Lost and Found in The City of Guns | Danao Highlands

What better way to burn all the fats I hoarded during the holidays than to embark on a 12km trek and get lost in the City of Guns?

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2019… Let’s get it on!

Here’s to more “getting lost” experiences this year!

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The gang!

Northern Cebu is slowly making its name in the list of hiking destinations in the province. One of the most popular is Mt. Mago in Carmen, then there’s Lanigid Hill in Liloan, and recently, Licos Peak in Danao. Last year, we started a quest of discovering potential hiking trails in the northern part of Cebu which we are going to carry on this year.

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A happy kid!

To kick off this year’s adventures, I went along with some hiking fellows to explore the supposedly Lawaan-Mago route. But we ended meandering back to Lawaan because we couldn’t find a vestige trail to Mago. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad start for 2019.

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I arrived in Danao Transport Terminal a ‘bit’ late. (Ahm, okay, really late.) I came to my companions patiently waiting for me. (Thank you, guys.) Without wasting any minute, because I already did, we took a motorcycle at the back of the terminal to Lawaan. The ride was ninety-percent uphill and butt-aching that our driver had to make a few halts to stretch a bit. It took us more than an hour to reach the Lawaan junction.

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Katkat goals.

After a short prayer and few introductions, we commenced with our hike. Beboy advised us that the first leg would be mostly an ascend through a cemented road. Because it had been a while since I last trek, the first few minutes was arduous. Despite my sluggish pace, I found myself panting. I kept a slow gait until my body had adjusted.

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After almost two hours of walking on the paved road, we reached the junction of Danasan and Magtagubtob. We agreed to take a rest before we carry on our hike. We found a small mango tree nearby where we had our lunch.

Lunchtime has to be my favorite part when trekking or climbing mountains because it’s when we get to know each other more. I learned that Geezelle and James are the people behind the blog GeeMiz. I’ve been reading their corner for a while now, and it was great to meet them in person. After lunch, we debated over what makes the texture of an iced-candy powdery. Tatay Raul fended for cornstarch to be the ingredient that gives the iced-candy a refined taste.
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Although, that argument wasn’t resolved, so if you have any idea, please share it with us.

After having enough rest, with replenished energy, we resumed our walk. Still following the barangay road, we passed by some houses and asked for directions to Santican. Not too long, we made a turn into a dirt trail. The trail was relatively an open terrain without foliage canopy but bushes. Favorably, the sun was not too harsh on that day else, we’d all be toasted!

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Oh, no paparazzi please!

After several descending and ascending, meandering through farmlands, we realized we reached a dead end. We tried looking for a possible track but all there was what seems to be a gorge covered by thick foliage. There was no vestige route.

It was already two hours before sundown. Worried that we’d catch nightfall in the forest, we all agreed to turn back to Magtagobtob. Before our final ascent back to Magtagobtob, we made an apropos wrong turn and reached a small household community. We saw a kid and asked which way to the nearest barangay road. He directed us to Lawaan. Albeit steep, it was nearer than Magtagobtob.
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Following his suggestion, we took a descend and crossed a river. A sharp ascent greeted us. We strenuously worked our way to the top. We met a few locals along the way. They came from the weekly tabo-tabo in their barangay. (“Tabo-tabo” is a weekly bazaar common in the mountain areas where people trade and buy goods.) They were kind enough to tell us that we’re on the right path. Finally, we reached the road in no time.

Happiness was all over our faces despite failing to reach Mago on that day. We might have gotten lost along the way, but we found something more important.

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We found out that it’s okay to stop when you aren’t sure. We learned that there is no need to hurry because we will get there, maybe not that day, but someday. At least, we have something to look forward to, we have a reason to come back.

 

’til next getting lost adventures!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

I Fed My Own Demon With My Embarrassing Judgment.

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Everything on that day didn’t fall in place. I thought I couldn’t do anything right. I was embarrassed to the point of annoyance. I was annoyed of myself that I wanted to break down. I could hear my subconscious mocking me.

