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.

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Discover Catmon | Chasing Waterfalls and Trekking Rivers

The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. ~~ Roald Dahl

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Tinubdan Falls, Catmon

Catmon, Cebu — home of Cebu’s second highest peak, Mt Kapayas. Despite being flocked by outdoor enthusiasts and the like, this town remained self-effacing and humble. And lately, with people’s never ending quest of discovering wonderful places to visit, Catmon, in all fairness has another reason to boast.

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Behind the tall mountains of the municipality hides a wonderful haven full of nature’s bliss. A mysterious river slithers through the valleys of the town and divided it into the Old Catmon and New Catmon.

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This place is not known to many people not even to most locals. Some of them knew the place but never dared to visit it because of the creepy stories that circulates around the town. Not even the kids in the area are fond to play in this river.

Rumors have it that there were mysterious disappearances in the area. Sometimes, locals nearby hear uproarious sounds coming from the river but there are no people around. Our guide forwarned us to leave the river before 5:00pm to avoid any untoward circumstances.

Hmm? That sounds really creepy!

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We trekked for about five minutes before we caught a glimpse of this beguiling watercourse. Just the sound of the water cascades was already inviting. As if nature’s telling us to leave the worries behind and commune with her. And that, my friends, we couldn’t resist. Before we knew it, our feet were already in the water and we’re ready to plunge into an unknowingly great adventure.

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There’s something with rivers that we like so much. We love the beach but we always long for the streams.

It gives us the thought that life is indeed like a river. It keeps flowing.

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Ace and his emotion.

There are times that life is calm and peaceful. Times when life is steady, just the way you like it to, like nothing wrong could come its way. The water maybe placid but it is vulnerable. This tranquility won’t stay that way.  

 

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Struggle pa more!

Sometimes, this life could be harsh that you struggle and fluctuate. The flow could be strong that it could drown you, that it could wash you away forcing you to leave your comfort zone. These times will come when you least expect it, it’d slap you on your face and you couldn’t do anything to stop it.  

 

 

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Kapit lang, bes!

Yes, you’ll have a lot of struggle, a lot of holding on, a lot of letting go, too. But one thing is for sure, all of these things will lead you to a better place. All of these struggles will lead you to something great. Really great that you also did not expect it. 

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Tinubdan Falls

Yay!!! I couldn’t believe I just wrote that. hahah

Let’s get back to reality, everybody. 😀 And after that musing, Tinubdan Falls finally! Look at that isn’t that worth our struggles? Waterfalls everywhere.

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Ace and Demi cheesy moments. 

Hubby and I were very astounded. Tinubdan Falls is not as tall as the waterfalls in the Southern part of Cebu, but it’s stunning just the way it is. It’s unique in its own way. Albeit its height, it would never disappoint you.

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We also learned that during the Second World War, this place was developed by the Americans in order to supply electricity for their camp at combat in Agsuwao, Catmon. However, there were no trace of that.

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River trekking in Catmon.

We saw more mini falls as we continued trekking downstream. We climbed more rock boulders along the way which tested our balancing skills. It was one great adventure indeed!

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Ace and Demi trekked Catmon river.

Before we conclude this post, I’d like to mention few wonderful friends we met during this jaunt. Nhagz of Nhagzventures, who invited us to join this trip, Padz Lai of The Little Lai: Beyond Limits, and Gly of Chasing Potatoes. We look forward to having more adventures with you. Until next time. 🙂

 

What is life but one great adventure!

P.S  We had a wonderful time in this place and would love to come back again. Let’s help keep this place the way it is. Practice responsible tourism. LEAVE NO TRACE

Until our next adventure!

Keep safe!

Love, Ace and Demi

 

 

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.

 

 

The Vast Beauty of Mulao River

The river once told me: There is no hurry. We shall get there someday. 

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Mulao River

Slithering through the valleys of Liloan and Compostela is this splendid river that serves as the boundary of the two adjacent municipalities. It is called the Mulao River.

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After our pre-valentine climb to Lanigid Hill last Saturday, we decided to have a quick visit to the said river. But what supposed to to be a quick one became a few hours of astonishment and exciting adventure.

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The gang. 

Halfway through our struggle going down the never ending steep slope, we finally heard the gushing water and we felt relieved to know that we’re near.

We were welcomed by the enthralling beauty of this body of water.

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The stupendous rocks that were artistically formed eons of year ago are just magnificent. I can’t keep myself from saying “wow” even though we’re forewarned not to make big noises while in there. The locals believed that some nature god or unknown spirits are living in the river, and they hate to be disturbed. I don’t know if you believe in it, too but I grew up in the countryside and have always believed in superstitions and myths.

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There’s just something in the river that we can’t explain. As if the nature really showered all it’s care on this place. Imagine the enormous rocks of various shapes and forms. Made us wonder how they formed all these years.

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Our main goal was to see the “Stone Ark”, yet the way to it is not easy. We had to climb the large boulders and jump from one rock to another. We mastered our art of balancing just to get through the cliff-like path. One mistake and you’ll get yourself hurt.

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The Stone Ark. 

Finally, we reached our goal. This colossal rock, it’s not really surprising because all of the rocks in the area are this huge, but if you look at it, it indeed looks like a ship drydocked in an unreliable base. I say “unreliable” because the stone ark is REALLY big. (See the capslock there? LOL) And the base is too small for it. But lo and behold, this ark has been here thousands of years ago but not even the strongest flood shook and moved it.

Now don’t you call it amazing?

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Just near the stone ark, we noticed the rocks looked different from the ones we saw. Here, the rocks resembled the waves in the ocean. The locals said that there are some nights they hear the ship moving as if it’s sailing, and they hear the waves that of the ocean. Could it be? (Now that depends on your belief.)

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What more can we say? Mulao River is indeed enchanting. Along with the enigmatic beauty and mysterious stories of this river, it’s all worth the visit. And I really appreciate the locals for keeping this place a clean haven. I’m pretty sure the spirits and nature god are happy thus providing them a good harvest from the river.

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Over to you. Have you visited this place? Or a place like this? Have you heard stories such as this? Share it to us.

We hope you enjoyed this travel diary.

‘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