Spartan Trail : Another Challenging Hiking Trails In Cebu City

“Never underestimate a mountains based on it’s difficulty rating”, an extraordinary thought that I always think when climbing mountains. For the past few months, Iv’e always heard about this so called “Spartan Trail”. Many hikers, mountaineers said that it is probably one of the toughest hiking trails in Cebu City.


Toughest, hardest, most difficult, to the highest level: I know that words are powerful, but in this case, that power is not applicable. I have no idea if those words can be used to describe the difficulty of the mountains (especially describing to non-hikers.) I think no one can give the exact description that will fit certain individual’s strength.



This mountain has a minor scale in all aspects (trail class, altitude, and what’s not) but still it is on my Top 1 list (as of this writing). I wasn’t mentally prepared and I underestimated this mountain because of the ratings given by some hikers and bloggers as well.  “Others found it easy and I found it difficult; others found it difficult and I found it easy.” Be Read and Be Prepared!


My adventure trek to the mountains of Banawa, Cebu City was uneasy, really! We hiked and trek in an open established trail under the heat of the sun.


Our scorching hike to the trail of Spartan was started in a slow pace. We passed by some houses in Paseo Arcenas -Subdivision going to Good Shepherd. After few minutes,we endured an almost 1 hour of uphill climb and then the great view of Cebu City surprised us.


Since it was really a tough trek, we quickly look for a shed of trees where we can power up and fueled our body. Few minutes later, we continued our trek going to Manggahan.


There, we made another stop where we can have a quick rest. 15 minutes later, we resumed our trek going to the deeper part of the Majestic Spartan Trail. We passed by a scenic view inside the forested mountains of Banawa.




I never thought that behind those mountains is a wonderful river where I can do some river trekking. We also passed by a mini pool or called”Jacuzzi”. I was not able to take a quick dip because there is another group who took the place first. Thus, we just quickly resumed our hike.



Moments later, the rain began to pour down the forested spot in Spartan Trail. The locals advised us not to stay in the river if the rain will continuously teem down. Unfortunately, rain didn’t stop so we quickly resumed our uphill climb traversing Brgy.Pamutan.



We endured almost 2 hours of an uphill climb before we finally saw the street or path that leads to Brgy.Pamutan.


Moments later, we finally arrived the place called “Bagsakan”. There, we took our lunch. To illuminate our body, we throw some jokes and had some gin in the table.


Our plan is to continue our hike going to Chalet Hills but we’ve changed it. We resumed our trek going to Brgy. Toong. There, we took a habal-habal ride going to Brgy. Punta.


Then we made our way to Brgy. Tisa and enjoyed “Siomai Sa Tisa”. At around 8PM, we separated our ways and when I arrived home I took a quick shower to immerse my body and laid my bed. That was a long hike yet amazing!



07:00 AM- Meet up at Rustans Supermarket Banawa
08:00 AM- Start of Trek
08:30 AM- ETA Good Shepherd
09:00 AM- Resume Trek
10:30 AM- River Trekking/Pictorials
12:00 NN- ETA Bagsakan/Pamutan/Lunch
02:30 PM- Resume Hike to Brgy. Toong
04:00 PM- ETA Brgy. Toong
05:00 PM- ETA Brgy. Punta
05:30 PM- ETA Brgy. Tisa
06:00 PM- Dinner at Siomai Sa Tisa
07:30 PM- Home Sweet Home

7.00 PHP- Jeepney  ride going to Banawa
100 PHP- Lunch and Snacks
20 PHP – Habal-habal ride going to Brgy. Punta
50 PHP- Dinner at Siomai sa Tisa

  1. Make sure to bring sunblock to protect your skin from the sun.
  2.  Bring enough food and water to hydrate your body as you will endure a long hike in an open trail.
  3.  Make sure to wear proper trekking attire to protect you from harsh environment.
  4.  Make sure to contact a guide as the trail is quite tough.
  5. Always practice “LEAVE NO TRACE” principles.








Malapascua Island | 5 Things To Do When Visiting The Island

We all know that Malapascua Island is just simply charming with heap of sands and rocks in the middle of Visayan Sea.  Many foreigners will always enjoy when visiting the island especially when they venture outside the resort.  Obviously, most of them get fall in love with the real slice of a Filipino life.


One great weekend, I had another chance to visit the Cebu’s best kept paradise. And I’m always in love with the place because of the great memories I had. Aside from its spectacular sunset and blazing sunrise, I always enjoy to walk along in the long white sand surrounded with tall coconut trees and waters so clear.


