Benguet - Mt. Cabuyao, my First Hike in the Cordilleras

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!

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.
Map By: Wikipedia


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  1. LOL at the giant electric fans. Anyhoo nakakamiss ang malamig na weather. Ilocano ang salita dyan tama ba?

  2. nice title haha na curious ako sa sinabi mo sa FB na 2 electric fans!!

  3. nakakamiss umakyat.. sarap ng feeling.. ang ganda ng view diyan.. gusto ko rin puntahan.. :P

  4. Nice sir... nakapagCabuyao and Sto. Tomas na ako but never been to that cave. Two of the must-experience on a Cabuyao-Sto.Tomas hike are the "walk-in-the-park" during the mornings (yung cemented road lined up with trees), and yung descent affording you with great city lights.


  5. super ganda at refreshing ng view

  6. Ganda! Lalo na yung sa view ng airport at the City. =) Sayang nga lang yung burial cave, di nai-preserve =(

  7. napaka refreshing pag anjan noh..parang sarap din lagi nalang matulog, hehe batugan lang. Buwis buhay talaga mga peg mong pose eh no. yung konti nalang pahulog na. hehe

  8. crawl pra mag enter sa cave!!! exciting naman to. Sana ma try q din 2. :)

  9. cool! hindi ako naka-abot dyan during my 100k trail run last summer. i dnf'ed sa philex ridge pa lang :)

    but i would definitely go back for a revenge next year!

  10. sir, hindi yata kayo naka diretso sa katabing bundok mt sto. tomas. tnx po sa blog nyo at alam ko na saan ung cave kaya mababalikan ko na hehehe.


    1. Hi Shervin, hindi nga, hanggang Mt. Cabuyao lang talaga kami...

  11. If my memory is still clear, i think Mt. Cabuyao (Sto Thomas) is not a dayhike via Kennon Road sa river..I remember our footmarch when we are still cadet at the PMA, nag start kami 4AM sa PMA fully loaded with our M14 rifle and more or less 20Kg of backpack...from PMA bumaba kami sa Kennon, nakarating lang ata kami summit by 5pm...pero mga 600 pax kami noon..pero mabilis ang phasing kasi military foot march...

    1. Mt Cabuyao is different po from Mt. Sto Tomas. If you read my post, madali lang po cya at kaya ng day hike or even half day lang via green valley... i think you have to read this post...salamat po...

    2. Mt Cabuyao is the Official name of the mountain, It was called mt Sto Tomas then .. You are both correct .. sa malayo nag start sina sir NATS via a difficult trail ( maybe PMA to camp 6 then up mt Cabuyao)

  12. wow Mervs, napost mo na pala...andami ko palang pictures na nakatalikod! haha...sayang at di ko naipakita sau yung other side of the mountain kasi nga subrang foggy na kaya dapat balik ka tas balikan natin but this ibang trail naman tatahakin natin, yung mas mahirap na trail. nakailang beses na akong umakyat dito pero yung climb natin was the best kasi nga inabot tayo ng gabi at yung joyride back to baguio that night was really a joyride to hell na akala mo any moment eh mahuhulog na tayo sa bangin! but it was a lot of fun! but seeing baguio at night with all those lights at mt. cabuyao was priceless! gaya ng sabi ko sayo eh i will spend my new year dun sa taas ng bundok and get a full 360 view ng mga fireworks! hehe

    1. Oh yes! that is one fun climb na di ko makakalimutan... chicka-han lang tayo ng chika-han, kaya inabot tayo ng halos 3 hours... hahaha! hopefully makabalik ako soon! gusto ko makita yung rock formations... i-blog mo yung new year's eve mo dyan ha... can't wait to see the photos... thanks again Emil! cheers!!!


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