Just recently, as part of my birthday backpacking adventure. I visited the tranquil town of Alicia in Bohol. I actually haven’t heard about this town, though I’ve visited Bohol several times since I began backpacking in 2014.
I found out several photos of my friends who have traipsed their feet in this town last month to climb the panoramic view of Binabaje Hills. I was happily stunned by its innate beauty and that drag me to visit Alicia.
I love mountains, just like how I loved myself. It is where I can fribble and dance to its innate state. Upon planning my visit in Alicia, I was very excited, probably because I was meddling my life in the last 3 months and wasn’t able to climb mountains.
I took an early boat trip from Cebu bound for Tubigon, Bohol Via Fast Cat at 1:30 AM. I wasn’t given a chance to sleep that time. The boat was supposed to leave by 1:30 AM, but because of unforeseen technical problem, the boat departed by 3:00 AM, which made my schedule fell apart. I was still sleepy the moment I arrived in Tubigon port by 5:00 AM, and since the bus trip bound for Carmen is by 6:00 AM, therefore taking a motorcycle going to Carmen is the closest option. In less than an hour, I arrived safely in Carmen. And from Carmen terminal, I ride a Bus bound for Alicia and shortly enough, I arrived at the Municipality of Alicia by 7:30 AM. Somewhere, I was worried because I was not meeting my itinerary, which I supposed to reach the summit of Alicia Hills before sunrise, but didn’t happen. Despite the fact that I was really behind the itinerary I have prepared, I was still excited.
At the Municipal Hall of Alicia, I met Maam Godelia, the Tourism Officer. She makes certain that everything is in order before she allow us to go. We registered first and went to the market to feed our famish stomach before we head straight to the jump off area of Binabaje Hills.
From Alicia Proper, it only took us like around 15 minutes of motorcycle ride going to the foot of Binabaje Hills. The road was very jouncy, since it was raining a day before our trek. As we almost closed to the foot of Binabaje Hills, the innate beauty of Binabaje Hills flaunt before our eyes. The green fields of the mountain were really dramatic in its own right. That time, I couldn’t wait any longer to get to the summit and see the breathtaking view.
Binabaje Hills is beautifully standing more than 400 Meters Above Sea Level (MASL) according to the Municipal tourism officer. It is situated in the peaceful town of Camba-ol, Alicia, on the East side of Bohol. Binabaje Hills was actually a newly discovered gem and they have only opened it to the public since last year, and hopefully this one of a kind nature’s beauty will be conserved.
The trek going to the peak will only take like around 1-2 hours, depending on the pace. According to our guide, there are 3 trails to reach the summit. And one thing that makes Binabaje Hills amazing is that, the trail leading to the peak when you ascend is different, it serves as your entrance and when descending, you’ll get to hike on another trail, which is the exit.
As we ascended to the peak, I couldn’t find any flat trail, but instead the trail was assault. It was quite challenging, if you haven’t done any physical activities or haven’t been climbing in the stack. Though, I climb mountain several times, I still find the trail leading to the peak of Binabaje Hills challenging. As we continue on our trek, our guide Wel told us a bunch of stories about Binabaje Hills. He told us that he has been climbing Binabaje Hills several times and he even participated in the Annual Marathon of Binabaje Hills.
One of the greatest challenges we had when we climb Binabaje Hills was the direct heat of the sun as we can’t find any shade to rest except for the abandoned Nipa Hut house along the way and a few young scattered trees. The mountain range is filled with tropical grasses or commonly recognized as “Cogon grass”, which is a tall perennial grass used in thatching.
We made it to the peak after more than an hour of trek. I was really sweating because it was really hot, since we started trekking by 9:00 am and eventually reach the peak by 10:25 am. As we reach the peak, there’s a rest house where I was lucky enough to meet the Mayor and Vice Mayor of the Municipality of Alicia. I can really feel how energetic they are and supportive with their own nature’s wonder. I guess of all my travels around the Philippines, it was my first time to meet the Mayor and Vice Mayor of a certain town supporting and experiencing the pride of their town, especially an outdoor destination like Binabaje Hills. That time, I could not waste any chance, I ask If I could have a photo with them and they were kind enough to let me. I had a good talk with them as well and even offered us a delightful snack.
After a few minutes, they resolved to descend first, since they have reached the Peak by 8:30 AM. Then, I began taking a lot of photos. I imagine myself standing there and experiencing the beautiful sunrise or sunset. Eventually it was my original plan, but because of a long drive from Cebu, I couldn’t make it. But despite the unforeseen circumstances, I still enjoy the breathtaking sight of Binabje Hills. An endless rolling hills and a stunning view of a landscape, it was as if I was actually in another beautiful world. I thought or probably most of us consider that the Chocolate Hills is the star of Bohol’s tourist attractions, but seeing Binabaje Hills will surely your newest favorite tourist attraction in Bohol.