This is my fourth time to jaunt around the island. And I always had the great experience. As we probably know that most people come to the island for diving to see the thresher shark, reliably. But since I don’t have the enough skills to go on diving and mmmm…I’m a little bit afraid of ocean deeps, lol! I don’t have the chance to see those thresher sharks.


So if you’re like me, here are the things that you can do for you to enjoy when venturing out Malapascua Island.


Photo by: RBCasquejo


The island has been called the “Next Boracay” but we don’t think it will ever be like that. If you are not a good diver but still want to see the enchanting world of under water, try to visit Dakit-Dakit island. It is a small island situated around 10 meters away from the main shore of Malapascua Island.


Photo by Joseph Baya

It has been called Dakit-Dakit island by the locals because of the small rock formations. This islet is a good spot also for diving but there is also a spot where non-divers can enjoy to see the wonders of underwater.


21743116_1704978422860152_1200431869027758575_n (1).jpg

Photo by : Joseph Baya



Malapascua Island is a great place to chill out, so if you are not into diving, get ready for a relaxing trip because here is another thing that you can do on the island.



Coral Garden is another great spot to swim or do snorkeling. You can take your mask and fins (or rent some) and get the chance to see the magical world of aquamarine life.





The wreck at Lighthouse was a Japanese World War II landing craft. It was bombed just before landing with a large shipment of cement destined for a gun emplacement. The wreck is in very shallow water – 3m average – and is broken up with the hull in two pieces. The rocks that you will see are actually bags of cement.






The weather on Malapascua is usually excellent. Typhoon season in the Philippines is from May to December, but Malapascua is rarely affected. Thus, it is the perfect place to do an excursion.


You can easily walk round the island in 2 hours. Or you can hire a motorbike. You could also hire a driver to take you to all the best places on the island.





Enjoys striking views over the northern part of the island. Access is via a steep path (it’s not signposted and you have to pass through someone’s backyard). It’s a five-minute walk up to the lighthouse from the southern edge of Guimbitayan village.



When visiting the island of Malapascua, come and stay at Lah Tira Cee .


Formerly known as La Terrasse Malapascua, same management – same staffs. A backpackers haven located next to Montenova hillside. If you want a home while you are travelling in Malapascua Island, stay with us, your family away from home. We love underground music and healthy food. We have vegan, vegetarian, fish and meat dishes that caters to different travelers budget and preference.


Book your accommodation at LAH TIRA CEE, MALAPASCUA, ISLAND

It’s More FUN In FUNtastic Island | Gibitngil Island, Medellin, Cebu

As I reached the Northern most tip of Cebu, I had the perfect dip to its stunning and untouched island in Gibitngil, Medellin, Cebu.


It was the day of the week before Thursday, we took a 3 hours bus ride and 15 minutes boat ride before we caught the beautiful scenery of the island, called Funtastic Island.


My journey to Gibitngil Island was truly amazing since I am with Destination Dream- (A group of travelers ). We had fun indeed the fact that this is also a group team building. After working on a graveyard schedule, I headed directly to South Bus Terminal to meet the group. Didn’t sleep at all to prepare myself for Funtastic island experience .


Kawit’s Port

After 3 hours of a land trip we then settled ourselves for a pump boat ride. The pump boat we hired was totally spacious and clean. That was not an easy ride because of the sea wave and we’re moving up and down. Fifteen minutes after, we finally arrived the secluded island of Gibitngil. But before that, we need to go through to a 10 minutes hike going to Funtastic island.


Pump boat ride going to Gibitngil island


A scorching hike going to Funtastic Island

Minutes later, we then finally saw colorful cottages and started enjoying the blue-green waters of Gibitngil.


As we started to play with the waves, I got slapped in a slimy rocks and I endured many scars as the wave riffled me. huhuh :



That’s Ram! Enjoying the ocean waves:)


When we are about to start the games, I didn’t give attention with those painful scars. All I know is to enjoy and had fun.





Funtastic Island is not only a white sand beach but, of course, it has crystal clear pristine water. The beach is very much available to the public and great for most activities allowed by the management that watch over and maintains its natural environment.



You may zip your way from the top of the cliff down to a rock just near the cottages. Cost: P50. Unlike many ziplines, this one is unique because all you see when you look down is water. There’s no point getting scared of falling…even if you don’t know how to swim, you are fully equipped with a life jacket.



If you want to drift your adventurous soul, go ahead and climb your way to the top of the rock that stands around 40 feet. Jump and get splash!



Since we rented a private vehicle and pump boat. I asked the locals on how to get there via public transportation.As far as I remember, here are the following instructions on how to get there.

