Climbing Mt. Kan-irag (Sirao Peak)

Off to the mountains!

Together with the members of BRB Mountaineering, we climbed another local mountain named Mt. Kan-irag or Sirao Peak. It is just one of the many known sites in Cebu for local mountaineers. The elevation isn’t that high at only 700+ MASL. Traces of civilization were scattered all over the mountain, such as small shanty houses and livestock tied up onto trees.

The group met at Gaisano Grand Talamban where we had our late breakfast and bought packed lunch for the trip. At around 10AM, we hired a motorcycle to take us to the jump off. We didn’t have a professional guide with us but we did have one in the group who climbed the mountain once before. So it was forgivable if we lost our way once or twice. Hehehe.

During the climb, my bag wasn’t really that heavy and the slope wasn’t that high. But because of the lack of shelter from the heat of the sun, this was probably the most tiresome climb I have ever experienced (compared to my experience in Mt. Lanaya, Mt. Talinis, and Mt. Kanlaon). This was one of those times when rain, or even a storm, was very much welcome.

At past 11AM, I was more than happy when we stopped for lunch at Budlaan Falls where I could rest under the shade of a tree. The water in the falls was quite dirty.  It was murky and only God could every know what might be lurking under its surface.

When we all had enough rest, we started our way up the mountain again. The path led to a smaller waterfall that was most likely the source of the waterfall below. The water was slicing its way in zigzags through a moss-covered rock. It took me a moment to look away because I was mesmerized by its natural beauty.

A few hours in the mountain and we seem to have crossed paths with civilization again. There was a wide dusty road that led to a small sari-sari store. We stopped to buy food and ice-cold drinks before climbing up again.

After a few minutes of walking, we stopped again under a big tree next to a flower farm. Tiny white flowers where sprouting out from the ground, it was a pretty sight but I was hoping for the large colorful ones that I’ve seen in other photo blogs. 😦

While we were chattering under the tree, an old man approached us holding a bunch of freshly-harvested fruits using his shirt. It turned out to be star apple, or kaimito in the local dialect. He sold it for 5 pesos a piece, which was really cheap.

A little more walking, a little more sacrifice. We passed through fields of cogon grass before finally reaching the peak.

We arrived just a little before 4PM. The campsite was rocky which made it hard for some of us to peg our tents into place. Good thing me and boyfie brought with us a free-standing tent so the pegs weren’t all that important because it wasn’t windy that day.

From the campsite, a view of the flourishing city of Cebu can be seen in the distant horizon. I knew immediately that the view at night would be a lot better, but sadly, my digital camera wasn’t powerful enough to capture that perfect shot. 😦

I was extremely disappointed too when I saw pieces of broken glass right next to our tent. It must have been left there by previous campers. Whatever happened to the mountaineer’s creed of “LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS“? (Tsk, tsk, tsk. Shame on you, people!!) I picked up the broken glass one by one and placed it inside a little bag so it’s easier to throw away when we came back to the city.

At around 5PM when we have all pitched our tents and changed into clean clothes, we still had plenty of time before sunset. To while away the time, some of us just fooled around in front of the camera.

Some of us who chose not to fool around, was busy preparing for dinner. The menu was once again BRB’s favorite: Spam! And a new addition to the menu was Campbell soup! ♥

At around 6PM, the red of the setting sun had begun to bleed into the rest of the sky. And there it was, our most awaited moment. All of us basked under its melancholic glory……and took a thousand photos. ♥

Dinner was awesome. But the best part was the after-party where we had alcohol and games. My mouth was sore after laughing so hard that night.

Time breezed through so quickly that it was soon time to sleep. But just before I went inside the tent, a bunch of other trekkers arrived. It was already very dark so they had their headlamps on. It made me wonder what it would be like to do  a night trek. Hmmmm.

Despite all the food and alcohol that I had, I didn’t sleep very well that night. Not because of the cold but because of the big rock didn’t quit poking my back. I woke up the next morning feeling restless.

Breakfast that morning was salted dried fish that we bought the previous day. And of course, spam and soup. ♥

The original plan was to stay there until afternoon but because the campsite was bare of any trees, it became hotter and hotter as each minute passed. So we decided to climb back down making sure to bring our trash with us, including the bits of broken glass that I painstakingly picked up.

We continued to climb down and in only a few minutes we found ourselves on an asphalt road. We continued to walk until we reached a small store near Ayala Heights. We stopped there for fresh sweet corn and coconut juice. Then we met a boy who promised to arrange for a vehicle to take us back to the city. He came back with a guy driving a Chariot jeep. We paid 50 pesos each and the jeep dropped us off at Ayala Mall.

As usual, I came home with a sunburned face and sore legs. But I had such a wonderful time that I would, without a doubt, climb Mt. Kan-irag again in the near future. ♥

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