Climbing Mt. Babag For A Sunday’s Trek

In preparation for this week’s activity in Alto Peak at MFPI’s All Women Climb, last Sunday, May 17,  despite the Mister’s subtle protest, Liz & I decided to pursue our plan to condition ourselves. I initially wanted to be on a full gear mode bringing in the stuffs that I’m supposed to bring at Alto but decided I would be better off without it. Good thing, I change my mind because I have spared myself from the pressure of keeping up with the rest of the guys. 😀

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Liz & I are still determined even if it’s just the 2 of us but still very happy to have these guys with us yesterday. From L – R: Liz, Portia (Liz’s LDI friend), Me, The Mister and Kuya Ali.

My first time in Babag was a little battered because I was carrying some foods for the outreach hosted by another local mountaineering group in Cebu, this time despite joining a group who will be having an outreach again in the same place, we were just free loaders. Thankful to Sir Jorge and Sir Jing for letting us trek with them. Without Liz’s resourcefulness, we would have added to Kuya Ali’s heartaches in Mt. Babag by being lost the 2nd time. Haha!

What’s A Day Trek in Babag Feels Like

Ohhh it was super fun…I felt energized and so full from eating A LOT! Haha! The Mister kept on mentioning how I ate a lot. It was therefore trek eating for me. But gluttony aside, trekking to Babag is easy when you have less things on your back. Unlike the first time, at about an hour from Napo Basketball court, we reached the manggahan where most trekkers stop for lunch, to the Mister’s utmost surprised. He even commented how easy it was which hurts me a little ’cause I was really having a hard time last trek.

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Lunch stop after an hour of walking from Napo Basketball Court.

Because it was too early for lunch, we decided to just chill. We took a siesta from 11:00 – 12:00 PM. The Mister and I climbed and slept in the 2nd floor of the mango tree, Liz & Portia in the ground and Kuya Ali settled in the 1st floor.

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Liz is dozing off to her dreamland!
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The Mister & I cozying up atop a Mango tree.
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Portia balancing up sleep!

We had lunched then left the Mango tree stop at 1:00 PM, leaving our new found friends behind to finish their outreach planning. I saw them arranging the school supplies before leaving. We were on our own after. But before we left, Sir Jorge told us that the path towards the flowers were closed but there is a new path. We just had to follow that & make sure we are on an uphill climb.

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The sign posted in the closed path.

And it was indeed closed so we went ahead to the exposed path. Then a local kid passed by, when asked, she said we were on track. And up we went. We had some minor confusions on which path to take but we eventually been leaded to correct path. Yay! After an hour of walking up hill, we reached RCPI towers. And I thought that was it. Ohhh boy, I haven’t been warned. It took us almost 3 hours to finally reached the last leg of our adventure, Temple of Leah. But this time, we were walking on a cemented road. We actually had a choice to hail a habal-habal but decided walking is better. 🙂

In summary, here’s our itinerary:

07:00 Assemby at Guadalupe Church
08:45 Ride a habal-habal to Napo basketball court (10/person)
09:00 ETD to Manuel’s Manggahan
10:00 ETA Manuel’s Manggahan, lunch and chill
13:00 Resume trek to RCPI Towers
14:00 ETA RCPI Towers
17:00 ETA Temple of Leah

Comparing this trek to my last trek, the loads will certainly make a difference. Last time it took us 2 hours to arrive at Manuel’s.

Highlights of the Trek:

  1. Because we only brought water & packed lunch, our pacing were stable despite the almost 80% uphill trail.
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2. The tree platforms at Manuel’s is just so cool. Makes me want to pursue my dream of building my own but where? Haha! And of course, the buko & mango were very tasty. The Mister was complaining because we spent Php 95 for I consumed 2 bukos and a mango. Hahaha! Buko is at Php 25 each and the mango is at Php 10.
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3. Despite the seeming light trekking, my body aches after, which means, the conditioning was successful.
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4. And I was finally able to visit Temple of Leah. Yahooo!
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Itinerary Spin-Offs

Because it was my first time to complete a trek to Babag, I just realized that there are more trek itineraries that you could do to make it more fun & adventurous.

  1. Day trek entrance in Babag, then proceed to Sirao peak, down to Budlaan as exit.
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View of the Chalet camp from the road.
  1. Overnight camp at Chalet via Babag, exit at Mt. View.
  2. Overnight camp at Sirao via Babag, exit at Budlaan.

Well, that’s what I could think of for now. I’ll add more soon. Happy to have find a new funtrek route for my fun club. But certainly not as fun as what we had in Sirao last time.

*All pictures courtesy of Kuya Ali.

Climbing Canlaon in 3 Days & 2 Nights Via Mapot-Mananawin Trail

It was our 2nd attempt to conquer Canlaon in the same trail. Started at Mapot, exit at Mananawin. The first was almost 3 years ago in September 2012. Climbing a mountain and not being able to reached its peak is sort of an unaccomplished feat for a mountaineer but is sorely understood. Regretful and sad but who could battle Mother Nature when it’s angry.

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2012. Leaving the shoulder without reaching the peak due to bad weather.

