Came for Casino But Found a Shy Lugsangan Peak | Mountain Diary

Standing at a modest 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is known to be Cebu’s highest point. Everybody is familiar with it because of the wonderful view of Mantalongon mountain range from the top and its easy accessibility to the public.

But last year, another peak that offers a stunning vista of the other side of Mantalongon highland range made a fuss on the web igniting the curiosity of every adventure junky. The mountains around this peak resemble that of the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol with their perfect muffin-like hills. But the fuss was not only because of that beautiful view but the name of the peak itself. I’m talking about Casino Peak now called Lugsangan Peak.


When the said peak started making a break, it went by the name Casino. Everybody became curious about it. What’s with the name? Is gambling going on there? Outdoor enthusiasts flak the place not only for the view but to discover the story behind that infamous name.

Ace and I were not exempted with that curiosity. We were also excited and we even made several plans to check it out. Unfortunately, we were not able to realize any of those together. His schedule didn’t meet with mine so he was unable to come with me when I visited the place with the Team Bang.


The Team Bang’s plan to trek Osmeña Peak and traverse to Kawasan Falls made my plan to visit Casino Peak possible. Few hours before the trip, I experienced a personal problem and I had to pull off my plan. I felt frustrated as I counted the remaining hours of our supposed departure. I was arguing with my subconscious whether to pursue the plan or stay home instead.


And yes! My will to taste an adventure won over. An hour before the agreed meet-up time, I found myself riding a cab heading to the terminal with my friend Abby. My friends Louise, Daisy, and Charlotte also tagged along. Oh, I forgot to mention, on that same day the other year (2016) we visited O’peak, so it was sort of an anniversary climb for us.

We arrived at the terminal earlier than expected. It was my friends’ first time to meet the Team Bang. Louise was especially excited to meet the man behind The Bisaya Traveler blog as she’s an avid reader. When everybody was all gathered, we hopped on a bus to Dalaguete. (See a guide to Osmeña Peak here.)


While we were riding a motorcycle going to Osmeña Peak, the rain started to pour. The road was covered with thick fog and the ride was freezing cold. When we arrived at the registration area, we did not waste any more time and started our hike after paying the necessary fees.

We already expected a foggy sight at the peak because of the weather. We didn’t stay long there because it was starting to get crowded. We had a short prayer at the top led by the Idol Wanderer and started our trek to Casino Peak.


We took a shortcut from the foot of O’Peak and passed by a cabbage field. Later on, we followed a concrete road that led us to the registration area of Casino Peak.

To my surprise, the sign said it’s Lugsangan Peak and not Casino. The man who was assigned at the registration enlightened us about the change of name. The owner of the land going to the peak is named Ka Seno thus the name Casino, however, the name sounded indecent and gave a bad impression. So they changed the name to Lugsangan Peak. Lugsangan is the barangay where the peak is located.


That sounds pretty interesting though.

The climb to the peak was not that hard. But the muddy trail made it dangerous and slippery. We also had to be cautious with the sharp rocks on the way.

The view from the top was breathtaking. It was windy and cold and we were standing only on slippery rocks with high cliffs on each side. I was amazed at the same time my legs trembled as I tried walking on a narrow rock. (I’m sure, Ace wouldn’t let me do that if he was there.)


The fog was thick because of the unfriendly weather. We were all seemed teased with the beautiful scenery as the wind blew and clearing the fog. But the murkiness just wouldn’t go away.

The mounds surrounding the peak was like a shy little girl having second thought whether to show up or not, a little girl wanting to play peekaboo.


As I sat in one of the sharp rocks, the situation made me ponder some things.

My life is full of failed expectations of myself, my family, and people around me. And sometimes, with me trying so hard not to fail, I forget to live in the moment. I sometimes forget to admire the journey. I have high hopes and all I see are those. I get too excited to see the silver lining that I failed to appreciate the things that made it glitter.


And I was there. Sitting, hoping and waiting for the sky to clear up. And I realized, I wasn’t there because of the view. I was there because of the journey. I was there because I want some adventure. I was there because I want to make new friends.

