Bocaue Peak: An Overnight Camp for the first time has turned out to be monstrous


I’ve told you many times that I quit chasing your backbreaking trail, but the more I try to evade your stiff terrain nature, the more I’m pulled closer to your wonderful world.

Oh, the mountain is calling again and I couldn’t resist the sweet voice that makes me feel so good to embrace the most humbling way to start my year. How could I evade the exciting and fulfilling sentiment that satisfies me and makes me recall that life is a road to take? I couldn’t afford to reject the experience that I’ll be getting as I’m talking to myself the moment I got the invitation coming from a friend who happens to be a travel blogger as well. As I was told to camp on the mountain, I was extremely energized and elated cause It was actually my first time to stay overnight on the mountain. Though I have been trekking in the mountain since last year, but just a day trek, this time was a different one. It was really a great way to start my year, since aside from this is my ever first overnight camp, this is also my first trek this year which happened last January of this year. I was a bit shy since some of the trekkers that I’ll be seeing that day were strangers that I haven’t heard and meet yet, but I know it’ll always be fun to traipse our feet on the same off the beaten path while knowing each other.

Bocaue Peak is also known to many as Muffin Peak. It is actually situated in Bonbon, Cebu City which makes it very easy to reach and only needs a small amount of money to get here. They called it the muffin peak because it looks so close to the newly baked muffin cake when you try to see it from its foot. The peak offers a panoramic view of the city, then the jaw-dropping sight of an adjacent mountain range.

Our tryst was set at the Guadalupe Church and it requires us to take a motorcycle ride going to the Jump off area. I’ve met unfamiliar faces and I relish my freedom by showing my genuine smile while making friends with some of the trekkers. Just like any minor or major trek, it is always beneficial to have a bit of stretching so that our muscle won’t be surprised as we tread on the backbreaking trail. We also prayed before we set off climbing and makes sure that we are all prepared for another fun-filled adventure that is waiting ahead of us.

It was my first time to join with a huge group of trekkers and spend our whole night on the mountain as I ordinarily had a day trek with friends. My happy little itchy feet were so elated, but I know they were also worried and excited to finally play with the backbreaking path along the way. The first few meters had been merely a smooth walk and I haven’t been exuding a clear liquid from my sweat gland until we had our first stop for a moment while waiting for others. I wasn’t paying attention to someone who have said that we’ll be crawling on that upward surface as we have to move up. I was smiling while trying to consider that he’s just kidding me. But yes, I had to crawl and I guess that moment was just a childlike way of sending me an idea that the challenging trail is about to start and so it was.

The beginning phase of the challenge is to overcome the first five towers before taking another route. Yes, in truth, I’ve seen a lot of towers while imagining myself taking Zip line as it perfectly hanging on those thick electrical wires from the first tower going to the fifth tower. Oh yes, I have to walk and continue moving forward. My adopted child inside my stomach was starting to beg for food and I was just waiting for others to have our lunch. Soon enough we’d reached the third tower and we only have to walk a little bit to find a perfect spot to rest and have our lunch.

Filling our hungry stomach was just our way of preparing ourselves to continue on our trek. At that place were numerous wild flowers I’ve seen along the trail and the stunning view is slowly revealing itself to us. The refreshing breeze coming from the mountain is tardily kissing my surface after a long hour in the wilderness as I’m starting to commune with nature. Nothing compares to the touch sensation of being in an area that is undisturbed by human activity together with its naturally developed innate beauty. It was truly serene and fulfilling.

As we keep on our trek, there was an abandoned backhoe that has been neglected of its purpose in the wilderness. I just don’t know how could that backhoe reaches the stack area where I didn’t see any visible road that leads to the mountain. It was strange to look at, but it was really a rare scene to experience, so I took the chance to climb up and have some photos. Yes, we made the backhoe as an instant tourist spot as most of us have ourselves being photographed with the backhoe.

