegria, Cebu Cebu for us to indulge and cool down. Our ride collaborates the scorching heat of the sun but no one doesn’t have a care because we had so much fun along the way.

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Though this is my third time visit the mesmerizing falls of Cambais but seems it still new to me. The fact that I am with different people, another experience and we had other stories to share.

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If you wish to visit and explore the beautiful Municipality of Dalaguete, Cebu here’s a simple travel guide and tips.

ITINERARY
DAY 1-Sunday (August 27, 2017)
08:00 AM- Meet up/Assembly time at Cebu South Bus Terminal
09:00 AM- ETD Dalaguete Town Proper
12:00 NN- ETA Dalaguete Town Proper
01:00 PM- Lunch at Dalaguete Food Lane
02:30 PM- Quick Jaunt at Dalaguete Rock Formation
03:00 PM- Ascend to Casino Peak
04:30 PM- Descend to Jump-off point
05:00 PM- ETD to Kandungaw Peak
06:00 PM- ETA jump-off point/ Registration
06:30 PM- Ascend to Kandungaw Peak/Camp Site
07:00 PM- Set up Camp/ Preparation for dinner
08:00 PM- Dinner/Socials
12:00 MN- Lights off

DAY 2-Monday ( August 28, 2017)
05:00 AM- Wake-up time/ Preparation for breakfast/Sunrise viewing
06:00 AM- Breakfast
07:00 AM- Explore Kandungaw Peak/Kandungaw Cave
09:30 AM- Descend to Jump-off point
10:00 AM- ETD to Calierohan Public Market
11:30 AM- ETA Calierohan Public Market
12:00 NN- Lunch Time/Buy Goods
01:00 PM- ETD to Cambais Falls, Alegria, Cebu
02:00 PM- ETA Cambais Falls, Alegria Cebu/
02:30 PM- Short hike going to the main stream of Cambais Falls
04:00 PM- ETD to Mantalongon Town Proper/Bus Station
05:00 PM- ETA Mantalongon Town Proper/Bus Station
05:30 PM- ETD to Cebu City
08:00 PM- ETA Cebu City

-Home Sweet Home-

BUDGET*

140 PHP- Air-conditioned bus fare from Cebu City to Dalaguete proper ( Same rate with Mantalongon to Cebu City)
5000 PHP- Cab rental for 2 days/ Snacks / Miscellaneous/ divided by 10 persons (500 PHP/Pax) .(as of this writing).
150 PHP- Lunch/Breakfast

*Note- All figures are subject to change without prior notice.

TIPS

1. Always plan ahead your tour. And for guide ship services with your Kandungaw climb, you may contact Junior at 09305156836.
2. There are some parts of Dalaguete that are difficult to get a ride. For your convenience, you may contact Tina Obiedo Salonoy at 09096838554 for a multi-cab/car rental.  You can negotiate to her with the schedule and prices for car rental/tour services.
3. Be a responsible hiker/traveler so always follow the “LEAVE NO TRACE” practice, Okay!
4. Always wear proper trekking attire and wear sunblock to protect your skin from the sun.
5. Always bring enough food, water, and essential kinds of stuff or necessary for the climb.
6. Respect the locals and be friendly.


Visiting the Summer Capital of Cebu is one the beautiful yet memorable travel adventures I had. It gave me the opportunity to meet a new set of friends and great adventures.  Thanks to Tina for making this travel adventures possible especially to your Dad who rode for us to explore your hometown. To my new friends, thanks for giving me such great smile on my face, I really had the best time with you all guys!

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Pundok Bandana

Because of this 2 days adventure, we are united with great minds. We ended up as a group called, “PUNDOK BANDANA”.  Congratulations to all of us and cheers to more adventuring in the near future!


Come and jaunt with me as I will be posting more photos of this misadventures soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Things To Do and See In The Mystical Island of Fire |Nhagzventures

I had always wanted to visit Siquijor island and I recently had the chance to spend enough time in this amazing island of fire. Unlike to its neighboring island, which is pretty close to visitors, Siquijor is one of the welcoming and hospitable islands in the Visayas. It is an interesting place with a unique culture.

Me and my friend took a bus ride from South Bus Terminal to Santander Port. Our itinerary is jaunt around the island and try their food delicacies and to dine at their famous restaurants.

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Our journey began at Dumaguete Port, by the time we were there, the sun was already out in its full glory and a good weather-climb loomed ahead as evidenced by the clear blue sky.

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We took another 1 hour and 30 minutes of a boat ride via Montenegro Shipping Lines. Upon arrival at the Siquijor Port, we quickly rented a motorbike that we can use that’s good for 2 days. The motorbike will cost you 350 PHP per day. After paying the motorbike rental fee, We quickly headed to Royal Cliff Resort where we stayed for 2 nights and 3 days. We enjoyed our first day by doing the Coastal tour on the island.

