You were excited, but I know that your doubts can even touch the ceiling of the highest house you’ve ever known. This is what I’ve whispered to myself while I was embracing the comfort of my bed in the morning when I got an invitation coming from a friend to experience a day trek to Sirao Peak. I don’t know precisely what to respond to his message, but at the end of our conversation, I said yes to his invitation.
Yes, I was in doubt because I once have tried to climb Sirao Peak, only I wasn’t able to make it to the peak due to unforeseen circumstances. I got muscle cramp the moment we touched the shoulder of the peak, which is supposedly would only take us 30 minutes before reaching the Peak. It was a horrible experience cause I actually fell off the ground and seems like my strength have been sucked up by a full volume of a vacuum cleaner. Instead of continuing on our trek to reach the Sirao Peak, we decided to just go back and take the short cut so we could easily reach the main Highway. Not continuing on our trek was actually the safest decision we’ve made that time cause it’s already dark and we are not that ready cause we only just plan to experience a day trek.
When it’s time to get high, look no further than Cebu– a place with more hills and peaks that has spectacular lookouts and are easy to reach. Many of the grandest vistas are in the wilderness, hence you’ll have to haul yourself uphill to reach them. Sirao Peak or Mount Kan-Irag is one of the many Peaks to visit in Cebu, you’ll get the chance to be captivated with its amazing vistas. It stands at around 600 MASL and located at Barangay Sibugay, Cebu City. It is also situated next to Ayala Heights. Of all the Peaks in Cebu, this is I guess the most accessible mountain from the City Proper. It is known for owning a picturesque green meadow view below when you stand at its peak that will certainly leave you in awe.
Morning comes and marks another journey, a trek that changes how I used to see mountains. They’re not moving, but they can propel you. They’re serene, but they can discompose your peace. They’re peacefully resting on their thrones, but they can challenge you. They’re one of the most interesting land forms that leaves you lessons when you arrived at their Peak. They’re not easy to reach, but they can render you the easiest way of developing your skills in understanding life on a wider perspective.
There are different trails leading to Sirao Peak, which depends on the kind of adventure you like. I joined with NCR Trekkers during my climb for the second time round. The trail that we had was the Budlaan-Kabang Falls-Sirao Peak, which is likewise the same trail I had during my first trek to Sirao Peak. The first backbreaking challenge is to overcome the river trekking with the immense rocks that you will encounter and even climb on it as well.
What gets the river trekking fun and worth it is the stunning Cascades that you’ll be seeing. It wasn’t that exciting If I compare it to my first climb, perhaps because I’d already experienced more than half of the trail going to the peak. But what I truly like about this climb is that, I was able to flirt with the stunning waterfalls. I get to take a good picture of the waterfalls and also trekking with a huge group of trekkers is truly fun which gives me a chance to make new friends as well.
On a river trekking scene, taking a photo of the waterfalls using my small tripod is truly a struggle. While I was capturing the beautiful waterfalls, my phone suddenly fell from the huge rock and swam in the water, good thing it didn’t make my phone malfunction which would be another pocket pain If I get to buy another new phone. We proceed on our river trekking until we get to the mountains and the steep trail has started to divulge.
There was a huge mango tree where it gives us a chance to enjoy the shade and we definitely took the opportunity to have our lunch since its almost 1:00 PM. We rested for a while after our lunch and some of us shares story while embracing the mountain life. The mountain breeze kissing our surface and the birds freely chirping like as if they’re attempting to mollify us from our tiring river trekking.
The vast greenish scenic views as we nearly reach the Peak really left me in awe. There were cows I’ve seen while enjoying the taste of a healthy green pasture which I came to think what the grass would be taste like. There were also broken rocks scattering around, some have sharp boundaries, some were just like a normal, rock, some were also amazing to gaze at.
It was as if I was traipsing my feet on a little land space in New Zealand with the green grass filling the whole land. We had our rest under the small shade of the trees because the sun was a bit clingy to really get into our surface. There was likewise a small lake we’ve seen on our way up to the peak, it is surrounded by a green grass and it is a playground of animals where they usually get to douse themselves when it’s really hot.
While we keep on our trek, there was a very familiar spot where I fell off the ground during my first attempt to climb the Peak. It was where I exactly experienced muscle cramps and just reminded me of my first climb to the Sirao Peak. From the shoulder of the Peak, the trail is really steep. The perennial weed with their green color was what welcomed me. While the green grass touching my surface, I can really see the peak from below and just a few steps going up would already be the peak I have long been dreaming to reach. I was grinning from ear to ear that time and just before the sun slowly crawling below the skyline, we were able to reach the peak.
