Mt. Manunggal, Cebu Philippines

Mt. Manunggal is located in the mountains of Balamban and rises to a height of 1,003 meters above sea level. A great starter for beginner climbers, the path is given and neatly aligned so getting lost will not be an option. Let's go!

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Travel Tips
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  • For accommodations, our family trusts for reasonable prices.
How to get there:

From Ayala Center Terminal, Cebu City
Take van bound to Balamban
V-hire Fare: 120 PHP
Travel time: 45 minutes- 1 hour
Remind the driver to drop you at "Barangay Gaas", Mt. Manunggal jump-off point. 
Hiking Checklist:

- bottled water
- trekking/running shoes
- cap
- bag pack
- finger foods
- do not skip breakfast
- sunblock
- some cash
- watch 
- raincoat, in case it rains
- leg strength for a bearable steep trek (I advised you to jog at least 2 days before you have this trek)
I'm tired of seeing bright lights, tall buildings, skyscrapers and hardworking zombies. I guess I'm morphing into a zombie as well, doing the same old routine every day. When I could go back to my hometown for a short trip getaway, visiting the mountains is a must on my do list. I was really excited it reminded me of the ecstatic feeling I'd felt during my OsmeƱa Peak climb, and what my friend told me about mountains, "you get much closer to God when you're way up there". I guess that's why monks built temples all the way up the hill or on the tip of a mountain. The atmosphere is different up there so when you say a prayer or sing a hymn the wind will act as your messenger carrying all your desires and hopes.
Peace and serenity take over one soul after a tiring climb. The view from the top of the mountain drains all your muscle strain and gives you a warm feeling of fulfilment. Something that is rare to find and only mountain climbers are able to understand. One mountain will never be enough, the craving will keep you awake at night until you strain another muscle for another strenuous climb.

Easy Start

The van dropped us off at the starting point of Mt. Manunggal.
Estimated Trekking time: 3 hours and a half
For beginners: 4-7 hours

The team comprises 5 individuals: me, my two brothers and two friends. The first part of the journey was piece of a cake. The cemented roads served as our guide as we headed to the mountain. I guess frequent visitors to the mountain made way for the development of the road. People visit the mountain to commemorate the death of the late President Ramon Magsaysay, he had an unfortunate crash in that very mountain which ended his life of public service to the people and his family. There are only two crossroads that will come your way. First one: go straight and don't go uphill. Second: follow the uphill cemented road even thou the other road seemed to be flowered with green bushes that might lead to the mountain. 

Steep Climb Up

Even thou the road was cemented the steep climb was a challenge. All the forces of gravity want to pull you down, and in order to make sure you stumble, the scorching sun blazes its ray that leaves you dehydrated. Let's just say I felt that way due to a lack of exercise and muscle strength. I tried not to drink too much water, sips of water are more advisable. For one simple reason; to make sure there's an ample water supply when reaching the peak of the mountain and going back down the steep. It is part of the emergency kit as well, to clean the wound and provide hydration for the wounded. 

Hello Greens!

Along the road abundant greens filled our eyes, from tall trees and endless hills and mountain ranges. It was a great sight to see considering the amount of time I've spent passing by buildings in the city. I don't exactly want to change what I'm seeing if only we lived in a place in union with nature. That's why the Avatar movie appealed to me so well, even the hobbit place where Frudo lived in The Lord of the Rings movie made me feel at home. I don't know if it's just me?! Ahahaa Going back. We asked some locals if any sign indicated we were almost there. One guy pointed to a mountain with a tower-looking structure that seemed more like a toothpick standing for me was actually the grail of our destination. Mouths opened, wider than the usual OMG. We laughed so hard knowing that we hadn't even reached halfway through our journey. They said for amateur climbers it would take like 4-7 hours, we started late so we had to make amend for our tardiness by walking faster. My brother who was ten years younger compared to us made the trek so easy like a walk in the park. We verbally bullied ourselves for this pathetic reason, especially during stops and ended up laughing like little kids. 
Careful with the Heat

The heat of the sun dried out all the sugar in us and a soda drink was needed. A little community caught our attention and we took some comfort in a little small store. All the stores were closed according to one local because the store owners were attending their child's graduation. It was truly the end of the school season but we were convinced as we joked that only one student was graduating and everyone in the community was invited to the ceremony. The friendly lady continued to chat with us and simply asked where we were going, she immediately told us something that lifted our tired muscles and stretched our smiles all the way up to our ears. We were positively almost there! 

Summit Climb

It was past 3 o'clock in the afternoon when we reached the summit, to add it up we've consumed an estimated 3-4 hours of walking which includes:  the water breaks, camera snaps and catching our breath stops. We took a little break beside the shady part of the monument and had our snacks. Took some pictures here and there. A multiple jump shots with only one successful jump for all of us, at least we had one ahahaa. I advised you to start the trek as early as 8am so you'll be back in the city for your late lunchtime. The real challenge was heading back to the city. All public transport was either full of passengers or end of the shift except for motorcycles. Our only way of getting out of there was to go to Balamban Terminal, a 30-45-minute drive. The vans are all parked there so we have a better chance of getting our ride back to the city. 

A motorcycle ride to Balamban terminal costs around 120php for two passengers. 
V-hire fare from Balamban terminal to Cebu City cost 120php. 

Attention: These are old images I have here for Mt. Manunggal, if you're interested in posting your pictures let me know. I'll make sure to link it to your profile. Quickly, send me a message on the "Contact Us" form.

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare check out other more Tourist spots in Cebu.

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is to check out a UNESCO World Heritage, The Chocolate Hills of Bohol.

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