My first hiking trip to Kandungaw (Candongao) Peak was truly a fascinating adventure that I’ll remember for years to come. Not only did it spark my appetite for hiking, but it also gave me a glimpse of the untouched and pristine natural beauty of Cebu’s highlands. What’s more, my first Kandungaw trek introduced me to a bunch of new friends, who ultimately became my travel buddies.
Yet, for all the fun and upsides of our first Kandungaw Peak adventure, I still felt there was something missing. With thick fogs literally covering the mountains and hills, we barely saw anything below and the horizon, as we were standing on the summit. That’s why I, together with the newer members of Team Bang, returned to Badian, to once again see and trek this magnificent mountain.
Our Kandungaw Peak trek
There were 9 of us who ventured into Southern Cebu’s highlands this time around – me, Kevin, Wilfred, Donna, Romelyn, Ace, Christine, Sherlyn and Hannah. Like our first Kandungaw visit, boss Sien of Freedom Adventures was our official guide for this hike.
Our hike started with a short prayer from the lovely “Miss-Earth-worthy candidate” Donna. Afterwards, Sien gave us few notes on what to expect along the way. Then, we wasted no time, and commenced our hike under the scorching heat of the sun.
We were unusually quiet in the first 15 minutes of our hike. I guess the rest of guys and gals were a little daunted, when Sien told us that the hike would take 8 hours or more. Eventually, though, Team Bang’s trademark cheerful spirit emerged, after we were treated to a striking panoramic view of Pescador Island and Badian Island.
Along the way, we took a couple of stops to take a breather, enjoy the view, and snap some photos. And in spite of the sweltering heat, the whole team remained sprightly, gleeful and enthusiastic.
Our pace was so much faster than our first trek to Kandungaw Peak. Unlike our first visit, we arrived at the spring water source about 2 hours before lunchtime. While there, we munched our snacks, and took sips of water to replenish the lost fluids.
We didn’t spend a lot of time there because we wanted to finish our hike early, so we can frolic on the gorgeous white sands of Lambug Beach. Whenever one of us gets exhausted, someone in the team would remind every one of the beauty of this beach by using the catchphrase “Lambug is calling”.
We walked, climbed and struggled until we finally arrived at one of my favorite spots in the trail – the Dalas-ag Peak.
Although it didn’t feel as magical and look as stunning as before, the Dalas-ag Peak still brims with awe-inspiring sights. As a matter of fact, I think we spent more than 20 minutes at Dalas-ag Peak, admiring the views and taking wacky photos.
Personally, I think Dalas-ag Peak deserves a bit more love and attention from other hikers and bloggers. The aura and views from this vantage are simply irresistible, remarkable and pleasurable.
We left the peak, and began to set our sights on our next stop – Kandungaw Peak. As we were walking, I asked Sien if we can take the shortcut he showed me the last time I was there. He was hesitant at first, but after a while, he decided to take this route.
The shortcut trail to Kandungaw Peak was pretty challenging, even experienced for hikers like Romelyn and Ace. There were steep slopes, as we ascended our way, and the path wasn’t really established. In some areas, we even had to create our path, to catch up to Sien. Not to mention, the trail was rather exposed, with no trees to shade us from the sun’s harsh rays.
Everyone, including yours truly, looked haggard, drained and hungry. Wilfred said to us that he felt like he was one of the zombies in “Walking Dead”, just walking around without thinking of anything. Christine and Kevin, meanwhile, were having some serious Coke cravings.
Moments later, we got a sneak peek of the beloved and spectacular monolith with its new and eye-catching Philippine flag. Even though our spirits and energy were drained, we continued to march on, to reach the summit.
After a gentle ascent, we finally reached the small open-air hut where we gobbled our lunches. With our replenished bodies and a new sense of accomplishment, the whole team was again in a good and vibrant mood.
Once we finished eating our lunches, we roamed around the peak, enjoying the breathtaking views of Cebu.
As with the rest of the club, I was utterly amazed by the scenery of mountainous regions of Cebu. After all, I didn’t get a chance to indulge on these stunning views during the first Kandungaw Peak trek. Christine, who was with me on the first hike, was also overjoyed gazing on the marvelous vistas at the top of the peak.
And as for the flag, it did further enhance the visual appeal of this magnificent peak. As you can see, we took turns posing on the flag of the summit of the mountain.
We returned to the base, to catch a habal-habal ride to the Lambug Beach. As soon as we arrived at the base, we went straight to the nearest sari-sari store to buy cold refreshments. While I’m not overly fond of soft-drinks, I drank plenty of it, to quench my thirst and reward myself, after a grueling hike.
We, then, capped off our weekend escapade with a quick visit to arguably the finest and most gorgeous public beach in all of Cebu – Lambug Beach. Not only did we enjoy swimming on its beautiful beach, but we were also treated to a stunning sunset.
All in all, I was extremely satisfied with our latest hiking expedition with Team Bang in Badian. Finally, we got to see Kandungaw Peak in its full glory without the mists. Plus, I’m fairly proud of the team’s new members – Hannah and Sherlyn, for finishing the adventure, although they are relatively rookies, when it comes to hiking.
On to the next stop, folks!
4:30 AM – Depart from Cebu City
7:30 AM – Arrival at Badian/Breakfast
8:30 PM – Travel to Sohoton via habal-habal
9:00 AM – Start the trek to Candongao Peak
01: 30 PM – Arrive at the summit/take pictures/lunch
02:00 PM – Begin descending to the jump-off point
4:00 PM – Arrive at Sohoton and take a habal-habal ride to town proper
5:00 PM – Lambug Beach
6:00 PM – Depart from Badian
9:00 PM – Home sweet home
Estimated budget for the Candongao Peak trek:
Want to try this adventure for yourself? Make sure to take note of these reminders:
- Bus ride (aircon) – 127 PHP per way
- If you need a guide to Kandungaw Peak via the Badian trail, just reach out to Sien at 0916 967 6753
- Fare for the back-and-forth habal-habal ride is 250 PHP per person (one per passenger for every motorcycle, for safety purposes)
- Admission to Lambug Beach is FREE
- Bring at least 2 liters of water and few ounces of salt
- Last bus trip from Badian to Cebu is at 8:00 PM
- Wear a hat, apply some sunscreen, wear arm guards and bring an umbrella to protect your skin from the heat
- You may also get to Kandungaw via Maloray, Dalaguete ( the easier route)