And here are the top things to do and see in the island of Siquijor

CAPILAY SPRING PARK

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Capilay Spring Park- San Juan, Siquijor

This spring park is open to public which is situated at the heart of San Juan, Siquijor. Also, this park is just right in the middle of the town plaza. This park has a playground, kiosk and booths which is perfect for family and friends who wants to have a picnic.

BALETE TREE AND FISH SPA

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The Enchanting Balete Tree

Aside from the mystical tree. My main itinerary is to dip my feet into a small pool that they called “FISH SPA”. It was indulging. The water is so clear and cool.

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LAZI CHURCH- San Isidro Labrador Parish Church

The San Isidro Labrador Parish Church (Spanish: Iglesia Parroquial de San Isidro Labrador), commonly known as Lazi Church, is a Roman Catholic church in the municipality of Lazi, Siquijor, Philippines within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Dumaguete. It became an independent parish in 1857 under the advocacy of Saint Isidore the Laborer

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The church, also known for its huge convent, was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. It is also nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since 2006 under the collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Extension) together with the churches of Boljoon, Guiuan, Loboc and Tumauini.

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Inside the Lazi, Church

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LAZI CONVENT

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The U-shaped bahay na bato convent is one of the largest convents built during the Spanish colonial era. On its first floor are stonewalls while wood panels can be found on the second floor.Its dimension is 42 meters (138 ft) by 38 meters (125 ft).It is funded by donations from parishes and missions of the Recollects.Partitions of the convent were removed but the original structure was maintained. It now houses the Siquijor Heritage Museum which has collections of important church relics and paraphernalia

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CAMBUHAGAY FALLS

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Cambuhagay Falls

After dipping into the crystal greenish-blue and cold as ice waters of Cambuhagay Falls, we quickly headed to Salagdoong Beach. The resort is well-known in the island because of its Cliff that’s best for cliff -jumping. I don’t have the pictures to show because I was very disappointed by that time. Disappointed not because of the place but to the people slash tourists who doesn’t have the proper travel etiquette.

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Few minutes after, we decided to get back to the resort where we stayed and I drove for almost 1 hour from Salagdoong Beach going back to the hotel.

MT. BANDILAAN NATURAL PARK

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Towering above the plains of Siquijor is the majestic Mount Bandilaan, the highest peak in the province which can be found in its midst. Rising up to 557 feet above sea level totaling 1394 feet high, Mount Bandilaan provides many opportunities of exploration such as cave spelunking, nature trekking and mountain climbing.

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Viola, here we are! The weather was cooperative that day. The weather that morning is a bit gloomy, yet there’s no sign of heavy rainfall. MtBandilaan is a forest sanctuary. I bet there’s a mossy part somewhere. Camp Bandilaan. When you’re at the top of the metal tower, you will see a full view of Siquijor.

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LARENA TRIAD COFFEE SHOP AND RESTAURANT

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The view from Larena Triad is just spectacular. It offers a vantage view of the triad of the other islands namely Negros, Cebu and Bohol. To be honest, we came all the way here just for the view and it’s really beautiful. Although the sun was piping hot during our lunch visit, the breath of fresh air gave a relaxing feeling.

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One of the amazing view of Larena Triad Coffee Shop in Siquijor island, Philippines

CHASING THE SUNSET

During my first visit on the island, I was not able top chase the spectacular color of the sun that fades away. On my second visit, voila! I had the opportunity to see and chase for it.

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Chasing the sunset is my favorite part when I am traveling. It will complete me and makes me feel good.

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Please read: CHASING SUNSET | Best Way of Letting Go The Bad Memories in Life

FOOD TRIP AT BAHA BAR AND RESTAURANT

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Baha Ba’r has a “loungey” informal laid-back atmosphere that welcomes overseas visitors and locals alike. It prides itself on having an extensive tapas style menu that permits you to experience the best flavours of the Philippines and a cocktail drinks menu unrivalled on Siquijor if not the Visayas.

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Baha Bar offers traditional cocktails inspired by local fruit and ingredients that you will definitely not find anywhere else.

ROADSIDE DELIGHT AT LILIBETH’S PAN BISAYA

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We were at the tail-end of our whole-day island tour. From the Beach Port of Siquijor, Capilay Spring Park to the famous Siquijor balete tree, Cambugahay Falls, and Kagusuan Beach; we’ve been to places we’ve visited before and to new ones. And there’s definitely nothing more rewarding after such a journey than a relaxing coffee break (or beer, perhaps?) right by the beach as the sun sets far off into the horizon.

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Lilibeth’s Pan Bisaya is a roadside bakery located on a lonely stretch of the road along barangay Bino-Ongan. It sits right by the beach, more famous for its mangroves than its sand, which it has really none to speak of, by the way—they’re mostly crushed corals.

