Budlaan Trek (Baugo - Budlaan - Malubog)

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

This is where we were slowed down. We had to help Dys move around since she wore rubber shoes -- not exactly the perfect footwear for this kind of activity. It doesn't grip at all and you don't want that when you're walking on mud and dirt. Cyndi went way ahead of us and took this photo while waiting.

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

Napo to Babag Half-day Hike

Hello again! It's been a year since my last post. I've been too busy on and off the internet: sweeping mines, coloring books, running errands, posting stamps, dog grooming, getting into accidents and what have you; and... yeah. I just deliberately unplugged myself from here. I realized I left this blog with just 2 posts for 2012 so I decided to breathe life into it again by posting one (probably the only one for this year) while I'm racing against the horrors of internship. 

Last September I went hiking with my schoolmate, Gerard, and his mom whose age quite surprised me and probably you too. It was a weekend and we were told by our professor that we deserve a half-day break per week (seriously!?) from all the schoolwork. So half-day break we did.

We met at Guadalupe Church at 7 AM on a Sunday morning. All of us wore orange (unplanned, if you're curious) which was kinda telling of that day's weather -- I got sunburnt. We walked from the church up to this place called Napo.

Gerard and his mom. Murky waters.

That's a kid whose happiness shoots up on the sight and sound of fresh water.

 Tub time. Water was pretty cold 'coz it rained the night before. 

We were supposed to have someone else come with us but she didn't push through 'coz her mom feared the river might be flooded due to the rain. And trust me: you don't want to deal with flooded rivers. I've gone to an it-just-rained-and-it's-dangerous-but-let's-push-through-since-we're-already-here flooded river trekking and it was a stupid move albeit realized too late.

This is a caterpillar who also wore orange to match us. I've never seen a caterpillar as colorful and as big as this. I don't like insects (alive). Sorry for the blurry photo. My camera was not cooperating.

My company also introduced me to plants, butterflies, and ants of different kinds. One ant had these claws that give off a sound you can really hear when they click. Amusing but I hate them on trails. They feed on you regardless if you're hanging on to dear life or just comfortably walking. Wicked minute vampires.

Lots of steep climbs. Almost like knee to your chest kind of thing.

It still amazes me how people from the mountains walk these paths on a daily basis, some of them carrying logs or baskets on their heads and yet still keep their balance. Barefoot at that.

We came from behind those mountains next to where we were standing on this photo. 

Since there were only three of us we finished the course by noon. Usually it takes a whole day for a large group to reach here. I don't have a photo of the RCPI towers but there's nothing much to look, really.

Them fields getting ready for All Souls' and All Saints' day.

Our view over lunch. That peak on the left is called Sirao. It's a nice view from there too.

Cebu City

From here we walked our way to the road that leads to Mountain View Resort and took a jeepney back to the lowlands of Cebu City.

Total expense for the trip: Php50.00

Happy summer, everyone!


Summer date with Lora, the only girl I know who prefers to be called by her last name. We were classmates in high school, went to different universities in college (but still kept in touch a lot), and back to being classmates in med school. She is precious. Cheers, Lor!

It's been a long while since my last post. School has sucked the life out of my first quarter of the year but it's not all boring. So much has happened: ordinary and surreal. And!!! I'm already a junior clerk. That's not something I'm really excited about -- talk about the schedule and load -- but yeah, I can't be any happier. 
Time flies.

Osmena Peak - Kawasan Falls Traverse

Broke camp at 7 AM. Sun was shining and the skies looked promising. We're just six hours away from the waterfalls.

Going to that paved road.

Stopping by the water source for some cold water sprinkling

PawPaw leading our group of 5
Waiting for Paw's signal

Therese leading this time. Girl power.
Met the rest of the group in a chapel for lunch. Rested for a little while and proceeded hunting for cold waters. We took the other trail, the one that was not the half moon. I don't know what it was called. Feel free to let me know.

It was almost an hour walk from lunch site to the river. Just so you know, I am so in love with fresh water. Even the sound of it makes me so excited, I'm all smiles!!!

Fresh water in sight!!! Just a few more steps away. I'm feeling so jumpy.
Campers entering Kawasan Falls via back door. No entrance fee here unlike the other entrance XD
Kawasan Falls has 3 levels. I've been here a couple of times but not on this (3rd) level.

Swimming to that little curtain
SO COLD. My teeth hasn't chattered in a while. Photo by Julius.
Mini waterfall. Its size is dwarfed compared to the first level's but it's better coz you don't need a raft to go under it.
Cliff diving =) =) =) 
I looooooooove cliff diving!! We climbed onto that wall on the photo above, just around 15-20 feet. I wish it was higher.

Mini-trekked down to the rest of the waterfalls (love the river sounds) and onto the highway.

This is the first waterfall, and the largest among them, that you'll see when you enter Kawasan Falls via front door.
Took the 3-hour bus ride home. So much for semestral break.

Osmena Peak, Dalaguete

We took the bus which left at 10am from Caltex near USJR in Carbon. Php100 for a 3-hour ride. The ride wasn't that comfortable. Our knees were touching the seat in front of us and we sat next to live chickens and vegies but if you got good company, the chicken included, the ride won't really be a torture. It took us directly to Mantalongon Market, probably the highest wet market in the province. 

If you take the buses in South Bus Terminal, you drop off Dalaguete highway and take a 20-minute habal-habal ride to the market. I hear it's a fun ride.

On our way to those mountains
Adidas rock
It's an hour walk from the market to the campsite. If you don't feel like walking, you can take the habal-habal which will take you to the foot of the peak and walk for just 10 minutes more. If you plan to arrive at midnight like some of the guys in our group did, then this route will be best. Unless you really want to night trek.

 It was very cloudy when we got to the camp site. The hill on the left is Osmena's Peak.

Lots of campers that day. It was the first weekend of the semestral break. 


View from Osmena's Peak. I wonder whose those other peaks are. Would be great if one of those is named after me.

With my pretty sister, F. It took a lot of convincing for her to spend the weekend with me.
Group photo by Tikboy
 With Jah who carried our tent the whole time. Looks like heaven! Photo by Julius.
Thought we were unlucky that day. It was so cloudy we couldn't see the sunset.
But then the clouds moved away and there you have it.
That time of the day when the colors play in the sky.

The night sky was a beauty. I hadn't seen as many stars ever--some shooting and falling, can't really tell the difference. We were lucky the sky was clear that night, not a cloud covering it, which also meant no rain. It was so cold already without the rain.

We didn't have any decent photo during camp at night especially of the millions of stars because Gerard aka Tikboy who had the only camera capable of capturing it was seeing other kinds of stars brought about by Tanduay and whatever it was they were drinking.

No bonfires. Just headlamps, layers of cloth on our bodies, music, food, cards, talking, playing and laughing. The only things missing were a guitar and a lipstick to paint the card game loser's face.
And we had a firefly inside our tent! Lovely company.

You know what they say about people in the mountains. There's nothing much to do that's why they go to bed early. I guess that held true for the girls that night except that it was too cold, we found it pretty hard to stay asleep.

Woke up to this...

...and breakfast cooking. Packed up for a long walk to some cold fresh water.
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