Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bukidnon: Into the Mossy Foot of Mount Lunayon

Day hiking is one of my most favorite outdoor activities. Unlike overnight camping or multi-day climbs, a day hike enables me to pack light, explore wonderful scenery and go home to my family on the same day.  Day hike is also suitable for outdoor newbies as not much technical stuff are needed for this activity.  All you need are a backpack, extra clothing, trail food and a sturdy pair of outdoor shoes and you’re good to go. By the way, if you are looking for a new pair of shoes you can use for running, hiking and other activities, you can check out this online shop to find Fila shoes. And for your other hiking needs like backpacks or dri fit apparel, visit ZALORA Philippines as they have a wide selection of such goods.

A day hike invitation from my friend Oyec Ching came to my Facebook inbox a week before summer ends. Seeing the opportunity to explore another side of my hometown MalaybalayI gladly gave my affirmative response as I find it the perfect way to end the season of the sun.

On the dawn of May 31st, I found myself in the company of new friends meeting up at the town plaza. We hailed a multicab which took us about 5 kilometers  to a  habal-habal terminal in Brngy. Kalasungay.  There we boarded passenger motorcycles going to Brngy. Capitan Angel, about 20 minutes away from Kalasungay highway, the jump off for our day hike. 

At daybreak, Mount Lunayon came into full view. The mossy forest on its foot is our destination for the day. But we need to carbo load first to be able to endure the hike. So after registering at the barangay hall, we went to the house of Datu Lunayon (the mountain was named after his ancestors) to partake our breakfast. 

We started our hike past 6 AM. The ground was wet and slippery due to the rain that poured hard the night before. The first part of the trail was mostly open as we passed by some farm fields and idle lands. At one point, an overlooking view of Malaybalay City shrouded by a sea of clouds simply mesmerized my senses.

After about an hour of hiking through the open trails, we finally reached the forest just as the sunshine was about to go full blast on us. The moss-covered trees dwarfed us as we enter the jungle.  Mount Lunayon is a protected area since it is part of Mount  Kitanglad Range Natural Park. The dense forest has no clear established trail, indicating that hiking activities are not regularly done here.

We hiked for another one hour, passing through some ants-and-leeches-infested trails and pausing only for a breather along a small creek.

When we finally reached a small clearing where we came face to face with Mount Lunayon, Oyec told us that we’re already at the mountain’s foot. We then looked for a spot to set up our temporary camp. 

After finding a good camping spot, lunch was prepared underneath the bushes and trees. I got to know my companions a lot better as we shared snippets of our lives, witty jokes and a pocket-size bottle of rhum. Mountaineers call this part of the hike as “socials”.

After a hearty lunch, we decided to break camp and head back to the barrio. As we were starting our hike back, we spotted something flying graciously above the forest—the mighty Philippine Eagle!  Mount Kitanglad Natural Park is known to be the home of this Philippine national bird and the rare chance of spotting it on its natural habitat made me feel that my day hike is already complete.

We took a different route in going back to the barrio. After passing through the forest we came across the open fields where the full view of Mount Kitanglad Range can be seen. The sun was shining on its full glory but thankfully, the air is cool in this elevated side of Malaybalay.

As we were approaching the barangay proper, we came across a stream. Realizing the need to cool off our bodies, we rested and went for a dip. The water was cold and really refreshing.

After the cold dip, we walked back to the barrio. It was still early in the afternoon, but our day of adventures was already complete.  As we waited for the motorcycle which would take us back to the highway, I contemplated and felt fortunate to have joined this hike. Aside from exploring a beautiful forest for the first time, I also meet new friends who shared my passion for the great outdoors.  It made me appreciate the fact that in the mountains, though there are no cellphone and internet signal, the connection is always better.


  1. "...though there are no cellphone and internet signal, the connection is always better." <--- True that.

  2. nice.. very nice...


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