But we’re not really here to swim. We’re here to eat.

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Siquijor’s pan bisaya is owned and operated Lilibeth Viernes-Alce, a sweet woman clad in apron who was supervising the ovens when we entered the simple hut where the bakery is set on. This thatch-roofed structure is where all the magic happens; from the mixing and kneading of the dough up to the final baking at the makeshift concrete oven—fired from below and at the top by driftwoods and coconut husks—right at the side of the hut.

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WHERE TO STAY?

When visiting Siquijor, there are various of hotel accomodtauon that you can choose to stay. But, in my case, I highly recommend ROYAL CLIFF RESORT

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Royal Cliff Resort is located in the paradise coastal side of the mystical island of Siquijor, nestled in beautiful and majestic rock formation. It is noted to be one of the perfect hideaways and one of the best tourist destination of the province for its breathtaking seascape, fantastic sunset and amazing coral reef.

 

*Photos by Google

It is an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, boat-sailing and other sea adventures. Royal Cliff Resort is also an idyllic place to dine. It is known for its great food and for the great people around.


“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Cebu Century Plaza Hotel, A Place To Stay in Cebu

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More and more people are discovering the benefits of a staycation as a cheaper and less stressful alternative to going inter-island or abroad.  A Cebu City staycation is quite feasible because of numerous luxury yet affordable hotels in the area that offer so many options for a wonderful R&R (rest and relaxation) away but not too far from home.

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After all, who in their right mind wants to spend hours at the airport and what-feels-like an eternity pinned into a tiny seat on a long-haul flight? So make the smart and great choice and plan a perfect place to stay when visiting the Queen City of the South, Cebu!

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Cebu Century Plaza Hotel offers all its guest utmost relaxation. whether staying for a while or for a longer period.This Cebu accommodation will always look after the guests experience in comforts.

REASONS TO STAY AT CEBU CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL;

SHOP 

Cebu Century Plaza Hotel is located at the heart of uptown, Cebu. It is just 2 to 3 minutes walk from one of Cebu City’s Pioneering shopping center which is Robinson’s Fuente and about 5 to 10 minutes ride to Ayala Center Cebu.

DINE

The hotel has a resident restaurant, the Okinawa Heat which offers various of Japanese meals. But if you are not into Japanese cuisine, nothing to worry about because there are various restaurants just around the complex.

NIGHTLIFE

The moment you walk through out your door, you’ll think you’ve just been transported to the best nightlife scene in New York City. Sample the contemporary local brews and browse the bar’s renowned whiskey collection. 

Just 2 minutes walk from the hotel is the best place to hang out in Cebu and the epi-center of Cebu’s nightlife, the Mango Square Avenue. The place is fast growing in popularity as a place to go to when you’re looking to party the night away, shake those booties or belt your heart out to the tune of your choice.

EXPERIENCING THE REAL COMFORT 

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All rooms inside the hotel are newly renovated and freshly refurbished. They have the most spacious and biggest rooms compared to other hotels in Cebu City.

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The hotel was also designed for PWD guests and they are also a very-child accommodation. You can also work or turn the guest rooms as your office as they have a very stable Wi-Fi connection.

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ABOUT THE HOTEL

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Cebu Century Plaza Hotel is the Cebu’s first barrier-free hotel to offer Universal Design to support in PWD guests. They are surrounded with most reliable hospitals in the heart of Cebu. They are just a 2-minute walk to the corner of General Maxilom Ave. (the old Mango Avenue) where business, banking, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and other services are just a stone’s throw away, where the Sinulog Parades always pass by.

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When visiting Cebu, book your accommodation at Cebu Century Plaza Hotel. For inquiries and bookings you may contact them at (63) (32) 255-1010) and (+63-917-320-3535). You may also visit their Cebu Century Plaza Hotel or visit their Facebook Page.

Special Thanks to Sir Ricky for the great experience at Cebu Century Plaza Hotel!

 

 

Hot and Spicy Treat at Mao Jia Hunan Cuisine

As one of the eight major cuisines of China, Hunan cuisine is famous for its hot and spicy. People may be confused that what the difference is between Hunan cuisine and Sichuan cuisine, for the characteristics of them are hot and spicy.

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Sichuan cuisines are widely used chili peppers, especially prickly ash, giving it a distinctively spicy taste which leaves a slight numb sensation in the mouth, while Hunan cuisine doesn’t has. Hunan cuisine mainly originates from Dongting Lake area and western Hunan mountain area.

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Aquatic food and poultry are main cooking materials of Dongting Lake area cuisine, which taste salty and spicy.

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However, game and many kinds of meat are the main cooking materials of western Hunan mountain area cuisines, the tastes are salted fresh spicy and sour.

