February has always been special for me— not because of Valentine’s Day but because it’s my birth month. Rumors say that most of the weird ones are born on February and, though I may not completely agree, I have to say they got some of it right. In fact, one of them was weird enough to make the list below. 😉
As a part of my #GrantMyWishThisFeb, I asked my all-time katkat buddy, Shiela, for a Naga adventure as a gift. Naga City is blessed with gorgeous hills and mountains, and it’s a shame that I haven’t set foot on its trail yet. Gladly, she was kind enough to give in to my request. Haha.
After my Bohol escapade we had our Naga adventure all planned out. Shiela and I managed to convince our officemate, Spencer, to come. I originally asked to chase only four peaks, Pangilatan Peak, Magdook Peak, Mt. Naupa, and Kabalas, but Shiela wanted to add Mt. Kabuwan to the list. So off we go.
All geared for a long hike, we headed to Pangilatan Peak as our first stop—or so we thought. After an hour of walking on muddy trail, Pangilatan Peak is nowhere to be found. Instead we reached a different summit, one that spoke poetry to me. It wasn’t as picture perfect as the other mountains I’ve been into but there was something about its aura that drew me in.
After thousands of steps, going back and forth, we finally found the right trail. At last!
Pangilatan Peak offers a 360 degree panoramic view of its neighboring towns and the sea. Had it not been gloomy, we would have stayed longer.
On our way down, we found this picturesque spot under tree. Shout out to hopeless romantics out there, I know you’re thinking what I’m thinking!
Guess what… we got lost. Again.
I have no sense of direction so I’m used to it. But getting lost under a dull weather carrying heavy load is quiet draining. It was midday when we reached our second stop and I have to admit, the place was worth every sweat. Magdook Peak is nothing short of beautiful. My two photography enthusiast friends couldn’t help but take a lot of snaps. With the stretch of tall grasses swept by the cool mountain breeze, Magdook Peak is definitely one of the instagrammable places in Naga.
Probably one of the most visited spots in Naga is Mt. Naupa. Be it a day hike or an overnight camping, whether you’re chasing sunset or sunrise, this mountain has it all. And more.
With the brewing rain above our heads, I gave up on looking forward to witnessing a lovely sunset or staring blankly at the star-speckled sky. Some things you just have to let go, they say.
And so we decided to set up our tent, which was one of the biggest surprise of our lives.
The tent was a disaster— frail tent poles, no groundsheet, no pegs, no rainfly. We might as well turn it into a hot air balloon. Thankfully, we had Spencer with us. No matter how hard we push for equality, men will have a stronger survival instinct. He made pegs out of wooden sticks, made a rainfly out of plastics, and tied our tent to a shed.
I cannot elaborate the whole experience but it was extraordinarily terrifying and fun. Despite the strong gust of wind pushing and pulling our tent during the night, it’s a pride we survived to see the morning light. *cries*
In contrast to our gloomy day one, we had a sunny day two. Most people love sunsets but sunrises will always be my second best next to a moonlit night. And Mt. Naupa’s sunrise goes beyond amazing. It’s glorious and gorgeous!
Our trek was light (YAY! Heavy load no more) and chill. Upon reaching Kabalas, we were welcomed with its scenic rolling hills that match those of Bohol’s Binabaje Hills. Shiela, of course, wouldn’t miss to pose in this dramatic spot.
From the peak, you can still see Mt. Naupa’s striking cone. And compared to the crowded Naupa, Kabalas is a great place to for those souls seeking silence.
The hike to Mt. Kabuwan reminded me of Blues Clues. Since none of us has been there, we’re practically walking on blinds. And to our surprise. Oops, scratch that. We were not surprise at all. We lost our way again. Not once, not twice but thrice.
Our first detour took us to an ascending steep trail leading to a groto of Mother Mary.
Our second detour took us to a laid-back twin hills. I can already imagine running around, flying kite. Too bad kids nowadays prefer to play with their phones.
Lastly, our third detour took us to the dirt path leading to Brgy. Kabuwan. Thankfully, the locals were kind enough to point us to the right direction.
After three hours of clambering up and down the trails, skidding and sliding, forging our own path through the thick bushes, finally… Mt. Kabuwan. Shout out to Laag Bisaya for introducing this place. Despite the gloomy sky, it was refreshing to see the verdant greens.
In the end, this is what we climb for… a diversion, an escape from the walled concrete jungle we are in. I do hope more than being proud of conquering mountains, we are humbled before its austere grandeur. 🙂