Traverse From Kandungaw Peak to Lugsangan Casino Peak: When Avatars Invade




Kandungaw Peak


Discern on what you think and how you feel. For words outspoken can either break or make a reputation. You shouldn’t judge books by their cover because, in the first place, they are not books but avatars. Kidding! Belittle your self-inflicted instincts or you will just end up recuperating from the excruciating loss and pain. Don’t rush into things, you may run out of patience at times but when you simultaneously run out of breath along your course, that’s another story.



the Avatars @ Kandungaw Peak

Things really do happen as is for some reasons that most likely surprise you. You cannot conclude on circumstances unless they happen. That’s how amazing life can be. Same is true to climbs and any other activities I have had. The most recent of which was the presumed disappointment of having a great traverse from Kandungaw Peak to Lugsangan Casino Peak that turned to be an enjoyable one. It’s full of fun, even.




@ Sunset Peak with Badian Island and Zaragoza Island at the background

From more than 40 vowed joiners, only 8 of us commit. Of course, we barely know each other at the meeting point – the awkward moment. But we slowly get to interact and get to know, and gain confidence to crack jokes along the way until we reached Kandungaw Peak in Maloray, Dalaguete – the bonding moment. Just as how funny to think how you easily get at ease with total strangers.




registration area

From Osaka Terminal we took a mini-bus straight to Mantalongon Market in Dalaguete for roughly 4 hours. We hailed a motorcycle (habal-habal) to the jump-off point in Barangay Maloray. We registered at Lilie’s store and paid for the registration fee and tent space.


We started to feel comfortable with each other and the avatars within start to show off as we began our trek towards the peak. We actually did a leisure hike while our multi-talented guide, Lucas Espiritu, kept us informed and entertained. He is so informative all the way to the top. It seems like he’s more than excited to explore the multi-peaks of Kandungaw than us. This made us even more interested on what awaits atop.


our view halfway to the peak

A Bit of Kandungaw Peak

Soaring high at 900+ MASL, Mt. Kandungaw is a multi-peak seated between Dalaguete and Badian highlands. It is the second highest peak in town next to Osmeña Peak. It has a pinnacle on the peak, a cliff drop that resembles a stone wall on the other side. Our guide relates the origin of the peak’s name to the Cebuano term “dungaw” which means “look down.”

The Multi-Peaks of Kandungaw

According to our guide, Kandungaw has three known peaks: the main Kandungaw Peak, the Sunset Peak, and the Lovers’ Peak.



Kandungaw Peak

Kandungaw Peak is already visible few steps from the jump-off point. Here, a huge flag stands grandiosely atop a deep cliff.



Sunset Peak


The Sunset Peak is the perfect spot to view the sunset. It seems an unlikely time for us as we reached there with dense of fog around. We decided to pitch our tents there for a night stay.



Lovers’ Peak


The Lovers’ Peak is also known to be the Lover’s Lane for lovers back then. Some of us are even teasing; forbidding singles so as not to have bad luck, weird, yet funny. These summits are coned-shaped unlike the pointed peaks of Mantalongon.



a glimpse of sunset

Thank God we were able to enjoy the magnificent scenery of His creations. The long, winding ride, the foggy afternoon, and the full moon-lit night attest that everything is just set in the right timing, momentum, and pacing.



a moonlit night

We had socials where we formally introduced each other. First glance, you got to have so many things in mind about each one of them. But once you meet them in person you get to bond and chat with them for hours as if you’ve known them for ages. They are actually far from my first impression of them. Hihihi… Sorry guys.


Since we were not able to have our photo-ups that afternoon, we decided to do it early in the morning. We visited Kandungaw Peak then explored its cave and mountain ranges nearby. Back to the campsite, we ate our breakfast and decamp for our next stop, to Casino Peak.



a magnificent morning welcome



going down to Kandungaw Cave



inside the cave



when ends are apart

To Casino Peak




the 200+ steps of stair back to the jumpoff point


From Kandungaw jump-off, we took a motorcycle ride to Casino Peak’s jump-off point, which took us 15 minutes to reach its peak. The dense clouds atop never bother us to have our photo-ops of the scenic view around resembling the chocolate hills of Bohol. According to our guide, the term Casino Peak was just coined by locals because its official name is Lugsangan Peak after the name of the barangay where it is situated. The guide further note that there are two legends associated with the peak. One connotes that the peak serves as the hiding place for gamblers during the Spanish era. The other one is the name of the place itself as an area for gambling activities, hence the name Casino.



