In summary, Mt. Maynoba adventure is like a Sagada + South Cebu adventure combined in just one destination which you can achieve for just 8 hours with a budget of only Php 500. Too good to be true? Let me show describe my experience to you.
I set my foot towards this adventure last May 30, 2016 with my close friend Eca and 2 other girls, Clau and Iyah whom I met through DIY Travel Philippines. The best group size for me was just 4 to 5 pax to minimize the budget because as you will see later on, the tricycle and tour guide (required) could only accommodate 5 pax. Beyond that, you would have to pay more. I checked on some blogs and found suggestions that we should be in the jumpoff even as early as 3AM to witness the sunrise and sea of clouds from the peak. I also read from some blogs that there’s a jeep at Cogeo leaving for Sampaloc anytime, which we proved to be untrue as the first trip from Cogeo to Sampaloc starts at 5am. We got to Cogeo before 4am so we had to wait for more than 1 hour to catch the jeepney first trip. We should’ve spent that hour on sleep to reserve more energy! But charge it to experience so I can share a better itinerary to others. There were also another group heading to Mt.Batolusong who got to the terminal earlier than we did so they’ve been waiting longer than us! But even though we got to the jumoff later than we expected, overall it was still a great journey and we finished the jam-packed trail a around 2pm.
THE SAGADA-LIKE EXPERIENCE
Sagada is a sought-after tourist spot in the Philippines where you can feel the cool weather and witness the sea of clouds from Kiltepan peak and venture through rice terraces while chasing Bomod-ok falls which overall will cost you more or less Php 3000 for a 3-day itinerary. However, you don’t have to wait for that approved leave or to save up that amount because you can experience the Sea of Clouds in Mt. Maynoba in one day for just Php500. Tanay’s version of this amazing scenery happens up until 8am so you better arrive at the jumpoff by 6:30 the least. The guide will ask you to choose if you want the easy trail which brings you straight to the peak, or the Twin Hike which is more challenging. We arrived around 6:15 yet chose the Twin Hike which i find to be an easy trail. It took us around 1 hour to reach the peak because we didn’t have much rest aside from the 5 minutes rest to drink water. It was really cold also.
I was in shorts and sleeveless shirt because I was prepared for the chasing waterfalls. I just wanted to be able to dip to the waters anytime without changing clothes. Besides, extra clothes are an added baggage. But I suggest that you be in long sleeves and pants as there are really a lot of mosquitoes and grassy path so it could really get itchy. Just change outfit when you reach the 1st waterfalls.
I think that we could also reach the 1st camp where you could witness the sea of clouds a little earlier, but because there was another group of 28 persons who hiked ahead of us (they started at around 4am), we got a little stuck in the traffic. lol. But eventually we became friends with some people from this group. Hooray to meeting new friends! While the others were hurrying to move to the next 1st peak from the camp, we took our time taking pictures with the sea of clouds because this is the reason why we woke up at 1:30am in the morning!!! But eventually we moved on to reach the 1st peak which is Mt. Maynoba.
We didn’t stay much in the first peak so we moved on ahead of the 28 other campers to the 2nd peak. The path was again grassy and it strarted to drizzle a little bit but I was praying hard that it wouldn’t continue on raining which got answered! The rain stopped and never bothered us again for that day. thank you Lord! The topmost of Mt Cayabu was just characterized by a boulder which is really boring but if you would move ahead a little bit, you will find bigger boulders with awesome views.
THE MINI SOUTH CEBU EXPERIENCE
After reaching the 2nd peak, we moved on ahead of the others towards the first waterfalls. The path towards the end, the river crossings and countless water streams really reminded me of my Badian Cebu experience. There is no canyoning that could happen here because the streams are narrow for a person to flow through around like you could do in Badian Cebu. The waters, to contrast, are not aquatic blue like in Badian Cebu but rather clear. But the adrenaline of being able to dip in and out of the waters as I chase them downstreams is the closest thing to it. I know that right now, they’re closing the canyoning activity in Badian Cebu for precautionary and safety purposes. So you could probably have a little glimpse of that experience here although 8 Wonderfalls doesn’t hold a candle to it.
After 4 hours of trekking, who wouldn’t be excited to dip into the cool and clear waters of Paraiso Falls? When I lost at getting mosquito bites with my outfit, I won at being the first to just dip into the waters without any hesitations. LOL. We also took our lunch here with the other hikers which was really fun.
We then went ahead of the others to reach the 2nd falls… Katmon Falls. We passed through amazing bamboo grasses and a rocky trail to get there.
We went ahead to the 3rd falls which I didn’t dip into because of the small basin. the 4th falls however is my favorite because it was deep that you could actually jump from somewhere. I jumped twice 🙂
This 7th falls has another falls behind it which is really enchanting. It’s not counted I think because you don’t really pass by it. You have to swim through May Banka falls and go through behind it to find the unnamed falls. 🙂 Our tourguide Joseph was just bibo enough to show it to us. So there are really 9 Wonderfalls! When you do this adventure, ask your tourguide to bring you here.
By the time we get to the last falls, I already am so fulfilled and happy so I did not dip into it anymore but just took pictures. 🙂
All throughout this experience, you will do a lot of river and boulder crossings.
After the waterfalls, it’s a 30-minute trek back to the jumpoff where you can enjoy the view of the mountains, the plants, the fields.
At the end of it all, what’s very amazing is you can enjoy a meryenda for a cheap price! I had 2 halo-halos for 20 each all to my own! There are also other rice meals, and bilobilo. 🙂
Based on experience, below is the suggested itinerary if you’re commuting. Of course, you can meet ANYTIME if you have a private vehicle.
4:15am – Meetup at Cubao. Ride a jeepney going to Cogeo (24 pesos)
5:00am – ETA at Cogeo. Ride a jeep going to Sampaloc, but get down to Batanggasan which is the same dropoff if you’re going to Mt. Batolusong (42 pesos)
5:45am – ETA at Batanggasan. Ride a trike to Brgy Cayabu (200 for 4 pax = 50 each)
6:15am – ETA at Marning’s Resort (jumpoff point)
7:20am – Arrival at campsite to witness sea of clouds and take a lot of pictures 🙂
8:20am – Arrival at 1st peak (Mt Maynoba)
9:00am – Arrival at 2nd peak (Mt Cayabu)
10:20am – Arrival at 1st Waterfalls (Paraiso falls) and have early lunch
11am onwards – Chasing waterfalls
2:00 pm – Back to Marning’s to have shower and eat meryenda
3:00pm – ETD from Brgy Cayabu
5:00pm – ETA in Manila
BUDGET not inclusive of food
RT Cubao to Cogeo – 48 each
Cogeo to Batanggasan – 84 each
Batanggasan – Brgy Cayabu – 100 each (for a group of 4)
Twin peak fee – 40 each
Tour guide fee – 125 each (for a group of 4)
I was really very happy organizing and doing this adventure. I feel like I’ve gotten more than what my Php 500 is worth. This mountain has newly opened to hikers starting March 2016 and it will be best to go there asap 🙂 I hope I convinced you to visit it soon. You dont need to make arrangements with people there but if you need some direct information, you may contact the VP of the tour guide team, Kuya Ronald Africano at 09084330444.