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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Free!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

Finding Love at Lanigid Hill | Pre-valentine Climb

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Every mountain is, rightly considered, an invitation to climb. ~ Henry Van Dyke

Situated in the far-flung barangay of Liloan, Cebu is a hill which is perfect for first-time climbers or for those who just want to get a dose of greeneries. They call it Lanigid Hill.

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After a month delay of our plan to climb Lanigid Hill, it was finally realized last Saturday. It then served as a pre-valentine climb. Climbing with me were my single friends hoping to find love on top. 🙂

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Feet forward.

The hubby was not able to come with us because he went biking with his friends. So it was my first venture without him, sort of ‘the girls’ climb’.

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We rode a motorcycle at the old Liloan Public Market and paid 100 pesos each. After a 30-minute of almost an uphill ride, we reached Mulao’s barangay hall. There we registered our name and paid the Php10 environmental fee. After few minutes of warm-up we then started our trek to the hill.

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The ascent was a bit easy but enough to get those sweats flowing. For first-time trekkers like Gichelle, it was a strenuous one because of the steep slope and loose soil. But she made it! (Clap, clap!)

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Me and Louise.

Some of the plants along the way had been cut off for the wood to make charcoals which is the locals’ main source of livelihood. But we think, they’re also planting new ones to replace those.

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After 20 minutes of ascending, we finally reached the top of the hill. And this view of Mr Sun greeted us. He’s very up but the wind beat his heat.

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For office people like us, the kind of moment at the top is priceless. With all the lush greeneries and thick vegetation in the area we can’t help falling in love.

My girls, indeed, found love on top. 

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After few hours at the top, we agreed to go down and have a quick visit to Mulao River. You might want to check out our adventure to this wonderful river on my previous post.

How about you? Have you been to this hill? How was it?

We hope you enjoyed reading this post!

‘Til our next adventure.

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi.

 

 

Mt. Naupa, Naga | The Climb

Stop talking about your mountains and start climbing.

We just did!

We’ve heard so much about Mt. Naupa from some of our friends from the blogosphere. It just ignited our curiosity and yeah, just last Saturday we decided to see what the fuss is all about.

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With a staggering height of 584 meters above sea level and ranked as the 8th highest mountain in Central Visayas, one cannot question it’s popularity.

So, let’s see what Mt Naupa has to offer:

Our original plan was to start the climb at 5:00am to witness the sunrise but we sadly missed it because we came late. (Filipinos, yah know.) Anyway, we took a bus from South Bus Terminal and got off at Tungkop, Minglanilla. From there, we rode a motorcycle to take us to Brgy. Cogon. And we started our trek from the chapel where kids are waiting to offer themselves as guide to the mountain.

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We had William and Kent, both thirteen-year old as our guides. These kids really knew what they’re doing because according to them, they climb the mountain every weekends. They even knew how to entertain us and they served as our photographer, as well.

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Kat-kat pa more!

We made a research about the mountain, beforehand. We had to make sure the climb would be easy because we didn’t have any minor climbs but Osmena Peak.

The climb to the mountain is indeed for beginners. The trail is easy and pretty established. Except during rainy days, the soil could be muddy and slippery. The kids said, the climb will not take an hour if we have regular pace. After 45 minutes, we arrived at the campsite.

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Let’s get those feet rested.

We had a few minutes rest and ate our snacks at the campsite. The view from there was already stunning. We couldn’t help taking photos with all the lush greeneries around.

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It’s a plane, no, it’s a bird!

Oh, and we almost forgot…we climbed Mt Naupa together with these three cool sisters — Louise, Daisy, and Ann. These three are awesome! (More climb, girls!)

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The gang on the losse!

When we thought, this is the only campsite… the kids told us that this is just the lower campsite. Now, that made us wonder where is the mountain we’re trying to conquer.

The upper campsite is this hill behind us…. 🙂

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Upper campsite as our backdrop. 

There are no trees to give shade when the sun would be scorchingly hot except this small make-shift hut made from bamboo and recycled tarps. But it looked broken and no longer taken cared of. 😦

So, where is Mt. Naupa?

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There is Mt. Naupa! 