view from the monolith of Casino Peak


chocolate-like hills of Cebu @ the background



It’s likely to rain as we ascend so as expected, we were caught by heavy rain as we hurried down as much as we could. Still, we ended up soaked so we just enjoyed the moment with nature. We had no choice then but to get back to Mantalongon Market by motorcycle instead of trekking.



soaked by heavy downpours

After a quick change of clothes, we headed straight to get a bus ride back to Cebu City for another grueling 4 hours. Tired yet we still managed to laugh and exchange funny conversations inside the bus.




ready to go back home

With plans for next adventures in mind, another set of earthlings that I’ve met that weekend gave me more drive to move forward in life. We have different paths taken yet we somehow agree on some things. At times, my head whined when I’m a failure in meeting the ideals leading to a sudden loss of enthusiasm. Yes, I can be a go-getter but somehow I realized the significance of repetitive failures and fears to achieve excellence. And that’s how beautiful life can be.



Itinerary and Estimated Budget


• 08:00 AM – Meet up at Caltex (Osaka Terminal)
• 09:00 AM – Depart for Mantalongon, Dalaguete
• 01:00 PM – ETA Mantalongon Market
• 01:00 PM-01:40 PM – Last minute grocery and Lunch
• 01:40 PM – Depart for Maloray, Dalaguete (habal2x ride)
• 02:00 PM – ETA Jump-off and Registration area for Kandungaw Peak (register, pay reg. fee and prepare for hike)
• 02:10 PM-03:20 PM – Trek to Kandungaw Peak
• 03:30 PM – Rest, setup camp, picture taking, exploration, etc.
• 06:00 PM – Prepare dinner
• 07:00 PM – Dinner
• 08:00 PM – Socials ‘til we drop

• 05:00 AM – Wake Up Call
• 05:30 AM – Prepare for breakfast, breakfast, sunrise, photo-ops
• 08:30 AM – Break Camp and Clean-up before leaving
• 09:00 AM – Hike going to the jump off area
• 09:40 AM – ETA Kandungaw Peak Jump Off area (Rest & snack time)
• 10:00 AM – Depart for Casino Peak (habal2x ride)
• 10:30 AM – ETA Casino Jump-off (registration)
• 11:00 AM – ETA Casino Peak (relax, picture taking)
• 12:00 AM – Habal2x ride to Mantalongon Market
• 01:00 PM – Depart for Cebu City
• 05:00 PM – ETA Cebu City

— End of Adventure

Estimated Budget

200 – Bus Fare (Osaka-Mantalongon, Dalaguete and back)
50 – Habal2x Fare (Mantalongon Market-Kandungaw Jump-Off)
30 – Registration Fee (Kandungaw Peak)

100 (12.5/pax for 8)  – Tent area fee (50 per tent)
120 – Habal2x Fare (Kandungaw Peak-Casino Peak Jump-Off)
Total: 412/trekker (excluding food, guiding fee (depends on what the group agrees) and other personal expenses)


Bring your own meals and trail food
Bring at least 1 liter of water for trek and additional water for cooking
Bring ion-rich beverages or energy drinks like Gatorade to prevent cramping
Sun, prickly plant, rain and skin/body protection like pants, cap, jacket, umbrella, first aid kit
Waterproof your belongings, in case of heavy downpours (it’s rainy season so rain pours are expected)
Bring extra clothes and extra cash for emergency purposes
Wear trekking shoes or sandals with good traction for slippery rock and loose soil
Camp gear (tent, headlamp, flashlight, sleeping bag, toiletries, cook set (for food since there are no sari2x stores at the campsite too.
Camera for photography (for sure)
Leave no trace (trash)
Respect the mountains/nature
Be your own responsibility/liability
Let’s be safe
Be physically fit before the climb and enjoy the adventure


Also read:

Why Philippines Should Be Your Next Destination?



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