In the end, I realized, I was actually there to learn.


Over to you, what life experiences made you ponder things? What experiences taught you BIG lessons?


‘Til our next diary!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi



Trailed The Spartan Ground.

Being widely known as the most challenging track in Cebu, Spartan Trail is not new to every hiking enthusiasts in the city. In fact, from being the practice ground for those who are up for a major climb, this trail has gone from being famous to infamous. Gone were the days when this treacherous terrain is only for experienced hikers. Recently, there are already first-timers who bravely track this trail despite their inexperience. Don’t get me wrong. I actually admire their courage and determination. 😀


Whilst its popularity, Spartan Trail was very elusive to Ace and me. Every time we set a date to try this trail it gets canceled due to uncontrollable circumstances. But we remained positive that we’d walk this ground one day.


Until the wait became over and the patience paid.

During our hike and discovery of the biggest cross in Cebu, Sir Aldrich (The Bisaya Traveler) told me that some members of the team were planning to tramp Spartan Trail the following weekend. I was ecstatic!! I couldn’t say no to that.

So the said day came. I was worried about Ace because he had not been trekking in the past two months. But he was persistent to see what makes this trail challenging. So off we went!


The first wave of ascending was tough. The sun was burning our skin, the slope was very steep and seemed never-ending. I saw myself catching my breath and even started doubting myself if I could survive the next wave.

Soar high! 

One step at a time. Until we came to a plateau. I looked back and whooaw! It’s the city below me. It’s not like it was my first time to see such sight, but the feeling of being on top was incredible. (That’s why I love the mountains.)


As we continued our journey to the deepest part of the trail, I began to understand why they dubbed it as the most challenging and treacherous training ground. Spartan involves a steep ascend, a march into thick and prickly bushes, a long walk through a rocky river, and another dangerous descend.

The dried river. 
Ace acting like Kuya Kim of MatangLawin. 

Although everyone was starting to doubt if we could make it, our will to be victorious in this quest was stronger. Like a real Spartan army, we marched through the rigorous path not minding the danger ahead. Instead, we entertained ourselves with stories of funny experiences. 

Demi and the river. 

We had to make a few stops to regain our energy. As we shared stories and snacks during our short breaks, we were also getting to know each other better. This is always my favorite part when traveling with new people — making friends. 🙂 

The dried Buhisan River. 

It was a long walk through the slithering river. The water was shallow but the rocks were slippery. Therefore, we had to be extra careful and vigilant with our steps.

A small waterfall along the trail. 

We arrived in a small waterfall where we took a long break to prepare ourselves for a formidable battle. A soldier, no matter how brave and strong needs to take a break after all. 

Climbing boulders. 

Walking on the Spartan ground actually taught me a lot. It made me discover more things about myself, my tenacity and my limitation. It helped me understand my body more and it taught me how to listen to my deep breaths. 

Kapit lang besh. 

The last leg of our adventure was a walk in a canopy of trees. I think it was the hardest part of the trail because of the abrupt inclination. I felt my legs trembled and tightened in my every step. My companions were already far ahead but I couldn’t keep up with their gait anymore.IMG20171105112415

My husband was already running out of words to encourage me. No, I did not stop, but my pace was slower. I did not plan to quit either. I had come a long way, why should I? Well, even if I want to, I didn’t have the choice. I was already on the battleground surrounded by the enemies. I had no escape. It was a do or die.


We heard roaring sounds of motorcycles which signaled a nigh road. That added encouragement to my already exhausted legs. Like magic, my steps suddenly became faster and this time I was even the one trying to encourage my friends to move. 😀

I guess that meant I won my battle.


We arrived at Barangay Pamutan on time for lunch. As if we did not have enough combating Spartan Trail, we carried on our adventure to find the abandoned cult cave and Tulong Krus. But that’s another story.

I must admit, Spartan Trail is indeed very treacherous. At first look, it seemed easy but wait when you set foot on its battlefield.

Ace and Demi survived the Spartan Trail.

