• Friday, October 05, 2018

     The more I see of Negros, the more I realize there is so many unspoiled beauty found in the province that are waiting to be discovered. Beyond being known as the major producer of sugar in the Philippines, Negros Occidental offers not just this sweet commodity for your sweet tooth but also beautiful spots that are less-known and less talked about which I believe will be perfect for your summer adventure!

     Last weekend, me and my family went on a quick daytrip away from the city to do a weekend climb. Trust me it is a much better option for family weekend bonding instead of malling.  The mountains never disappoint, dude. Never!

     Climbing to the peak doesn’t necessarily requires you to have a guide as the trail is relatively short and easy but we opted to hire a local guide to make things a little bit much easier since I was trekking with my senior citizen mom and also to support the local tourism and their community.

     The hike up Mayana Peak is the perfect kind of hike for beginners, because it's not overly strenuous and you will be rewarded with terrific panoramic view of the mountains of Northern Negros. From the jump-off point, it's an easy walk up to the peak. The trail is relatively easy, but since its uphill most of the time, it made us catch our breath more frequently. The trek to the view point is about 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on your pacing. 

     At the peak, there are three big stones where you can climb to have your photo taken with the panoramic view mountains of northern Negros on the background.  Whether you're a first time climber or an expert trekker, you will be struck by the beautiful mountain views along the way. Reaching the peak was very rewarding. It was a spectacular sight to see rugged mountains on a 360 degrees view.

How to get here?

     If you’re coming from Bacolod City you can either take a 2 to 3-hour bus bound for San Carlos City via Don Salvador or go by private car which can cut down your travel time to half. Buses from Bacolod City to San Carlos via Don Salvador is at South Ceres Bus Terminal which departs every 1-2 hours. Tell the bus conductor to drop you off Sitio Punod or Mayana’s Peak. The bus fare is 118 php for non-aircon bus, discounted if youre a student or senior citizen. At the road intersection going to Mayana’s peak, there are plenty of motorbikes with driver or popularly called Habal-habal who will offer you a ride for 100-150 php per way for a 30-45 minutes bumpy ride. They usually charge extra if the road is muddy during rainy days. 

     Once you arrived at the jump-off area, there is a tourist information table where you will be asked you to register and then they will provide you with a guide. There is no entrance fee and the tour guide fee is also up to you.

Archie’s Notes: I would suggest you travel very early like 5 or 6 am so you can start the trek while there’s no too much sun.

General Tips

     While you can wear almost anything since it’s just a short hike, I advise you wear closed-toed shoes to handle the uneven trail which is often rocky and slippery on rainy days. Hiking boots are ideal, but sneakers or running shoes are good alternatives. Hiking attire must be appropriate for the weather with a short sleeve shirt or jacket and long pants for cooler days. Wear rain gear for rainy or windy days, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellant. Bring drinking water, a small backpack with some snacks and a camera to capture your most memorable moments.

     In conclusion, I love everything about this hike - the easy trail, the moderate level of difficulty, the wonderful scenery and it’s proximity from Bacolod City. It’s only 2-3 hours drive away from Bacolod and you don’t have to hike all day to get the most of the beauty of the great outdoors. It’s a great way to spend half a day without devoting the entire day out on the trail so you can spend a bit more time out exploring the natural attractions of the nearby highland town Don Salvador Benedicto. Check out this article for the interesting places and attractions in Don Salvador Benedicto that you might want to include in your itinerary. I will definitely go back to this beautiful mountain. 

   Anyway, whatever you choose to do, just enjoy the time you spend together with your loved ones even if your travel time is limited to a mere day trip. Happy Travels! 

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