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The cooking skills employed in the Hunan cuisine reached a high standard as early as the Western Han Dynasty, giving it a history of more than 2,100 years. Hunan is located in southeastern China along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. It contains rivers, lakes, mountains, rolling hills, plains, and pools, which provide abundant delicacies, such as fish, shrimp, crab, and turtle. Making full use of these rich resources, local people created a wide variety of delicacies.

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Hunan cuisine consists of more than 4,000 dishes, among which more than 300 are very popular. Hunan cuisine is characterized by its hot and sour flavor, fresh aroma, greasiness and deep color. ( Source: Top China Travel_)

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ABOUT HUNAN CUISINE

Hunan cuisine, also known as Xiang cuisine, consists of the cuisines of the Xiang River region, Dongting Lake and western Hunan Province in China. It is one of the Eight Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine and is well known for its hot and spicy flavours, fresh aroma and deep colours.

If you want to have a hot and spicy dining experience, visit Mao Jia Hunan Cuisine, located at Crossroads, Brgy. Banilad, Cebu City. You may also visit their Facebook Page at Mao Jia Hunan Cuisine.

Special Thanks to Ms.Mars Espera for inviting me to this spicy food treat.

Higatangan Island | Spectacular Shifting Sandbar and Rock Formation in Naval,Biliran-Nhagzventures

FROM SUMMIT TO SEA– After an overnight camp and exploring the vanishing hiking trails of Mt.Panamao, another paradise astounded our adventurous spirit, the Higatangan island.

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Situated in Naval, Biliran, Barangay Mabini, Higatangan island is an island known for its shifting sandbars. The long stretch sandbar is truly incomparable, it has a 200 meter long of white sand.

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Higatangan, whose name is derived from “atangan” (waiting), is separated from the main Biliran Island by a narrow channel in the northwest tip of Leyte province. For P1,000, tourists can rent a boat to take around the island and explore its clear waters, coral reefs and rock formations while watching seagulls and flying fish.

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The 200-meter sandbar shifts to the left during the summer months or “amihan” (northeast monsoon) and to the right during the rainy months or “habagat” (southeast monsoon).

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The water is just so crystal clear and cool and I really had a good time swimming here. Like most sandbars, the shallow areas are only limited to the part connecting to the island while the rest, it can get deeper within a few feet so caution should also be taken when swimming especially near the tip.

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The Higatangan Rock Formations

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Along with its beautiful sister the famous shifting sand bar, the rock formation is a beauty of its own league littered in the Higatangan coastline, fronting the wild waves.  The spectacular rock outcrop is crafted by nature’s own hands. It is a result of hundred of years of the resulting elements of heat, wind, erosion and the crashing waves. A heritage sculpted by time, earth’s gift to us.  Some says that our rock formations can rival those in the Biri and Camiguin Island.

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The rock formations can be found at the back of the Higatangan island, facing the Visayan sea. To get the most vantage point one has to ride a floating device to have the panoramic view.  With the cool green waters and the greenery accentuating the formations it is really nature at it’s best.

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HOW TO GET TO HIGATANGAN ISLAND

Via Ormoc, Leyte

Boats and Fast Craft trip are available daily from Cebu to Ormoc. You can take a fast craft for 2 hours and 6 hours in a boat ride. From Ormoc City Port you will see a Terminal Van that will travel to Naval, travel time from Ormoc to Naval will take 2 hours.

TRAVEL TIPS

  1. It is better to travel early from Ormoc to Naval for you to have a spare time purchasing your supplies in the island.
  2. You can actually stay overnight on the island as there are rooms and cottages available in Higatangan Island.
  3. There is a Sari-Sari store also available if you will roam around the island.
  4. Make sure to bring enough cash because there is no ATM machine available on the island
  5. Make sure to bring underwater cameras for you to fully enjoy and take photos the underwater natural beauty since Higatangan island is good for an underwater explorations.
  6. Respect the locals and be friendly.
  7. LEAVE NO TRACE

If you want to explore and visit this 200-meter of white sand shifting sandbar in Higatangan Island, you may contact BILIRAN TOURISM.

MT.PANAMAO: The Vanishing Hiking Trail | A Challenging Trekking Experience

Mt.Panamao is popularly believed to be one of the mystical mountains in the province of Biliran. This mountain is full of unwritten lores where only few mountaineers dare and doubtful to climb because of its vanishing trails. It is also believed that this mountain is a lost city. Mt.Panamao is known as the 3rd highest mountain in Biliran, Western Leyte towers at 1115 MASL.

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According to biliranisland.com, Mt.Panamao is a solfataric active volcano and presumably erupted in 1969.

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Now, Panamao is a much-publicized mountaineer’s destination. It looks majestic and serene on clear and sunny days. It is also full of myths and legends that continue to be told among the natives.

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Our recent climbed to MT. PANAMAO was truly a remarkable journey in my mountaineering explorations. It was not easy because of its disappearing trail and totally a devastating experience for me because of the trails that’s full of climbing palms and nasty thorny rattan.

