Sunday, May 10, 2015

Kan-Irag or Sirao Peak - Cebu

It’s been a while that I haven’t gone on trekking or mountaineering, not until my wife’s co-workers that  I already considered friends decided to go on a major climb to Mt. Canlaon (or Kanlaon as locals call it), the highest peak in the Visayas (Philippines). Yes, a major climb, in Mt. Canlaon!, can you imagine that? After years of no practice, I was scared. But our group who we call Tribu Tagbu, that I just recently joined, thanks to Fritz our team leader, the group decided to have series of preparatory climbs (treks) to limber up for the Mt. Canlaon adventure.  
Stop under the mango tree
Tribu Tagbu decided to have one of the practice-climb in Sirao Peak, with an elevation of  750 meters above sea level. Though it’s nothing compared to the Mt. Canlaon’s elevation of 2,435 meters, but at least there was a practice climb that I think helped a lot of us to prepare for the major climb.  
There are 2 trekking trail options to reach Sirao Peak; The easier trail from Kan-Irag Nature Park or the more difficult trail from barangay Budlaan. We decided to take the strenuous route to practice. We started around 9am in the morning and reached Sirao Peak in the afternoon around 2pm. The Kan-Irag trail will only take you more or less 2 hours to reach Sirao Peak depending on your pace. 

Barangay Sirao view

There were, of course several stops in between to rest. The trip through Budlaan going to Sirao Peak also included a quick visit to the hidden Kabang Falls, it’s not a mighty waterfalls but its decent enough for a quick dip especially in the scourging heat. We had our lunch in barangay Sirao's basketball court on our way to the peak, and yes, the trail itself is a combination of few paved road, dirt roads and even unpolished paths. It’s a good starting trek for beginners or for those who are preparing for major climbs. 
Kabang Falls in Budlaan

Kabang Falls top view

2nd level of the Kabang falls
Since our intention was to practice, we brought heavy loads to practice our backpacks and to condition our muscles, we brought our usual heavy materials like sleeping bags, tents, at least 3 litters of water. A friend even brought gym plates to condition himself, and yes we were serious.
Me in Kabang falls

On our way to Sirao from Budlaan
It was a nice trek, just like the other treks I had before, regardless of the exhaustion from bringing heavy loads and the muscle-sore brought by the extended walks, the sunburns and the hassle, nothing really beats the feeling when you reach the top, you see your friends achieving the same goal of reaching the top together, to feel the cold air, to watch the scenery and to still chin up and free a smile! That feeling is priceless, it remedies stress and the daily worries we left at home or at work.

almost there
we made it to Sirao peak

resting on the rocks

Sirao peak view from the top


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