There will always be first times and first times will surely teach a looottt of things. I got a story to share. Maybe it’s not my first mountaineering experience but hey it’s one hell of an adventure I won’t forget. Find out below.
The story started at around 2PM on July 8, 2017 – our night camp at Mt. Naupa, Cebu (estimated 584 meters above sea level).
First time waiting for someone for more than an hour, ALONE. Carrying a slightly heavy bag, standing outside a fast food resto with a complete mountaineering getup, was not easy. I can sit inside McDonalds but I chose not to since I don’t want to be tempted in ordering something just to be able to sit there. I was thinking it might be a good chance to sort of a warm up for the coming hike.
Yes, I was upset but then again I tried myself not to get eaten with that negativity. Instead, I got to observe the day to day of locals living in one of the busiest crossroads in Cebu City. There was a group of teenagers who were skateboarding across the street. There was also a mother with her daughters, who seemed to be excited for their own “laag” as well. Then there was an elderly couple with their middle-aged child whom I think was their first time in the city. I also saw these two elderly men (which I assumed are brothers) who got off from an SUV in the parking area of the resto. One of them was having a difficulty in walking (I presumed he suffered from a stroke) but the other man was patiently assisting his brother. Patience, a little more patience.
…. and then…
Finally, he came!
First time riding a multicab to Tungkop from Punta Princesa. It’s past 4PM already and my friend and I immediately went to the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Punta Princesa, Labangon since that’s where the Naga-bound multicabs were parked. We rode the jeepney with the code 44A, which is bound to Barangay Tungkop in Minglanilla. (By the way, you can also ride a KMK bus from SM City Cebu to Tungkop or you can ride any mini buses in the South Bus Terminal that is bound to Naga or Carcar).
That afternoon jeepney ride from Punta Princesa to Tungkop took us about 45min (or perhaps that was an hour?). From there, we met up with the rest of the gang. Some of our companions were having their last-minute purchase at a store prior to riding the habal2x to get into the jump start point in Barangay Cogon.
… then the habal2x ride started.
The ride took us about 30 minutes from Tungkop to the chapel of Barangay Cogon. We past through different types of pavement along the way – partially complete concrete road, dusty road – which is normal when you get into a mountainous area. But what caught my attention was the area where we were welcomed with a lush of green. Despite having been able to see a quarry along the way, the tall trees offering relaxing view somehow stimulated my excitement of climbing the mountain again. What also added to that excitement was when the habal2x driver named Roy pointed the almost perfect cone shape of Mt. Naupa. Such a beauty from afar!
… then we arrived at the chapel. I realized, we are a huge group!
First time experiencing the hospitality of Naga locals. Prior to the starting the trek, one of my companions asked a local kid about a comfort room. The kid enthusiastically led us to this bungalow and we were welcomed with smiles from the home owner. They named their puppy Logan! Yes! Logan aka Wolverine from the Marvel comics!
It was already about 5:30PM when we started the trek.
First time wearing a Merrell Sandal. Okay, I never really thought this new Merrell sandal would give me hassle and difficulty in climbing the mountain. I was planning to wear this to sort of testing it to a trek and geez it was hell!
I wore a sock to avoid injuries at my toes. But I found out later in the trek that wearing a sock with this Merrell sandal would add pressure on the sandal that leads to the further detachment of the straps (especially during ascends). I keep on re-attaching the straps for multiple times (INSERT CURSES HERE) and that’s when I realized, I started to get a little dizzy because the blood is not flowing properly since I was bowing my head, re-attaching that F***ING strap the nth time! I was actually surprised since there were higher ascends I took before but I was totally fine. Well, I really regret wearing that sandal on that climb. Never again.
So, I highly suggest wearing a shoes or a sandal without velcro straps. No, this is not a hate post about Merrell. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the best brands I used for my mountaineering adventure. It’s just that, it’s me who was stupid enough to actually use it. Well, there will always be first times. So yes, wear proper hiking shoes.
First time using a mini tripod with clip. Not good idea. Holding a mini tripod would result to a more shaky GoPro footage, especially if you are recording it while trekking. It’s better using a selfie stick or perhaps stop a bit and record while holding the cam steadily.
First time using a selfie stick with tripod on my mountaineering adventure. I have been using an old selfie stick (Yunteng) for all of my mountaineering adventure. I used my old selfie stick as a trekking pole too! HAHA! Anyway, I got this new selfie stick with foldable tripod in it – so it’s a 2-in-1 stick. I am so glad that I was able to get better footage this time – a tripod does help you produce better videos. I haven’t tried this one as a trekking pole though. Will I bring this to my next mountaineering adventure? Hell yeah!
First time seeing siblings who are climbing/camping together. I am close to my siblings. When we were young, my brothers and I (along with our cousins) always go to a nearby hill to get wild guavas and spiders. After the trek, we exit to the sea and get shellfish! Such a great childhood. Anyway, looking at these siblings, I kind of remember my childhood adventure.
