Mago – and the boundaries I never thought I’d cross

Mt. Mago - and the Boundaries I never thought I'd cross

There’s really nothing fascinating about Mago (also noted as Mt. Mago) in Carmen other than its boundary marker. A tri-municipality stone marker that sets off the limits of Carmen, Tuburan, and Danao City in the island province of Cebu. It has slowly gained popularity among local hikers and campers because of its beginner-friendly trails and astounding view of rolling hills and chanced upon sea of clouds.

Why Mago?

According to the story narrated by my own father, who was a former resident of Tuburan, Mago actually refers to the tree that sits on such elevation. It was a marker for locals that signals the entry to another municipality.

Is Mt. Mago worth the visit?

I can no longer remember how I have heard of Mago and why we agreed to climb it several years back. Analyzing its cost benefit right now, it was such a loss. Imagine traveling almost three hours to Carmen proper then another hour going to the jump-off in Barangay Santican, and then hiking for only about an hour just to see that marker before heading back home. But what’s clear to me was how crazy, happy we were back then. I can still feel the warmth of such happiness reverberating on these photos.


This quarantine has made me do a lot of reruns on the events that unexpectedly happened in the first quarter of this so-called life – me becoming a blogger, commissioned writer, back office staff, hiker, and many other things I never thought I could be.

We often see borders as limitations. Physically and figuratively. Politically and geographically. But if we remain on the constraints of our own sacred space, how will we know what we are capable of doing? How will we know what lies on the other side? What life has instilled for us?

Maybe I should pay Mt. Mago another visit after this quarantine.

All photos owned by Chasing Potatoes and Laag Sparkles.


  1. From Cebu North Bus Terminal, ride a bus or van bound for the Municipality of Carmen. Ask the driver to drop you off at the public market. From there, hail a habal-habal bound for Barangay Santican – a mountain barangay located almost an hour from the town proper.
  2. Be careful in haggling with local drivers. According to the local driver that we have hired, rates can actually hike up to P100 to P150 for non-locals instead of the regular P60 – P80.
  3. The trail heading to the summit of Mt. Mago is an open trail – expect too much exposition to the scorching heat of the sun. Therefore, make sure to wear proper hiking attire and bring plenty of water as there are no water source nearby.
  4. For further queries, feel free to message me on Facebook and Instagram. I’d be more than willing to help.

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!