Over to you, have you survived your Spartan ground? We’d love to hear from you.

’til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi




A Trek of Whimsical Discovery and New Friends | Discover Compostela

Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.

The largest cross my eyes have seen. (Compostela, Cebu)

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.

Demi at Bungtod Panangban.

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.

Photo Credit: Sir Aldrich

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.

Photo credit: Idol Reymund

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.)

Photo Credit: Idol Reymund

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.

The cross from afar. 

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. 🙂

Photo Credit: Idol Wanderer

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.

Maria of DoodlesScribbles. (Photo by Idol Wanderer)

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”. 😀

Photo Credit: Sir Aldrich

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.

Photo Credit: Sir Aldrich

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.


’til next friendly adventure.

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

Feeling High In Mt. Kan-Irag (Sirao Peak)

So, the adventure continued and we’re feeling so high…

The higher, the closer to heaven.

Ace and Demi in Mt Kan-Irag

We feel high…

We felt high… when we learned we were climbing Mt. Kan-Irag through Budlaan.

We felt high… despite the gloomy weather the day before our adventure.

We remained high… although there were only five of us who showed up on the day of our scheduled jaunt.

Ace and Demi in Budlaan Falls

We felt high… when we started trekking Kabang River and witnessed the mightiness of Budlaan Falls.

We felt higher… when we bathed in the flowing water of Kabang river.

Sirao Peak

We still felt high… just by eating isaw, and chicken feet bbq for lunch beside a basketball court.

We felt higher… when we continued our quest to the peak of Mt. Kan-Irag.


We felt high… seeing our national animal taking a dip in a muddy puddle under the scorching heat of the sun.

We felt high… as we took a short break and rested our bodies in the grassy field.


We felt higher… when a mother cow chased us and saw her sexy baby posing elegantly in front of our camera.


We still felt high… though our paced slowed down because our bodies were already exhausted.

We felt high… even though we had to take a lot of short breaks to regain our energy.

We felt even higher… when we reached the shoulder of the peak and saw the city below us.

We felt high… as we enjoyed the wonderful view and pointed the trail we passed through.


We felt high… as we realized we’re just a dot in this vast universe.

We felt high… as we contemplated on mundane things that we missed to notice below.


We felt higher… when we were welcomed by the blooming flowers of cogon grass which brought us to a different world.


We even felt higher… as we started walking and making our way through those grass that are taller than me.

A beautiful paradise.

We felt SUPER high… when we finally reached the top and saw a beautiful paradise below us.


We felt high… as we rejoiced because we finally reached the peak.

We felt higher… while looking at the clouds and identifying the shapes they formed.

We felt high… talking about life and past experiences.


We felt higher… while dancing to beat of the infamous Despacito and the Shark Song.


We remained high… even until the sun started to set painting the sky a different hue. Even higher… as we argued whether the hue was pink or orange.


Truly, Mt Kan-Irag being the highest peak of the city’s highland, made us feel high as we scaled her wonderful trail. Even looking and reviewing the photos we took during our trek make us feel high. No wonder why most outdoor souls who are always hungry for adventure love to go back to her peak.

Should we come back, too? We’d love to.

’til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.



A Serendipitous Trek To The Other Side of Budlaan Falls Through Kabang River.


After a hiatus, the hubby’s schedule has finally agreed with mine. I had 10 days off from work and Ace also filed a time-off. Because it’s not every day we get this long break, we made sure all of the days are jam-packed with adventures.


So, our second day was set for a trekking through Budlaan Falls in Talamban all the way to Mt Kan-Irag also known as Sirao Peak. With the help of our guide, AJ – The Wandering Soul Scamper and his friend Lakbay Lawin, our plan was made possible.


We agreed to meet-up at Gaisano Grand Mall-Talamban at 9:00 am. And just a few meters away from the mall, we hailed a motorcycle to take us to Barangay Budlaan where the jump-off point is. There, we registered our names and immediately started our trek. Along with Ace and I, was our good friend, Louise.


