What started as a longing for home ended up to a thirst for the rugged trails into the wilderness. Some (mis)adventures later, we’re a pack of baby mountaineers…yeah, baby mountaineers…ticking off a list of student-friendly getaways.

The original plan was to conquer Mt Kalbasaan somewhere in Toledo, Cebu. But, as unpredictable as all plans are, it ended to an escape at Mt Naupa, the highest peak in the city of Naga, about 22 kilometers south of Cebu City. That was after we realized we didn’t have enough patience for the long queue at the bus terminal.

A short bus ride down south for P30 and a habal-habal for P50 got us to the foot of Mt Naupa in Barangay Cogon.

None of us, honestly, wanted to set foot on this mountain because the trail is too easy, they say. But, to my surprise, I found the ascent still challenging. Although the trail is well-established, clear roads didn’t mean a super easy climb. It still needed a decent amount of work and stamina.

Past the lush greens, after some 45 minutes of trekking, behold the great landscape of the almost perfect-coned Mt Naupa. The meadows are perfect for camping, an overnight tossing and turning in a tent.

I could feel the breeze of solitude. Sweet moments.

The hunger for nature, minimal challenge of climbing, the laughter with newfound friends, the mending, the strong cold winds by dawn, and the joy the morning after–that was a much needed retreat to break away from the noise and stress of the city.

Also check: Casino and Kandungaw Peaks


How to get there

📍From the South Bus Terminal
Take a bus bound for Naga (about an hour, P30).

📍From Junquera Terminal
Take a van bound for Toledo (about an hour, P40). Tell the driver to drop you off at Tinong’s Bakery near Tungkop road, Minglanilla.

📍From Tungkop, Minglanilla
Ride a motorbike going to Santo Niño Cogon Chapel. Travel time to the drop off to Mt Naupa is about 30 minutes. Fare is P50 (fixed rate).


How much to spend

This is a low-cost destination for solo and group travelers who enjoy the outdoors. Aside from the fare, you will have to pay a registration fee of P20. You can also get a tour guide if you need one. No fixed rate. In our case, we gave our guide P150.

Glomark Pahignalo

Glomark is a graphic designer based in Cebu. His work ranges from print to mass media including logos, websites, and artworks. These he knows for sure: his heart has fallen only for design and photography, and he swears to the power of lllustrator and his camera. He has no name—yet—he says. He’s work in progress. His style is evolving. In the meantime, Creative will do.