Cebu provides numerous trekking opportunities, not the least of which is a day-long trek to the RCPI towers located at Mt. Babag. Standing at more than 750 meters above sea level, Mt. Babag is considered the highest peak in Cebu City (Osmeña Peak is the highest in the whole of the Cebu island). My last trek to the RCPI towers was more than a year ago and this is a look back on that adventure.
Mt. Babag and the towers are popular among local trekkers and mountaineers for the following reasons:
- the trek can be done in 1 day or 2 days if you include camping out in the itinerary. (Based on research, you can camp out at Manwel’s Peak or Camp Chalet; personally, I’ve only done the 1 day trek so can’t vouch for the camp sites)
- easily accessible from the city center – usual jump off point is Guadalupe church, which can easily by reached by jeepney or taxi. If you’re a beginner and tired yourself out upon reaching the towers, just a short walk down and you’ll come across habal habals that can easily take you to JY and save you from further walking. From JY, you can quickly catch a ride to your home or hotel.
- the trail provides enough challenge for adventurers
- the trail goes through lush forests and tiny patches of corn and flower farms and it provides plenty of great views for nature admirers and photographers
- you can stop by the house of the Roble family and enjoy an alfresco lunch while getting a sneak peak at how the locals live their lives in this mountainous part of Cebu
- trekking up there is cheap (trekking is always a cheaper way to enjoy the world hehe)
As for my trek there, I went with two of my officemates who love the outdoors as much as I do. We decided to meet one early Saturday morning at Guadalupe church. When we were all gathered, we walked a little bit towards the part of the road lined by vendors of fried chicken and inasal. We took our breakfast at one of those stalls and purchased some puso, more chicken drumstick, and some banana to take with us for our lunch while on the trail.
That done, we started our trek up Mt. Babag and our main goal was the RCPI towers. We walked, climbed, slid and crawled for the whole day. We came across a tiny refreshing stream, lots of large trees and dense foliage, a deep ravine, some newly-harvested corn farms and lots of picture-perfect views.
Halfway up the mountain, we stopped at a small house just in time for lunch. One of my colleague knows the Roble family living there since he has trekked Mt. Babag many times and often stops by at that house for lunch. Turns out that house, dubbed as Manwel’s house, is a popular pit stop for climbers on their way to the RCPI towers. At that time, only the 3 of us were there so we had all to ourselves the table and chairs under a sprawling tree beside the house. We ate our lunch while being entertained by an inquisitive boy, one of the sons of the owners of the house. I taught him how to use my camera and take pictures of us and this seemed to delight him to no end.
After lunch, we took a quick nap on top of some of the bamboo benches there and it was one of the best naps of my life. I laid there allowing the mountain breeze to cool me and as I closed my eyes, I reveled in the sound of the swaying branches and the wonderful smell of fertile soil and healthy trees.
After some more walking, climbing, crawling and getting intimate with thorny plants, we finally reached the towers. There wasn’t much of a view there and to be honest about it, the RCPI towers aren’t really much to marvel at. They just serve as a marker that you’ve conquered many challenges on the trail and finally summited Mt. Babag. This trek is still highly recommended because, often, it is the journey and not the destination that counts.
After a quick rest and some picture taking at the foot of the towers, we headed back down to the city. I was super tired when I reached home, but it was that happy kind of tired.
Have you trekked to the RCPI towers? What have you learned and enjoyed? Do share ^_^