Be prepared. Persevere. Be determined. Be mindful. Be careful. Enjoy. These are the mantras most climbers keep repeating themselves to reach the summit no matter the trail to traverse. How else can you make sure that all information received and gathered before an adventure are facts? This is the start of planning this event – Mt. Lanaya Trek and Camp.
Disclaimer: Let me just clarify that the myths I am referring to here are the information I’m doubtful of. I want to clarify things bothering my mind. And my discovery along this journey is quite surprising. The date was set and off we went.
Mt. Lanaya Overview
Mt. Lanaya is located in Alegria, Cebu that towers approximately 700 meters above sea level (masl). The mountain towards its peak Kalo-Kalo (named because of its hat (kalo in Visayan dialect) shape when viewed from the sea area) is characterized by forest-covered slopes towards the west as you ascend. The peak can actually be seen from the national highway with its rock formation embracing the coastline, a possible side trip after the climb other than its neighboring waterfalls.
The Myth: Mt. Lanaya is considered by climbers and local residents as the toughest mountain to climb in the province of Cebu.
The Experience: Although we haven’t traversed Lumpan Trail, even our guide, Reynolds Santos (a local from Legaspi, Alegria) confessed that Legaspi trail is the most difficult between the two. The guide confirmed that it is the toughest throughout the province since it has the highest elevation.
Trek and Camp
Pain is nothing in a journey that is measured by the determination of the like-minded wandering souls rather than by the distance and level of difficulty. Is it far? Is it tough? Is it tiring? All of these questions were answered by “Yes” with the information gathered before the climb. But why still pursued? Simply not just to feel the leisure of nature tripping, but to answer our own conscious questions of the climb per se and Alegria’s other tourist destinations based on the stories of those who have been there.
Years-old information notes the three entry points to explore the mountain – Legaspi, Lumpan and Lanaya-saag. Most climbers took the established Legaspi-Lumpan traverse so they will be able to experience both.The Myth: Of the heaps of information gathered offline and online, there seems a debate as to which trail is easier, better, and recommended. Some opted Lumpan Trail since it only requires less than 2 hours to reach the peak; while others find this trail steep and difficult to ascend. There are also those who chose to take Legaspi Trail because it is easier though it consumes approximately 4 hours of trek towards the peak.
The Experience: Our group decided to follow Legaspi Trail except for one who wants to take the perceived tougher route of Lumpan. Discussions with the guide set in to clarify things and for registration at Legaspi Baranggay Hall. Things cleared up noting Legaspi as the tougher, enjoyable trail. Lovers of nature as we are, we chose this trail. It actually took us an hour to the campsite from the jump-off point and an hour and 45 minutes from the campsite to the peak. Be careful in entering the woods and taking the route towards the peak and keep close with each other because of the loose, sharp rocks and false trail. Yes, the climb is tough but the woods, rich vegetation and warm habitat offered us a pleasant shade and fine trek up.
Whether Legaspi or Lumpan, what really matters is your decision to make the most of your desired climb towards the summit.
The Myth: The known Windows XP meadow in Sitio Samuyao serves as the campsite of Mt. Lanaya though some mountaineers choose to camp near the peak.The Experience: True enough pitching our tent at the picturesque campsite is really ideal. It is an invaluable night-stay in a hilltop in between mountain ranges, hills, and Tañon Strait with a clear night sky giving us a performance of falling stars.
The Peak (Kalo-Kalo Peak)
The Myth: Most of the pictures of the peak I saw online is not that enticing, except for the sea view.The Experience: Contrary to what I’ve read and seen in blogs, the boulders comprising the peak are interesting and the view atop is awesome. The breeze welcomes us to the top, paving away our sweats from the quiet difficult climb up. The wide, calm sea view of Tañon Strait, the glimpse of Mt. Talinis and Mt. Kanlaon afar, and the magnificent farewell bid of the sun give us a tap telling us “you deserve all these after all.”
The User’s and Service Fee
The Myth: Talks have been on the varying rates of the guides, entrance fee, exit fee, and overnight fee charged to climbers of Mt. Lanaya.