After taking a bunch of photos and enjoying the innate beauty of Binabaje Hills, I can no longer endure the heat of the sun that time since it was almost 12:00 Noon. We decided to descend, since we need to go to the next town, which is in Lungsod-Daan, Candijay, Bohol to visit the astonishing innate beauty of Can-umantad Falls.
- Cadapdapan Rice Terraces: Discovering And Embracing Its Innate Beauty
- Can-Umantad Falls: Visiting The Iconic Natural Scenery Of Candijay, Bohol
HOW TO GET TO BINABAJE HILLS
From Tubigon, Bohol
Apart from fare is cheaper from Cebu to Tubigon, travel time is only more than an hour via Fast Cat or other Fast Craft bound for Tubigon. From Tubigon, ride a Bus bound for Carmen, travel time is less than an hour. From Carmen, ride a bus bound for Alicia, travel time is around 30 minutes. Tell the Bus conductor to drop you off in Alicia Municipal Hall, which is situated along the Highway. From the Municipal Hall of Alicia, look for Maam Godelia Lumogdang, the Municipal Tourism Officer. Kindly inform her ahead of time that you’re coming to climb Binabaje Hills. Call or text her at 09338655650.
From Tagbilaran City
Once you arrive at Tagbilaran City Sea Port or Tagbilaran City airport, you can hire a tricycle to take you to Dao Terminal. From Dao Terminal ride a Bus or Van bound for Alicia. The travel time is around 2-3 hours. Tell the Bus conductor to drop you off at Alicia Municipal Hall, which is situated along the Highway. From the Municipal Hall of Alicia, look for Maam Godelia Lumogdang, the Municipal Tourism Officer. Kindly inform her ahead of time that you’re coming to climb Binabaje Hills. Call or text her at 09338655650.
From Ubay, Bohol
Coming from Cebu City, you can take J&N Roro bound for Ubay, Bohol. Remark that, buying the boat ticket is only open from 3:00 PM onwards at the Marine Bldg. Pier 1. J&N RoRo will depart by 9:30 PM from Cebu City, Pier 1 and will arrive in Ubay, Bohol by 2:00 AM. From Ubay Bohol, ride a Bus bound for Alicia, and travel time is less than an hour. Tell the Bus conductor to drop you off at Alicia Municipal Hall, which is situated along the Highway. From the Municipal Hall of Alicia, look for Maam Godelia Lumogdang, the Municipal Tourism Officer. Kindly inform her ahead of time that you’re coming to climb Binabaje Hills. Call or text her at 09338655650.
- Make sure to contact Maam Godelia Lumogdang, the Municipal Tourism Officer and inform her ahead of time that you’re coming to climb Binabaje Hills. Call or text her at 09338655650. She will fix up everything, from your transportation going to Jump Off area and your guide. Mostly, your motorcycle driver will also your guide.
- If you wish to reach the peak before sunrise, make sure to trek before 5:00 AM.
As I have seen in some of the Photos, sunrise and sunset is a perfect time to experience the peak as you will definitely witness the magical beauty of Binabaje Hills.
- 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 of 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, 1-2 liters will be enough.
- Binabaje Hills can possibly be reached if you choose a day trek. And 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 EXPENSES TO PREPARE
- Cebu to (Tubigon or Ubay) – Php 300.00
- Fare (Tubigon or Tagbilaran) to Alicia – Php 180.00
- Motorcycle Ride Alicia Proper to Jump Off Area (back & forth good for 2) – Php 200.00
- Guide Fee (Good for 5 people) – Php 300.00
- Food – Php 300.00
TOTAL – Php 1,280.00
ITINERARY FOR THE WHOLE TRIP (Birthday Backpacking: Cebu-Tubigon-Carmen-Alicia-Candijay-Anda-Dimiao-Tagbilaran-Napo-Tubigon-Cebu)
DAY 1 (Binabaje Hills, Cadapdapan Rice Terraces, Can-umantad Falls, Canawa Spring & Anda Beach)
02:30 AM Depart for Tubigon from Cebu
