The challenging trails rolling up and down with vertical drops (some in almost, if not all at 90 degrees, angle), rappelling without harness just the strong twigs and roots of the wild, and the unpredictable weather. Twice the experience yet here we are again, climbing the magical 2-summit mountain range of Mt. Talinis. After those grueling 7/9 trail difficulty, you’ll be hiking again? Crazy!? That’s the voice inside of me.
I don’t know what my wandering feet seek but they can’t resist the challenge, a new one though. For some, it could be exciting as first-timers and maybe a unique experience for the others. But here’s our story.
Full of Magic that is, and seems it has always been since our very first ascent. Difficult climb? It’s for real and it’s always leaving us an experience we couldn’t have imagined. (Follow those stories here: Adventure is… Leaving Your Comfort Zone for Mt. Talinis (Apolong-Bediao Trail) and Second Chance at Mt. Talinis: The Panhilakan-Apolong Trail)
Disclaimer: All thoughts expressed in this blog are on my own. Every adventurer may differ in perspectives on their travel experiences.
A Bit About Mt. Talinis
Locally known as Cuernos de Negros (Horns of Negros), Mt. Talinis, is Negros Island’s complex volcano which is the second-highest mountain next to Mt. Kanlaon. The mountain is towering at 1864 masl with lots of scrambling up and sliding down with its steep inclines coupled with regular downpours. It is a mountain range having two summits: Mt. Nakolon (1,903 masl) via Lake Nailig and Mt. Talinis (1,700 masl) summit via Lake Yagumyum. There are 2 crater lakes here (Nailig Lake – the campsite and Mabilog Lake – smaller lake visible if you’re at Nakolon summit).
Blanketed with its thick and thriving jungle, no wonder its appeal to tourists other than the mountaineers is irresistible. Though considered dormant, it’s still a volcano hence its active fumaroles or open sulfuric vents around.
“What are we getting into?” Climbing Mt. Talinis has never been an easy feat. It’s our third (for the tribe) ascent but each of which gives us different, unique experiences. This time we took the Panhilakan-Okoy 5 Trail.
It’s only nearly 3 am when the ship docked at Dumaguete Port we then went to the market for breakfast and the last buy of necessary things then off we went.
Yes, this is the weather welcoming us towards our jump-off. We prayed for thanksgiving, safety and guidance throughout the event had short orientation and started the hike to the campsite around 8 am. Several stops made along the way not minding the slippery, muddy trail of Panhilakan Nasuji due to the heavy downpours. Lunch was done at a river where you may also refill for drinking water.
After almost 2 hours of continuous trek, we can finally rest our filthy, tired feet and rain-soaked body at the campsite (Lake Nailig). Pitched our tents, prepared dinner, a bit of socials, and then retired to our billion-dollar accommodation. We even got the bonus of fireflies carrying somewhat high-caliber tracers going through our tent. I can even see them from the inside. Hopefully, other campers have seen them too. It’s just 2 am, by the way.
Woke up with these views:
Everyone’s up, some went up to Nakolon summit while some preferred to stay, prepared breakfast and decamp. We did some photo-ops with nature, of course, before going towards our exit point.
It’s already 10 am and we better go ahead before we get hit by nightfall along the trail. More than 3 hours of hike until we reached the guardhouse; passing by part of the Apolong Trail, Kaipohan Sulfur Vents, rivers, Rancho and the Twin Falls.
The Okoy 5 Trail
While some prepared and ate lunch, others went to the Twin Falls. Some of us even had dips on its flowing water to freshen up before our final steps traversing the Okoy 5 Trail. The guardhouse is actually the turning point to two exits – the right side towards the Apolong and the left side the Okoy 5.
The sun starts to set and it’s still a long way to the exit. Unfortunately, nightfall came and we had a hard time seeing the trail towards the exit since some don’t have headlamps. It actually took us 3 hours to the final descent.
Okoy 5 Trail is no easy after all. Apparently, the route is really traversed less by climbers. You have to take it easy with its thorny, slippery way. Be very careful with the many obstacles along, every side of which are deep ravines and cliffs – one slip and you’re all the way to the depths of the mountain’s foot.
It’s already late night when everyone gathered safe and sound. Thank God! Now, we’re faced with another ordeal! It will be passed 10 pm ‘til we reached the city proper for the Ceres Bus’ last trip, and we were not certain if any ship is operating back to Cebu. Luckily, we got our last-minute tickets back.
6 am marked the end of this adventure as we finally set our feet back to Cebu. Congratulations everyone! Thank you for joining this event. Thank you sir Felix Boladula and the rest of your team. For guideship contact him at his facebook page or contact number at 09077720228.
6 pm – meetup at Cebu Port (Pier 1)
8pm – To Dumaguete
2:00 am – ETA to Dumaguete Port
— breakfast and last buy (including lunch)—
5:30 – to jump off Panhilakan Nasuji
8:00 am – jump off
8:30 – start trek
11 am – lunch along the trail
1:00 pm – Lake Nailig campsite (leave things)
1:30-2:30 pm – to Nakolon Summit 1903 masl
3:30 pm – back to campsite pitch tent others prepare food for dinner
5-8:00 pm – dinner and socials
8:00 pm – lights off
5:00-7 am – wake up call/prepare breakfast and lunch (packed), hot coffee/choco, break camp
10:00 am – start trek to Kaipohan Sulfur Vent
1:00 pm – Kaipohan sulfur
1:30-4:00 pm – Guard house/twin falls/lunch
4:00-7:00 pm – exit to Okoy 5 trail
7:00-10:00 pm – Washup and wait for others
10:30 pm – Dumaguete Port (secure tickets back to Cebu)
- Dinner –
12 midnight – Cebu Bound
7:00 am – Touchdown Cebu
1529 (excluding food and other personal expenses)
Guide fee – 454 for a group of 22 (1000 per guide per day) (1 guide: 5 climbers)
Ferry ticket – 405
Hired Jeepney (Dumaguete Port-Panhilakan then Valencia to Dumaguete City) – 273 (6000/22)
Dumaguete to Cebu Ferry Fare – 355 + 15 terminal fee – 370
Butane – 27 (80×8)/22
THINGS TO BRING:
Water (at least 1 liter) + Empty bottle for refill
Food container for packed lunch (individual)
Camp gear (tent, head lamp/flash light, cookset, eating utensils, butane, etc.)
Shoes/sandals with strong grip
Medications and Toiletries
Skin protection (jacket, umbrella, cap, sunblock, ointment, etc.)
Food Preparation and Groupings:
- Tent, cookset, foods (to be shared)
- Meals to prepare 3 (Day 1 dinner, Day 2 breakfast and lunch) – by group
Physical conditioning (exercise, run, jog, walk, etc.)
Hydration a week before the climb
- have enough rest before the event
- keep safe
- mind the LNT principles
- pray and enjoy
- be physically fit
Have you been to Mt. Talinis? What’s your story?
Adventure video by Bipolar Bear: