Mt. Lanaya has always been on my adventure list. It is located in Alegria, a distant municipality in south western part of Cebu. I can say that it’s an underrated place because most people would either go to Badian or Moalboal to chase a different kind of thrill. Well, for me, I preferred a more laid-back place with few people. If you want to relax, you surely want a place away from the crowd, right?
So last Janaury 14, 2020, my friends and I decided to finally paint a “color” on this long overdue trip. Sa wakas, nakulayan din! Our original plan was to explore the waterfalls in Alegria and have an overnight at the base camp of Mt Lanaya. I honestly didn’t have any idea what to expect at that time since all of us were first-timers.
Nevertheless, it didn’t stop us from going there. I did some research on websites and travel blogs on how to get there, the budget, and what to prepare. I asked my friends who have been there before and I’m glad that they generously shared their ideas along with their experiences (thank you, friends!). The planning was just done virtually (via messenger chats) because I was still in our province when we conceived the idea. Everyone’s excited, though, and we only had few days to prepare our camping stuff and hiking gears.
Alegria, here we come!
The meet-up was at Dunkin Donuts inside Cebu South Bus Terminal. We waited for everyone to arrive before boarding the bus going to Alegria.
We asked the driver to drop us at the highway where we can catch a habal-habal ride. We alighted the bus, then some habal-habal drivers asked us where we were headed. We told them that we are going to Cambais falls. But before that, we bought puso (hanging rice) and lechon manok (roasted chicken) for our lunch.
Our original plan was to do waterfalls hopping to Cancalanog, Cambais, and Montepellier Falls. However, we were told that the three falls are pretty much distant from each other. It would have been possible if we go there with our own ride to save us time. After some negotiations with the driver, we finally decided to be dropped at Cambais Falls.
Off to Cambais Falls!
Upon arriving, we were greeted by locals. They asked if we need guides. Since nobody from the group had ever been to Cambais, we get two guides, an adult guide and a kid. They offered to bring our extra stuff. The trail going to the falls was mostly covered with trees and it was just around 15 mins before we arrived at the visitor’s center.
When we arrived at the visitor’s center, we logged our names and paid the environmental fee for 50.00 each.
Plunging in the cold water of Cambais Falls
We secured a spot and then we arranged our stuff. We also rented a table near the waterfalls since we decided to eat our lunch there. The water was crystal clear and there were few tourists when we arrived.
We swam to our heart’s content like happy kiddos. It’s been a while since we had that fun. We decided to go the level 3 of Cambais falls. We’re lucky that we got the place for ourselves. There was literally no one when we arrived so we savored the moment and marveled in the natural beauty of the falls.
After swimming, we cleaned up, keeping in mind the principle of Leave No Trace (LNT). Since we brought a garbage bag with us, we made sure that all trashes were collected and disposed properly. We then changed to our dry clothes in the visitor’s center. After making sure that we have everything with us, we then departed for Brgy. Legaspi.
We waited for few minutes for the habal-habal to take us to Brgy. Legaspi. Again, there was a moment of negotiation since we have to agree on the fare of the habal-habal to take us there.
Registration at Brgy. Legaspi
We arrived at the brgy hall of Brgy Legaspi. We have to log in again before we can continue our journey to Mt. Lanaya. The attendant is hospitable and she told us that we need to get a guide to follow the protocol especially that we’re all first-timers. She asked if we will be staying at the base camp or we will be summitting the Kalo-kalo peak. At that time, we haven’t made up our mind yet. We don’t know if we are ready for that hahaha.
Then the trek started…
Behold, the beauty of Mt. Lanaya
The trek going to the base camp took an hour. The trail was relatively not that difficult but we have to stop to catch our breaths. We were rewarded with a beautiful view. This is like those moments in the movie when you’ll say, “Can I just stay here?”
We continued with the trek. Looking around, you will have those New Zealand feels where the hills were covered with lush grass. There were also cows around the area. After an hour, we finally arrived at the basecamp.
A little trivia: Why is Lanaya Peak called Kalo-kalo Peak?
According to our local guide, Kalo-kalo peak or the summit of Mt. Lanaya was named from a cebuano word “kalo” which means hat. From afar, the summit’s shape is like a hat that’s why it’s called Kalo-kalo peak.
After resting, the dusk slowly sets in and after pitching our tents, we then prepared our dinner.
Sunset Viewing and Preparing for dinner
After dinner, we decided to play a game. The timing was perfect. Since it was fullmoon, we didn’t use our headlamps and flashlights. We played the game “Never have I ever” and it was really fun! There were shocking revelations, too! hahaha. It was surely a fun way to get to know each other better.
Exhausted from the whole day adventure, we finally called it a night.