THE CONSIDERATION OF THE JOURNEY

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When AJ of wanderingsoulscamper invited me to explore and climb Mt.Panamao, I am not really hesitant to say YES! So I did a quick research about the mountain and I’ve heard and read mysterious stories about the mountain which made me more excited and eager to climb Mt. Panamao.

A week before the climb, the group did a practice climb in one of Cebu City’s mountains. AJ, who organized the event was the one who made the ITINERARY for the upcoming major climb and he’s the one who contacted our guide. Thanks Bes!

THE JOURNEY

The group arrived in Ormoc City Port at around 4:00 AM. Upon arrival we took a quick brunch at one of the fast food chain in the city. At around 6:00 in the morning we instantly headed to DUPTOURS terminal to hired a van going to Naval.

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We set foot at the Naval bus terminal after a two-hour ride. A public market was nearby so we decided to stop by for breakfast and purchase our food supplies.Afterwards, another van arrived and headed off to the jump-off point at Brgy. Talahid, Sitio Biasong.

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We arrived at the jump-off area at around 10:30 in the morning. By the time we were there, the sun was already out in its full glory and a good weather-climb loomed ahead as evidenced by the clear blue sky.

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The beginning of the trek was a gradual descending slippery trails that’s full of thorny plants.The air was slight, the trail become more steeper and it seemed my pack become heavier.

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After 1 hour and 30 minutes of hiking, our guide, Kuya Julius advised us to take a power lunch and the group concurred the same opinion. We had our lunch along the trail.

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It was 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon when we resumed our trek. I can still remember that we hiked a large portion, if not most of  pure assault. The trail was not just filled with anything greens but it is a trail of anything thorny green. We came across a good unique flora and faunas.

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Before reaching the campsite, we came across a water source surrounded with  fat branches and gnarled roots and giant rocks.I was reminded with our adventure climb at Mt.Mandalagan in Negros Occidental.

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As we reached the mountains only water source after hours of grappling that surprising rattan. The group decided to take a quick and last rest since we are close to the campsite.

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Few minutes later, we then resumed our trek and we need had to do it as fast as we can for us to meet the sunset. However, we had a slow trek because we didn’t see any trail going to the campsite and even our guide was struggling, really!  So we actually look for another trail for us to reach the campsite and we had to slash away those thick and green thorny plants. This made our journey slow and long, really! We were like a bunch of lost trekkers for a while there. But wasn’t it what we were aiming for? The thrill and anxiety of losing direction and finding one’s way again.

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THE CAMPSITE

Everyone was surprised when we reached the campsite. You can never tell that it is a campsite because it is surrounded with plants with long narrow of leaves. So we flatten the area to make it even for us to set up our tents. But we are still lucky enough because we reached the campsite before the daylight fades which made us set up the camp easily.

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After setting up our tents, we then prepared our dinner. It was a one perfect night camp for me because aside from celebrating my birthday, the camp site had a perfect view of the summit of Mt.Panamao with an impressive array of mountains at our back.

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After dinner, we had socials and everyone are having fun, really!It was an amusing night for me, a moment of a fun evening with friends. As I lay silently with my fellow campers, I felt happy living a life at the present moment surrounded by many friends with the same interests as me. We had the stars as our blankets and the dark forest watching us dream while we slept.

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A GLORIOUS MORNING AT MT. PANAMAO

The group woke up at around 5:00 oclock in the morning. We planned for an early ascending climb going to the summit so we can head off early to the neighboring islet which is Higatangan island. After breakfast, at around 8:00 o’clock in the morning, we quickly broke our camp and commended our way up.

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Before we resumed our trek way up,we left our load in a flat terrain nearby the campsite to make the hike easier. But no, it wasn’t! Another struggling way surprised us because large rattan blocking our way and we need to slash them away.

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After 1 hour, we finally reached  the ridge that offers an amazing and breathtaking view of its neighboring island. After the group enjoying the glimpse of the view and the traditional picture taking, we then resumed our trek going to the summit.

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From the viewing deck/ridge, we endured another 15 minutes hike to reach the summit. The trail was covered with mossy trees and vegetation.

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THE SUMMIT

The summit of Mt. Panamao was covered with huge mossy trees and it was surrounded with yellow toad cleverly camouflaged. The summit was truly majestic and a real paradise. We took a lot of photos and for us to get a perfect angle, we even clung on to whatever there where we can held on to.

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After the traditional photo session, we quickly commended our way down. Going down wasn’t as difficult on the way up but still quite challenging because of those nasty rattans.

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At around 2:00 oclock in the afternoon, we finally reached the covered open grasslands. We didn’t eat lunch even because of our excitements to come across the neighboring islet. When we were on our way to the exit point of Brgy. Almeria, the sun was fully out and we had a scorching hike way down.

