Ask a number of Cebuano outdoorsmen and they’ll easily refer you to Mt. Lanaya if you want to experience a rather challenging dayhike. Towering at around 700 meters above sea level, this mountain has earned a notorious reputation thanks to its steep ascents, narrow ridges, loose soil, and an almost 90-degree cliff-like rockclimb assault to its peak – Kalo-kalo Peak.
I was fortunate to have climb Mt. Lanaya four years ago – back when weekends weren’t complete without any hiking activities, back when my legs can still afford to run on trails, back when my comrades were as crazy as I was with hiking and camping. But four years passed and what we have right now are just memories. Some have left the trails for good, others have already settled down, while here I am slacking my ass off.
Or so I thought. You might not believe it but, certainly, the mountains has its way of calling people. Last time it was through a stranger that we meet on Spartan Trail; this time, it was through a colleague who has been long itching to hike Mt. Lanaya. Those who knew me fairly knows I’m not really interested with scaling the same mountain twice (except for those practice trails though). But I find it silly to refuse someone who’s been there to console me when things get rough, when I’m throwing a tantrum, and when no one else seems to listen. Moreover, I thought that just like the second time I visited Mt. Talinis, it would be really be a different experience to have another set of people to hike with. And so, a dayhike was planned.
A Dayhike to Mt. Lanaya and Sidetrips to Cambais and Cancanlanog Falls
Our trip to Mt. Lanaya began with an early morning call time at Cebu South Bus Terminal. Knowing the traffic congestion of the southern part of Cebu, it was best to leave as early as possible. We arrived at Alegria past eight in the morning then registered at Barangay Legaspi. There are actually two trails that lead to the summit of Mt. Lanaya: via Lumpan and Legaspi trail (both referring to the barangays they belong). It would have been easier to take the Lumpan trail, but I was, as well, dead curious with the longer trail that is of Legaspi; hence the Legaspi-Lumpan traverse.
The hike to Mt. Lanaya began with a gradual ascend from Barangay Legaspi. The cemented roads reminded me of the same trails to Mt. Hibok-hibok – slowly but continuously ascending. After almost an hour of steady hike, we reached the campsite or what they fondly call as the Windows XP campsite (a reference to Microsoft’s OS). It provides a picturesque view of the rolling hills with the Tanon Strait and island of Negros at the background. Mt. Lanaya’s campsite brought so much calm – no wonder Lagataw decided to stay there and just relish the moment instead of scaling its peak.
We continued the hike up to the summit. The trail, I say, is quite difficult for beginners and those who were not wearing the appropriate gears for hiking. Rubber shoes easily skid, running shoes slips with every leaf and root, and long sleeved shirts didn’t bring any comfort against the humidity of the forest. I stayed at the end of the pack, to motivate and encourage my colleagues to keep going. Anxiety and discomfort were already painted on their faces. I couldn’t even remember how many times they’ve asked our courteous guide of ‘how much longer does it take’ for us to reach the summit – an obvious sign of exhaustion. But never had I heard them complain or surrender. They paused and just kept going. And going. And going.
When we scaled up Baloy-daku some years back, there were only two women who joined that ten-man team. Paula and I. As no one forced us to join the group, I remembered how Adonis emphasized how women should live up to what we call us “girl power”. That we should not rely so much on what the male counterpart can do for us; instead, we take equal responsibility to ourselves. Do not just run thy equal, run thy better. And I felt happy seeing what he was trying to emphasize by observing my comrades. For their stage, it was really a struggle to hike Mt. Lanaya, but they were able to conquer it in no time and without putting too much hassle on our guide. It was difficult but definitely doable.*slow clap*
We reached the summit by noon and traversed to Lumpan trail in just thirty minutes. Not only that, they even had the same energy to go swimming and chasing waterfalls to nearby cascades – Cambais and Cancanlanog. All in just one day!
You see, girls can do something more than just willfully adhering to society’s standards. There’s more that women can do these days. Not that we want to compete with men, but to work equally with them in order to achieve that ‘better society’ we’ve all been wanting to have. So girl, if you’ve been long planning to hike that mountain or set forth on a solo adventure or pursue that whatever dream of yours, brace yourself, the world is waiting for you. Tick that bucketlist now!
How to get to Mt. Lanaya
- Ride a bus bound for Alegria.
- Ask the driver to drop you off at Legaspi Barangay Hall. From there, you will be asked to register and pay P50 for entrance and environmental fee. Groups are required to hire a guide. (P500/5pax)
- From the Barangay Hall, you will now take the three to four hours hike to the summit. In case you want to camp, the campsite is just an hour from the jump-off. It has a perfect view of the sunset as it is facing the west.
Tips in Hiking Mt. Lanaya
- Wear comfortable dri-fit shirts and trek shoes.
- Bring one to two liters of water as there are no water source near the trail.
- If you want the easier route, you may take the one hour hike via Lumpan Trail. But you have to haggle with the habal-habal drivers who will send and fetch you as there are no nearby community from the jumpoff.
- In case you want to do the traverse, they have a package of P300/habal-habal with a sidetrip to Cambais Falls. This is highly recommended. The cold water is so refreshing after a strenuous dayhike.
- You may check out our Cambais and Cancanlanog Falls sidetrip here.
FRIENDLY REMINDER: Always be a Dakila. Be a responsible hiker. Be a responsible traveler. Let’s follow the LEAVE NO TRACE Principles and keep the integrity of creation. Let’s stop the hate; rather, let’s educate. See you on trails!