The biggest challenge that each one of us is facing is not someone else. It is the exhaustion in our lungs, the pain we felt from our burning legs, and the voice within telling us that “we cant”. The key is not listening, instead pushing it a notch harder. And that will be the time, when we realize that, the person we thought we were is no match for the one who we really are and we will be. The biggest obstacle is not someone else but ourselves! Push the limits, go beyond, and be free!
We , the NCR trekkers and guests (25 participants) had pushed our limits once again for two main reasons: (1) the alacrity to disseminate the LNT principle and (2) the vehemence to promote trekking for health and fitness in a more fun and adventurous way possible. This trek is one of our pre-climbs for the upcoming Tres Marias major climb this June.
Mt Kandungaw is located in Maloray, Dalaguete, Cebu. Seated in between the highlands of Dalaguete and Badian with a pinnacle on it’s highest peak known as the Kandungaw Peak. Mt Kandungaw is a multi-peak and a multi-summit sierra. It stands at 900+ MASL, the second
highest peak in the area next to Mt Labalasan (Osmena Peak) of Mantalongon Range in Dalaguete. The other side of the pinnacle is a cliff drop resembling like a stone wall. It is high enough that when you have an acrophobia (fear of heights), looking down at the pinnacle’s precipice would be a total disaster! Kandungaw is a Cebuano term with the root word “dungaw” which means to look down, hence the name of the mountain is called otherwise I believed. Unlike the Mantalongon range that has pointed peaks, Kandungaw summits are coned-shaped but not as perfect as chocolate hills but closer.
The euphoric jaunt to Maloray (Mt Kandungaw jump off)
Mt Kandungaw can be reached via Mantalongon, Dalaguete like the mighty Osmena Peak. From the market, you will have to hail a habal2x (motorcycle taxi) to haul you to the jump off at Barangay Maloray. On the jump off, every visitor must register on a logbook provided by the in-charge at Lilie’s residence/Store right below the man-made concrete 205-step stairs dubbed as the stairway to heaven. (205 steps include the few steps from the road gutter to the shed)
The upward gradient to Mt Kandungaw
As opposed to our previous visit to Mt Kandungaw last November 2015, the weather is much better this time! The walls can be seen from the trail. The trek to the peak would just be around an hour or so. But in our case, it took us more than an hour as we had long breaks in between for photo ops. The trail started with the stairway to heaven then a rolling rugged terrain along the vegetable farm. The other half of the trail is a steep assault with a rocky portion on the ledge of the mountain as the final part before reaching the shoulder of Mt Kandungaw.
The Grandiose Mt Kandungaw Sierra
The magnificent Sierra of Mt Kandungaw is what made it a new playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Those long jagged mountain chain connected to Mt Kandungaw gives the trekkers an opportunity to explore multiple peaks. And the surrounding mountain ranges offers the
possibility of exploring more summits! The campsite lies in the gap between mountains, with the lee serving as shelter from the strong winds. The view on top of Mt Kandungaw Peak is awe-inspiring but on one of the summits just right next to the campsite (opposite to Mount Kandungaw Peak) is just ethereal at its best!
The Lovers Peak!
One of the best summit with a breathtaking scenery is the Lovers Peak. (I will explain why I named it as Lover’s peak, don’t worry). I don’t know what this summit is called or it has already a name. This summit has a cairn (a pile of stones that marks the top of the mountain) which is cool as anyone can use it as bench or shelter from extreme heat of the sun (but not during midday of course).
The summit has a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountain ranges. On the west side, the highlands in Badian can be found where Dalas-ag Peak is located. On the southern part, are the mountain ranges connecting Mantalongon range where Osmeña Peak is while on the east side, is the mighty Sierra of Mt Kandungaw. Lovely! is it not?
The lovers Peak is accessible through the trail on its brae (side of the mountain). But for the adrenaline junkies, there is more fun when taking the shortcut on its crag which leads directly to the camp site. yes, when you look down at the lovers Peak’s crag, you can
see the campsite just right below.
