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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Divine Mercy Chapel (Sacred Summit) Hambubuyog + Inambakan Falls in Ginatilan Cebu



Together with my outdoor buddies, workmates, bloggers and strangers, we made our way to the relatively not-so-well known but beautiful highlands of Ginatilan, Mt. Hambubuyog. The objective I set for myself for this climb/hike are: test our new tents, visit a place I have never camped or visited before, meet new people, physical fitness, stress relief while enjoying the wonders & beauty of nature!

The town of Ginatilan is about a 4-hour ride, and costs around Php120 each one-way, from Cebu City proper from the South Bus Terminal. There are three ways to access these beautiful highlands fom Ginatilan: (1) Private vehicle, (2) Motor-Taxi (Habal-habal) and (3) by foot with Inambakan Falls as the jump-off point [You may use the same route down or trace the rough road back to Ginatilan which is farther and winding crossing rolling hills]. Inambakan Falls is already well known in the area and is easily accessible via motorcyle for Php25.00.

Have a photo in the town proper at the St. Gregory the Great Parish Church.



The road trail is somewhat developed due to the fact that the highest point of Mt. Hambubuyog is also where the Divine Mercy Chapel is located. Locals visit the Divine Mercy Chapel, which rests on its summit; and farmers plow the hills surrounding the mountain which is accessible from the neighboring municipalities of Oslob or Samboan! (Perhaps some trekking ideas from various routes?)

Photo by: Ryan Villamin


A Trail of Penitence:
If you are thinking of a climb or hiking activity during Holy Week, I highly recommend the Sacred Summit of Mt. Hambubuyog for you; or perhaps even a pre-Major climb activity. Out of all the other Cebu-based mountains I have climb, I'd probably say that this is much more difficult than Lanaya in Alegria (if you choose to trek it rather than riding a motorcycle to the summit of course); at least the route from Inambakan that is (perhaps there are other routes from Oslob or Samboan).

The reason for this is that from Inambakan Falls, the starting trail was steep and that was a real pain to ascend from both the thorny plants and gravity. After that, the trail varies from rough to tracing a cemented road but it just keeps going up with the occasional heavy assaults; the same could be said when going down as well.




Climbing it totally takes its toll on one’s strength and endurance as if you are experiencing your own sort of penitence. However, the trail also offers scenic views of forests and slopes of adjacent mountain ranges. All the more once you reach the sacred summit itself!



Mini-Climate change scenarios:
What annoyed me the most was the ridiculous changes in weather and temperature (perhaps because this was my first time experiencing this during hiking a trail); one moment it's ridiculously hot/humid, then there are some scattered rainshowers; after that the sky became clear and sunny while an occasional cold gust hits you in the face.

If you are ascending, it's going to be from hot and humid going to a cold place while the opposite is true for a descent. Also, the trail was really muddy and quite challenging if you are wearing the wrong footwear - stumbles, slips and even the occasional rolling over is somewhat normal.

From our camping grounds, the view can be divided into two. On one side, the TaΓ±on Strait, with the cloud covered Mt. Talinis, and on the other side, the hilly grasslands of the surrounding highlands.

Also, temperatures can really go down in this place. Add to that some random rainshowers plus strong winds that will test your tent. I suggest that you don't use beach tents here!

Unfortunately I was not part of the group photo due to a "call of nature" and was basically chillin at the sacred peak in the comfort room of the Divine Mercy Chapel and obviously there's a lot of us. - Photo By: Ryan Villmin



Reflection at the summit camp:
One of the best things about outdoor activities is that not only do you push your own physical limits while also training physical fitness, you also get a glimpse of the lives of the locals while also interacting with them.

Such encounters can broaden one's horizons about life. That it can be an inspiration as well as motivation for us city-dwellers that there is indeed more to life than our 9-5 work, our so-called stressors, struggles with people and other things. The simple lives of the locals puts things into perspective.

This is the view I saw from the backdoor of Inambakan Falls as we just arrived from our descent from Hambubuyog
Grabbing this Photo of Inambakan Falls from Hanna of BeanInTransit.com, a fellow blogger who accompanied me on this expedition to the mountains
Inambakan Falls:
Inambakan is another awe-inspiring high waterfalls here in Cebu. Many locals visit it to take a dip and cool off from the summer heat. Inambakan is only one of the many other waterfalls that's located in the humble and quiet town of Ginatilan.

Of course we took a dip in Inambakan Falls and just had to hitch on the pictures taken. Photo by: Jan Dea Jakosalem
I don't necessarily have a proper photo of the Inambakan Waterfalls since by the time we were there, my phone was running out of battery and I did not bring my GoPro with me as well. Also, when I attempted to get a proper landscape photo of it down below, the strong pressure and winds threatened to wash my iphone. Just a few seconds of the 'salibo' can immediately somewhat wash the clothing you are wearing, that's how strong the current+wind that accompanied the droplets of water.

See the summary video of our trip:

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