Sunday, June 21, 2015

From Mt. Mauyog to Mt. Manunggal - Tribu Tagbu adventure

This time around, my itchy travel feet brought me to the odd-looking summit of Mt. Mauyog. That very feature of the summit was actually my reason why I was really eager to go to that place and hoped a jump shot on top (hmmm sketchy). That hope was short-lived, well, actually I have a fear of heights, but I am a kind of person who tries very hard to overcome my fears and I think I'm doing good so far.

Anyway, back to the odd-looking summit of Mt. Mauyog, It looks like a huge brain-shaped coral, more like a huge rock with natural carvings. It's picture perfect, I would say, and just like other sceneries, no words can explain its majesty.

Look at them laughing at each other! on the edge! Goodness gracious!

Just look at these two lovely ladies on the summit of Mt. Mauyog, fearless and thinking they rule the world with everything looking small from where they were sitting.

12 of us decided to visit 2 summits last June 6 and 7, Mt. Mauyog and Mt. Manunggal. It was one of the many pre-climbs that our group planned in preparation for our Mt. Pulag adventure. Located in Barangay Magsaysay in Balamban, Cebu, Mt. Manunggal rises 1,003 meters above sea level. It is where the late President Ramon Magsaysay and 17 of his companions died during an awful plane crash in March 17, 1957. An annual trek is held in the place to remember that unforgettable incident. Only a handful know (as of writing) that few distance from the summit of Mt. Manunggal situated a beautiful view in Mt. Mauyog, that is why we included it in our itinerary.

So, how to get there?

From Ayala Center Cebu Terminal you can ride your way via van (P150) to the jump off destination in Brgy. Cantipla.

Entry point to Tabunan proper

Get off the van once you have this signage in sight, and from there you can ride a habal-habal (motorcycle) going to Brgy. Tabunan. It'll be easier if your group can rent a private transportation going to the place since its quite pricey for a P100 habal-habal per person, or if your group can stomach a 6 kl. walk (3-4hrs), I don't think its a bad idea at all. However, it might compromise your arrival time to Mt. Mauyog and no one wants to trek in the dark, or unless your group has a different plan. We had a private transportation leading us to the place though down on one's luck our vehicle got overwhelmed with the upslope and surrendered a few kilometers travel in the hill of Busay. Part of the adventure and experience we thought about what happened, and went on through a much smaller vehicle with the same owner. We were still lucky to have such friend to let us clutter in his beloved van, and yes we were thankful of Stella and his husband Ian for such an accommodating climb-mates. More or less 2 hours was knocked off from our valuable time but everyone was still happy and motivated by each other to go on and reach our destination.

The dirt road leading to Brgy. Tabunan

We parked the car near the brgy. hall for easy pickup the next day.

It rained when we reach Brgy. Tabunan, but it didn't bother us and we ascended right after we ate lunch and dry-secure our stuff. 

mountain warriors preparing for the heavy pour

hop on the stones we go.

One of the many rocks on the river of brgy. Tabunan.

We soaked our socks and shoes in the rapids, piled mud in our suits and took a million snapshots. We reached our destination at 4:18pm after 3 hours of slippery walk. I pity Stella for her shoes failed her and she didn't have any choice but to go on with her flip flops, I cannot imagine every struggling step she had but in fairness to the mountain-spirited woman she is, never I saw her complain but all smiles with a little help from her husband. Well, I absolutely do the same, or even carry Ivane (my wife) if that happens to her. :)

Headcount? I took the photo! yep we're still complete.

Ivane was tired yet amused by the naturally beautiful rock wall.

Oh, that's me right there! heavy pack? indeed!
We left our packs in one of the stores in the foot of Mt. Mauyog, Brgy. Sunog the locals calls it, with plenty of buoyant people around, they sure were our motivation and rushed to the summit, not wasting any valuable second, knowing that darkness will blanket the sky few minutes upon our arrival.

The girls of Tribu Tagbu, with Stella's mountain-sturdy feet in flip flops.
The ascend to the summit of Mt. Mauyog should never be taken for granted, especially with the sharp rocks, some taller than a person, unforgiving needle-like thorns from some of the vines in the area, and narrower trails, not to mention slippery trails because of the moss and the mud. Mt. Mauyog is not referred as it is without the literally shaky and unstable rocks, after all, "mauyog" means shaky in the Cebuano dialect. So one should be extremely careful.
glad we left our packs, ready for this kind of action.