3 years ago, with a heavy heart & a much heavier body because we’re wet and cold, we left Canlaon’s shoulder in a haze. The winds were strong. It was drizzling. The fog covered everything. It was pitch whiteness everywhere. Neither of us knew then that we were walking down a very steep slope, a fact just confirmed since it was a clear day when we left Canlaon this year, a stark contrast from 3 years back.

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2015. Going down on a clear day!

Note that our first climb was in September, a rainy season & this year was in February. It might really be best to climb Canlaon in Summer since it’s less likely to rain.

Compared to the first, this climb was a breeze. Somehow it’s not as battering. Must be because I have aged & accumulated trekking experiences over the years? Lol Kidding aside, I was really in high spirits all throughout. Could be attributed to having a camera as well, haha. Last time we have none since I lost it in Taal. Being unable to capture what I see is most heartbreaking. Whenever a trek has been decided, I always make it a point to research about it. And I always end up reading those with many pictures & an overly detailed story of the climb (found none for Alto Peak yet, waaaaa! makes me anxious!). Being true to my motto “Give what you want to receive”, I make it an extra effort to give everything I’ve got as well. 😀

Note this is the summary post of the climb, Day 1 is done, Day 2 and Day 3 is still in progress.

Foggy Moments on the way to Shoulder Camp (Night 2)

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View of the foggy peak from Makakawiwili Peak! It took as a while before we were provided this view.

It was all excitement when we reached Makawiwili Peak. From the blogs that I’ve read, that part has some cool views of the great Canlaon which is unfortunately unseen on our previous attempt. This time, we were very happy to have been given a slight clearing. I thought that was enough. But human as we are, I wanted MORE!

Like the first, I could only see an outline of the great Canlaon. It was still very foggy when we arrive in the shoulder camp. When I slept that night, I prayed that we would have a clearing* the day after. I was in for a little heartbreak but not for very long.

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Sunrise at the Shoulder Camp

It was the same whiteness in the morning of our 3rd day. Good thing that in spite of that, the sunrise is just as beautiful, painting the view in its orangey glow, like a ball of fire in a sea of clouds. In my mind, oh well, at least I saw the mighty sun this time and had a peek of the peak at Makawiwili. It’s already a better experience than the first.

When everyone woke up, they talked about how the waters broke into their tents and all. I was just listening and feeling very lucky ’cause Liz & I were spared. Then a thought came, it wasn’t luck, my prayer was answered in a different way, it said. I shrugged, oh well. There is always a 3rd time. But after the commotion die down, they told us to get ready for the summit. I was hesitant. Are we really safe in that fog?

The Climb to the Peak

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There were lots of like this but I can only watched them since I’m too tired to get the camera from the then-boyfie-now-husband Migo. Trivia: this was our last climb as Migo & Miga!

30 minutes ascent, the guide told me when asked about how much time it would take to reach the peak. The path was laden with loose rocks in an about 30 degree angle. Since it is still foggy, I could only make out a few of what was in my surrounding. But of course who would miss the cairns (pile of rocks). When we reached the top, the prayed clearing* is still unheard. But we were patient & maybe, also hoping that the gods would answer our silent prayer…clearing please.

The Peak

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Group picture while waiting for the fog to go away wearing our team shirt specially made for Canlaon. Our 2nd shirt! Yay! The first is a blue version worn at Mt. Apo!

While waiting for the fog to clear, we busied ourselves. I had a slight inkling that it was maybe just it. But the other part of me was hoping & continued praying. Please. Please. Pleaseeeeeeee. I couldn’t remember the exact time or for how long did we wait. All I remember is the happiness when the great Canlaon finally showed itself. It was amazing and euphoric.

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Soon to be Mr & Mrs. Julio enjoying their last climb as Migo & Miga with the very shy Canlaon on the background.

Because of our delight and fear that the mighty Canlaon would shy away again, we just each took our time to do things on our own. We totally forgot to have a group picture. LOL

Back to the Camp

After a slight taste of clearing, the fogs were back. We walked down in the same pitch whiteness. Breakfast was ready when we arrived. All thanks to our very nice porter & guide. Weeeeeee! While we are busy eating…my fervent prayers were answered. Lo and behold! The fogs left and I could see everything CLEARLY. Finally a 360 degree view of Canlaon’s beauty. It was such a wow moment.

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Finally a group picture on a clear day at Canlaon! 
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Margaja Valley!
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Jump for joy!!!

And then it was time to go. Unlike last time, we didn’t left with a heavy heart. We left with a smile on our face and a gratefulness in our hearts. Finally, we have conquered Canlaon. Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!

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Spot the difference! 2012 vs 2015

*clearing – term used to describe that instant where we could see & marvel the beauty of Canlaon, in short, the fog would disappear. 

Canlaon Series:
Summary -> You are here.
Canlaon Trek Day 1 of 3 – Sudlon Falls & Base Camp
Canlaon Trek Day 2 of 3 – Makawiwili Peak & Shoulder Camp
Canlaon Trek Day 3 of 3 – Slide Away from Canlaon