Our guides suggested taking the river trail because it was more challenging and exciting. We can’t say no to extra challenge, you know. So, as expected we followed the river upstream. Before we arrived at the banks, my heart jumped as I heard a loud cascade which signals the river nearby.

When we arrived, we saw a group of outdoor enthusiasts already enjoying the waters. Our first sight was the infamous heart-shaped waterfall basin. The water was brown and muddy, probably because of the rain on the previous days and nights.


After few minutes, we continued our upstream adventure. We saw more mini-waterfalls along the way. I heard these falls have their names but I can’t tell which is which. Trekking the river involved climbing boulders and jumping from one rock to another, and even crawling if the situation requires. My experience brought me back to our Mulao River adventure.


The sight of a bigger waterfall welcomed us after almost hour of following the river trail. I reckoned it is already the Budlaan Falls. But contrary to what I’ve seen on the internet, the descent of water was stronger and mightier compared to those photos on the web. The water was abundant up there maybe because it had been raining the past days and weeks.


There is a small store where visitors could buy some snacks and fresh buko or coconut fruit. Fresh coconut water is a good source of hydration and electrolytes. And its meat could be a source of energy. We bought one for each of us as we rested in one of the cottages nearby.


We resumed our quest after we finished eating our buko and had our energy replenished. We stopped in front of the mighty falls for a while to take some photos and enjoy its mightiness at the same time.


The vehement pressure of the water was like pulling us as we stood in front of it. The pressure was too strong that the moist was enough to wet our clothes. We did not swim here because we don’t have any idea how deep was the catch-basin now that the water is abundantly flowing.


Instead, we headed to the right side of the waterfall to continue our journey. We climbed a steep slope and cliff, holding only to roots and giant rocks to avoid falling. One wrong step, I would have tripped and fallen down giving me only 30 percent chance of surviving. (Charot!) This trail is not advisable for those who have the fear of height, else you’d end your life here. (Another charot!) 😛

But, really. You must dare! The price is worth it! 

A good find! 

You must be wondering what made our adventure serendipitous. It was this water flowing on a steep and slippery slope after that dangerous and risky climb above the main waterfall. Now, I’m not claiming we were the first to discover it because this water trail has been here for a long time ago. But on that day, the water was flowing in a torrential flow.


I could say, we came at the right time indeed, perhaps we’re just lucky.

The water was inviting and it was clearer compared to that of the main falls. Louise and I decided to take a quick dip while the boys were taking a rest. We really enjoyed the cold water. It was a pure bliss from nature, a therapy per se.

Louise and I enjoying the cold water. 

After ten minutes of indulging with nature’s therapy, we quickly changed into our dry clothes so we could continue our trek to Sirao Peak. And yes, it was timed because we had to catch the lunch-time. 😛

Ace and Demi at Budlaan Falls, Talamban, Cebu. 

This is where our Kabang River and Budlaan Falls adventure ends. But we’re sure to come back because we believe “no experience are the same no matter how many times you do it”. 🙂

Stay tuned as we continue our adventure to Mt. Kan-Irag on a later post.

’til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.




Scaled (700+ MASL) Mt Mago With a Toddler | The Boundary Climb

The Boundary Climb.

One gloomy Saturday, together with our good friend Niña, we decided to do the boundary climb to Mount Mago in Carmen, Cebu. Because of the last-minute decision, I asked my sister’s husband who happens to live in Carmen, to take us to the jump-off point.

We were already in their house when he told us that no one could look after my niece, Ahkirah. Without hesitation, I said we’re going to take her with us. And off we go!

The motorcycle ride.

We never expected an hour butt-aching ride to the jump off point. The road was slippery because of the other night’s rain and fog.

When we passed by Durano Eco Farm and the Lhuiller’s Farm, the temperature dropped lower than expected which meant we were already in a higher altitude. We saw a lot of pine trees and vegetation that only grow in cold places, too.


After we passed by the Lhuiller’s Ranch, we had a quick stop over at an intersecting road separated by a perfect muffin-like hill. While waiting to ease the pain on our behind due to that painstaking ride, Niña and I agreed to climb the little hill with Ahkirah.