She was mocking me the whole time while I was riding a bus going to Naga City. I closed my eyes hoping I could take a nap and ignore her. She was too loud. I could see her bulging eyes. I could feel her finger pushing my forehead. I was taken aback when she shouted my name. Her caustic voice awakened me from my reverie.

“Are we there yet?”, I asked my friend, Niña.

“Uh, almost there,” she replied. “Have you texted them?”

I grabbed my bag where I put my phone. It took me an ounce of courage to finally open my phone.

“We already left,” Tatay Raul’s message went.

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My inner-self started to panic again. I was uneasy on my seat. I kept looking at the windows to see if we have arrived. At one point, I wanted to suggest to my friend to hop off the bus and go back to Cebu City. Yes, it was a dastard idea.

But before I could tell her, the bus halted. We had arrived. I reckoned it’s too late to retreat. I looked at Niña who looked relaxed, unaware of the war inside me at that moment. She looked excited. The look on her face made me feel even more guilty. I felt really sorry.

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My phone rang. It was Beboy. He told us we might be unable to catch up with them because they were already far. He suggested we ride a motorcycle to Magdooc and wait for them there.

I let a sigh of relief before I hopped on the motorcycle. While my ride climbed its way through the steep barangay road of Naalad, my mind brought me back to the scene earlier that day.

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This emotional ruckus started with the wrong alarm time. Hubby mistakenly set the alarm at 4 pm instead of 4 am. When I opened my eyes that morning, the sun was already up. I quickly got up and checked the time hoping it’s not 8 o’clock yet. My clock said it was five. With the meet-up time set at 6:30am in Naga, I knew I was doomed. I knew it was impossible to arrive on time. Thinking we’d be ONLY 30 minutes late, I pursued it. I did everything like lightning, as fast as I could. I met up with Niña who had been waiting for me for a while. We hurried ourselves to get to South Bus Terminal.

I texted Tatay Raul to please wait for us, but I was too ashamed to tell him we weren’t on the bus yet. I kept my phone inside my bag, not wanting to check it again because I was worried Tatay would ask where we were. (Sorry Tay Raul.) Peace! 44440846_342898453130268_6043908722307104768_n

The smell of the mountain breeze interrupted the flashback play on my mind. Somehow, I felt my heart at ease and not anxious anymore. The green surrounding had calmed me and made me forget my worries.

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We got off at Magdooc and waited for them. Beboy said Sir Aldrich and Tatay Raul were off to meet us there. But an hour almost passed, no one came. When I called Beboy again, he said they were in the highest peak of the area, near a tower. We couldn’t find any higher elevation with a tower except the one we’re facing, so Niña and I climbed it. The funny thing was when we reached the top, we found out, there was a higher hill on the other side. There was a tower, yes, it was a smaller tower though.

We bet on our perhaps and agreed to go there. We had to trail back and ask the locals if there was another higher mountain other than that. They confirmed that it was the highest one. We took a short breather before we started to climb it. Halfway through the climb, we heard voices coming from the street below.

It was Sir Aldrich and Beboy!!! Oh, what a relief!

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We exchanged our hi’s and hello’s and I apologized for causing delay. I was prepared to be blamed or scolded, surprisingly, I did not get any of that. I neither saw that disappointment directed towards me on their faces. They carried on the hike just like nothing happened.

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Personal thought:

Guess, I fed my own anxious demon with worry that it almost ate me.

I thought Tatay Raul would scold me for not replying his texts and not answering his calls. I thought Sir Aldrich would blame me for causing trouble and delay. I thought Beboy would tell me not to do it again. I thought Dian would give me a scornful look. I thought my new friends would look at me with disappointment.

I realized that I have created a fearful image of these people because I judged them out of guilt. While writing this, I realized, my judgment was more embarrassing than my tardiness.

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Peace, everyone!

Over to you, have you misjudged someone? Let me hear it from you!

 

’til next time!

Keep safe!

Love, Demi