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We traversed the route from Brgy. Talahid, Sitio Biasong to Almeria and I learned a few things along the way.

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After 1 hour of scorching hike we finally reached the community of Almeria and had a quick rest. Few minutes later, we then rented a bike to drop us at the port for our Higatangan Island side-trip.

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(Stories about our Higatangan Island side-trip will be posted soon.)


FINAL THOUGHTS

My Mt. Panamao climb was a very good experience, I can call it a paradise. Though, I am new to the mountaineering community but I can say that I am a true-blooded adventurer because I conquered the vanishing trails of the mountain that’s full of magical stories. The trail was covered with thick forest and the route is complicated. To all who joined this adventure, Congrats for the job well done!

“This is one of Gods natural gifts.Lets give value of sustaining these gifts for our children and grandchildren so that in time, they will remember and thank their grandparents for taking care of these resources.”

-LEAVE NO TRACE-


ITINERARY

Day 1- October 28,2017
04:00 AM- ETA Ormoc City Port
06:00 AM- ETD Ormoc City to Naval, Biliran
08:00 AM- ETA Naval, Biliran
08:30 AM- Breakfast/ Purchase goods in the market
09:30 AM- ETD Naval to Jump-off at Brgy. Talahid, Sitio Biasong
10:30 AM- ETA Sitio Biasong
11:00 AM- Start of Trek
12:15 PM- Lunch
01:00 PM- Resumed Trek
05:00 PM- ETA Campsite
05:30 PM- Set-up camp
06:00 PM- Prepare dinner
07:00 PM- Dinner Time
08:00 PM- Socials
11:00 PM- Lights off

Day 2- October 29,2017
05:00 AM- Wake up call
06:00 AM- Breakfast
07:30 AM- Break camp
08:30 AM- Start trek to Summit
09:30 AM- ETA Mt.Panamao Viewing Deck
10:15 AM- ETA Mt.Panamao Summit
11:00 AM- Back to Campsite
12:00 NN- Campsite/Trek to exit point at Brgy.Almeria
02:00 PM- ETA Brgy. Almeria
02:30 PM- Quick rest
03:00 PM- ETD Brgy.Almeria to Higatangan Island
04:30 PM- ETA Higatangan Island
05:00 PM- Prepare dinner
07:00 PM- Dinner time
08:00 PM- Socials
12:00 MN- Lights-off

Day 3- October 30, 2017
06:00 AM- Wake-up call/Breakfast
07:00 AM- Swimming time
10:00 AM- ETD Higatangan sandbar to Higatangan Rock Formation
11:00 AM- ETD Higatangan Rock formation- Naval Port
12:30 PM- ETA Naval Port
0100 PM – ETD Naval to Ormoc City
03:00 PM- ETA Ormoc City/Quick Brunch
03:45 PM- ETD Ormoc City to Cebu City Port
05:45 PM- ETA Cebu City
Home Sweet Home-

Travel Tips

1. Always plan ahead your tour. And for guide ship services with your Mt.Panamao climb, you may contact Kuya Julius Sabile on Facebook.
2 Be a responsible hiker/traveler so always follow the “LEAVE NO TRACE” practice, Okay!
3 Always wear proper trekking attire and wear sunblock to protect your skin from the sun and to avoid getting scratches from nasty thorny rattans. The trail has full of rattans, really!
4.Always bring enough food, water, and essential kinds of stuff or necessary for the climb.
5.Respect the locals and be friendly.

If you want to climb the majestic mountain of Mt. Panamao kindly visit BILIRAN ISLAND for more information.

Dislcaimer: All photos are not mine, credits to Arnold Jerodiaz of WANDERINGSOULSCAMPER

 

 

Mt. Tres Marias: An Impulsive Climb To Biliran’s Highest Peak

They say that it is the journey that matters not the destination but for the case of Mt. Tres Marias in Biliran island, Province of Leyte, it is acceptable to say that it is indeed both the journey and the destination.

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Situated at the Eastern part of Visayas region, Mt. Tres Marias is the highest peak of Biliran, towering 1315 MASL.

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To reach this beautiful and pristine forest you have to endure 5 to 6 hours trekking activity. And the chance to see wonderful waterfalls.

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As I enter the into the forest line that held in myths to be a paradise guarded by snakes and spirits. I was truly amazed!It is amazing how God created all this things and yet only few have appreciate its beauty.

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Our journey to Mt.Tres Marias was one of the impulsive adventure I had in my entire life. No plans and itinerary were set. We didn’t even contacted someone for a guide-ship services.

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As we did our typical trek from the jump-off point at Brgy. Sampao-Almeria, the only thing that keeps repeating in my mind,is what they said about how challenging the trail is.Yes, it was indeed a challenging trail.The stones in the rivers where we pass through was so slippery.