The clouds began to unite and trying to tell us that they are in their maddened state. Yes, the rain started pouring down, but hesitate to release everything as he rather hold back most of what he got. Hence, we were lucky enough to continue on our journey without experiencing the heaviest rainfall. It was actually first time that I told myself, this is truly challenging trail as we’ve stopped several times cause some of the pathways are no longer visible and require a passkey of the trail to sense of which route to follow.

Yes, we believed we’d lost that time, but the good thing was, three or four of the trekkers are familiar of the trail. Yes, I was smiling, but I was actually worried that we might get to the wrong trail, but I know at the back of my mind that it was truly fun and I enjoyed it a lot. What they did was clearing the leaves of the plants covering the trail to make it visible and we could determine the trail going to the Bocaue Peak.

This only proves that the trail going to Bocaue peak was never gentle. There was a great deal of unexpected deflection along the way. Crawling under the trellis of interlacing branches of trees was truly challenging, but after almost 5 hours of trek we finally arrived at our destination.

As soon as I was told that we are now at the foot of the Peak, I was really happy cause my legs were acting like seemed to cede. Then we slowly come up to the Peak, which bears a last challenge that we’ll be facing before we can ultimately reach the Peak. We need to walk along the high slopes, which I find it hard and I was exuding clear liquid from my sweat glands. As I traipsed my feet at the Bocaue Peak, I was welcomed by the cold mountain breeze and the breathtaking sight of the Cebu City and the adjacent mountain range on the other side.

I can genuinely feel the fulfillment and all my sweat and muscle pain has all been paid off. It was belatedly in the afternoon when we arrived at the Peak, we stayed there for a while and we truly have enjoyed the stunning view. There were already campers at the Peak the moment we arrived, and since it doesn’t have a wide area to camp, we resolved to go down to look for the possible good camping site. As we got down to the base of the Boacaue Peak, I was really surprised cause there is actually a wide area to Camp, which is a good thing since we are quite a lot during our trek.

We have taken in a good area to set up our tent. Then, each of us were busy setting up our tent. I got my beach tent, which is not an appropriate tent when camping on the mountain, but I have no choice that time cause that’s the only tent I have. As shortly as we have pitched our tent, we immediately prepared our dinner. I find it amazing that time since most of my friends had an amazing mountaineering gears. They have this small camping pot, a portable camping stove, a sleeping bag, a mountaineering tent, almost everything I’ve seen have made me speechless. I started asking many things from my well experienced mountaineer friends. Where to buy this stuff and what brand should I choose. It was truly a completely little crazy question since I was so curious that time. I told myself that I can have the proper gear soon.

The darkness began to invade the whole space. We were hugged by serenity and the mountain vibes. I’ve started hearing evening species and the cold wind hugging my entire physical structure which has made me look for my jacket. Shortly enough, the dinner was served and eating under the little shade of light was truly an experienced that was far from what I used to. It was something that has made me so happy and a kind of feeling that I couldn’t explain. The food that we have that night was cooked with love cause it was so luscious. As expected, everybody was very hungry and tired, and the sole way to pacify our jaded body is to eat as much as we can. It was as if we’re actually eating in a beanery with an unlimited food to choose from at that moment.

As to my surprise, there is this funny thing that usually campers do and they call it “social”, which takes place right after dinner. It is one means of bonding with campers. It can be done through games, short stories or just a friendly talk with the campers. What we did after dinner was playing games, chit chat and knowing each other until it turned out to a horror story. Imagine sharing horror stories in the mountain. Some tales were actually really scary and some were very fun to listen to. Truly, that night was really full of merriment.

In the middle of our scary horror tales, the heavy rain suddenly poured down. We immediately departed to our respective tent to rest. I was actually worried about my tent, since it was not the mountaineering tent that most of the campers has. The sturdy blowing of air and the heavy rain was seemed to unite and planning to break my poor beach tent. The struggle was very real that night. As the strong wind slapping my tent, I was there inside trying to contend for the wind while holding my tent. I place my backpack on the other side where the wind hit, so it can be of help to fight for the wind. The rain and the strong wind didn’t stop for nearly 3 hours. Within my tent was seemed to be like a small swimming pool where I couldn’t straight my feet cause I might soak it in the cold water brought by the heavy rain. I didn’t able to control myself to shout countless times every time the wind hit my tent until about 2:00 AM. It was truly an unthinkable experience and I never have imagined that I could get through it. In truth, my first try to camp on the mountain was extremely challenging. Around 2:00 AM, the rain finally stops for it may have heard me pleading countless times to just end it. I don’t have any choice that time, but to sleep while attempting to fit myself in the small dry space inside my tent. The good thing was, my tent was in an upright position where my head is in the higher lift and my feet is in the lower elevation, that’s why the water only gets to the lower side.

