On one Friday night, I hopped into a Victory Liner bus that brought me to Baguio City after about 6 hours. My restless feet led me to the "City of Pines" because of one reason: to train for my Kota Kinabalu climb; which unfortunately I wasn't able to do because I got sick. My first stop is Mt. Cabuyao, I allotted one day for it since it will just be a day hike.
Upon arriving in Baguio City, I had breakfast and checked-in at a cheap motel and slept for 2 hours while waiting for my friend Emil (www.asiong32.blogspot.com) who will join me in this climb.
Located in Tuba Benguet, Mt. Cabuyao rises above Baguio City at a height of 2,025 + MASL. The trail is relatively easy; it can be reached either by foot or with a vehicle. From the city proper, we took a jeepney bound for Green Valley, which is the jump-off point for the hike. From there, we started the easy trek to the summit.
We started the hike at around 11:00 AM. Since it's my first time here, I told Emil not to rush. I wanted to enjoy the view, the cold weather and the lush scenery around. The trail is an established road, with some parts still rough, while the other is already cemented. There is a growing community of locals at the summit, so getting lost is not a problem. At times, you'll encounter some locals going up or down.
From the jump-off, it will take around 1.5 - 2 hours to reach the top by foot. In our case, it took us almost 3 hours to reach the summit since we really enjoyed the stunning scenery around. Several rests and picture taking took a toll on our time.
You'll know that you've reached the summit when you see two giant radars. Locals joke that these dishes are actually two giant electric fans which is responsible for Baguio's cool invigorating climate. Hahaha!!! They really look like big electric fans huh! Hehehe!
Actually, these radars are said to be a project of the Americans during their occupation in the Philippines. But these are no longer functioning.
The radars are inside a complex and well guarded by some men in uniform. We didn't bother to ask if we can go inside the complex, we just took photos from the outside.
We walked towards the side of the complex until we reached the viewing deck. At the back of it, we saw some local teenagers enjoying their time having an afternoon picnic. We passed by them and continued walking until we reached a clearing where there is a commanding view of the city.
We took a rest and enjoyed the breath-taking view while munching on some trail food that we brought. From here you can see Loakan Airport's runway, the Philippine Military Academy, SM Baguio and the countless houses by the mountains.
Emil has been here before and he told me that we can go farther to a cave where there are some human remains inside. I got so curious and excited. So after a few minutes, we continued trekking down the path that leads to the cave.
It took us about 45 minutes to reach it. I was gasping for air and totally speechless when we got to the site. It is so amazing! The site has huge stone boulders and towering pine trees. We checked on the cliff and took photos before we proceeded to the cave.
We prayed and asked permission first to the souls of the people buried in the cave before we entered. It has a very narrow entrance. One has to crawl and bend to enter the cave.
Inside, you'll see some human remains and broken coffins. It is so dark, you should bring a flashlight to see it. I only saw some body parts. I didn't see a single skull. Too bad! It seems the cave was not spared from theft.
After taking some photos, we went out of the cave and trekked back to the radar station. It's already 5:30 PM when we arrived. Clouds and fogs were already hovering the place. It was total darkness in no time.
Then we went to a mini-store where we had a cup of coffee while waiting for a ride going down.
Since it's already dark, we opted to hitchhike on a truck going down. The road is so dark and we were moving so fast (watch the video here). If accident happens, we will all be going down the cliff. Hahaha!
But our driver is so good. Maybe he already mastered this road. Thank God, we were able to get to the city in one piece. Hahaha!
This is definitely one of the most heart-pounding rides I ever had. But, I must say, I love the experience! Hehehe!
HOW TO GET THERE
From Manila, take a Victory Liner bus bound for Baguio City. Terminals can be found in Pasay, Cubao or Sampaloc. Fare is about 455 pesos and travel time is around 6 hours. From the city proper, take a Green Valley jeepney and alight at the end of the route. Travel time is 20-30 minutes with a fare of 14 pesos. From here, you could start the trek to the summit.
Special thanks to Emil of www.asiong32.blogspot.com for helping me on this climb. See you again soon! Cheers!
This is part of my "Benguet Twin Hike Adventure" that happened last March 17-18, 2012.
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