1. From North Bus Terminal take a bus ride going to Medellin. The fare is around 150 PHP (air-conditioned) one way. Tell the driver to drop you off at Kevin’s Beach Resort or Kawit’s Public Market.
2. From the drop-off point you can get a trisikad ride going to  Kawit’s coast where pump boats are waiting and the fare is 10 PHP per head. You can also walk going to the coast since it is just few meter away.
3. From there, ride a ferry and the fare is 20 PHP per head (one way) but you have to wait to for the ferry to get full depending on the size of the boat.
4. You can also rent a private boat that will cost you 1000 PHP back and forth ride. And good for at most 10 people.


This FUNTASTIC experience would not be possible without the effort of Ram (Destination Dream President). We had so much fun and great experience during this Northern escapade. Cheers to all of us!

Here’s a quick peek of our Funtastic Experience at Funtastic Island!
#DNDM #TatakDNDM #DestinationDream #MakeItReal


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!


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.


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.


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.

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!



    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.

    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.


  2. CASINO PEAK | Lunsangan, Dalaguete, Cebu


    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!


    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.


    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.


    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”.

    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


    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.


    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.

    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.


    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!


    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.


    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.


    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.



    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.



    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.

    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.

    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.


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.




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.

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.


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

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-


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.


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!


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!










Chasing Sunset |Best Way Of Letting Go The Bad Memories In Life


@Chalet Hills Camp Busay

Everyone wants a better life, a happier life!Each one of us has its own different stories whether it is good or bad. So we cherish all those memories but admit it, bad memories in life are sometimes difficult to let go. We always dwell the bad times than the good times.


Sunset in Mt.Tagaytay, Toledo, Cebu

I’ve been to many hardships in life before and I have to make it through every one of them. I must admit, it’s really hard for me to let go all of the memories especially the bad ones.


@Mt. Naupa Naga, Cebu

If you want to understand how to let go of the bad memories in life, go to some places and chase the sun. In this post, I will describe how I let go the bad memories in my life through chasing the color and the light of the sun.


There is no more alluring way to end a day than to catch the sinking sun.It will give you the extensive time to reflect your life. Chasing the sunset means to search something beautiful and hold on with the things that that has meaning in your life.


One of my all time favorite literary quotes is “Stay gold, Ponyboy” from S.E. Hinton’s the Outsiders.Whenever I see a sunset I think of that quote and the moment when the world turns gold before it falls to darkness. But my favorite part about a sunset? My favorite part is that it means the sun is rising in the same bath of gold somewhere else.


It’s a really old city
Split between the dead and the living
So I thought to myself,
Sitting on a graveyard shelf

Seeing the sun that is fading away above the horizon can make me feel better. Seeing the light and touching the light makes me feel of not to let go of something that has meaning to me.


It feels so amazing when the daylight is fading. Playing in the dark will feel you of not growing old again.


Toledo Sea Port

Remember that life is not meant to be wasted.We can always be chasing the sun!
So fill up your lungs and just run.We’ll always be chasing the sun!


@Tuburan, Cebu Old Port

They say, in every sunset is an opportunity to reset.Yes, that’s true! Sunsets are beautiful that they almost seem as if we were looking through the gates of heaven.


It’s like the end of the world as the sun sets the sky on fire until it dips below the horizon. Yet, as the world seemingly burns a sense of calm descends with it.


@Malapascua Island, Cebu

Because Sunsets are proof that no matter what happen, everyday can end beautifuly!


Thus, when life gets tough. Travel around and chase for the sun and enjoy. Because when you stop and look around you will learn that life is so amazing!


“My Joy is the golden sunset giving thanks for another day”

How about you?Have you ever paused to experience a sunset? Share your sunset experience by leaving your comments below! 🙂






The Adventure Climb To The Sycophant Mountain of Tinagong Dagat |Mt. Mandalagan

Why some people do climb mountains? Why I climb mountains? What’s in it for me? Why many people are asking those questions?Yes, it’s tiring, dangerous, it can be very lonely and you have to travel very far just to get to your destination!



This photo will answer the question, why I love mountains?


But for me, this will be my answer to that questions. Being in the mountains is the best form of exploration. When I started to join a mountaineering community, I found out that every mountain and every trek can make me different. Every climb is a new challenge to overcome, another fears to conquer and new memories to make.



Our recent climbed to Mt. Mandalagan and Tinagong Dagat was truly a remarkable journey in my mountaineering explorations. It was not easy and totally a devastating experience for me because we hiked for approximately 5 hours with leeches along the trail and I have a “Helminthophobia”. Which means I am afraid of leech or any type of worms, really! I don’t have  problems with long trek/hikes the fact that I was born to be a conqueror. This climb made me overcome my fears of being with leeches and made me  a friend to them all of a sudden. Lol!


