Skip to main content

Mt. Hibok-Hibok Day Hike Traverse

Mt. Hibok-Hiboks unclimbed peaks
I was high with excitement as we began our hike to the summit of Mt. Hibok-Hibok, an active volcano  in the province of Camiguin in Northern Mindanao. It is one of the island's 7 volcanoes  and the most popular, frequented by both local and foreign hikers.  It's trails are known to be steep and thick with vegetation, a challenging yet rewarding hike with views of nearby islands and provinces. 

Accompanied by friends Ed of Eazy Traveler, Sharon (a doctor who was hiking a mountain for the first time in her life!), artists Rosa and Tupe, a German guy and our funny guide Ronald, we entered the mountain at 5:30 AM via the trail in Barangay Yumbing. It is the longer but more forgiving trail in terms of ascents. We started on an concrete, uphill road providing us a great warm-up.

We saw a lot of Medinilla Pendula growing around the mountain, a flowering shrub endemic to the Philippines
Being a tree lover, vibrant shades of green kept my eyes glued towards the trees. Occasionally, we would see interesting flowers along the way. After 4.5 hours of breathing heavily on the sharp ascents, we reached the crater lake. Fog quickly covered the peaks and the enormous deserted grassland brought out the kid in us. It felt as though we were alone in  a lost world. 

As it was still summer, the lake is murky and not swimmable. Photo from Edgar .
We happily munched on sweet and juicy ferns that grew on the sides of the trail which our guide pointed out to us. On the grass, we took a long break, snacking and laughing as we let fatigue subside.

After an hour of resuming our hike, we reached the peak where we saw the crater lake like a big hole emerging from the ground.  Then fog settled in again covering the view.
Foggy summit. Photo from Edgar Yap.
For some reason, seeing the crater lake from the peak felt very rewarding. 
The hike down was still quite steep on most parts while on some sections, we had to step over sharp rocks, which is a typical terrain of a volcano. Despite the challenging portions, I was just grateful that the trees shielded us from the sun. It would have been a grimmer story had the sun shined  heavily down on us.  

By 5:14 PM, Sharon and I, along with our patient guide Ronald arrived at Ardent Hot Springs. Most of the people in our group went ahead to catch up on other things while ever reliable Edgar had buttered chicken and soup waiting for us when we arrived at the restaurant. :P

Hiking Notes :
Mt. Hibok-Hibok is in Mambajao, Camiguin. From Manila, take a flight to Cagayan de Oro (costs around 4K, regular fare). From CDO, travel 30-45 minutes via taxi (250 Pesos) or 2 jeepney rides (about 25 Pesos in all) to Agora Bus Terminal, then take a 2 hour bus to Balingoan Pier (143 Pesos, aircon). From Balingoan, there are ferry trips throughout the day to Camiguin (170 Pesos).  From Camiguin, you need to take a habal-habal or ride a motorela to your chosen jump-off. You can also start via the trail at the back of Ardent Hot Spring which is recommended for those who have issues with their knees. Do consult with Ronald, he's knowledgeable. :) 

If you want to avoid sea travel, you can take a flight from Manila to Cebu, then Cebu to Camiguin via Cebu Pacific. More Camiguin Travel info. can be found via PinaySoloBackpacker

On an average hiking pace, the Yumbing-Ardent Spring day hike traverse  would take 6-8 hours. Bring ample trail water (at least 1.5 Liters, more if you drink a lot) and packed lunch.  Maybe I just missed it but I don't remember a water source along the way. You also need to register at the DENR and pay a fee of 200/head.  

For guideship, contact Ronald Rabile at  +63(0910) 659-3349 - (he's the same guy who  accompanied other blogger friends - Jules of RunningMistress and Gideon of PinoyMountaineer, where you can find a hiking itinerary to Mt. Hibok-Hibok).

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…