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Before hitting the camp site, we travel across 4 waterfalls. The first flowing waters that we embrace was the Ulan-Ulan Falls, followed by the Recoletos Falls. Recoletos Falls was actually named from a group of athletes coming from University of San Jose-Recoletos. Then the Sampawan Falls and Nomad Falls.Nomads falls was actually named after NOMADS group—a mountaineering group in Cebu City under Inter-Mountaineering Society (IMS).

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Despite of our impulsive adventure, I can say that we are so lucky that day. Because we are able to passed by the rivers after the heavy rain.

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At around 4PM, we finally reached the camping site. We are so lucky enough to set-up our tents as the massive raindrops began to stop.Aside from that, the water source is just located few meters away from the camping site, but no so much luck because the camping site was muddy, really!

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After dinner,  we quickly headed back to our tents.  I slept like a baby till the break of the dawn because of cold temperature. Oh, before I forgot, I tried to woke up myself at around 1:00 oclock in the morning, because according to my source that will be the best time to see the glowing camp site. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any :(. Maybe because of the massive rain drops that’s why the glowing plants did not appear.

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The next morning is another day to rise up for a new journey to the summit Naliwatan Peak. Few minutes later, the majority of the group woke up and prepared breakfast with non-stop teasing on each other of what happened last night. Lol!

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We endured almost 1 hour of steep ascending trails before reaching the peak.

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It was discouraging to see that the summit offered no view except the other peak of Tres Marias. The summit has a limited space. I believe only 1 tent is enough to pitch on the area. The peak was just around maybe 14 meters in diameter and cliffs on the sides and small trees on the center.

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Various insects and flowers can also be found in the forest, abundant insect that was totally different from other mountains. Breathtaking views awaits for you once you reach the top. Always remember that it’s not the destination but it’s the journey .

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I felt so blessed when we reached the summit even though it’s in zero visibility. I saw some sea of clouds but in just a few seconds the fog will covered it.

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We had a simple snacks and a quick rest. Few pictures taken and down we go to the camp site for our lunch and see explore the other waterfalls in the mountain.

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As we reached the camp site, we instantly break our tents and quickly started our descending trek back to the jump-off.


FINAL THOUGHTS:
I’m reminded just how insignificant my presence is, in this unyielding landscape. I could feel my fragile mortality in the balance. The self-doubt is ever present. The struggle wasn’t only with my body – it was pure mental as well trying to remain positive with my self-talk. It’s an exercise in humility and introspection. If I ever used my charm  in the default world to get things my way, I knew those qualities are worthless currencies on the slope – the mountain accepts or rejects me in its own terms, unconditionally.

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With that paradigm, I return to the city, cleansed of my ego, humbled in my demeanor, validated in having made it in one piece, and rich with new friends.


ITINERARY:
DAY 0- October 13, 2017, Friday
08:00 pm- Meet up Port of Cebu-3
10:00 pm-ETD Cebu Port to Ormoc (via Roble Shipping Lines)
04:00 am- ETA Ormoc City

DAY 1- October 14, 2017, Saturday
05:00 am – ETD Ormoc City to Naval
07:00 am – ETA  Naval, Biliran
07:30 am- Breakfast at the town and quick drop at the market
09:30 am -ETA Jump-off via Brgy Sampao/Registration
10:00 am- Start Trek
11:30 am- Ulan-Ulan Falls
12:00 NN- Recoletos Falls/ Lunch
01:00 pm -Resumed Trek
04:00 pm- ETD Camp Site
04:30 pm- Set-up camp
05:00 pm- Prepare for dinner
06:00 pm- Dinner
07:30 pm- Lights off

DAY 2- October 15, 2017, Sunday
05:00 am- wake up call
06:00 am- Prepared breakfast
06:30 am- Breakfast
07:30 am -Started trek going to the summit
08:30 am- ETA Naliwatan Peak/ Summit
10:30 am – ETD Naliwatan Peak to Camp Site
11:00 am- Start Trek back to Jump-off
01:30 pm -ETD Nomad Falls/Lunch
03:30 pm -ETA Brgy Sampao
04:30 pm- ETA Naval town proper
05:00 pm- ETD Naval to Ormoc City
07:00 pm- ETA Ormoc City
07:15 pm- Quick dinner at Ormoc Plaza
08:00 pm- ETD Ormoc Port to Cebu City
10:30 pm- ETA Cebu City
Home Sweet Home

EXPENSES:

GENERAL TIPS:

  1. When planning an adventure hike to Mt. Tres Marias, you can contact Kyle Ryan for guide ship services at this number: 09155692569.
  2. Wear proper/protective sleeves to prevent scratches from prickly plants on the trail.
  3. Climbing Mt. Tres Marias is not easy for those who haven’t tried major mountain climbing so make sure to do minor climbs.
  4. Chalet Hills, Busay has a very good space for camping but not ideal on a noontime because it’s an open field.
  5. The trek will take around 4 to 5 hours depending on the pace.
  6. If doing a camp always respect the environment and other campers.
  7. Kill Nothing But Time | Take Nothing But Pictures | Leave Nothing But Footprints.
  8. LEAVE NO TRACE

 

Budlaan-Mt.Kan-Irag | One of Cebu City’s Day Hike Destinations

Weekends- My favorite part of the week. Apparently, my boredom strikes again. And I just can’t get enough to be with greens and embracing Mother Nature. When I feel as life becomes boring, I always think of steeping outside and grab some adventures with friends who also have the same interests as me.