The Leeeeecccccchhhh

Anyway, before I will share my stories with this adventure climb let me give you some simple intuitive about this mountain. Mount Mandalagan and Tinagong Dagat is one of Negros Volcanic Belt and a crown jewel of North Negros Forest Reserve. It is one of a potentially active volcano in the mountainous area of Negros Occidental according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. It has an elevation of 1, 885 meters above sea level.


Truly Majestic Mt. Mandalagan


I am really hesitant to go with this adventure climb, the fact that I’ve heard and read mysterious stories about the mountain. Adding to that, my fears of leeches! Because of my supportive friends who encourage me to overcome for it, so I decided to just go!


That’s our most kind organizer, Jeff!

One month before the climb, Jeff (who organized this adventure climb), prepared everything to make this event a successful one. He submitted a proposal letter addressing to Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Silay City. Luckily, that request was granted and he made all the arrangements from guides, itineraries, transportation and event shirts.


Arriving at Bacolod North Bus Terminal



A short prayer to be offered before the start of our journey

We arrived Bacolod City North Bus Terminal at around 6:00 o’clock in the morning. While waiting for the driver who will pick us up we decided to have a quick morning tide at the Ceres Mart. A few minutes later, the driver arrived to pick up the group.


Orientation for safety measures


It’s raining cats and dogs along the trail

We started our trek at Brgy. Patag- the jump off point going to Mt.Mandalagan. Since we arrived Patag before lunch, the group hurriedly prepared their food for lunch and we asked our guides to discussed our itinerary. After we prepared ourselves and stuffs on this adventure climb, the cloud bursting suddenly it bombs of rain falling on the mountains.


Mixed emotions completely wrap up my body that time because of what I have heard from one of our guides. According to him, when rain is falling, plenty of leeches will be falling to along the trails.



Leech sticking my coat

The first 10-15 minutes of the trail is a gradual descending trail and quite steep because it was raining.


After crossing a small river, our guide decided to loosen up and wait for the middle group and the last group since I am in the first group and we are divided into three groups. While waiting, I’ve heard a scream coming from the middle group until I knew that there’s a leech sticking to her and I became uneasy and terrified.


When our guide told us that we are about to enter the ascending trail where more leeches are I am more frightened. He’s thoughts cause me to an extreme fear.


Along the sort of “un-established trail”, the leech started to stick my body and I whimpers like a child. They told me that I look pallid, really! As we continued to trek through that thick and pristine forest of Mandalagan, I tried to at least hold or touch one leech. Since then, I became valiant to any parasites I am seeing along the trail. I am having the fun of detaching them to my body since then and enjoyed it while they’re sticking my hands.


Giving them the advantage

There’s a lot of them extending their body on the trail and they act obsequiously toward someone in order for them to bite and suck your blood. Fun yet challenging, right?


After two hours of ascending trail, we saw space shaded by huge trees and according to our guide, the area has lesser parasites. So we decided to take our brunch since we arrived in the area at around 1:00 PM.


Lunch Time!

Thirty minutes after, we quickly resumed our trek going to Mt.Mandalagan.Another two hours of trekking we need to accomplish. The trail is more challenging and more technical compared to the first two hours. We ducked fallen trees and scrambled up on rocks.



The social climber of the group 🙂


Moments later, we finally reached the mountain close to the base camp of Mt.Mandalagan. I felt so glad to see the welcoming spacious flat terrain and an open basin from the top.


Katkat pa moiiirrre!

For us to get to the wide base camp, we need to endure 30 minutes steep descending trail (in our pace). The trail was all mud slides and we are struggling, tho!

Finally, after those challenging muddy trail, we reached the base camp. A surprising flat grass like a carpet about 2 kilometers wide welcomes us!It is really big and like a spacious playground for freeze bee, football or even running.




Cold Mornings!

My night at Tinagong Dagat-Mt.Mandalagan was a nightmare for me the fact that I am very weak in cold temperature. I just stayed inside the tent and sleep early. The next morning, the terrain was still cold but dry. The ground was only wet because of the morning dew and when I slept last night they told me that there was a canopy of stars.


As the group rises early, we’re able to take our breakfast early as well! We are able to take our time cleaning up our tents and act like a camwhore. Lol!





After the traditional photo shoot with the group and with the other groups, we then said goodbye to Mt.Mandalagan at around 10:00 AM. We are so ready for the almost 1 hour of an uphill trek as the start and our guide ensuring us that the rest will be descending trails.


