Sirao Peak: Happily ARRIVING At Its PEAK After My Second TRY 


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.

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters 

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.

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

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.

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

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.

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

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.

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

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.

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

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.

 

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

Photo Credit: Sean of His Hidden Letters

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.

Tips: 

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.

Note: 

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.

Note:

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.

TRAVEL TIPS 

  • 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.
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42 thoughts on “Sirao Peak: Happily ARRIVING At Its PEAK After My Second TRY 

  1. What a beautiful travelogue. I can only imagine the satisfaction of sitting at the peak and seeing the world from a different perspective. I love hiking and the waterfalls where I live are beautiful but that one is really impressive! You’ve inspired me to add the Phillipines to my ever/growing travel bucket list!

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  2. I’m frustrated that until now I still haven’t got the chance to climb a mountain… I told myself that I will do even just a minor trek this year but I’m still here daydreaming haha
    You really captured all the scenery beautifully Lai.. it feels like looking at wallpapers and yes, it’s very similar to those natural landscapes of New Zealand! Breathtaking indeed!
    Thanks for sharing us your adventure

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  3. Awww! You got me on the falls! It was magically captured. I was just wondering how do photographers do that dreamy effect on waterfalls.. like they’re steadily flowing.. so picturesque, makes me wantbto grab and use it as wallpaper 🙂 but seriously this place is amazingly stunning!

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  4. Wow. The place is so beautiful. The hike, I believe, is all worth it as you would surely feel at peace with the place. It always inspires and awes me seeing mountains embracing bodies of water. I hope I be able to travel to Cebu again. I would make sure to visit Sirao Peak.

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  5. As expected from you, another adventure that would lift your readers off their feet! When I was reading and staring at your photos, it would be a dream come true to be truly appreciated for you are sharing. Where are you off to for your next adventure?

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  6. The falls was captivating. It’s great to read that you also successfully climbed your second time at Sirao. The detailed itinerary is also a great help for first timers. Good job on sharing it with your readers.

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  7. Wow! The Sirao peak looks truly stunning. And I would love to try the trail that lets me view cascading waterfalls. Congratulations to you on finally making it to the summit. Climbing such with a group of people reallly makes trekking more fun. Hoping I get to try this when I visit Cebu.

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  8. Sirao Peak looks amazing, especially this waterfalls! Glad you were able to complete the trail the second time. Thanks for sharing such a detailed itinerary for first timers – I hope I’ll get a chance to do this whenever I visit Cebu!

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  9. Amazing! Congratulations on making it to the peak! The greenery is so attractive – pity these kind of landscapes are becoming even more rare as the years go by. Thank you for this travel post! Really informative.

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  10. Congrats on making it to the peak! What a beautiful place, I especially love that waterfall. I can’t believe you dropped your phone in the water and it still works! That’s great news!

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  11. When I think of Cebu, the first thing that typically comes to mind is not peaks. I think of parties and beach holidays. This trek looks amazing though! Congratulations on the accomplishment and the courage to try again after failing the first time. Bravo!

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  12. I don’t know about the others, but it’s the waterfalls that would undoubtedly make me climb up the peak. I am sorry for your misfortune the first time you tried to climb it up. But I also congratulate you for the second time you did it. The photos are stunning and the atmosphere is great.

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  13. Yes, we all are not successful at the first try but I am glad, that you made it in the second. The photos taken by you, are worth your effort. Trekking is always adventurous. That’s inspiring and adventurous too. All the best for your future endeavors.

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  14. I had no idea that I missed out so much on Cebu. There is too much beauty there! I agree that a six hour trek is absolutely worth that stunning view! I love that you were able to catch part of that stunning sunset!

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  15. I have never seen this side of Cebu before. The day hike took you to so many beautiful spots along the way! The waterfall is truly mesmerizing!

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  16. I love hiking and hiking in Cebu is definitely something that I am going to add to my list now. I love how green it is and I just want to jump under that waterfall and swim around.

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  17. Sirao Park looks madly amazing! There’s really something about a challenging hike experience that changes you and makes you want to achieve greater heights. Amazing photos as always! Will stay tuned for more of this 🙂

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  18. Hi Lai! I just wanted to add to my comment (can’t edit original post). Did you train or anything like that at all for this trek? I’ve always wanted to go on long hikes like this. especially havasupai falls (if you haven’t heard of it google! it’s beautiful there). But I’m afraid that I’m totally going to pass out halfway or something haha.

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  19. We didn’t know about this place when we were in Cebu but wish we had because it looks stunning! Lovely photos in this post.

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  20. Great post. I’m so glad you reached the peak! The waterfalls look amazing as well as all the other things you came across on your climb.

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  21. You scaled the peak in your second attempt is inspiring to know! You didn’t give up on yourself and challenged yourself to complete what you set for is an example for all!

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  22. I used to hike a lot. Am starting to train myself again, hope I can hike again. Thank you for your sharing here with travel tips, am saving it as I really wanna enjoy the nice view at the peak during my travelling there soon. Cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing

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  23. It is a good thing that you were able to capture Sirao peak on your second time. Tough luck on the muscle cramp but stuff like that always happen unexpectedly. I actually enjoyed all the photos from the river trek.

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  24. I’m glad you didn’t try to force youself to go up the first time round. Failures always make one appreciate success more. Hence, you feel more for whatever you experience up there~

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  25. OMG! It is so awesome to know that you reached the peak! I am definitely sure that I wouldn’t have reached if I were you! Haha!

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  26. Haha! Indeed sometimes, the best trips turn out to be those totally unplanned, impulsive ones! Good that you accepted your friend’s invitation. The view is majestic and the place looks incredibly gorgeous!

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  27. That sure looks like a lovely hike. I loved the nature pics here and the waterfall is amazing. It is good you can get so close to it… So refreshing to do that

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  28. I have been to Cebu, a long, long time ago, but only around the sea and sand, and the town, nowhere further. I’m not a trekker, but I did enjoy your photos from the heights and your journal. 🙂

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