The minute I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t even halt myself from not sharing what I experienced last night with my camper friends. They told me that, I have to get used to it, since this won’t be my last. They too shared their worst experience in the mountains for the past years they have been climbing mountains. They even told me that my experience was served to be a basis either I continue to trek to the mountains and stay there for days or my experience last night might be my last. I was smiling and told them that this is merely a beginning.

Just like a typical scene on the morning when camping. We also prepared our breakfast and of course a cold morning deserves a hot coffee as this is the best way to fight the cold weather in the mountain. And as soon as we’d done eating our breakfast, we also prepare to fix all our things and cleaning the camping area is our way of caring and loving the mother earth. Leave no trace should always carry in mind.

Then it was around 9:00 am when we were ready to descend and took the different trail. The Babag Trail is what we took, since this is the trail that most trekkers follow as an exit to go back to Cebu City. It is a very known shortcut going home. The trail leads to Mountain View, Busay, Cebu. It also goes straight through RCPI then to Busay and would pass you through Chalet Hills, the famous Temple of Leah, then Mountain View Resort. From there, you can opt to ride a motorcycle, taxi or Jeepney going to the JY Square Mall at Lahug, Cebu City, then finally welcome back to Cebu City.

Descending wasn’t just a walk in the park, even though we took the shortcut trail. It also requires strength and motivation to reach down. It took us more than 2 hours of trek to reach Mountain View Resort as our last exit. The moment we traipsed our feet at the National road, there was a Jeepney going to the JY square Mall and everyone of us ride on the Jeepney while secretly enjoying our annoying smell. It is our happiness to fill our empty stomach from the tiring trek, so the minute we reach the JY Square Mall, we immediately went to Mang Inasal near Salinas Drive, Lahug branch. We had our unlimited rice with a luscious grilled chicken. Lunch have done and we need to separate ways and hopefully we all see each other on the next climb.

 

HOW TO GET TO BOCAUE 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 the Guadalupe Church.

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.

When you reach the Guadalupe Church, go to the back of the Church or ask the locals where to ride a Motorcycle or Habal-Habal going to Sitio Napo, Guadalupe Cebu City, since this is the jump off area. The fare is only Php 20.00 per person. From Sitio Napo, take the trail going to Mt. Babag, then make a detour to the 5 towers trail.

Note: If you haven’t been here, I advise you to trek with someone or a group of trekkers who have already been to Bocaue Peak and have taken the 5 tower trail.

 