I was standing at the peak and I enjoy the stunning view while the mountain breeze mollified my jaded body after almost 6 hours of trek. It was truly worth it. I know that it wasn’t that challenging climb for some, but for me it was another mountain climbing adventure that I can really treasure. I couldn’t elucidate my happiness that time, for the second try, I made it.
The eagerness I have to explore what’s more the peak can offer is sprouting like a seed planted on a healthy land. Me and my friend got to the opposite side of the peak and check and what we can see there. Genuinely, we were able to find a stunning view which is unusual view when you get to Sirao Peak. We took a bunch of photos while waiting for the sun to bid goodbye.
After taking a lot of photos and enjoying the view. We went back to the camping site of Sirao Peak cause our friends were looking for us since it’s almost dark already. Before we decided to go down, we were granted a chance to experience and take a glimpse of a beautiful sunset which was what makes our day trek more fulfilling. Shortly enough, we went down, but we didn’t go back to the track where we began our trek, we instead took the backdoor trail. While on our way down, I was silently talking to myself and made a promise that I would surely be getting back for an overnight stay.
HOW TO GET TO SIRAO PEAK
There are daily flights to Cebu from Manila, Davao and other part of the Philippines with Major Airlines (Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia). From the Mactan Cebu International Airport, ride a taxi going to JY Square.
There’s a MyBus outside the airport near the exit gate on the right side. From the Airport, the drop off point is in SM Cebu. The fare is PHP 25.00. Trip schedules are from 7:00AM to 9:00PM with a 30 minute interval.
There are two trails going to Sirao Peak that are mostly recognized by many trekkers.
Via Budlaan River Trek Trail
From Gaisano Talamban, ride a motorcycle (habal2x) bound for Sitio Baugo, Budlaan (jump off area). The fare is PHP 25.00 per person and if you’re traveling solo, you have to pay PHP 50.00 since this is the normal rate per motorcycle. If you’re not familiar with the trail, I advise that you hire a guide going to the Peak.
The Budlaan trail is the difficult trail cause you get to do a river trekking and it gets around 4-5 hours trek going to the peak. This will vary depending on your individual pace.
Via Ayala Heights ( Backdoor trail)
From JY Square Lahug, ride a motorcycle (also called habal-habal) going to the jump-off in Busay near Ayala Heights or at the Police Station. The fare is PHP 75.00 to PHP 100.00 depending on your haggling skills. Just inform the driver that you’re going to Sirao Peak. There are no registration fees to be collected yet as of April 2017.
This is I guess the most easy trail leading to Sirao Peak. This will only take approximately 10-15 minute trek from the base of the Peak going to Sirao Peak.
There are still other trail that leads to Sirao Peak that I haven’t tried yet, maybe soon If I get the opportunity.
- Drinking water is not readily available anywhere, especially after river trekking. Hence, I advise you to bring adequate drinking water. I guess 2 liters is enough.
- You better don’t take the Budlaan River Trekking trail when the sudden rain arrives because the water can create fast currents that would result to dangerous situation.
- You can do camping at night, but make sure to bring your own camping tent, flashlight, jacket, food and other necessary things needed.
- Please, be always kind to nature, don’t break its innate beauty.
- We can’t predict the weather, so you better bring your dry bag to put all your gadgets and camera when it rains.
- If you wish to have your snacks or meal at the summit, please take responsibility of your garbages, make sure to bring them all with you and don’t leave your garbages there.
- Please remember to leave no trace behind. Take full care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.
POSSIBLE TRAVEL EXPENSES TO PREPARE
- Fare Gaisano Talamban to Budlaan (Jump off area – Php 25.00
- Food (Lunch, snacks & drinking water) – Php 150.00
- Fare Ayala Heights (Backdoor trail) to JY Square – Php 75:00
OVER ALL TOTAL: Php 250.00
SIRAO PEAK DAY TREK ITINERARY
09:00 AM – Meet-up at Gaisano Talamban
- 09:30 AM – Depart from Gaisano Talamban
- 09:45 AM – ETA Budlaan (Jump-off area)
- 10:00 AM – Trekking going to the river
- 10:30 AM – River Trekking (Chasing waterfalls)
- 11:30 AM – Trekking in the mountain
- 12:00 AM – Lunch
- 01:00 PM – Continue trekking
- 02:30 PM – Rest (Snacks)
- 04:00 PM – ETA (Sirao Peak, taking photos, enjoying the view)
- 05:45 PM – Depart from Sirao Peak
- 06:10 PM – ETA ( Ayala Heights)
- 06:20 PM – Going back to Cebu City
- 06:40 PM – ETA ( JY Square)
- 07:00 PM – Home sweet Home.