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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Badian-Dalaguete Traverse: Mt. Kandungaw (Candongao) and Dalas-ag Peak


This Traverse from Badian to Dalaguete passing by Mt. Kandungaw (Candongao) and Dalas-ag Peak was truly a fascinating adventure that I’ll always remember for years to come since not only did we do this for fun but also cleaned up the peaks and also along the way.

We did this group climb as part of the National Mountain Clean-Up Day (#NMCD)! So we got exploration for the great outdoors, fitness through hiking as well as being good stewards to our environment while also ending up doing some LNT (Leave-No-Trace Principles) awareness to who ever we found along the way!



We arrived really early in south bus terminal with our mixed-squad of people I know and don't know whom I later got to know during our socials at night. After arriving in Badian town proper, we had some breakfast, as well as packed lunch before we proceeded to the Jump off point via Motor-Taxi (Habal-habal). 

The ride to Sohoton Elementary School took around 30 minutes or so. We rode on unpaved, rock-strewn roads most of the way inland which can only be described as a YOLO-ride or near-death ride with the ridiculous bumps which can even lift you up from your seat (about 4-5 inches maybe?) even while carrying a huge bag (Hiking Gear: Tent, Water,..etc..).

Our group photo from the Badian Side facing the coast before we entered into the inner rolling hills and mountains
The exposed trail provides an encompassing view of Badian’s coast, a breathtaking overlooking view of the Tañon Strait which also includes nearby islands, including Badian island and Pescador Island. 

We cleaned along the way but we got the worse of it when arriving at this supposed water source with the well on the right

We have not even arrived in our destination yet; you will probably see this tarp hanged in Candungao's "Payag" :)
We were told that the total hike will be about less than 4 hours or so but we expected it to be more since we were doing a clean-up while we also enjoyed the views and beauty of nature along the way. 


Add to that we took about an hour or so or more of siesta or sleeping time since there was scattered rain showers in an area before we saw the chocolate hells (because it was a pain to traverse - whether if its super sunny or raining, there were no trees to take shelter in and also the terrain is also difficult) or perhaps in certain angles, look like middle earth as well.



Me running towards Dalas-ag peak! Weeeeeh... Also there's a single boulder near the top where people take selfies! We didn't.
Rest, Breathe, Take it all in!
After passing some form of rice or farm terraces (since there were no plants), we arrived at a magical and stunning view, which was called: Dalas-ag Peak. Dalas-ag peak can show you an awe-inspiring sight, from farmers down below tending to their terraces, to the overlooking view of the coast (which some of my colleagues noted that gives a Batanes-ish feel) and the islands and the peak itself. We probably spent more than 20 minutes at Dalas-ag Peak, admiring the views and taking photos.

You can apparently see Candungao Peak from Dalas-ag Peak if you can identify it. We manage to identify it as we saw cool kids screaming from a distance. And we did underestimate that distance too.

Lost
Still Lost
Well, we also got lost along the way and we later found out that there was a short-cut as well and the route we took was the longer one and add to that back tracking after getting lost was truly a challenge to one's lungs, heart, knees and legs.

Might as well enjoy the scenery and take a bunch of photos with varied subjects.




And so we finally reached Candungao (Kandungaw) Peak. The peak itself is a long stretch which leads all the way to the Dog-faced peak. Below are various perspectives of the wide peak from the back (accessed from Badian), the edge facing the Badian coastline and the other end facing Maloray, Dalaguete. I hope the following captures to full beauty (with photobombers) of the highland.

This is the awesome view of Kandungaw from the "Back" Badian-side.
But first, let us take a haggard groufie

On top of the coast-facing edge of Candungao
Top view of Candungao Camp Site
Campsite level view
Subject: Gino + Kandungaw Peak, Shot by Donna? With special photo bomb of bird -- Photo by Gino

Facing the Badian coast

It was sunset and this weird mushroom explosion cloud appeared too Photo by: Sir Jan

Dawn Breaking view right below the dog-shaped face cliff

We did a clean up and met other day hikers at the top too together with some fog
 Kandungaw can be accessed via Mantalongon, Dalaguete. From the bus stop at Mantalongon Market, you will have to hail a habal2x (motor) to the jump-off at Maloray, Dalaguete. The hike to the peak is short but coupled with mostly ascents.



The day-hikers' ascent is our descent
Locals mentioned as well that on a clear day, you can see the tip of Kandungaw on the ride to the jump-off and in the ascent which can be reached between 1-2 hours at the slowest pace. These stairs can also be called stairway to heaven, either you will start seeing stars or you will be too breathless to complain anyway. It is a knee-bursting, back breaking trek to say the least, according to a day-hiker we met.



We are somehow always hitch-hiking when going home
And so ends our beautiful journey and clean up from Badian to Dalaguete. We hope some of the kids we talked to learned a lot from us teaching them some LNT bisaya edition principles and hopefully the will ripple to the rest of their peers and communities.

Photo Credits: Siblings Sir Jan and Miss Liz, Donna and Gino's iPhone + Jessa and Aires

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