Trails and Tales of Sirao Peak

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                “That night when the moon was full and the cold wind sent shiver to lonely souls, a woman was holding dearly to her husband in high hopes of venting all the pains that she was feeling. She was sweating all over, and her cries echoed through the neighboring mountains. Come struck midnight when the cause of her distress came out of her. The smile that gently crawled on her lips upon seeing that exact flesh from her, immediately faded upon seeing the horrendous expression of the local midwife who assisted her. Something peculiar happened. And though it created a tremendous twinge on the couples’ part, they agreed to do the best for the prematurely conceived inborn. And so before dawn came, footsteps towards the rushing waters drew closer. With eyes closed and tears gently streaming, the waterfalls took charge of the fate of the poor infant.”

Guilty as charged. I defied my commitment of not visiting the same place over and over again. But what can I do? Sirao Peak has been drawing me closer and closer. Not only that it only costs P20.00 for every climb because of its close proximity to the city, but because most of my fellow hikers are in love with the each and every experience that Sirao Peak offers to them. But probably the very reason why I keep on visiting the peak is the new experiences, friends and trails that I get to meet with every hike.

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Sirao Peak with the new gang (Rea, JM, Krisyl, Jason and Jerel)

Let me share to you the different trails that you can try in going to Sirao Peak!

  1. Ayala Heights Trail canada1

Labeled as the “Pabebe trail” or the “Easiest/ Backdoor trail”, this track can easily be accessed from Ayala Heights. From JY Square, you can ride a private vehicle or habal-habal  to Ayala Heights, turn right (Canada Drive signage) and then straight ahead to the base of the peak. From the base, you can do the ten to fifteen minute hike to the peak. Yes, as simple as that. HAHA. And then, viola! You can now have a three-hundred sixty view of the mountain ranges of Balamban and the intoxicating view of the city kissing the sea.

Tip: Best time to hike is four in the morning for you to witness the sunrise and experience a sea of fog. Another option could be four in the afternoon to witness the sunset and experience a night trek in heading back to the highway.

  1. Butbot Trail   
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    Tinisik-uwang during dry season.

We often call this as the “Hanggang Saan Aabot ang P20.00 mo?” This is because we only spent P20.00 jeepney fare to Barangay Butbot from JY Square and then trekked for two hours to Barangay Budlaan before heading to Tinisik-uwang Falls then Sirao Peak after. We took the Ayala heights trail in going down and hitched a ride in going back to JY. See? Spent only P20.00? Who said hiking is expensive? HAHA. My first hike on this trail was with SUOC’s president Jude Morales and was organized by Nessie Ligas. The second time we took this trail was for the preparation for the KD2M major climb of Laagan Pilipinas. Quite taxing for a beginner. HAHA.

  1. Gaisano Talamban – Budlaan Highland Trail  

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    Kabang Falls

Honestly, I was never interested in taking this trail. I mean, it has almost the same trail as with Butbot, only that the two hour trail to Budlaan has been eliminated because you only have to take a habal-habal from Gaisano Talamban to Barangay Budlaan. In addition, I have been taking this trail since college because of our Community Involvement/ Extension Program in Budlaan Integrated School. That time, I didn’t know that it’s a shortcut to Sirao Peak. Moreover, since I live in the southern part of the city, going to Talamban is totally out of the way for me.

  1. Gaisano Talamban – Budlaan River Trek Trail    
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    Tinisik-uwang seen from river trek.

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    Kabang Falls – the first waterfall encountered when river trekking.

Okay, I’ll take back what I said on the third trail. HAHA. After several invitations, I finally give in to the Gaisano Talamban-Budlaan trail. I was supposed to conquer another mountain in the western part of Cebu but due to the unsupportive weather condition, the planned trek has to be cancelled. But of course, laagan as I am, I have to address the itchiness of my feet. And so comes the invitation of my long-time chatmate and online guide – Jason. Yes, the guy who helped me with the trailblazing activity we had to Mt. Hambubuyog and Mt. Lanaya. From Gaisano Talamban, we took a habal-habal to Barangay Budlaan and then descended to the river for the river trek – the very reason why I finally took this trail. It has the same jump off point with the prior trail; however, river trekking entails following the stream that leads to Kabang Falls, Linot-od Falls and finally to Tinisik-uwang Falls. From Tinisik-uwang, the same trail will be followed with all the rest of the trails in going to Sirao Peak.

  1. Malubog Trail    
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    El Nino strikes on the vegetation of Babag terrains.
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    High school classmate – Rubb – doing his signature pose at Chalet Hills.
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    Sir Jude at Malubog Golf Course

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If I have to rate the five trails, this is the hardest. For those who are familiar with Barangay Malubog, you might laugh at me. Barangay Malubog is actually very close to Sirao Peak. But because this trek was way out of our plan, we ended up totally exhausted. The original plan for our trek was to visit the Babag mountain range from Barangay Napo, Guadalupe. Mt. Babag is known for its thick vegetation and seemingly forest-like ambiance. More to that, it has been the practice ground for hardcore mountaineers and for those preparing for major climb because of the difficulty of the trail. From Babag, we hiked to RCPI then proceed to Chalet Hills before exiting to Busay. Not contented, from the exit point, we continued hiking to Barangay Malubog, chilled at Malubog lake, took pictures at the golf course, and then ascended to Sirao Peak. There were only three of us and both of them are boys, so imagine our pacing. I ended up sleeping in the jeepney for the entire trip upon going home! HAHA.

According to some trailblazers and outdoor enthusiasts, there are other routes that haven’t been totally exposed to many adventure seekers; however, for the protection of those trails and to abide with the principle of Basic Mountaineering – Leave No Trace advocacy, I won’t be disclosing further information on those trails. I don’t want to create a massive impact myself on the trails and the mountain itself – like what happened to most highly populated summits. But feel free to contact me for further details on the mentioned trails above; I’d be happy to help and refer individuals who are very much familiar with the aforementioned trails.

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Thanks Jason for allowing me to tag along. 🙂 🙂 🙂
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Thanks Sir Jude for your patience and rapport throughout every trekking activity.

Have a happy trek and God bless! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

*Not from Cebu? Check how Travelbook can help you! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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