We passed by a small river that is connected to the dam where some parts are quite hard. We passed by an exciting trail as well after the dam.It is a canal trail where focus and balance are necessary. You have to concentrate and watch your steps on the canal trail.


After of almost 2 hours of downstream, we were finally out of those thick rainforest.I finally saw houses and just 15 minutes walk is a highway going to Campuestuhan Proper.


Since Tboy, Lovely, Isabelle, Jeff, John and I arrived first at Campuestuhan, we decided to have lunch while waiting for others to arrive.


This welcomes us to Campuestuhan


Since we are one hour ahead of the groups to arrive at Campuestuhan, we were able to take our time with our brunch. In addition, we were able to loosen up first without any hassle.


At around 3 PM, we arrived Bacolod City Proper (North Bus Terminal). While some of us waited for a bus ride back to Cebu, Lovely, Tboy, Jeff, Tina, Belle and I proceeded to Silay City where my cousin is. We had our side-trip in the Paris of Negros Occidental instead of Campuestuhan Amusement Park.


Day 0- August 11, 2017, Friday
2200H- Assembly at Cebu South Bus Terminal and look for any trip to Toledo City
2400H- ETD Cebu City to Toledo City

Day 1- August 12, 2017, Saturday
0130H- ETA Toledo City; book for tickets via fast cat for 0300H Departure
0330H- ETD Toledo to San Carlos City
0430H- ETA San Carlos City; Go directly to San Carlos City Bus Terminal
0440H- ETD San Carlos City to Bacolod City
0630H- ETA Bacolod City Old terminal; go to New Terminal via trike
0730H- ETD Bacolod New Terminal to Silay City
0830H- ETA SilayCity; Breakfast; wait for the guide; CR Breaks; Buy Pack Lunch
0900H- ETD Silay City to Brgy. Patag via jeepney
1030H- ETA Brgy. Patag; arrival at Hospital; Proceed to tourism office; orientation and opening prayer
1045H- Start Hike
1200H- Lunch on Trail
1400H- Arrival at Platform
1730H- Arrival at Tinagong Dagat; Set up camp
1800H- Prep for Dinner
2000H- Dinner

Day 2- August 13, 2017, Sunday
0500H- Wake Up Call; prepare for breakfast and Packed Lunch; Early Break camp
0600H- Breakfast
0700H- ETD Tinagong Dagat
1200H- ETA Campuestohan; find a place to take a bath and clean up; LUNCH
1300H- ETD Campuestohan; side trips
1600H- ETD to Bacolod City
1700H- take snacks Bacolod City
1800H- Head to terminal to catch a bus trip to San Carlos City
2000H-ETA San Carlos City; Dinner at San Carlos City Mall
2300H- Book for ticket for Fastcat

Day 3- August 14, 2017- Monday
0100H- ETD San Carlos City to Toledo City
0230H- ETA Toledo City; ride Vhire bound to Cebu City
0330H- ETA Cebu City


Budget: (All fares adjusted to avoid budget shortage)
Cebu City to Toledo vice versa via any transport- 200
Toledo to San Carlos vice versa via Fast Cat- 400
San Carlos City to Bacolod via Ceres Bus- 250
Bacolod City to Silay City via Ceres Bus vice versa- 50
Silay City to Brgy Patag via jeepney vice versa- 90

B. If we will visit the Ruins:
Fare from Brgy. Campuestohan- 150
Entrance Fee: 100
C. Climb Permit Fee- 300
Notary plus fare- 75
Fare for the permit- 50
Guide Fee- 300
entrance fee at the hospital- 10 pesos
D. Tshirt Estimate- 350
Bag tag- 30
E. Food for the whole climb- 300
F. Allowance- 500


Final Thoughts:
This Mt.Mandalagan/Tinagong Dagat Adventure Climb was truly a remarkable journey for me. I would like to thank Jeff for organizing the event. To our three guides, (I forgot their names) thank you so much for spending time with us.Despite that devastating experience, it was very fulfilling that we are able to accomplish such task and witnessed the beauty of nature of Mt.Mandalagan-Tinagong Dagat.

Till our next adventure!























Silay City|A Quick Jaunt To The Paris of Negros Occidental

Looking for a perfect getaway that won’t required to filed leaves or missed classes? Silay City is perfect!


This 3rd-class city in the Province of Negros Occidental is just right for a two-day, one night vacation. After our adventure climb at the 3rd highest peak in Negros mountains, I decided to visit my cousin who lives in Silay City. Out of 12 individuals who joined the climb, I only had 3 of the groups who joined me this quick jaunt. Supposedly, we are six but Lovely and Tboy decided to return back to the Cebu City for work.


