The mountaineering club of the company where Sheena worked for and where I worked before, decided to go on a trek, climb and camp in Argao. The planned climb and camp at Mt. Lantoy in Argao did not really spark that much interest in me, but the planned trek to Bugasok Falls in Argao did. So, we hitched onto their adventure.
Argao is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 62,226 people. The municipality of Argao is located at the southeastern portion of the province of Cebu, approximately 68 kilometers from Cebu City. Argao is exactly between Cebu City and the southern tip of the island (Santander).
Since Argao is still at the Souther part of Cebu, we will again board a bus from Cebu South Bus Terminal or a V-Hire from the Citilink Terminal. From the Cebu South Bus Terminal or from the Citilink Terminal, you just need to ride a bus or van bound for Bato-Oslob or you can just tell the terminal barkers where you are going and they would guide you on what bus or van to ride. Traveling time to Argao takes approximately an hour and a half to two hours.
You can shop for goods the you need for the camp once you reach Argao Town proper since sari-sari stores are quite rare on the trail. Once you are ready, then you can ride a habal-habal to the starting point of the trail. Well, I just found out that we just not going for Mt. Lantoy and Bugasok Falls. We are passing by a dead cave called Agta Cave in Argao. This is not that bad at all.
The habal-habal ride from the town proper to the starting point of the trail would approximately take 20 minutes. Once you reach the start point, you will need to cross a small stream. It is advised that you keep your valuables safe if ever you are bringing one. I was bringing my DSLR without any water-resistant bag :(. Our guide decided not to take the usual trail going to the campsite then to Agta Cave then to the camp again for us to save time. They decided that we need to take the trail to Agta Cave, then campsite then Bugasok Falls and Mt. Lantoy peak the next day. And on we started to walk, walk, walk and walk. And again, we walked, walked and walked. For a number of times, I thought we were lost.
After, I think, 2 hours of trekking, we reached Agta Cave! The face of the cave is really beautiful but entering it is quite dangerous. Here’s the face of the cave:
This is hard to explain but let me try it. The entrance of the Agta Cave is situated on the face of a mountain. To enter it, you need to pass by a narrow passage on the side of the mountain, then grab on some branches or rock formations. If you won’t be careful, here is where you are going to fall to:
Agta Cave is really beautiful but it saddens me to see or know that nobody really took care of it. If mother nature does it work again and revives this cave, I hope the locals do take good care of it. I have gone to a lot of caves but I should say, it is a unique and beautiful cave. The entry of the cave speaks for its uniqueness. More pictures inside Agta Cave:
After our trail and stay at Agta Cave, we walked a little more to reach our camp site. This is where we will spend the rest of the evening. We need all the time to rest our tired body due to the long trail for the first day and more to go for the second day on our way to Bugasok Falls and Mt. Lantoy.
The next day:
Almost everybody woke up early even though most of us were drunk from drinking Gin and Rum the night before. Took a bath and took breakfast. Packed our bags and then we are ready to go. One complimentary group shot of the camp site before we go.
And on we went with the trail to Bugasok Falls. I have heard a lot of good news about Bugasok Falls but one thing concerned me on our way; it rained the night before we went to Bugasok so I might not be able to see its full beauty since the rain will erode soil thus making the water look “chocolatey”. Anyway, I had to check it out. The trek will be easier and faster now since we got a local to guide us to the trail.
After almost an 45 minutes of picture-taking. trekking and stream-crossing, we reached Bugasok Falls! And then, I was right. The water running through the falls looked “chocolatey”. Nonetheless, it was breathtaking to see the falls. The sound of the waterfalls is so relaxing and we got the best seat on the land, a birds-eye view of Bugasok Falls. Some of my friends went swimming but Sheena and I didn’t. I actually dont like to swim on unclear water cause I hate not seeing the creatures that may lurk below me. ^_^ The falls may look small on the picture but don’t be fooled.
I’ll be back to Bugasok Falls on a good weather to take a better picture of the falls. After 30 minutes of stay, then we continued with the trail to the peak of Mt. Lantoy. I was fired up seeing the the peak was near. It looked near. It did. I felt I could reach it in 5 minutes. Sadly, it was not. The local guided told us that there was a trek that we could follow and it was nearer but it was far more dangerous since it was major uphill trekking. We had newbie climbers and girls with us so we had to take the longer safer road. It was a good idea. Safety first. The consolation price is you will have more time with nature. Hear the stream and river flows, the birds chirp and the branches of trees creak. Feel the fresh air. Make love to nature!
After almost 2 hours of exhausting trekking and some minor uphill trekking, we reached the peak of Mt. Lantoy! The feeling was exhilirating. You get an almost 360 view of the island. Almost 360 since there will be trees blocking your view.
Mountaineering is one fun hobby. If any of you wants to climb or plans to climb, hit us up, we would love to join you. ^_^