Thursday, November 26, 2015

Lick It Like Linikit: Mt Lanaya, Alegria, Cebu

After several years of being a smart guy, I've finally grown tired of it. Now, I just want to narrate things straight. It takes fewer words, fewer keystrokes, and less energy.

Last weekend, I went to Mt. Lanaya in Alegria with my workmates. I've never been big on camping or sleeping in a tent. What most people don't realize is that the name of my blog is a some sort of self-mockery.

An outdoorsman is someone you can count on. But someone who calls himself the "outdoor guy," is like the clueless technician who goes into your house in a plain white van and is almost completely oblivious to what he is supposed to do.

If you've worked in tech support, you'll know what I mean. (This bit requires a full explanation, but I'm cutting back on keystrokes today.)

So on we went, on a day when a storm was supposed to hit Cebu. On a day that started with our hopes weighed down by the clouds that made a supposedly bright Saturday morning a sleepy one.

But our bags were already packed. The tuna spread was ready. And our hearts were already ahead of us -- we had to push on through.

Doubts soon turned to cheers. As our bus danced with the winding road between Barili and Dumanjug, as we swayed left and right in our seats, the sun lit up the sea and the greenery just outside our window. The sun was up, so were our spirit and the volume of our voices.

We arrived in Alegria around lunch time. Dark clouds hid the peak of Mt. Lanaya, known to locals as Calo-calo. But we had enough of the bipolar weather. Our hopes were already up and we kept it that way.

A few weeks before our trip, we arranged for a guide with Sir Ryan, Alegria's tourism coordinator. He sent us Sir Noel -- and we couldn't have been luckier. Sir Noel is so unassuming, down-to-earth, and full of good cheer. He makes you feel home in a place that isn't your home.

He gave us time to buy some meal at the town market before he took us to the office of Barangay Legaspi. It was there that we settled our fees (see post below) and met our second guide, Niño.

Niño is a first year IT student at Cebu Technological University - Malabuyoc. He is a very nice and helpful guy, and we were happy to have him as our second guide.

Once we had the paperwork done, we headed straight up to the trail. We walked for twenty minutes to Sir Noel's house, where he let us eat our lunch at their balcony.

After we ate our lunch, he climbed up one of their coconut trees to give the seven of us some of the sweetest coconut water we drank in a while. He treated us the way a good host would and even showed us a map of the area around Mt. Lanaya.

I was not feeling at my best that time because I only had two hours of sleep. So I asked him if he had tobacco. He offered me his cigarettes but I asked for a "linikit."

A linikit, which roughly translates to "rolled up," is a roll of tobacco wrapped in a lumboy leaf (Syzygium cumini). I needed it to wake me up. Luckily, he had some and he gladly obliged to roll a few. It was a good one and we'll fundly remember the trail we took as "Linikit Trail."

I can write in length about how well he treated us... but lets move on to the next bit.

The trail right after his house is one of the best I've been to. We resumed walking at 2pm and the sun draped the brown grass in shades of gold. The weather lit up again and we couldn't help but be trigger-happy with our cameras. It was a view worth looking at over and over again.

I barely did any upper-body workout prior to this trip. I injured my pinky because of overtraining so I had to take a break from climbing for three weeks. I mainly did Asanas and I was surprise by how fit my practice kept me.

I carried 11 liters of water (utility and drinking) and a four-person tent, plus my own stuff. On the way up, I just kept in mind what my favorite YouTube yogi said in one of her videos: "Let your breath guide you." I made it to the top with very little struggle.

There are a few camp sites in Mt. Lanaya. The first one is on the Windows XP pasture, the second one is several minutes from the peak, and the third one is a short walk from the top. We stayed at Camp Three. We pegged our tents before summitting as the clouds started to hang low on us.

It did rain that night. Our guides got soaked in the rain as they went home. I feel sorry that I wasn't able to bid them good bye as I fell asleep early. I was glad that we were able to see Sir Noel in town the next day. We were able to thank him properly for his and Nino's awesome help.

The following day, a few of us woke up before sunrise to enjoy the view. It was so refreshing it felt like it was the first morning on Earth.

After we cleaned up camp, we walked down to the chapel in Lumpan to head to Cambais Falls. I'll get to that in another post. Meanwhile, here are a few things you might want to know:

Travel time from South Bus Terminal to Alegria: Four hours

Bus fare: 140 pesos / person

Bike ride from market to Legaspi Brgy Hall: 15 pesos / person

Guide fee: 500/guide

Environmental fee: 50 pesos / person

The town of Alegria requires one guide for every five trekkers. There were seven of us so we had to take to. It's non-negotiable.

photos by Roy Ferre


Golda Bless Tan said...

Hi! Do you have the contact number of Sir Ryan? How can I contact him? Thanks! ��

Anonymous said...

Are there any female guides from CTU? I'm single traveler only. Please share name/contact info. Thanks.

Bal Marsius