From Bacolod North Bus Terminal, we took a bus and arrived at Silay City in just 15 minutes. Those who want to save even more time can take the one hour and six minutes plane ride from Mactan Cebu International Airport.

You can fit many of the must-sees in two days but in our case, we only have it for an hour. Because Silay is a small city, the sights are only a few minutes away from each other by tricycle or on foot.

Here are my personal suggestions to make your weekend in Silay just as memorable with your longer trips:

Exploring Balay Negrense


The Balay Negrense is a museum in the City of Silay, where it showcases the way of living during the 19th century. It is also the first museum to be established in the province of Negros Occidental.


This ancestral house was originally owned by Victor Gaston, son of Yves Leopold Germain Gaston and Prudencia Fernandez. When Victor Gaston wife’s died, the house was constructed in 1987. On October 6, 1990, it has been opened as a museum. Then, the house was listed as a heritage house by the  National Historical Institute of the Philippines on March 8, 1994.

Source: Wikipedia

 A Quick Sneak at Holifiña Ancestral House


That one fine morning, I thought I was walking along to the City of Carcar, but it wasn’t! Surprisingly, I saw lots of ancestral house along the street of Cinco De Noviembre.


According to Wikipedia, this house was used to be the house of Japanese commanders during the World War 2. On April 6, 1993, the house got a historical marker installed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. This was the 1st ancestral house top be opened in the city.

Visiting San Diego Pro-Cathedral


The San Diego Pro-cathedral, formerly known as the San Diego Parish Church or the St. Didacus Parish Church before its declaration as a pro-cathedral in 1994, is an early 20th-century church in Silay City, Negros Occidental in the Philippines. It is the only pro-cathedral outside of the national capital of Manila and is unique in Negros Occidental for being the only church in the province featuring a cupola or dome.


Source: Wikipedia

Cinco De Noviembre Street/Monument


November 5 is Negros Day! What happened on November 5, 1898 is believed to be the first bloodless revolution in the Philippines.

November 5, 1898 (Cinco de Noviembre) is the date when Negrenses are proud to exclaim that they are inhabitants of a small sock-shaped island full of natural resources. This is the day when thousands of Negrenses manifested their bravery and courage, in the most coordinated way headed by various local leaders, to protect the land they well-loved in a bloodless revolt against the Spanish conquistadors.

There’s more to see in the beautiful City of Silay and here are my Snapshots:2014_0228_212002_001-01[1]2014_0228_212321_006-01[1]2014_0228_212754_018-01[1]2014_0228_210605_001-01[1]


Ceres bus trips from Cebu City to Bacolod, Negros Occidental, and vice versa pass through different routes among many cities and municipalities so they could pick up passengers along the way.

Cutting Trip is cheaper but tiring. If you want to travel from Cebu to Bacolod, you can ride on a bus from South Bus Terminal going to Toledo. The fare is around 60-80 pesos. Then ride a pedicab from Terminal going to Toledo Seaport (5-10 pesos). In the port, fall in line to get your ticket in either Fastcraft or Lite Ferry of your choice then ready for boarding.

From Bacolod City, take a Bata – Libertad route jeepney to reach Bacolod City North Bus Terminal where jeepneys and Ceres buses are there to take you to Silay City. The jeepney fare from the terminal to Silay is 13 pesos while bus fare is at 16 pesos.

Staytude n for my Negros Occidental Quick Jaunt, more stories photos will be uploaded soon!😊




An Awesome Traverse To The Manutu River in Toledo City, Cebu

Are there magical places out in the wilds of the world? One of the questions I always asked and I always ended up an answer depending on who I asked. Although it is still uncertain that if magic really exists in the world, there are certainly fantastic and extraordinary places on our planet that certainly seem to make one entertain the idea that it just may.


After our overnight camp at the charming Mt.Tagaytay, we had an awesome side-trip to the surprising river of Toledo, City. Traversing to Mt. New Bucau, there is one such place that lies in the quaint rain-forest in the City, an achingly beautiful and mystical river that has long been surrounded by legend locals.


Moments in MT. Taytaytay


The Beautiful Mt.New Bucau

This is the Manuto River, a place where it is said to be mysterious and which indeed mesmerizing enough to make one believe that magic is real.


The Wet and Wild Manutu River 

There are many rivers in the country that are so wrapped with mystery and magnificence. According to Miss Beth (our host for this weekend adventure) has the same view of Tanay River and Marmol River in Tuburan, Cebu. It is also connected with the Malubog Lake that is marked by its folklore.


A very welcoming river!