TRAVEL TIPS

  • The jump off area is located at the Sitio Napo in Brgy. Guadalupe, Cebu City. It is the same jump off area when going to Mt. Babag or the RCPI Towers. Actually, they are neighboring mountains.
  • There are two known trails going to Bocaue Peak. Most trekkers will take the Babag trail where they go through Mt. Babag first, then turn on the left side as this leads to Bocaue Peak. This is actually the first trail, and From Mt. Babag, the trek going to Bocaue Peak is around 2 hours. The second trial was what we took, it is known as 5 towers trail where you get to follow the 5 towers, then turn on the right side which is the commencement of the backbreaking trail. It is shrouded with thick green bushes and a muddy trail. The trek from the jump off area and taking the 5 tower trail going to Bocaue Peak is about 4-5 hours and it can be extended to 6 hours, depending on someone’s pace.
  • If you haven’t been here, I advise you to trek with someone or a group of trekkers who have already been to Bocaue Peak and have taken the 5 tower trail.
  • Bear in mind that when you reach the Peak, there are no trees nor any shade at all. If you get there and wasn’t that hot, then you’re lucky enough, but if it’s not, then good luck to the scorching heat of the sun. But despite of this, you will certainly enjoy the panoramic view of Bocaue Peak.
  • Make sure your phone or camera is fully charged for picture purposes or bring a not so heavy Power bank.
  • Wear your comfortable trekking shoes, clothes and everything that you need when trekking in the stack.
  • Bring just the necessary thing you need when climbing the mountain. Always make sure that climbing the mountain with your heavy backpacks is not easy and it’s very tiring. It might drain your energy.
  • Bring enough food, which includes trail food and always make sure to have a meal plan, particularly if you’re traveling with a group people. Bringing of drinking water is also advisable since water is not readily available anywhere near the summit so you better bring your own drinking water, 2-3 liters will be enough.
  • Bocaue Peak can possibly be reached if you choose a day trek, but I advise you start the trek as early as you can, so you won’t suffer to trek at night when you get back to the City.
  • If you choose to stay overnight. Always remember that your tent is where you take the chance to rest at night, so make sure to bring a sturdy mountaineering tent and a sleeping bag cause it might be really cold at night and at dawn. Bring a reliable head lamp for you need it at night and also a ground sheet for your tent.
  • We can’t foretell the weather, so you better bring your dry bag to put all your gadgets and camera when it rains. If you bid to have your snacks or meal at the summit, please take responsibility of your garbage, make sure to bring them all with you and don’t leave your garbage there.
  • Please remember to leave no trace behind. Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough. Don’t break its innate beauty.

 

POSSIBLE TRAVEL EXPENSES

  • Motorcycle Fare from Guadalupe Church to Sitio Napo – Php 20.00
  • Food & Water (Lunch, Trail Foods, Water, includes Dinner and Breakfast if you stay overnight) – Php 300.00
  • Mountain View to JY via Jeep – Php 15.00 Lunch at Mang Inasal – Php 135.00

          TOTAL – Php 470.00

 

ITINERARY FOR THIS CLIMB

DAY 1

  • 09:30 AM – Meet up at Guadalupe Church 10:15 AM – Depart for Jump off area
  • 10:30 AM – ETA at the Jump off area (Stretching & Praying)
  • 10:50 AM – Trekking start
  • 11:30 AM – First Tower
  • 01:00 PM – Third Tower (Lunch and rest) 01:45 PM – Trekking continue 03:30 PM – Bocaue Peak (Picture taking and enjoying the panoramic view)
  • 04:30 PM – ETA Camping Site
  • 05:00 PM – Tent Pitching (Rest)
  • 05:45 PM – Prepare for dinner
  • 07:30 PM – Dinner
  • 09:00 PM – Socials (Mountain night life) 11:00 PM – Lights off (Rest)

DAY 2

  • 06:00 AM – Wake up call (Coffee)
  • 06:20 AM – Prepare for breakfast
  • 07:30 AM – Breakfast
  • 08:30 AM – Break camp
  • 09:30 AM – Descend and take the shortcut trail
  • 12:30 PM – ETA at Mountain View Resort 12:40 PM – Depart for JY Square Mall
  • 01:00 PM – ETA JY Square Mall
  • 01:20 PM – Lunch at Mang Inasal
  • 02:40 PM – Going Home
Advertisements

46 thoughts on “Bocaue Peak: An Overnight Camp for the first time has turned out to be monstrous

  1. You all are so impressive! I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’m in good enough shape to take on Bocaue Peak, and the unpredictability of the weather might also give me pause. BUT your photos make it look so lush and like such a gorgeous experience that I might just be tempted. Love that you made the backhoe into a tourist attraction!! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  2. Wow! This trek seems very very difficult. I am so used to seeing all your trekking adventures look like a breeze and this one really looks tough. You didn’t have the proper trekking gear, but you still did it! I’m so impressed by your will power 🙂

    Like

  3. This was quite an adventure, I might say. I myself have never camped out in the open and always dream of waking up in the mountains out in the open. But I can see that it is not all romantic. Rains and other elements of the weather can play spoilsport and you can end up with a monstrous experience like you did.

