Im not going to write about itineraries, there is plenty of sites out there that discusses such and besides I really don’t know how to make one. Speaking of itineraries do check sir Gian’s and mam Shiela’s blog – “Adrenaline Romance” you’ll find plenty of infos there.
Candongao Peak, Badian
I remember back in the days when I was a kid, I’ve always wondered what it was like on top of those pointed, somewhat-hilly peaks on the mountain ranges in Badian, Cebu. I thought maybe they’re just like the Chocolate Hills in Bohol… But way bigger.
Only about a few months ago that I finally got to see what it actually look like up there, I’d have the chance to climb up one of those peculiarly pointed peaks. The locals call this particular peak “Candongao”, it is one of the highest among the many peaks that line the Mountain Range and among the few that actually has a trail.
T’was a Sunday when we went there, together with my dad, my sister, my sister’s boyfriend and a bunch of other climbers (eventually, a few of these “bunch-of-other-climbers” become our friends and now, our regular climbing companions). The day was perfect for climbing, it was a fair day or atleast the sun was not always out, because there were many scattered clouds blocking it; but it was humid, humid enough to squeeze out our sweat and humid enough to make us see water as gold. The jump-off area is near Sohoton Elementary school which is about 7-8 kilometers (I’m not really sure with the numbers in kilometers, I’m bad in estimating things, but you get the idea) away from the main highway, which required us to ride a “habal-habal”; and boy, that particular ride was terrifying!, the road was bumpy and dangerous and really tiring than the actual trek itself because you have to grip hard and hold on to dear life not to fall out of the motorcycle on your way to the abyss. And what a relief it was when we finally reached the jump-off area in one piece.
Anyway, once in the jump-off point, Mr. Sien (the one and only lakwacherong hampas lupa Guide – as he fondly calls himself) oriented us on the do-and-don’ts on the trail and gave us little bits of trivia about the place, said a prayer and off we trekked up the mountain. The trail was Amazing!, it was changing, as if it was an unfinished canvass – the painter still unsure what to paint. From dry forest to lush jungles, from grasslands to pointed stone gardens, and from wild plants to tamed vegetable farms. It was indeed a masterpiece, an art that anyone can appreciate. It made me wondered that there’s really something beyond our comprehension when nature crafts things, its messy and sometimes just way too out of order but it’s beautiful and graceful at the same time.
The peak was nothing I imagined, it was beyond what I expected. It was spectacular up there, both the west and east side of Cebu is visible from the peak’s vantage point, it was like for a brief moment I peek on an eagle’s vision from way above. It was a glorious feeling on top of Candongao Peak. And although, they say, that pictures speaks a thousand words; no amount of words (or pictures for that matter) can describe its beauty, you need to actually be there to see it for yourself.
Incidentally, Osmeña Peak (O peak) is only a few kilometers from Candongao Peak. I can only hope that what happened to O peak (being over commercialized, littered upon and raped) will never happen to Candongao Peak. Lets do our part and save whatever is left of nature and nurture it; we have done enough damage already.