Upon arriving at the river, I was surprised with the cold as ice waters flowing continuously the river and this combined with the reflection of palm trees.


Adding to the magical quality of the place is the plentiful indigenous flora and fauna lining the cold waters.



While walking along the river, I saw a lot of spots that are picturesque, really! Thus, I made a lot of stops. Along the way, I saw boulders and gigantic rocks that made me feel I’m back to the place where I drifted my wandering soul, the Marmol Cliff in Tuburan, Cebu.


After almost 30 minutes of walking along the river and climbed those bouldering rocks, we finally reached the spot where we can swim and take our lunch. A few minutes later, the weather became unfriendly. Unfortunately, a steady falling of water from the sky washes us away.



These three are just like walking in the park!

” If the rain continued pouring down heavily, kindly go back to the area where we had a quick stop”, Miss Beth said.


An awesome view after climbing the boulders


The guys are having some fun swimming at the cold as ice waters surrounded by the boulders. 


According to Miss Beth, if there is rain, the streams that flow into the main river receives greater amounts of water that will instantly cause the river flooding.  So, we decided to get back to the place where we can shade, loosen up, and take a brunch.



Truly breathtaking 

As we were making our way back to the area where we can meet Beth and RJ, the downpour is continuous and we are really struggling because each one of us is having some stuff in our hands which is our food.


Rain? Who cares? I have the food in my hand, lol!


Despite the rain falls, we continuously trek until we reached the area. Upon our arrival, we instantly took our lunch because as what have the locals advised to us, there will be no habal-habal driver that can take us to the jump-off area of General Climaco (Malubog) especially if there is a heavy rain.


After taking a quick brunch, things got even worse.downpours got heavy!Since I’m very weak in cold temperature, I was really freezing that moment. So we quickly took a motorcycle ride going back to Barangay Malubog and the cold winds really tendering our body. Adding to that chilled ride was a bumpy and rocky road that is seemingly an endless adventure.


The Rocky Road

After that bumpy ride, a few minutes later we finally reached the jump-off area of Barangay Malubog with the courage, haha! And I thought that was the end of our adventure, it wasn’t!


Top loading 


Topload is FUN! FUN! FUN!


As we said our goodbyes to Beth, we rode a jeepney going back to Toledo Bus Terminal. We took a “top-load” ride where you need to go up and occupy the roof of the jeepney. No comfortable chair! No protection ceiling! Everything is OPEN! This is my second time to go on top loading and it is really fun and extreme! I found this challenging, really! Because you need to sit down on hard metals under the heat of the sun for long hours.But in our case the pour down slowly stop and we’re lucky enough!


Overall, this is one of the best adventures I had in Toledo City, Cebu. Thank you so much to Miss Beth for organizing this Friendship Climb. I had so much fun and thankful seeing those beautiful natural gifts in Toledo City. Hoping that these places I’ve visited will remain to exist and be seen. The river is really a dreamlike beauty and hope it will be preserved for many future generations to come!:)



Mt.Tagaytay |Humble and Charming Peak in Toledo, Cebu

Weekend, Yay! One humble afternoon and I met up again the lunatic group called Tribu Hugawan, Lol! Another hiking adventure that’s full of fun through the mountains of Toledo, City Cebu.


Getting there was a bit extreme motorcycle ride as we crossed the rocky road river. While I am on the ride, I remember the moment when I visited the Marmol Cliff in Tuburan, Cebu.


Getting a good view from the summit of Mt.Tagaytay is not difficult. Even on rainy days, the mountain’s summit will always give you the opportunity to see the entire City of Toledo and also the enchanting Malubog Lake. 

We started our hike at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, which is late, as the recommended time starts in the itinerary is 1:30 PM. The hike starts at Barangay Malubog right next to Barangay Casoy where we took a habal-habal ride.


I could tell that the day was going to be a scorched hike as the heat of the sun really blast. Even at the foot of the mountain which is surrounded by many trees, I was already starting to sweat. The first part of the trail passed a cemented road in a small community, a row of houses, a field where cows were grazing, then a steady but gradual uphill;l climb trail that seemed to wind around the mountain.


Brgy Magdugo- where we took our habal-habal ride going to the jump-off

Because it was a hot afternoon hike, so we did not have a lot of stops to take photos. After of almost an hour hike, we reached the house of Miss Beth Dacuma. She’s actually our assigned guide for this weekend hike and camp-out in Mt.Tagaytay.  There, we cease our hike real quick in order to relax.


After 15 minutes of loosening up, we then resumed our hike going to Mt. Bucau. In this part, the trek was still a gradual uphill trail. As we reached the mountain of Mt. Bucau I instantly grab my camera because of the picture-perfect view. I just can’t afford of not to take photos with the scenic background of Malubog Lake no matter how scorching hike it was.