The Experience: Just knew that the ordinance for Mt. Lanaya’s user and service fee has already been stipulated and set to enforce on August 3, 2014, but was only implemented recently after the officials unearth the documents. See documents below for more information.
Source: Reynolds Santos (trek guide and motorcycle ride contact person) He can be reached at +639754673305.
Side Trip (Cambais Falls and Cangkalanog Falls)
Since Alegria is a municipality surrounded by waterfalls, we also wanted to explore Cambais Falls and Cangkalanog Falls after the climb. Just 30 minutes of motorcycle ride from Legaspi Barangay Hall, you will reach Cambais Falls in Barangay Guadalupe. You still need a 5-minute trek from the parking area of vehicles towards the Falls. The falls, so-called for the fish Cambais, has three levels, the third being the most exciting for diving and the first for swimming.
We took another 20-minute ride towards Cangkalanog Falls, named after the Visayan word “Lanog,” which means an echo as voices made in the area echoes. Such is the revelation of our guide. The Falls’ shape is likened to the Enchanted River in Surigao. It is favorable to those who are into diving. I didn’t enjoy much here since I could not dive so I became their photographer/videographer of the day.
We seemed to be energy-drained already that we call it a day, leaving the Falls for Madridejos corner (known as the corner heading to where Alegria canyoneering starts). Indeed, it’s another weekend full of challenges and joy. There’s much more to explore in Alegria so come, visit the municipality and unleash the wild side of you.
More information and stories in the following photos:
07:30-8:30 AM: Meet-up at Cebu City South Bus Terminal
09:00 AM: ETD from the terminal
01:00 PM: ETA at Alegria Heritage Park/Lunch/Final preparations
01:40 PM: ETD from Alegria proper
01:50 PM: ETA at Legaspi Barangay Hall (jump-off point), registration, orientation
02:25 PM: Start of Trek
03:30 PM: ETA at the campsite of Mount Lanaya (Sitio Samuyao), leave things at a hut
03:10 PM: To the Summit (Kalo-Kalo Peak)
03:50 PM: ETA @ Kalo-Kalo Peak
05:45 PM: ETD to Campsite
07:20 PM: ETA Campsite/Prepare Dinner/Socials
05:00 AM: Wake-Up Call/Prepare Breakfast/Photo-ops
07:30 AM: Decamp
08:00 AM: Start of descend
08:50 AM: ETA at Barangay Legaspi
09:20 AM: ETD from jump off point
10:30 AM: ETA at Cambais Falls
12:10 PM: ETD from Cambais Falls
01:00 PM: ETA at Cangkalanog Falls
02:50 PM: ETD from Cancalanog Falls
03:10 PM: ETA at Madridejos, Alegria (wait a bus for Cebu)
03:30 PM: ETD from Alegria
07:30 PM: ETA Cebu City
Bus fare: PHP 170 and 160 two ways
Tricycle fare to Jump-off: PHP 10/each
Entrance fee: PHP 50/each (Legaspi Trail)
Guide fee: PHP 500 for 5 persons (100 each for the succeeding hikers)
Overnight PHP 500 for the whole group
Habal-habal Fare: PHP 300 roundtrip to Cambais and Cangkalanog Falls
Entrance fee to Cambais Falls (30) and Cangkalanog Falls (50): PHP 80 per person
TOTAL: 970 (Excluding food)
Bring trail food
Bring at least 1 liter of water
Bring ion beverages or energy drinks like Gatorade to prevent cramming
Sun and skin/body protection like cap/jacket/umbrella/first aid kit
Waterproof your belongings, in case of heavy downpours
Bring extra set of clothes for waterfalls sidetrip and extra cash
Wear trekking shoes or sandals with good traction and camp gear
Leave no trace (trash)
Be physically fit before the climb and enjoy.
Watch the video of our trip by travel buddy Asa Ni Quen? here: “Kalo-Kalo Peak, Mt. Lanaya” for our climb and “Alegria, Cebu Waterfalls Hopping: Cambais Falls & Cancalanog Falls” for our waterfalls hopping.
Some photos credit to joiners of this event