21 Dec Discovery Philippines and Mt. Kanlaon
by Jether Dane Guadalupe from Philippines
Mt. Napulak’s Peak by Jether Dane Guadalupe
For the past few years I’ve been travelling the Philippines, I frequently hear these questions from locals and foreigners alike.
Is it safe?
As a homegrown Filipino it’s saddening that there’s this certain stigma towards travelling the Philippines with all the exaggerated negative news that’s circling the internet. Understand that not everything in the Philippines is bad or dangerous, don’t let the stereotype close your heart from travelling here.
I tell you, you’ll regret not travelling the Philippines. You’ll be surprised how decent, hospitable and willing to help Filipinos are. After all we only have more than seven thousand mountainous islands, some of the best beaches in the world, an underground river, crystal clear lagoons and waterfalls, and one of the best surfing spots in ASIA. So why go here right?
Mt. Kanalaon’s Peak by Jether Dane Guadalupe
How much would it cost?
Since I’m still a student, travelling can be a bit expensive. Most of my savings go to my travel fund. But that’s coming from a student’s standpoint. Money is not an issue at all when you’re employed or a foreigner on a travel trip. Almost everything in the Philippines comes in cheap, from fares, food, to accommodation. But cheap does not always mean bad quality, you’ll be amazed how great a deal you’re getting on a small amount of money.
What’s your favorite trip so far?
Back in the late summer of 2015 I started solo travelling. I went to Negros Island specifically, Bacolod City. There I and my team competed in an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. After the tournament, I went on a side trip where I summited Mt. Kanlaon, The country’s largest active volcano and VIsayas’ highest mountain.
Since I was going solo, I joined another group that was climbing the same dates that I wanted. Turns out there were two teams climbing with the same dates. What made the trip special was the group consisted of people from the Philippine’s archipelago. The first group from Mindanao, second from Luzon and there’s me from Visayas. The trip was dubbed “Friendship Climb”.
We traversed Wasay to Guintubdan trail and the trek lasted four days. Three days going to the peak and half day going down. The climb was supposedly three days, but due to rainy weather conditions we extended a day. Luckily we brought enough food for four days. It’s always a good decision to bring extra food when climbing!
We stayed at Mambukal resort before the day of the climb, where Wasay trail’s jump off is located. You can relax a bit before venturing into the forest. The resort has a waterfalls hopping trail and a hot spring and the accommodation is great. First couple of kilometers into the climb was open trail then the rest of it is forest already.
Fishermen in Guimaras Island by Jether Dane Guadalupe
Guintubdan trail is actually named after the famous Guintubdan falls in La Carlota City. The entrance to the falls is actually your exit point going down. We wanted to take a dip after the tiresome climb but as I said before due to the heavy rain conditions the falls was too dangerous to swim in. I suggest if you ever want to climb it and have waterfalls swimming for the side trip, go at a time where the weather perfect. During summertime would be perfect! Rainy season in the Philippines starts at the month of June to August.
Guimaras Island Local by Jether Dane Guadalupe
The mountains’ highlights lies in its forests, waterfalls, lagoons and crater. The trail was fresh, clean and well preserved. The guides were very accommodating and well trained as well. Also if you want to eat some local food, the best way to find it is to tap some locals near Guintubdan Falls. They actually sell and cook native chicken. Price differs from its availability though, it’s not always that they cook native chicken for climbers because sometimes it’s reserved for their families.
Mt. Kanlaon’s Peak, Overlooking of Negros Oriental by Jether Dane Guadalupe
Overall, the Philippines should definitely be on your travel checklist! You get more than what you expect here. Why do you think so many foreigners always swear they’d come back here after their first visit? Some even stay here for good! I hope this short write-up made you consider Philippines for your next trip! If you’re ever here in the Philippines and need a local to travel with I’d be glad to accompany you! Just hit me up! Hope to see you here! Wish you all the best in your journey!