While having our photo ops at the apex, everyone was mesmerized by the enchanting picturesque. Everyone was busy taking their pictures until the “photographer wannabe” tried to capture some scripted shots. Thankfully, some brave souls who were more than willing to pose in front of the camera for fun is up for the challenge! They did some sweet poses wherein anyone not present during the photo shoot, would really think that the shot was not scripted and the sweetness was real! Well, let’s see on the next trek! Because of this episodes at the apex, I quickly named it as the Lover’s Peak. Yes, the view at this peak is pristine and so natural. And it is kinda romantic to watch the sun rise or set at this peak while having a cup of coffee or breakfast… 🙂
Camp, Socials, Fun!
The Lover’s Peak has become my favorite summit. It is really a beautiful spot for catching the sunrise / sunset but unfortunately, the clouds didn’t cooperate with us thus we were not able to watch the sun bidding us goodbye. We decided to went back to the camp site but this time taking a shortcut on its crag (a very steep rough, pointed, and rocky part of the mountain) for added challenge! There is no establish trail and it really reminded me of the “kiss the wall trail” in Mount Kapayas. One wrong step and you will find yourself right below and of course it could be fatal. This path is for the brave and adrenaline junkies only! If you’re not into the challenge, just take the easy trail on the other side of the mountain.
Socials format is slightly different by adding some expectations aside from the usual GTKE (Getting To Know Everybody) and some few “hugot” lines after. It was worth noting that everyone had joined the socials and werewolf game. Even if the game was just one round that lasted for more than 2 hours, but most of the participants if not all believed it was a fun game and the experience was great especially to the new joiners of the game!
Expectation wise, everyone had wished a cloudy weather the next day during the traverse! The silly me was wishing that it would rain for the reason that.. “I just love it when it rains, as no one could notice me that I am crying” – expectation turned into a hugot haha! Of course it was a joke! LOL
Expectations Granted: A rainy traverse, be careful what you wished for!
Wake up call was at 5AM. Everyone was awake and prepared breakfast. Kring and July with Liz had their breakfast on the Mt Kandungaw Peak while waiting for the fog to clear and wait for Mr Sun to show up! Isn’t it lovely?
Others went ahead to visit the peak once again and put up the LNT sign. We broke camp at 9:00AM and had the last photo ops at the camp site.As we’re about to depart from the camp site and commenced our trek to Sohoton, Badian, mother nature cried and poured down her tears upon us!
She must be really sad watching us leave as her tears rapidly poured down harder and harder. Yes, it was really a heavy rain. The trekkers immediately waterproofed everything. Some had used umbrellas, rain coats but for some including yours truly had played under the rain! It brings back sweet childhood memories! As foureyedlaagan had called it, we danced in the rain… LOL
Fortunately, the rain had stopped 2 hours after and whats left was an intermittent drizzle. The rain must had leveled up the difficulty level of the trek but on the bright side of it, it really helped us from the scorching heat of the sun. After almost 4 hours of trekking, we arrived at Sohoton and prepared our lunch at Maam Rosa’s residence, few minutes away from Sohoton Elementary School.
We left at around 30 minutes past 3PM and headed to Badian Town Proper (Centro). Due to time constraints and exhaustion, the planned side trip to Lambug Beach did not push through.
This trek was one of my memorable activities in so many ways. Had a lot of time bonding with everybody, having fun in the photo shoot, the trek is challenging, Kandungaw mulit-peak, Mt Kandungaw range multi summit, and most of all the good company. As Tom Patey had said, “Good climbing and good company often go together: each is essential to the enjoyment of the other”. And with that said , I really wanted to go back there and do trail running from one summit to another soon!. Who’s with me then?
But let us not forget that with every encounter with mother nature, we need to respect her by practicing the LNT (Leave No Trace) Principles.Spread the fun and LOVE for nature. Let us not wait for others to do it for us, instead Let’s Do It for them!
- Bus from Osaka Terminal to Mantalongon Market – P100.00/pax
- Habal-habal from Market to Maloray (jump off) – P60.00/pax local rate (usual rate for trekkers would be 80-100/pax)
- Habal-habal from Sohoton, Badian to Badian Town Center – P60.00 / pax
* I did not include our expenses for food, snacks, and other fees as you may have different needs and preferences from us. Note: we had our usual sharing scheme for food (per group).