    Like

  4. I love your writing style, its really beautiful! The trek seems like quite an adventure and I can totally imagine myself surrounded my mountains and discussing horror stories. It would be an unforgettable experience. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Like

  5. Your whole trek sounds so interesting and adventurous to me, I never really had been to a real trek. I wish to atleast try once camping and feel like real one. 🙂

    Like

  6. I have experienced an overnight camping on a peak as well. One is at Osmena Peak and the other is at Mt. Gulugod-Baboy in Cavite. As you may have known, Osmena Peak is the highest point in Cebu and truly, the wind and fog were too strong. and what we have was a beach tent too! Lol. Fortunately, we managed to keep it up tight even though the winds are hampering horrendously to our tent. That was an experience of a lifetime. I think we’re luckier than you. xD

    Like

  7. This sounds like one of the stories for my blog – the wildest tales lol 🙂 The trek looks awesome but I can imagine it was hard – especially carrying all that stuff. There is something beautiful in camping with other hikers and sharing the stories in the evening – I love it. I have never been to Phillipines but I would associate it with beaches rather than mountains – thanks for showing me how wrong I was!

    Like

  8. I always like your detailed posts and the way you mention the break up of costing, travel route, means, and tips. The Bocaue trail surely looks tough. Sleeping in the Beach tent in mountains that also with rain and the wind at its full speed; might be quite challenging for you. But as we all learn with experience, this too would have been an extraordinary experience for you.

    Like

  9. Your writing is so intriguing and eloquent! Travel tips and itinerary are great for travellers. What a delightful view from the campsite!

    Like

  10. A very detailed guide to getting to Bocaue Peak. Looks like you faced some challenges during the trek, but worth it for those panoramic views! I wouldn’t be fit enough to survive the trek haha! The grilled chicken looks tasty! Thanks for the useful tips!

    Like

  11. Looks like you guys had an awesome trek! great photo’s also, nothing beats setting up camp after a long day walking and taking in some beautifull scenery. Thanks for the read, really enjoyed it 😀

    Like

  12. Though it looks like you had some challenges during the trek and didnt have all the gear, but you still made it through and those views were worth it!

    Like

  13. What a beautiful spot! I hate that you didn’t have the proper gear, but the fellow-traveler in me is quite impressed by your will to continue on! It seems like it was absolutely worth it. As always, I love your spirit of adventure and your very helpful budget breakdowns. Thanks for sharing another unique experience.

    Like

  14. Wow, looks like you had quite the experience and what a story to tell. It’s moments and trips like these the challenging ones that stay with us forever. I’m sure you won’t be forgetting this one in a hurry 😀 Great read

    Like

  15. I’m not a mountain person but I gotta admit that the literally breath-taking journey to the peak will teach us a lot of things about life and our self. You said, “Descending wasn’t just a walk in the park, even though we took the shortcut trail. It also requires strength and motivation to reach down.” And this applies to every goal we have in our life and our self. No road is easy, may it be the long or shortcut one. We have to deal with all of the struggles along the way because that’s how we will reach our peak, our success. 🙂 Cheers to more mountains to climb and roads to brave!

    Like

  16. It’s an experience, sort of a journey reading about your posts! There is so much to gather information from and just start moving at your pace (i cant afford to!) Love the pics and your tales on how to cope with a big group and do a bit of stretching before the trek. Keep inspiring!

    Like

  17. I would love to experience that social part where you interact with other campers and share some horror tales… ever since I was a kid, that’s how I always visualize camping.. the story telling and the bonfire haha.. I guess the best part of this journey is the experience right… i mean it might be a tough night for all of you but the experience and challenge is what makes this trip even more exciting and memorable

    Like

  18. You endured such a harrowing stay and in the future, you’ll be thinking to yourself, “Wow, I got through that!” It’s really inspiring to see you attempt challenging treks and congratulations on attempting your first overnight camping trip! Seems like you were in great company. Also, good on you and your team for cleaning up after yourselves. One of my biggest pet peeves is travelers who don’t know how to clean up after themselves.