Reaching the Mt. Bucau will give you the best background of Malubog Lake



The trail going to Mt. Tagaytay wasn’t tough and exhausting. This time, I did a lot of stops to take photos with the natural greenery background. I was so amazed by the surroundings as it will give you the best view of the mountains that surround around Malubog Lake.



Over that scorched hike, we finally reached the expansive field of Mt. Tagaytay. It was an eye-opener for me since that was really my first time to see a pleasant plateau.


Everyone can roll and ramble because it is spacious, really! That was my first time also see a camp site as big as Mt. Tagaytay.


A surprising view at the top of Mt.Tagaytay. It is spacious, really!

Since we arrived Mt. Tagaytay at around 5:00 PM, we quickly pitched our tents for us to chase the sunset. Everyone is really busy preparing their cameras to take a photo of the beautiful yellow-reddish daylight that slowly fades away in the mountain, lucky enough!



From there, I’ve got the best panorama shots of the entire Toledo City. Everywhere in the mountain is really surrounded by the beautiful backgrounds.



After getting those awe-inspiring shots, we then prepared our dinner and had a leisurely talk/socials with the group.


We’re so lucky to get our foot in Mt.Tagaytay as we are the first group to set up a camp in this private and spacious area. Thanks to Miss Beth and RJ for taking good care and organizing this weekend climb!



The next morning is another day to rise up for a new journey to the summit Mt. New Bucau.






Cafe Bella | First English Tea House In Cebu


Who could have thought that inside the vicinity of Sirao Garden-Little Amsterdam, everyone can experience the ambiance of an English Tea Shop?  Yes! That’s possible.


Located on the grounds of Sirao Garden-Little Amsterdam, aside from its tropical greenery. You can experience the lush and cold breezed while you enjoy spectacular views of the mountains. Relax with a tea in hand, socialize with friends and family inside the Tea house and enjoy a wide selection of teas and coffee.


The tea house is just quaint small where it can accommodate 10 to 12 individuals. The walls inside the tea house are surrounded by the collections of Elena’s where you can see various teapots, miniature bone china, hats, vases, frames,and figurines.


Upon visiting the Cafe Bella, I had the chance to speak with Ms. Elena Chua. ” This is like a dream come true for me. It made me happy every time I saw people smiling when they visit the place”, she said.


“It gives a glimpse into my world…My journey and my love of tea”, she added. I was inspired by the story she shared with me on how she ended up building the Tea House as an addition to the Garden.

According to Ms. Chua, when she was a small child, she loves to collect small souvenirs and knickknacks. She loves to play by herself or with friends and has their own tea party.  She loved collecting miniature bone chinaware. When she started to work as a flight attendant, she then acquired the passion of drinking different kinds of tea from different countries.

She felt so blessed with the opportunity to see and traveled all over the world. As she discovered how the world beautiful was, she decided to share these experiences with many people especially to those people who don’t have the opportunity to discover and explore the world.


When Sirao Garden-Little Amsterdam was built, their family considered it as a gift from God. Miss Elena decided to upgrade the Garden by having this tea house where it will showcase her beautiful and fascinating collections. Her collections are all precious to her because of her journey.

What’s with the name, Bella?

Bella is the name of her adorable daughter. Upon visiting the garden, the door will welcome you with a big sign 8504 which is the birthdate of Bella.



Cafe Bella can only accommodate 10 to 12 persons, meaning it is limited. Miss Elena serves the guest herself. She offers a set menu that consists of unlimited tea with various flavors, a sandwich, salad, cupcakes, fruits, juice drinks and if one prefers it, coffee.

Elena limits Casa Bella guests for the simple reason that the place is small and usually, she serves the guests herself. She offers a set menu that consists of unlimited tea of various flavors, a sandwich with a crunchy and zesty vegetable salad on the side, and perhaps, also her specialty, chicken macaroni salad, some cupcakes, fruits, juice drinks and if one prefers it, coffee.

If you want to experience and enjoy the English Tea in your hand. For reservations, You may contact Miss Elena Chua at 0922-825-6259 or you may check their Facebook Page Sirao Garden-Little Amsterdam.  



Visitors from Tagaytay City:)

Disclaimer: Please be advised that Cafe Bella can only entertain guest with reservations.

Important Reminders:

The Tea house is just small, cozy and restful where you can look closely with these fascinating collections of Miss Chua. Most of them are breakable and irreplaceable.Thus, most of them are “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY” so PLEASE DON’T THEM!