And oh, I don’t know how to describe how we felt but we wished to just stay at the top and end our jaunt there because it was just AMAZING!

Soaring high!

The top of the hill is denuded perhaps because of the recent dry season. The soil was red, like really red. While we were on top, we called Ace and Dan-Dan to climb and see it. We felt like we were already on the top of the world. The colors around were so rich and fulfilling to the eye. I, personally, admired how the colors green, blue, red and white complimented each other.


We arrived at Barangay Santican which is the jump off point of the trek. The person who was assigned to list our names for registration was not around, instead, we were given two young lads to guide us to the boundary.


We immediately started our hike after Ahkirah devoured one hanging rice. We walked through a fully established trail but it was muddy because of the rain on the previous night. Ahkirah, on the other hand, walked for few minutes and asked to be carried because it was muddy and she was having a hard time walking. We took turns in carrying her. And when she has rested her feet enough, she also asked to be put down and walk by herself. Now, I see a future adventurer in her.

IMG20170701110553 (1)~2
Hindi pa ako pagod, bes. Siya lang naman napagod eh.

Few meter from the jump-off point, we passed by a couple of houses and eventually, grassy slopes.  Although it was cloudy, I thought the weather was with us because it was not hot.


We had to stop for short breaks to regain energy. Actually, the hike was not very draining because the trail was pretty established and the hills are not too high.


The only problem we had, I guess, was the amorseco grass that clings to Niña’s and Ahkirah’s pants and shorts. Ahkira complained that it was itchy so we had to make a few stops to remove some of them so she can walk with ease.

Buti pa ang amorseco, clingy at nag stay.

But those clingy grass did not make our trek less enjoyable. We were rewarded with a wonderful sight of the grassy slopes, green with envy.

Look at that wonderful verdure! Made me want to stay here and paint.

After almost two hours of trekking through valleys and plains, we finally arrived at the boundary sign. Imagine being in three towns at the same time?

I feel awesome~~~!!!

I couldn’t forget Ahkirah’s face when I told her she did it! She was very happy and ecstatic as she ran towards me in the boundary sign with her dad following her.

IMG20170701124612 (1)~2
Yes! You did it, baby!!!

I bet her dad was very proud because I am. Considering her age and her inexperience, surviving that two-hour journey was indeed a BIG accomplishment for a two-year old kid.

Congratulations, Kida!!! Tita is very proud of you.

After feeding our eyes and souls with the refreshing sight around, we ate our lunch to replenish our tummies. After a while, the clouds above us became darker. As much as we wanted to stay longer, we couldn’t risk soaking in the rain with Ahkirah.


But as we started to descend, the wind seemed to have blown the clouds away. 😀 Which was a really good thing, so we didn’t have to hurry home.


We were given a good chance to bask in nature and take photos to remind us of the beauty of the place. Ahkirah had a great time running in the field while we were happily watching.


You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is calling… so, get on your way!

Ahkirah at Mt Mago.

When we arrived at the basketball court where we left our motorcycles, the rain started pouring heavily, as if heaven waited for us to find shelter. While waiting for the rain to stop, we had fun watching some kids feeding bananas to a little monkey in a sari-sari store across the basketball court.


As soon as the pouring stopped, we headed home feeling contented and happy with our experience.

Just when we thought our jaunt had enough surprises…

Sea of clouds!!!

As we passed by the red hill where we stopped on our way to the jump-off point, a sea of clouds showed up to complete our AWESOME experience.

Drifting away.

We were so amazed by the sight of it. Words of amazement and gratefulness were all we uttered. We stared at it until it started drifting away before we realized to take a photo.

Sea of clouds bidding goodbye!

Although we were unable to take a photo of clouds floating near us because we were very consumed by the sight, the picture of it is painted in our memory and that’s what matters most.

Hooray for the wonderful experience!

Our worthwhile experience is something no words can really define — not even this thousand-word post. Mt Mago is not a mountain of struggles and not for people who wanted it extreme. But for a two-year-old kid’s first trekking experience? It is something she’d treasure forever. And if she forgot it, I will never get tired telling her how she scaled a 700+ Masl mountain for two hours when she was only a two-year old. 