P.S. One of the siblings brought her 2-year old toddler and one of his uncles was patient enough to assist and carry him all the way to the top! Great job!
First time seeing a sari-sari store with electricity on a campsite. It was already dark when we reached the camp site then I saw this well lit sari2x store. I was totally surprised seeing that one. Most campers jokingly said that it was 7/11, which I laughed out really hard. HAHAHA! See? I was laughing my ass off! Anyway, what I love about the store is that they are not offering overpriced goods. You can buy coffee, chocolate drink, cup noodles, pancit canton, sodas, bottled water, and more! They are selling hot water too. I was able to purchase an instant coffee with a disposable cup for 15 pesos. Such a great deal already. The store owner named Marie usually opens this store 24 hours on weekends especially if there are lots of campers.
First time joining and camping on the National Mountain Cleanup Day with D’Hangoverz Cebu. It was coincidental that we decided to camp at Naupa on the National Mountain Cleanup Day. We supported and joined D’Hangoverz, an outdoor club based in Cebu City. These guys are well experienced mountaineers and I am so glad to have known them on this adventure. Kudos to you guys!
First time goofing around with local kids. People in Naga have the same accent as people in Dalaguete. Their accent? They are like Thai haha! They were very cooperative when I took videos of them. One of my friend was also generous to stream the movie Wonder Woman on his smartphone.
First time taking a looot of photos with the moon. One of the highlights during our night camp at Mt. Naupa was with us having so much fun taking a lot of silhouette photos with the moon. We were so loud that we were able to get the attention of the other campers and that they decided to have the same pictorials with us. We didn’t have any DSLR cameras with us, so we are using my Asus Zenfone Selfie phone. The downside of using smartphone for night shots with low light is that you’ve got to be patient since the phone might take some time in processing the photo. It won’t give us clearer shots of our face but it produced beautiful silhouette shots ala La Luna Sangre HAHA! Take a peek below:
A few important info for campers:
We took the same trail going up and down from the Naupa campsite. The trail is visible so you won’t get lost. However, it’s a must to always have the local kids as tour guides with you.
There are about 4 ascends prior to the campsite. You will cross a dried stream, a group of mango trees, a group of corn plants, etc. There are also loose pebbles and rocks so you better be careful not to step on them. Also, in the first few parts of the trek, there’s a slippery ridge. If you have a fear of heights, this might be a problem.
From the campsite, you can have another trek into the Mt. Naupa peak, which is about 30 minutes from the camp site. The trail going to the peak is much slippery and there are lots of tall grasses. There are hollow areas so make sure to focus. There’s a tall bamboo stick at the peak with a worn-out empty sack, which served as the flag. Be careful with your photo ops at the peak as it can’t cater a lot of people. Trust me, the uphill is not that difficult but the downhill will be. EXTRA CAREFUL AND TAKE IT SLOWLY.
Registration Fee: 20 pesos; make sure to write your name on the log book.
(NOTE: Expect to get another entrance fee as another landowner is planning to collect it in the coming months). It will probably be 20 pesos. The reason? They are planning to put up a comfort room for the campers.
- Jeepney fare from Punta Princesa to Tungkop, Minglanilla – 13 pesos (one way); if you choose to ride KMK bus from SM City Cebu, the fare is 30 pesos
- habal2x ride from Tungkop, Minglanilla to Cogon, Naga – 50 pesos (one way); 100 pesos if you’re the only passenger.
- tour guide fee: no standard rate (depends on your generosity)
ALWAYS REMEMBER: LEAVE NO TRACE & BE CAREFUL!
I hope you get to camp and hike at Mt. Naupa too!
… until the next adventure!
but wait! see our video here:
4PM – Punta Princesa, Labangon to Tungkop Minglanilla (fare: 13 pesos)
4:45PM – 5PM – Last minute purchase at a local store in corner Tungkop
5PM – 5:30PM – en route to Barangay Cogon, Naga chapel (jump off point) (fare: 50 pesos; 100 if you’re the only passenger)
5:30PM – 6:30PM – trek to the Mt. Naupa camp site
6:30PM – prepare food, socials
5:30AM – woke up to a foggy morning in Mt. Naupa; light bfast with coffee and bread
7:30AM – 8AM – en route to Mt. Naupa Peak
8AM-9:30AM – prepare heavy bfast (rice & canned goods) + photo ops
9:30AM – 10:30AM – going back to Brgy Cogon chapel (same trail)
10:30-11AM – habal2x ride to corner Tungkop (50 pesos fare; 100 if you’re the only passenger)
11AM-12PM – multicab ride going back to Labangon, Cebu City (fare: 13 pesos)
P.S. I’m not sure if you have heard that “Naga” is rumored to be home to witches but you know what? I don’t think that’s true. It’s all stories, don’t trust them.