    Like

  19. What a fabulous informative post you have written, with such detailed info, I have bookmarked your post as I would love to do this one day. Your photos were fantastic. Great tips.

    Like

  20. This sure was an arduous trek and your post was a great read on how to be prepared for the unexpected. Glad you guys had a good time and came back safely. Beautiful pictures.

    Like

  21. Quite an adventure it is. It’s a long trekking and I have to think more than twice before I take this path. But to those who enjoy trekking, this is certainly worth the place. Pictures are lovely and the post very detail. Great place to camp.

    Like

  22. Great post, I have never been t Bocaue Peak. I love climbing mountains but you have to be so prepared as anything can happen, I have certainly had a few hiking mishaps over the years.

    Like

  23. Very detailed and useful guide, will really come to use when visiting Bocaue Peak, thanks for sharing. The hike looks brilliant and I’m sure we’d have a good time, after all, I do love a good hike!

    Like

  24. WHAT A TRIP!! I loved how much detail you put into this post, even including an itinerary and travel tips… I not think I’ll ever get down there but it was still fun to read!

    Like

  25. Despite that the trek being too difficult, the photos still proved it’s worth it. With all your experiences, I know you are strong enough to overcome it. Ika nga, “sisw lang sa’yo yan”. I hope I can do an overnight too but I wish it would be easy for me.

    Like

  26. wow!What an adventure!It seems you all had great time with camping.The surrounding is full of beautiful views.cooking can be fun when you are in such a trip! 🙂

    Like

  27. It has been years since my last climb. I just gave birth to our son thus it’s only my husband and our boys who continue our once a year trek.

    The sight of the backhoe made me remember the Maguindanao massacre. Weird really that it’s there. Such equipment is so expensive just to be left unattended.

    Like

  28. I can totally relate to the “mountain calling again” feeling. I get that every few months 🙂 Bocaue peak camping trail looks extremely green and refreshing. What an experience!

    Like

  29. That was indeed a challenging experience! Good thing that the wind and rain eventually stopped. Congratulations on this major climb also. I’m not the mountaineering type. But I have friends who love the great outdoors.

    Like

  30. That seems like a real victory over the mountain! The climb itself was thrilling. A great read and you have been rewarded with such glorious views.

    Like

  31. I’ve never been on an overnight trek (my strict parents won’t allow me)! Reading your story makes want to experience it even once lang. I’m eyeing Pulag for that. It is my first time hearing this mountain and it caught my eye kasi I grew up in Bocaue, Bulacan. At first napaisip kung nagkabundok na dito. HAHA!

    Like

  32. I was once encouraged to go mountain climbing and the allure is there. I guess this city girl just doesn’t have the energy for it. I would love to one day be at the top of some peak but I know it takes hard work to get there. I love this post because it’s full of information for beginners or aspiring climbers.

    Like

  33. Another breathtaking post from you! I so love this adventure of yours. That construction equipment looks lost for me. Though maybe they attempted to convert that into a business land. But anyway, every trek you make lets you inspire us better. Not only that you get to introduce various mountains to us but also share your itineraries! Weee!

    For that photo, is that going to be your signature pose?

    Like

  34. Suki ka ng bundok lai! But your blog is helpful for us . You are the reliable source for hiking mountains. Will try to take on bocaue next time and also hoping to camp. Thanks for the tips! Keep blogging!

    Like

  35. This looks like a very awesome adventure. I am sure all the sweat and muscle pain was worth it, just look at the beautiful view and the breathtaking close encounter with nature! For a while there, I thought you were referring to a town in Bulacan! I sure hope I can try mountaing climbing one day soon with my boys!

    Like

  36. I’m sorry you had a rough night. I could imagine the struggle, well, I could understand you a little bit because when we camped on Mt Gulugud Baboy, the wind was too strong, we weren’t able to sleep well. I had a sturdy tent though, nonetheless, it was a very restless night.

    I hope your next camping on the mountain is a better experience. Looks like the view up there is worth it though.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s