Mt. Kapayas: A Letter From the Mountains

Mandatory picture on one of the many peaks of Mount Kapayas

My dear hikers, climbers, mountaineers, travelers, explorers, or whatever shoe you’d like to fit in,

I’m glad that a number of you have finally taken the courage to visit me. Oh, I know, some were just forced by their friends or have been obligated to join the bandwagon for social media purposes – to update their Facebook status or be featured by renowned accounts on Instagram. Whatever it maybe, I hope you have felt my warmth as I welcomed you into my lushes. I have asked the skies to provide you with good weather for that picture perfect scenery of infinite blue skies hovered by cotton-like clouds.

(c) Lakbay Lawin

I have bribed the mists and fogs to move to another peak just to give that clearing, so to make your hike worth remembering. I requested my friends – the snakes, monitor lizards, eagles, hawks, wild cats, forest rats, and all the rest of my family – to avoid the trails you’d be taking so that you won’t be frightened of how cool my defenders are. I have made all things possible for you to feel welcomed, for you to feel like you’re at home.

But you see, as the numbers of adventure-seekers are increasing, the number of people who had fallen out of love for me has been rising as well. I missed them. And it pains to see them following other trails than the ones I have meticulously prepared for them. They changed.

(c) Anna Sophia

I could no longer see the love on their eyes that they once bestowed upon me. Some of them have left the mountain tracks where they have spent idyllic moments of reflection for a better, greener pasture outside the country.

(c) Chasing Potatoes

Others have fallen deeper in love with their new responsibilities as wives, husbands, mothers and fathers, that they forgot how I introduced them to one another, how I asked a shooting star to fall at that perfect moment when they have nothing to talk about, how I granted their hearts’ silent whim.

I understand them. Maybe, they’ll visit me one of these days, with their families. But what really makes my heart ache is seeing those people who are about to give up their love for the mountains. They don’t say it, but their actions speak louder. And I tell you, I’m really good at interpreting things. Seeing them gradually losing their love for nature and in taking care of it deeply penetrates into my soul. It’s like tearing me apart, so… slowly.


Whatever their personal reason maybe, the truth remains that I missed them so much.  If only I could dig up all my resources to fund for their outdoor equipment and mountaineering expenses: that I’m willing to do. If only I could bring the waterfalls and rivers to their homes, just to help in washing away the pain that they have endured. If only I could make them fall in love with me again.


But how do I make somebody fall in love with me again? How can I make them fall in love with me when I am barely naked; for the forest, that once dressed me, has been long trashed out? How can I make them fall in love with me when all my resources are gone? How can I make them fall in love with me when I have cried too much, drying up my rivers? How can I make them fall in love with me when I could no longer subdue the anger of the storms, and the weather does not recognize my power anymore?

The birthday girl – Nessie “The Hugot Queen” Ligas

Maybe, nothing lasts forever. Maybe, I was just another rebound, pastime, or simply friendzoned. Mountainzoned. HAHA. :D :D :D


Whatever it maybe, remember that I’d still be waiting for you – the beginner and enthusiasts. To the beginners, I’m waiting for you to fall in love with sunrise and sunsets, sea of clouds, and socials at night.

(c) Carissa Bongalosa of

To the outdoor enthusiast, I’m waiting for you to come back; and I hope you’ll continue inspiring the younger ones, to take the trails that taught you lessons back when you started. Do not get easily tired of reminding, teaching, and inspiring them the way your hiking buddies did back when you were the novice. And remember… that no matter what will happen, no matter where destiny will bring you, I’d be waiting for your come back.


The Mountains



  1. Kapayas is situated in the northern part of Cebu – specifically in Catmon, Cebu. There are two trails that lead towards the summit: Catmon and Carmen. The path from Catmon is longer; thus, it’s best suited for camping or overnight stay. Carmen trail is on the other hand is good for day hike since it’d only take 3-4 hours ascend depending on the pace.
  2. Anislag is the former name of Mt. Kapayas; however, because of miscommunication and misunderstanding, it was mistaken as Mt. Kapayas which was originally the third mountain from series of mountain ranges on the vicinity. (This was according to our guide.)
  3. Tuburan was known to be the hideout of the brave general and rebel leader, Arcadio Maxilom. Since Mt. Kapayas is in close proximity to Tuburan, Maxilom and his group has also built hideouts in the area. (Nipa huts and watchtowers can be seen along the way to the peak.)
  4. Because of such history and for safety, strict guidelines were created for hikers and campers in going to Mt. Kapayas. Without securing a permit from the municipality of Catmon, hikers and mountaineers are not allowed to go to the summit.
  5. For details, do contact the Municipality of Catmon or the licensed guides that the municipality acknowledges.
  6. Side trips after the hike to Mt. Kapayas includes Mangitngit Falls, Urugay Spring, and Lumanoy Cave (closed until further notice).