Skip to main content

The Sleeping Lion and the Wide-Eyed Wanderer

Hazy Sunday morning at the pier
I woke up from my hotel bed feeling uneasy. The sun had just risen but the windowless room remained as dim as it did when I dived under the covers the night before. Breakfast buffet, one of the things I look forward to when staying in hotels was starting in 30 minutes but today, my head’s occupied with something else. 

Sleeping Lion, also called Kapuntukan Hill is located just across Embarcadero de Legazpi, a mall by the pier that offers a scenic view of Mt. Mayon, an active volcano shaped like a perfect cone and one of Bicol region’s greatest natural attractions. 

My friends and I had just attempted a hike to its crater rim  the previous day. (Read about it here) However, due to bad weather, we had to abort after four hours of trekking. Now I’m back in Legazpi with my flight back to Manila taking off in a few hours. Despite lacking sleep, I’m feeling restless and yearning for one last hike. 

I packed a sling bag with mints, towel and calamansi juice, the only refreshment I could grab as I had depleted my supplies from the hike the day before. I had no fresh clothes left and what I had on where the same one I came home in. :P

The foot of the hill is just on the side across the building of Ellis Ecotel where I checked in. It took less than 10 minutes to get there. The trail up fits one person and is a very clean and straight-forward mild ascent on a dirt road. 

Boulevard near the pier. 
After another 15 minutes, I passed a shed. Two guys stood and approached me. I struggled with talking as I was panting from the short hike. I was informed that I was passing through a private property. Didn’t I see the signages? As I had approached the hill from another side, I missed the markers that have been placed in the area. Fortunately, I didn’t even have to lie and say I didn’t see any of it. Also, none of the locals I asked on the way had told me that. I was embarrassingly clueless. 

I maintained a friendly approach and told them how I knew about the place, that I just saw a photo of it from the web. There were instructions how to get there giving me the impression that it was a tourist spot. The guys eventually let me through and was escorted towards the view deck. 

It was a short hike to get there and much less steep. My escort was quiet and maintained considerable distance. I guess he’s just doing his job. I was a trespasser turned unexpected visitor in a span of 30 minutes. I was grateful I had on my least threatening outfit – a striped blouse with the cartoon version of Audrey Hepburn printed at the front :P. It’s quite a convincing look that screams, “I’m just a harmless tourist.” 

Here's what I saw from the view deck
The clearing opened up with a view of Albay gulf, a massive body of water almost as reflective as a glass. I spotted Lignon Hill on the left side.  The imposing presence of Mt. Mayon was right across where I stood with clouds hovering just below its crater as if posing for a seductive shot. It’s a very exciting sight.  After marveling gleefully at the view, I made my way down quickly. The humidity of the morning grew. In no time, I was back in my room, drying sweat off my shirt before gorging out on a gratifying breakfast. 

How to get to Sleeping Lion/Kapuntukan Hill:
From the Cubao Provincial Bus terminal, take a bus to Legazpi or Sorsogon. The cheapest fair is Belleza bus departing at 8:00 PM (500 Pesos, aircon, one way). Be prepared for some discomfort during the 12 hour commute as the seats are quite slim. From Legazpi, take a jeep or tricycle (70 Pesos) to Embarcadero de Legazpi. As the view deck at Sleeping Lion is now a private property, the recommended and respectful way to hike it is to get a permit from the Administration office of Embarcadero de Legazpi. 

Popular posts from this blog

Part 2 : Bataan Adventures | Where to Eat in Bataan (Updated 2017)

Being an avid hiker and foodie, I've grown very fond of visiting  Bataan.  This province offers several hiking trails (check my post here) passing verdant forests and nicely decorated cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a proper cup of coffee and affordable comfort food. It is also highly accessible from Manila via land travel, making it a good option for a short but rewarding out of town adventure. 

Here's a list of restaurants in Bataan where you can enjoy satisfying meals. 

The restaurant's name which means little angels (male) was inspired by the owner's 3 young boys, Miguel (after St. Michael), Rafael and Gabriel.This 2 year old family owned restaurant has a homey ambiance and serves any type of food that the family enjoys.

Dishes are flavorful and priced affordably -100 Pesos above for the main dishes and 20 Pesos above for the desserts.Specialty includes, pork binagoongan and creamy tofu (my fave!). The restroom which has a mini garden is als…

Hiking in La Trinidad : Mt. Yangbew

To kickoff 2017, I  returned to the Cordillera region with one of my closest friends, Jules. We wanted to take it easy  so we decided to try a couple of short but very scenic trails in Benguet I found online (References posted below). 

Barangay Tawang in La Trinidad,the capital of the province of Benguet  is less than an hour from Baguio city and features several accessible, scenic mountain trails - Mt. Yangbew (also known as Mt. Jambo), Tayawan view deck and Mt. Kalugong. These are all beginner-friendly or as the younger Pinoy millenials would say, pabebe-friendly. :P
Since we were taking a super early bus ride,  (1:30 AM early! :P), we made sure  we got nice, comfy seats. Fortunately, with 3 days prior to the trip, we were able to book online via iWantSeats.

In five hours, we arrived in the City of Pines and walked towards Session Road to hunt for a hotel. Fortunately, a vacant room was immediately available at Benguet Prime Hotel so we were able to leave our bags.  We took our sweet t…

12 Useful things to Bring on your First Mountain Hike

Hiking has become very popular in the Philippines that it's now easier to find a mountain and come up with your own itinerary  or join an organized group. (Read 10 Tips on How to be a Good Climb Participant
If you're heading out to your first mountain hike and thinking of what to bring, here are a couple of tips. Note that this list was created as a guide and not a mandatory checklist. The items featured are based on what I observed to be  useful when hiking in tropical weather.

7 Hiking Tips for Beginners | 8 Essentials for Rainy Day Hikes by Basekamp PH

1.  Footwear
Footwear should enhance your experience outdoors and protect you from injury. There are shoes designed specifically for hiking but I encourage you to research the mountain  first before purchasing hiking shoes. Will there be sections where you need to cross rivers? How long will you be hiking?If the mountain has a clear and established trail that normally won't take more than 4 hours to complete, you can very w…