Tinago No More: An Exploration of the Mt Mandalagan Trail to Tinagong Dagat in Silay City
I always wonder where my feet could bring me. I left home brokenhearted and went back home with pain all over the body. The truth is, I have attempted write a novel about an adventure of a young man who moved out and explore the world on its own. Unfortunately, i haven’t finish writing a story, I decided to make it a reality. Tinagong Dagat is our first April bucketlist and so far my first mountain climb. I have climb the Balaan Bukid in Guimaras but that is just one out of twenty compared to the trail in Tinagong Dagat. After a few months of whereabouts of hiking Mt Mandalagan to Tinagong Dagat, we finally did it and I am proud to say that we survived. The trail was long and challenging but it’s worth it. Physical pain has been cured by emotional excitement of what lies beyond.
Nothing physically that we prepared but we really believed so much that we will be able to do this. This is my first time hiking a long trail after dreaming of writing an adventure novel five years ago.
A week before our planned date, we have to ask for a permit to climb to the city of Talisay. A permit is required since it will keep track of the people climbing the mountain as well as their purpose.
It was not that easy since we do not know what are the requirements to get a permit. But luckily, the staff were able to guide us through the process.
There were originally three of us in the plan but our former supervisor decided to join us. On the day of the climb though, she backed out due to medical reasons.
The Trail to Tinagong Dagat
We meet at 6:00AM in MacDonalds East to eat our breakfast and to check everything before our hike. Since the van going to Campuestohan usually arrives at 9PM we decided to take a tricycle instead for PHP500. After almost an hour ride, we arrived in Campuestohan where we meet our guide. We signed the waiver and started our climb.
The first kilometer of the hike is good, trees everywhere and the only noises you can hear are rushing water and chirping birds. As the trail goes by, the burden of the 2L water we brought added to the challenging path along the way.
We have to pause for a break a lot. As we hike higher, we also feel more exhausted. We have to climb and pass over big rocks, balance ourselves through the dike walls, scavenging through the scorching sun, sliding through slippery paths, and most especially taking selfies.
After four hours of battle between the trail and our determination, we finally made it. Reconcillation with nature and the feeling of success. The feel of reaching the old crater of Mount Mandalagan is fulfilling. The place did not fail us. The vast and soccer-field-wide field of an active volcano crater had supressed our feeling of exhaustion. Our tired faces were replaced by smiles of achievement.
The Going Back Home Trail
We did not go traverse. Rather, we decided to take the opposite path. The trail going home is also challenging but easier than the trail going to Tinagong Dagat. It was just a 3-hour trek and just a couple of breaks. On our way down the mountain, we discussed the trail when it rains and the presence of liches along the way.
According to our guide, there are a lot of leeches along the way home during rainy seasons. He pointed out the spot where the leeches usually are hiding but unfortunately because of drought, we never found one.
We were all tired as we devulge and treat ourselves with our endeavours and job well done.
Nevertheless, my first hike was not a failure and I am proud to say that we did it. This experience is just a start up of wherever our feet would bring us next.