“He’s just taking precautions. You know, safety first,” Nessie explained while I kept on complaining how the bus driver has been driving too slow. It’s not that I’m in a hurry (although it seems that I always do). It’s just that my head can’t help but start calculating the amount of time it would take for us to accomplish everything we’ve planned for the day.
We’re already two hours delayed from our so-called itinerary. Though I am attuned with the heavy traffic congestion of the city, that four and a half hour trip to Alegria seemed longer than the long bus trips I had in Cordillera.
“Why are you always in a hurry?” Ever since in grade school, I had taken pride in being the first one to finish a note taking activity, essay writing contests, and interschool scrabble matches. I usually accomplish everything ahead of everybody else, including graduating college at the age of eighteen and working a month after that. This is the reason why I easily get bored with things. I have always been craving to do something more.
But the recent dayhike in Mt. Lanaya in Alegria, Cebu changed everything. I arrived late in the assembly area because the jeepney driver had to make the most of every passenger he could get given that holiday. What used to be a ten-minute trip turned into thirty minutes. Then we chanced upon this bus driver who’s taking ‘precautions’ as what Nessie explained.
To say I’m anxious was an understatement. My head was already raging like a wrecking ball. And when the strong wind blew and dark clouds began to gather like a battalion of soldiers ready for combat, I knew we were doomed to experience another failure like the Hugot Climb last February.
But you see, you really can’t underestimate a mountain and the surprises it can let you experience. I know it’d be difficult for us to take the Legaspi trail with the limited hours left and the kind of weather waiting for us; so we took the suggestion of a mountaineer who also helped us with our Hambubuyog trip – to take the Lumpan trail.
It was accessible by habal-habal and the journey would only take an hour or two, depending on the pace of the group. Upon arrival at the jump-off, another surprise happened – the habal-habal drivers volunteered to guide us to the peak. We were very much delighted with the sudden turn of events. It raised the level of anticipation… only that… we arrived at the peak with nothing but fog blocking everything that we could possibly see. Zero visibility. No view of the sea and the neighboring province of Negros. Everything was all white.
“Huwat lang ta. Mawala ra lage ng fog,” said a rather hopeful fellow.
“Nakaya gani nako’g huwat niya, kini pa kaha,” seconded by Lawin.
“Chill guys. Ako ng gi-textsan si Mr. Sun. Basin na-traffic sad to siya. Or basin hinay sad mupadagan iyang driver,” added by Lai.
And indeed, several minutes after that, Mt. Lanaya slowly revealed its beauty to us. It’s like waiting hours for the theater production to start and then finally, you hear that opening song while the curtains are slowly being held up. The fog slowly vanished and what appeared in front of us was a splendor so hard to describe in words. It left us speechless.
While our eyes were feasting on the exquisiteness exposed in front of us, our guides pointed a nearby peak that holds a flag with it – the Kalo-kalo Peak. I thought they’d decline if we asked them if we could go (given that it’s starting to rain again and it’s getting late) but they agreed even if they were already shivering.
And just like Lanaya Peak, Kalo-kalo Peak was another area worth sweating for. It provided a view likened to Mt. Maculot minus the renowned Taal Volcano. We met another group of hikers at the peak but they were too aloof to talk to us – maybe they’re making the most of witnessing the glory held in front of them or probably bewildered by such beauty.
By four in the afternoon, we started heading towards the same trail we’ve followed on the way up. Because of the rain, some fell, others slid, and there were some who earned bruises along the way. But they didn’t look tired or totally beaten up. They were smiling like idiots and even got the nerve to tease and kid around. No one ever thought that there was an impending storm. Then it hit me.
Yes, it’s good to be efficient, fast but still, there’s wisdom in taking things one step at a time. Life is not a race and safety is really our priority. Sure, it’s tiring to wait. I should really work on my patience and negative thoughts. There is wisdom in waiting. And as cliché as it may sound: glory still comes to those who wait.
HOW TO GET TO MT. LANAYA?
- From Cebu South Bus Terminal, ride a bus bound for Alegria. Ask the driver to drop you at the town proper. Fare ranges from P130 – P160.
- From the town proper, you can either take a habal-habal to Barangay Lumpan or go to Barangay Legaspi to take the Legaspi trail (there’s an entrance fee of P50.00 and P500.00 guide fee for every five hikers).
- Estimated budget: P500.00 Enjoy!
PS. Photo credits to Chasing Potatoes, Janice Canoy and Jeff Sanchez.
PSS. Thanks to Jason for e-guiding.