I know I’m not the only one itching so much to go outdoors. In fact, upon lifting the travel restrictions in the province, many began hiking and traveling once again – of course, with diligence and strict observance of all health protocols mandated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
But staying at home for almost ten months now also has its cons. For people like me who had been forced to adapt to the ‘work-from-home’ scheme, it became difficult to balance personal and professional life. Even on weekends and holidays, I still find myself on screen pulling an all-nighter – even if it’s unnecessary.
I’d like to believe that this is an isolated case, but no, even the World Health Organization affirmed that this pandemic has increased the demand for mental health services: underscoring the urgent need for funding as people are now of higher risk because of anxiety, financial worries, and other fears triggering other mental health conditions.
And so, when an opportunity came, I finally decided to go out.
Holiday Trip to Sogod, Cebu
While Sogod does not usually come to mind when talking about ‘renowned’ tourist destinations in Cebu, this humble town remains one of my favorite go-to places. Not only that it’s serene, but the whole town also exudes nature’s beauty.
Two of the most frequented travel destinations in Sogod include Bagatayam Falls and Binaliw Spring. But aside from these two, we found a perfect spot to revive our love for hiking and the mountains – which has been put to a halt for months: The Tops of Sogod.
Tops of Sogod (Daat, Tabunok)
Ideally situated in the highlands of Sogod, Daat in Barangay Tabunok offers a magnificent vista of Sogod Bay and nearby municipalities of Catmon, Borbon, and Tabogon. It is locally termed as “Tops of Sogod” in reference to the highest point in Cebu City, Tops of Cebu.
Fresh air. Relaxing view. Great company. Basically, these are things that have been deprived of us, weekend warriors. A much-needed break from work and toxics of everyday living. And I couldn’t help but hope that the year to come would be better – not only for hikers and travelers but most especially to those struggling to meet both ends in this time of pandemic.
I know it’s still risky to travel. Vaccination is still in its initial stages. But I also hope that we give ample time for ourselves to breathe. To go out and smell the flowers. To talk with friends and discuss things beyond the constraints of work. Nah, not necessary to travel far. Just a change of scenery. Or routine. Whatever suits best.
Let’s all stay healthy – in all aspects. See you on the trails.
How to Get to Daat, Sogod?
In case you’re planning to go post-COVID hiking, camping, or biking, you may opt to visit the Tops of Sogod. Here’s how to get there:
- Ride a bus bound for Sogod at the New Cebu North Bus Terminal located in SM City Cebu – near the MyBus Station. Make sure to wear facemask and face shield, as these are pre-requisites upon entrance. You will need to fill-out the logbook, which serves as contact tracing form. Bus terminal personnel also asks guests to go through foot-disinfection and temperature check.
- As the number of passengers are limited per bus to adhere to social distancing measures, bus fare has also increased to compensate the earnings of bus drivers and operators.
- Once in Sogod proper, ask the bus driver to drop you off at the junction to Daat. From there, you can ask habal-habal drivers to bring you to the Tops of Sogod. In case you’re not bringing along vehicles with you, you may agree with the drivers to wait for you as public vehicles on this area are limited.
Stay safe always and be a responsible guest. Remember to: take nothing but picture, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time.