I did it! — Ahkirah

Should I come back? Definitely!

Thank you for reading this long story about our boundary climb to Mt Mago. We appreciate it. So, how did we survive our trek with a two-year old child? You can read our post about the tips and lessons on how to survive a trek with a toddler.

‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi and Ahkirah.

We Survived Our First Trek With a Toddler. | Tips and Lessons

Love her, but leave her wild. ~ Articus, To Kill a Mockingbird

Ahkirah at Mt Mago.

Two weeks ago, we ticked off another thing from our bucket list — trek with a toddler. Since Ace and I started scaling mountains, it had been our ‘wish‘ to bring our kid(s) with us. As adventurers who value the outdoors, we believe that kids learn life’s little lessons quickly when they are on an adventure. Although we are not blessed with one yet, it did not really bother us because we have nieces and nephews whom we can bring anyway.



First things first. Friends, meet my sister’s two-year old daughter, Ahkirah. She is the brave soul whom we took with us during our Boundary Climb to Mt Mago two weeks ago.

Like most of our ‘first‘ experiences, the said climb was unplanned and spontaneous. Admittedly, we also wondered how we could survive it, but we did!

Ahkirah and Demi at the boundary! Hooray!

Here are few things we did to survive it:

  • Never hurry. Let the kid explore.

Kirah toddles a lot. She stopped at anything that interests her. We stopped to pick some wild flowers, we stopped to count the butterflies, we stopped to watch domesticated animals along the way. Knowing that it was her first trekking experience, we let her do just like that. We didn’t want to make her first trek a traumatizing one, instead, we want it to be an adventure that would inspire her young soul to do it again and again. 😀


  • Bring out the kid in us.

We know that kids get bored quickly. Thankfully, the mountain has a lot of things to entertain the kid’s eyes. However, leaving it to the mountain is not enough. When she got tired, we sang nursery songs and made up funny stories.

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  • Cooperate.

No matter how slow our pace was or how many times we stopped, that one and a half hour climb to the boundary is truly exhausting for Ahkirah. We took turns to carry her when she didn’t feel like walking anymore.


  • Take short breaks.

Whether we’re traveling with a kid or not, breaks are essential for trips and excursion to give our muscles enough time to relax and regain energy. But we have to limit our breaks into three minutes so we won’t feel more tired.


  • Stay hydrated and munch on trail foods.

Food is life, water is ‘lifer‘. 😀 I mean, as much as food is important, water is more important. Due to the lack of planning, we only brought 4.5 liters of water with us. We forgot that there was no water source near the summit. We already consumed everything before our descent. Thankfully, we passed by a small community and ask for some refill. As for Ahkirah, we also let her munch on chocolates and sweets.

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  • Embrace dirt.

Get ready to get dirty! Because getting dirty is an adventure itself. We came for dirt, heat, and mud and we got it all. Afterall, the dirt can be washed away, but the memories will last a lifetime.


  • Always encourage.

Paulo Coelho once said, “Only children believe they’re capable of everything“. But I think, behind every child who believes in himself is someone who believes in him first. I noticed, Kirah becomes more determined to walk farther when we tell her that she could. During our entire hike, we never fail to encourage and praise her for doing a great job.


And lastly,

  • Teach kids the LNT (Leave No Trace) Principle

Teach the kids so it won’t be necessary to teach adults. I carried a plastic bag with our trash on it on our way back home. Ahkirah asked me why I brought garbage with me, I answered and explained to her the importance of not leaving our trash in the mountains. I reckoned she understood it and I admire her inquisitive attitude. 🙂 It is important to start teaching the kids about caring the nature no matter how old they are. Afterall, it’s for their own future.


Children are not things to be moulded, but people to be unfolded. ~ Jess Lair


We hope you find these tips and lessons helpful. Stay tuned for our Boundary Climb to Mt Mago story in a later post.

Over to you. Have you trekked with a kid before?


‘Til our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi