My Alicia Hills Journey (II): The First Hike

Written by Czarina Platino. Preface, introduction and table of contents here.

November of 2016. Tita Gode (Local Tourism Officer) a good friend of mine, asked me if I was able to hike and see the top of the “Binabaje hills” (the old name) because the top overlooks a Batanes-like view. Hailed as the first tourist destination of Alicia, I was very intrigued and interested. Right away, in the weekend I went with my younger brother without ample expectations in mind.

As early as 5:30 in the morning we started the hike to evade the direct sunlight and dehydration. Riding my brother’s motorbike we reached “Manong Nitong’s” house where we started the hike.

We chose “Trail A”, the longest trail out of the three established paths, and start walking. The weather was perfect and no signs of rain announced a great day for the adventure. After a few minutes, we walked through a mass of tall “cogon” grasses gradually illuminated by the rising sun.  A scenic dawn of the mountains gradually revealing its contour.

the first hike 2

As we progressed, we took an ascending dirt path and I stopped to catch my breath and to wait for my younger brother from a distance. And wow! the overlooking view caught my eyes with a very scenic landscape that reaches the small man-made lake of Cambugsay Healing Hills in San Pascual, Ubay, Bohol. Totally a treat! It took my breath away.

Its volcanic origin gives the mountain a very picturesque unique bare beauty. The landscape is volcanic in origin with poorly developed soil and is also acidic. That is why it is mostly dominated by cogon grasses that blanket everything in green.

first hike 3

We carried on.  I was anxiously looking at the very steep trail in front of me, asking my brother if we were near the peak.  Reassuringly my brother shouted back that we were.

I was panting as an amazing surreal view met my eyes. I could not believe what I saw – especially in one of the most remote barangays of Alicia, my humble hometown. I was definitely in awe! Everything what Tita Gode said was true. A precious gem and a beautiful landmark that Alicia should be proud of, bordering with the towns of Mabini and Ubay, and offering ocean views.

first hike 4.png

The landscape was epic! Everywhere I looked appeared beautiful and gorgeous. I don’t always see a very green place like this. Waking up very early with no breakfast at all was totally worth it!

first hike 5

Keep reading: She Called it Greenwood

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