Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.
Two weeks ago, I had a wonderful opportunity to finally meet the TEAM BANG — one of the known hiking group in Cebu and of course, the team’s head, the famous BISAYA TRAVELER, sir Aldrich.
It started with a proposal that I opened to sir Aldrich last month to give the Northern Cebu its chance to be discovered. I told him to start with my town, Compostela. Most people know Compostela as home of big beach and spring resorts. But this town is more than that. There are more beautiful spots hiding in the outskirts of this sleeping municipality.
We agreed to meet at my place. The team introduced themselves and I offered them cooked sab-a banana and cassava or kamoteng-kahoy which my family prepared for them.
Our adventure started with a short prayer led by the team’s famous “IDOL“. The plan was to climb Bungtod Panangban and traverse to Mulao River. But then they noticed the big cross from afar that can be seen from my house. Sir Aldrich suddenly became interested about it but tried to let it pass his mind.
The walk to Barangay Panangban was fairly easy because we just have to follow the barangay road. Until we arrived at an abandoned quarry spot which, when climbed at the top provides an overlooking glimpse of Mactan Island. Some of the gang did check it out but others stayed below.
This abandoned quarry spot holds a special part of my heart because this was my playground when I was younger. (I’m going to write a separate post about it later.)
From the quarry spot, once again, the sight of the cross met Sir Aldrich’s eyes as if tempting him to come closer. Until he relented to its teasing scene and asked us to consider checking it out. Everybody agreed to change the plan and traverse to that big cross after Bungtod Panangban, instead.
So, we continued our trek to the highest peak of Panangban. It was an hour ascent to the area. Until we came to a spot that shows a panoramic view of some mountain barangays of Compostela, the Mactan Island and some parts of Cebu City. We rested for a while and ate the snacks we brought.
I started to feel more comfortable with the team. They’re friendly and easy to get along with. They never made me feel out-of-place. That time, I knew I’d be tagging with them again some time.
After our break, we resumed our hike to the highest peak of the area. We had to climb through a steep slope under the scorching sun. But the heat never seemed to bother everyone especially because we had so much fun listening to a “puppy story” by one of the team’s member. I did not fully understand the whole story but The Bisaya Traveler mentioned a piece of it on his post, check it out here. 🙂
There was not much to see at the peak because it was covered with thick bush and vegetation. With clearing, I’m pretty sure this area would give a better view of the city.
We did not stay long there, because we already heard stomachs growling. We had to trail back because the other trail was fenced. We took our lunch in a bbq store beside a basketball court at the base of the mountain.
After filling our tummies, we resumed our hike to traverse to that intriguing cross. This time, we took the descending trail heading to the adjacent barangay, Barangay Basak. It sits next to Panangban and this was also the main quarry site.
We came across this abandoned bamboo hut which we supposed, the workers in the quarry used to live when it was still operating. We rested for a few minutes while they continued talking about the “puppies”. 😀
With energies regained, we continued our quest to discover that huge cross. None of us had been there, not even my uncle and cousin who were our guide on that day. I knew, the cross is perched in Tagaytay, a sitio of Barangay Bagalnga.
It was another uphill climb towards the cross. Our pace slowed a bit. Admittedly, I started panting and hearing my loud breath. I also noticed some of them catching their breath as well. Perhaps, we underestimated that ascend. That was weird.
After few short stops, we finally made it to the location of the cross. I was in AWE. Like, I literally said “AWE”. I’ve never seen a cross this BIG. (I hope you feel the caps.) I couldn’t stop looking at it and I was wondering why it was made, how it was made…
We all agreed that this is so far the largest cross we all have seen. Also the view from the cross was worth that breath-catching hike.
I don’t know the reason why this cross was made but there are different stories and rumors going around the area. Some of these stories are controversial. For that reason, I can’t share it here, it’d be better if you personally find it out from the locals in the area. 🙂
We took a rest under the shade of the cross. Yes, it did fit all of us. What is largest, right? Jovy, took a short nap while the rest are talking and munching some snacks. I had so much fun listening to them. I couldn’t help laughing at Sir Aldrich and Idol’s first-bump gesture almost every minute. I really enjoyed the TEAM’s company. I was amazed how open-minded and flexible they are. I’m very glad to have met them and even get to know some of the members. I also look forward to meet the rest of the team in the future. 🙂
It’s the friends we met along the way that help us appreciate the journey.
At first, I thought it would be just another weekend trek to quench my adventurous soul. I was happy with the sudden change of plan that led us to a whimsical discovery. But I was happier to have made NEW FRIENDS on that journey. Indeed, mountains don’t only give a wonderful feeling at the top, this time, it gave me new friends.
Tips and How to get there:
- Ride a north-bound bus or jeepney to Compostela and drop off at Compostela Public Market. (Fare: Php25 from Sm/Php18 from Mandaue)
- If you plan to take our route, start your trek from Dikyop. Hail a motorcycle to take you there. (If you only want the see the cross, just tell the driver to take you to Tagaytay, Bagalnga.) (Fare: Php20 to Dikyop)
- Hire a guide. You can contact me. Send me a message or connect with me through my Facebook Page. (Ace and Demi Travel Stories / Demi Compra)
- You can also traverse to Mulao River from Bungtod Panangban.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- LEAVE NO TRACE. Always, wherever you go.