05:00 AM ETA Tubigon
05:30 AM Depart for Carmen
06:30 AM ETA Carmen
07:00 AM Depart for Alicia
08:00 AM ETA Alicia
08:10 AM Breakfast & Registration for Binabaje Hills
08:40 AM Depart for Binabaje Jump Off Area
09:00 AM Assault Trek to Binabaje Hills Peak
09:50 AM ETA Binabaje Hills summit
10:00 AM Rest and Picture taking
10:45 AM Trek down to Jump Off area
11:20 AM ETA Jump off area
11:30 AM Depart for Alicia Proper
11:40 AM Depart for Lungsod-daan, Candijay
12:05 PM ETA Lungsod-daan Proper
12:10 PM Lunch
12:40 PM Depart for Cadapdapan Rice Terraces
01:10 PM Cadapdapan Rice Terraces
01:15 PM Depart for Can-umantad Falls
01:40 PM ETA Can-umantad Falls and Picture taking
02:10 PM Depart for Canawa Spring
02:30 PM ETA Canawa Spring (Swimming & Picture taking)
03:00 PM Depart For Highway
03:30 PM Depart for Guinhulman
03:55 PM ETA Guinhulman (Waiting for Van bound for Anda)
04:20 PM Depart for Anda
04:40 PM ETA Anda (Strolling around the white beach and look for cheap accommodation)
05:30 PM Check Inn at Kims Garden Inn
06:00 PM Early rest (Take a nap)
08:30 PM Dinner at the food place near the marker
09:30 PM Lights Off (Sleep)
DAY 2 (Anda Beach Sunrise, Cabagnow Cave Pool, Combento Cave Pool, Ingkumhan Falls, Pahangog Twin Falls)
05:30 AM Wake Up Call
05:45 AM Waiting for sunrise at the white beach
06:00 AM Sunrise viewing and Picture taking
07:00 AM Breakfast
07:30 AM Preparation for Cave Pool Adventure
08:00 AM Check Out in Kims Garden Inn
08:30 AM Depart for Cabagnow Cave Pool
08:40 AM ETA Jump Off Area and trek to Cabagnow
08:50 AM ETA Cabagnow
09:00 AM Swimming & Picture taking
10:20 AM Depart for Combento Cave Pool
10:30 AM ETA Combento Cave Pool (Swimming & Picture Taking)
11:30 AM Depart for Guindulman
11:40 AM ETA Guindulman
12:05 PM Lunch
12:20 PM Depart for Dimiao
01:30 PM ETA Dimiao
01:35 PM Depart for Ingkumhan Falls
02:00 PM ETA Ingkumhan Falls (Swimming & Picture taking)
02:40 PM Depart for Pahangog Twin Falls
03:00 PM ETA Jump off area
03:05 PM Trek to Pahangog Twin Falls
03:30 PM ETA Pahangog Twin Falls (Swimming & Picture taking)
04:30 PM Depart for Dimiao Proper
05:00 PM ETA Dimiao Proper
05:20 PM Depart for Tagbilaran
06:30 PM ETA Tagbilaran
07:30 PM Depart for Napo, Loon
08:20 PM ETA Napo, Loon
08:30 PM Dinner
11:30 PM Lights off (sleep)
DAY 3 (Napo Beach)
07:00 AM Wake up call
07:30 AM Coffe Time
09:00 AM Napo, Beach
09:30 AM Breakfast
10:30 AM Swimming & Picture taking
12:10 PM Sleep before heading back to Tubigon
02:00 PM Late Lunch
03:30 PM Depart for Tubigon
04:30 PM ETA Tubigon
05:30 PM Depart for Cebu
06:50 PM ETA Cebu
08:00 PM Going Home
10:00 PM Lights off (Sleep)
EXPENSES FOR THE WHOLE TRIP (Cebu-Tubigon-Carmen-Alicia-Candijay-Anda-Dimiao-Tagbilaran-Napo-Tubigon-Cebu)
- Cebu Tubigon Fast Cat – Php 300.00
- Terminal Fee – Php 25.00
- Tubigon to Carmen Motorcycle – Php 150.00
- Carmen to Alicia – Php 40.00
- Tour guide fee Binabaje hills – 300.00
- Fare motorcycle – Php 200.00
- Motorcycle (Can-umantad, Cadapdapan Rice Terraces, Canawa spring) – Php 300.00
- Can-umantad Entrance Fee – Php 20.00
- Canawa spring – Php 20.00
- Lungsod-Daan to Guindulman Jeepney – Php 15.00
- Guindulman to Anda – Php 30.00
- Accommodation (Kims Garden Inn) – Php 499.00
- Cabagnow Cave & Combento Cave Tricycle – Php 120.00
- Cabagnow Cave pool Entrance – Php 50.00
- Combento Cave pool Entrance – Php 20.00
- Anda to Guindulman – Php 25.00
- Guindulman to Dimiao – Php 160.00
- Pahangog Twin Falls & Ingkumhan Falls motorcycle – Php 300.00
- Dimiao to Tagbilaran – Php 80.00
- Tagbilaran to Napo Loon – Php 31.00
- Loon to Tubigon Php 28.00
- Tubigon to Cebu Weesam – Php 250.00
- Terminal fee & ticket – Php 25.00
- Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks) – Php 750.00