When we reached the upper campsite, the kids told us that Mt Naupa is the eminent mountain in the area. We asked them if we could climb it, but they said it would be dangerous because it’s rocky and the soil is loose. So we have to just settle on the camp area and just look at the mountain while it’s standing proud in front of us. Sigh!

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It’s better in the mountains. 

We were just fortunate to have the mountain solely. We were able to take pictures to our contentment. We even had the trending “mannequin challenge” at the top which was posted on Facebook by yours truly (if you’re following us).

After an hour of resting, the sun started to get hotter… we decided to pack our things and go down. When another kid came and told us that there is a waterfall near. Us, feeling hot and wanting to take a dip in a cold water, immediately headed to the falls following the kid.

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After 3 mountains. 

We came across corn fields and other forms of vegetations. The first 30 minutes was fun and full of talking… when we noticed we already passed three mountains and we did not arrive to the said falls yet. Guess what???? Yeah, you’re right.

We were lost!!!

And yeah, it’s another story! (ahahah) Know what happened on our next entry. 🙂

Despite being lost and going around all the mountains in Naga, Cebu…we still went home with CONTENTMENT and FULFILLMENT in our heart. These pictures may not tell you how happy we were with our adventure we know in our selves, we had so much fun!

 

Expenses: (Below are the general expenses, food expense is not included for you may have different preferences.)

Bus fare: Php60/person  (minimum for airconditioned bus) 

Motorcycle Fare: Php50/person (going up)

Motorcycle Fare:  Php50/person (going down)

*Guide Fee: Php300/5 people (according to guests’ account)

Bus Fare: Php60/person (airconditioned bus) 

 

We hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as we had fun climbing Mt. Naupa. Stay tuned for our next entry.

‘Til next climb!!!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osmeña Peak | Travel Guide.

The ones who climb mountains don’t wait for permission, they just start walking. ~Trinity Bourne

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The summit of Osmeña Peak.

A post about our climb to Osmeña Peak last May also appeared on Side by Side. You may want to check it out. 🙂 

Where is Osmeña Peak?

It is the highest peak among the Mantalungon mountain ranges. Nestled in the Municipality of Dalaguete, Cebu and rising approximately 1,000 meters above sea level, making it the highest peak in the island. It is  named after the famous Osmeña clan of Cebu. It gives 360-degree view of Cebu coastline including the islands of Bohol and Negros.  Just a one to two-hour bus ride from the city.

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How to get there? 

From Cebu City South Bus terminal, catch the bus going to Bato or Oslob via Dalaguete. (Their first trip is 1:30am.) Tell the driver’s assistant (konduktor) to drop you off at Dalaguete-Mantalungon junction. Travel time lasts one to two hours depending on the traffic condition. The fare is only Php101.

From there, ride a motorcycle to Mantalungon Public Market which will cost you Php50-Php75. They can also drive you up to the foot of the peak for Php100 pesos each. (In our case, we started our trek from the market because we arrived too early.)

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What to do there?

It is just a mountain peak, so there is nothing much to do there. But you will be captivated by the 360-degree view of the island and get to enjoy the sunrise with the foggy surrounding. (That is if you are early.) Prepare to be amazed how great is God’s creation. You can have range hopping if you want and just allow yourself to be one with the nature.

Others choose to camp there. There is a camping area set for those who wanted to stay overnight.

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Where else to go?

Mantalungon is the vegetable basket of Cebu, so you can tour to the local’s vegetable farms. In our case, we went to Dalaguete proper and proceed to Obong Spring.

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The Gang!

Travel tips:

Travel light and bring a lot of water. Wear proper climbing attire especially your footwear. If you plan to stay overnight, bring your own tent and make sure to bring a thick jacket or coat to protect you from extreme cold. Beware of the drivers asking you more than the exact fare.

The lot to the crest is privately owned, thus there is a Php30 entrance fee. You can hire a tour guide at the registration area, but the trail to the peak is pretty established so we prefer not to. Just watch your steps. Remember that you are climbing a mountain, some rocks are lose.

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We vow to climb mountains together! 

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on you way! ~Dr. Seuss

We hope you find this travel guide helpful. 🙂

 

’til our next wander! Keep safe!