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We love and dare to find another way to distress through a weekend day hike trek. Thus, we did it with a great idea of river trekking near the community of Talamban. I’ve always heard many stories about Budlaan Falls and Kabang river with it’s hidden natural beauty and I really got curious from its name.

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Photo by Aj of www.wanderingsoulscamper.com

So my passion got triggered that time to have an amazing adventure. As the weather was very friendly, I started to pack my personal necessities.

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We started our journey at around 8:00 AM in the morning by meeting our friends and previous colleagues at Gaisano Talamban. While waiting for others to arrive,we had breakfast at one of the fast food restaurant situated in the mall. After the waiting game, at around 10AM, we took a haba-habal ride going to the Jump-off at Brgy. Budlaan.

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Before we started our trekking activity, a short prayer was offered and a simple reminders because most of our guest are first timers.

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As we continuously hike the raindrops began to pour which made the trail muddy and bit challenging. Few minutes later, we finally arrived and saw the heart-shaped steam of water.

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There, we took a quick rest and picture taking. Five minutes after, we resumed our our trek going to Kabang Falls.

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We took an almost 1 hour hike with boulders. Moments later, we’re able to reach the beautiful Kabang Falls.

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Seeing this kind of place in your most convenient time are great factors to relax and rejuvenate your body after a stressful week of work.

20171008_112201-01[1].jpegAs we reached the Kabang Falls, we again took a quick break. Unfortunately, the flood came and the flowing waters showed uncontrollable anger. So the group decided to take lunch at the place while waiting for the raging falls to calm.

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We are stranded for almost 2 hours. So the group decided to took a different trail traversing to Mt.Kan-irag/ Sirao Peak.

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We took a steeped ascending climb and had to cross another river for us to get through with the trail going to Mt.Kan-Irag. After 2 hours, we finally reached the mountainous community of Sirao. We had another quick break to energized our body. 🙂
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Few minutes later, we resumed our hike going to the peak of Mt.Kan-Irag. As we walk through the steeped and uphill climb, I made a lot of stops to took photos of the beautiful background surrounded by greens.

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Thirty minutes after, we finally reached the summit. Enduring dozens of climbs and trek was paid off as we reached the peak.

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The view from the peak was spectacular. We had a perfect city view in front of us with an impressive array of mountains at our back.

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At 780 meters, Mt. Kan-Irag is not a particularly high mountain, but the long traverse towards the peak, the razor-sharp cogon grass that covers the entire mountainside.

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The mountain was so glorious that time since there’s also a group of trekkers right next to us. It was an amusing day for me, a moment of a fun weekend with friends. As I sat silently with my fellow campers and trekkers, I felt happy living a life at the present moment surrounded by many friends with the same interests as me.
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Congratulations to all the First Timers for a Climb well done!


DAY HIKE ITINERARY:

09:00 AM- Meet up at Gaisano Talamban
10:00 AM- ETD Jump-off Brgy Budlaan
12:00 NN- ETA Kabang Falls/ Lunch
01:00 PM- Resumed Trek
03:00 PM- ETA Brgy. Sirao
03:30 PM- Continue Trek
04:30 PM- ETA Mt.Kan-Irag Peak/Summit

Here are my personal tip that might help you on how to get there!

  1. Ride a jeepney going to Gaisano Talamban
  2. Hire a habal-habal just situated at the back of Gaisano Talamban and tell the driver to drop you off  at Brgy.Budlaan
  3. From Budlaan Jump-off proceed the registration area to record your names.
  4. For guide-ships you may contact me at 09271361703 or Lakbay Lawin on Facebook.

General Tips:

  1. Wear proper/protective sleeves to prevent scratches from prickly plants on the trail.
  2. You will endure coupled of river treks from Budlaan to Kabang Falls. So take extra careful.
  3. The trek will take around 4 to 5 hours depending on the pace.
  4. If doing a camp at Mt. Kan-Irag always respect the environment and other campers.
  5. This adventure will only cost you with a budget of less than 200 Pesos.
  6. Kill Nothing But Time | Take Nothing But Pictures | Leave Nothing But Footprints.

-LEAVE NO TRACE-

 

 

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