Last November my classmates and I went on a spontaneous trek to Budlaan, Cebu City. It's a very accessible trekking place and you get a lot of what you want outdoors: river, boulders, waterfalls (4 of them).
I've been to this place twice but I could hardly remember the trail. Getting lost was the least of my problems. I'm used to getting lost when trekking and luckily I always find my way back to civilization. And for all those times I did, they ended up to be the most fun and memorable.
I was with my group mates in internship during this trip. Internship meant going to work everyday, the whole 365 days of the year. Okay okay, we get about 4 whole days off in total. But this day wasn't one of them. We were about to go home that day (we were half day) when one of my group mates suggested we go trekking. So we agreed to meet around 1 pm.
It took us a lot of thinking whether we should pursue the trip since it was raining hard, afraid the river might be flooded. But eventually we decided to go. We started the trek at 2 pm. We took a habal-habal from Sunny hills in Talamban to Baugo. From there we asked the residents how to get to the waterfalls. They pointed us to a slippery descending footpath (thank you, rain) that led to the river.
|Dysserie, Cyndi and I on the bamboo bridge where the river tracing begins|
Fortunately, the river didn't flood. Must have be just drizzling up in the mountains that day. I think this is the perfect weather to go trekking. The first time I came here was on a sunny day and the river was dry and the waterfall dripping. The second time I came here was after a heavy rainfall with the river flooding. I will never do that again, playing with flooded rivers and waterfall. Neither should you.
|Santino and Dys braving the swamp|
|Water was very cold this day|
None of us planned to take a dip. No one brought any extra clothes. However, when we reached the first waterfall Santino couldn't resist the pool so he gave in while we watched and took photos of him. Yeah. You know the drill.
|Here still trying to pose and resist.|
All the waterfalls had their own names which I don't remember anymore so I'll just number them.
A couple of times we didn't really know where to go and I could vaguely remember the trail (since I was the only one who's been here). From the first waterfall we saw a steep narrow trail nearby. It wasn't very easy but we managed to laugh it off with some of us masking our impatience. Haha
|I guess Cyndi got really bored waiting for us so she took a feet selfie. This pair of shoes she wore is perfect for the outdoors. I had my usual strap on sandals from Habagat. Both are at very reasonable prices.|
|Dys couldn't stand her running shoes anymore so she went on barefoot Hobbit mode.|
When we reached the 2nd waterfall we couldn't find a path that would keep us dry so we decided to just swim and climb up the waterfall (which we failed to take a photo of, and of its basin). Turned out to be the best part of the trip.
|So cold and refreshing|
|We would have wanted to stay longer but we were worried about finishing late|
So we continued our walk, cold and wet, plus the cold weather. Saved us a lot of drinking water, mind you. Less heat = less thirst.
|One of them waterfalls|
Kept walking until we heard a huge waterfall nearby. I love the sound of fresh water. It always makes me giddy!!
|Murky waters due to the rain|
Now this is where we started scratching our heads looking for a trail we didn't find. I know there's still one more waterfall we need to cross but i just couldn't remember how to get there. We tried climbing up the boulders nearby but were met with dead end walls. When you google Budlaan you see photos of this waterfall with a cave under it. It's probably the most popular falls among all of them. But our eyes tricked us. We couldn't find our way to it.
We did find a trail though but it led to a house. And we knew it was over.
|Resting our tired legs. Deciding whether to go back to our dropoff point in Baugo or exit in Busay. Time check: 4 pm.|
We decided to exit in Busay so we could make the most out of our trip. We asked locals how to reach there and this what what one of them told us: "Just follow the trail and you will see a coconut tree. From there you decide whether to go left of right."
Now when he pointed out the coconut tree, he was pointing out to mountains with lots of trees, coconut trees and other trees. We weren't exactly sure which one he meant but after a long walk onnnarrow trails, loose ground, steep climbs and more of the river (no photos, we were racing the sun), we finally found the coconut tree which we assumed to be it just so we could celebrate.
|Imagine our relief. We took the path to its left which led us to Brgy Malubog. The path to its right led to Sirao and would take us an hour or 2 more. It was getting dark.|
|Locals said these flowers were for harvest on January|
|Couldn't wait to see paved roads|
We reached Brgy Malubog in Busay right before sunset. It was already dark when we reached the lowlands of Lahug. Still wet at that.
Total expense for the trip:
Php 70 (habal-habal ride to drop-off point in Baugo and down to JY square mall in Lahug)
All photos by Cyndi and Santino