There’s actually nothing special about this mountain. What makes it interesting, apart from its wonderful ambience, is the fact that this was the area where Mt. Pinatubo, the presidential plane of Pres. Ramon Magsaysay, crashed and killed seventeen people on March 17, 1957.
It is located in Balamban, Cebu and rises to a height of 1,003 meters above sea level.
Our original plan was to find GL Highland in Gaas where there’s a cold spring and stay there overnight and make a day trek to Mt. Manunggal the next morning. To no avail, we couldn’t find the GL Highland and locals didn’t know where it is. I found a green gate which is exactly the same on the photo that I found on the internet the day prior but it was closed. I assumed that the resort’s no longer operating the business.
Then, we proceeded to the plan B: Island in the sky. The entrance costs 50 Php and 200 Php for the tent if you wish to stay overnight. That’s out of our budget, so, we had no choice left but to head directly to Mt. Manunggal.
We arrived in Gaas about 4:00 P.M. Island in the sky is about 2-3 hours away from the jump off point through trek and 2-3 hours, depending on your pace, from the jump off point to the camp site. So I surmised that it would take us forever to get there. Of course, we had to consider other things that might happen on the way since it was already getting dark. Lucky us there were motorcycles in the area that could take us directly to the camp site.
We got there almost 6:00 P.M. We had an ample time to pitch our tent and prepare our stuff before it got dark. We hastily prepared our dinner after setting up everything because the fog quickly covered the area and it might rain any moment due to a not-so-good weather condition. I must admit, it was a bit scary because there were just the two of us with my friend and we were alone in the camp site. But what is adventure, right? Hehe
And at 10:00P.M., the area was then completely covered by the fog which signaled us for the time to hit the sack.
Below are some photos taken in the area and on the way to camp site:
How to get there:
Take a v-hire bound to Balamban in Ayala Center Terminal. Fare is at 120 Php. Travel time takes about 45 minutes to one hour. And don’t forget to remind the driver to drop you at the jump off point to Mt. Manunggal because you might alight in the wrong place.
What to bring:
-ample amount of water
-tent (if you wish to camp out overnight)
-sunblock or rashguard to protect your skin from the heat of the sun.
-raincoat if you’re going there on a bad weather condition
-trekking pole (that helps too)
P.S: You also need not to worry about your hygiene; you can find a bathroom and a shower room near the camp site for fee. Just look for the attendant and you will be attended very shortly