Day 2: Mr. Sun is a little shy
We woke up the following morning and thought that it’s gonna rain heavily because the wind started to blow a little stronger. It made us somehow think not to push thru going to the summit of Mt. Lanaya (Kalo-kalo peak). We strolled around and we also found other group of campers. We waited for the sunrise but it was quite elusive at that time. The skies were covered with dark clouds. So we just took photos.
We then prepared our light breakfast…
Corned beef ala Clint hahaha.
Summiting Lanaya Peak via Legaspi Trail
After our breakfast, we then cleaned up the space and get ourselves ready for the trek. We left our bags at the basecamp and just brought a tumbler. Six of us originally planned to summit the Kalo-kalo peak. There were actually two routes going to the peak, via Lumpan trail or via Legaspi trail. According to the guide, the Lumpan trail is easier than the Legaspi trail. We took the Legaspi trail but it’s difficulty cannot be underestimated especially for first-timers.
The rocks were sharp and the soil was really loose. The assaults were very steep, like you seemed to be doing rock climbing of some sort. I even regretted wearing outdoor sandals and I advise you not to commit the same mistake that I did. That was because I thought we will just be staying at the base camp. Anyway, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I got minor injury in my toefinger and it’s a lesson that I learned the hard way.
Despite the difficulty, we were able to finally reach the summit. We finished the trek after 2 hours. The 360 view, will literally leave you speechless. I thought the basecamp is all that there is to marvel on but the summit is way beautiful that even the camera couldn’t capture its beauty.
Going back, we still took the Legaspi trail and surprisingly we only did the trek for an hour. Maybe because it was mostly descent and there’s a heavy rain that’s threatening to pour so we hurriedly went back to the basecamp. The trek got us all thirsty and thankfully, our friend generously asked the local to prepare buko juice for us. I don’t know why the buko juice is extra tasty at that time haha. Maybe because we’re all so exhausted.
We went back to the camp and then told our other friends that we reserved buko juice for them too. We rested for a while as we waited for them. Then we packed our bags and our tents. After making sure that everything is secured and that there were no trashes around, we asked a camper from another group to take a group photo for us as a souvenir.
When we arrived at the highway, we waited for a Ceres bus going back to the city. We chose an airconditioned bus so we can sit comfortably for the long ride. The good thing there is that since we boarded from Alegria, there’s still a lot of vacant seats. Bus started to get crowded when it passes along the municipalities of Moalboal and Badian.
We arrived around 6pm at Cebu South Bus Terminal. We then bid goodbye from each other for the beautiful weekend adventure that we had.
*Before our trip, I made an itinerary based on my research from blogs, travel websites, and advice from friends. The itinerary is just a guide, and it doesn’t mean that we have to strictly follow the time and activity. And true enough, there were changes especially during the second day of our trip.
Here’s our actual itinerary:
04:00 AM- Meet-up at South Bus Terminal 05:00 AM- ETD Alegria 09:00 AM- ETA Alegria 10:00 AM- Waterfalls adventure at Cambais 12:00 NN- Lunch 01:00 PM- Continue Swimming 02:00 PM- ETA Brgy Legaspi/ Register/ Get a guide 03:00 PM- Start trek 05:00 PM- ETA basecamp (Windows XP camp)/ Pitch tent/ Sunset view 07:00 PM- Dinner and socials 10:00 PM- Lights off
05:00 AM- Wake up call 06:00 AM- Sunrise viewing 07:00 AM- Prepare breakfast 08:00 AM- Start trek to Lanaya Summit (Kalo-Kalo Peak) 10:00 AM- ETA Lanaya Summit 11:00 AM- ETA Basecamp 12:00 NN- Break camp 01:00 PM- ETA Brgy Legaspi, Alegria (Highway)/ Wait for Bus 02:00 PM- ETD Alegria (bound to Cebu City) 06:00 PM- ETA Cebu South Bus Terminal
Budget and Expenses:
Airconditioned Bus- Php 203 (one-way) Habal-habal fare from Alegria to Cambais- Php 100 each Lunch- Php 90 each Guide Cambais Falls)- Php 50 each Environmental fee (Cambais Falls)- Php 50 each Rented table- Php 100 (one table) Cambais to Brgy Legaspi- Php 150 each Registration fee (for Mt. Lanaya)- Php 175 each Guide (Lanaya and Kalo-Kalo Peak)- Php 1000 (8 pax) Total Estimated Expenses: Php 1, 246 each (expenses may vary for each group member if you purchase snacks or other items during the trip)
1. Bring enough water for the hike. 2. Pack light but make sure you got all the essentials. 3. Prepare extra money for unexpected or emergency situations. 4. Always follow the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). 5. Plan ahead but embrace the beauty of spontaneity.
Photo credits to Clint, Cecil, and Jade. Thank you guys for documenting our trip! 🙂