I cannot imagine this hitting anyone there! crazy!

Almost there! I can even touch it from here.

Indeed, the much needed daylight was still on when we reached the summit at 5:10pm after an hour of rush yet careful uphill trek.
And she wanted that mountain named after her. hmmmm.

Tribu Tagbu reaching the top of Mt. Mauyog.

Since we still have another 2 hours walk from the foot of Mt. Mauyog to the campsite in Mt. Manunggal, we headed back to the store where we left our bags and bought other needed supplies.

Approximately 6pm we started our walk to the campsite and it was a decision Fritz, our leader made that the 2 of us should sprint towards our destination to cook dinner and to secure a place for our group, knowing that there were already plenty of groups made their way to the campsite already, it is a decision I agreed for the sake of the others who were already hungry and tired in the middle of the night. Since Donnel was also familiar with the place, he looked after the rest who took their time to feel each tired step in the dark. Cold and wet, Fritz and I ran and reached the campsite with enough time to fetch water located a few 2-3 minutes walk from the campsite.

with her headlamp on, the darkness is undeniably scary.

Seriously, this looks creepy, knowing this is an actual gear from the wreckage.

Everybody arrived approximate 7:40pm, and yes, we picked up speed because we needed to. It's not a good idea to walk in the dark regardless of available headlamps or flashlights.

After everybody settled in and a hefty dinner was served, we called it a night in preparation for another long day ahead of us. Yep, you read it right, no booze, maybe because Christian nor Kat wasn't around, they're the heavy Kulafu or Tequila members, (and of course I was just kidding, well, maybe not) Peace!!.

Day 2 rolled in, after a quick breakfast and after everybody gets ready for a long walk we headed down going to the infamous Guining waterfalls, another look-forward destination in our itinerary.

Tribu Tagbu with me and Ivane preparing a feast!

Mt. Manunggal campsite from afar.

We like it orange. No we like it bright orange!

Here comes the pack clash!

We bid goodbye to Mt. Manunggal.

We started our descend at exactly 10am.

One of the famous guide dog in Mt. Manunggal.

Hey! what's that! a dog? Yep! and not just 1 but 2 guide dogs. These dogs accompanied us all the way down, a 2 to 3-hour grueling slippery walk towards the last destination of our trip.

Upon arrival at 12:30pm, we filled ourselves with a feast prepared that morning in Mt. Manunggal. We fed the dogs and enjoyed the much-deserved dip in the cold yet relaxing Guining waterfalls.

Cold yet happy.

Look at him, he is begging for a peace of our viand.

The 2nd guide dog, comfortably resting in the river sand.

That beautiful river right there!

This beautiful and sexy woman I call my wife :D

The Tribu Tagbu baby boys, sure are ready to help! actual boy scouts.

and we're heading home!

We did not waste time and head back to Tabunan proper as vegetable trucks sure welcomes mountaineers a ride until 3pm only. So, what happen to Ians van? Well, them beautiful girls cushioned their bottoms in the air-conditioned pickup. Aside from that, the slope going back to the highway was uninviting and we just didn't invite the idea of our van stopping in the middle of the road because of how heavy we were. All of us hopped to the same van in the main highway when the road was calmer.
on the other side of the foot bridge you can find the vegetable trucks bound to the city.

We were lucky to be in one of the trucks! great help!

It was another great experience with Tribu Tagbu who surely I consider my extended family now.

Thanks to these amazing people for the company and the stories shared during our Mt. Mauyog and Mt. Manunggal adventure. 


    • Fritz Hortelano
    • Russel Marie Campus
    • Jayson Evangelista
    • Stephen Demetillo
    • Ivan Quibod
    • Ian Gumera
    • Stella Gumera
    • Ivane Gesite
    • Fenni Rose Baculao
    • Verdi Natad

    (Credits to my Tribu Tagbu friends for some of the pictures in this post)

    Other snapshots during the trip:

    The noisy cicada..  gangis as they call it.

    That's me right there! with my beautiful wife Ivane Gesite.

    Me and my balancing act.

    unripe wild berry.

    the tart tasting wild berry!