Mt. Capistrano Rocks!

Chilling at the Peak Rock of Mt. Capistrano
If I have to be brutally honest, mountain climbing is not my cup of tea. However, there's always room for me to try new things including those outside of my comfort zone. I just thought that if I'll join the bandwagon of mountain climbing, I may be able to conquer my fears and whatnot. Since I don't have any mountain climbers in my circle to mentor me about this hobby, I joined a group tour organized by Agatrip Adventures. The destination? Mt. Capistrano, a 610 meters high land form located in Sitio Binalbagan, Purok 9, Brgy. Simaya in Bukidnon.


Registration Area at Mt. Capistrano
Seeing that we all came from the South of Mindanao, we decided to travel by midnight. It took around 4 hours before we arrived in our destination. It was still dark when we arrived at 3 am at the registration area. Oblivious to my surroundings, I preferred to take a nap in the vehicle so I could gather my energy before we start to climb at 4 am. At the registration area, everybody was preparing (or not) for the assault. Good thing that the registration area, although small, has enough amenities to prepare for the climb. They have comfort rooms with entrance fee. You can also buy bottled water, or coffee, or if you need to do some stretching, you can do so at the small area in the front yard.

Before we started, our guides gave us some heads up about rules and regulations, the dos and donts, and everything we need to know about Mt. Capistrano. Headed by our tour organizer, Mr. Jelvin Agatep, we excitedly start the trek. At first, it was just an easy walk as we entered a small alley just a few meters away from the registration area. The alley led us to some sort of a cornfield. Still affected by El Nino, I didn't see any crops planted on the field, and although it was dark, I sensed that plants are dying already.


It was a short fun trek, until we reached a concrete staircase. Yes my friend, you read it right. A concrete staircase in a mountain trail. Although it's concrete, it's still difficult to climb because it's too steep. It helped that we started our climb at dawn, although it's dark, the air was cold and sweating was not a problem, until it was revealed that we are about to climb 300+ steps. I personally still enjoyed the steep climb. I was still joking, and talking and laughing at this stage.


A steep trail with a rope
When I finished the 300+ steps of concrete staircase, I was relieved a little bit, or just so I know. I just didn't know what's waiting ahead for all of us. I started questioning my decision of joining the trip when I saw that the next trail I have to conquer is a 180 degrees slope open trail with a rope. I didn't bring gloves because I didn't expect the rope, so I have to climb the trail with my bare hands.


Thankfully, my shenanigans with the rope was just short. With what we already experienced, I conditioned myself that there could be more challenging than the first two levels. However, I  felt so relieved when the dark started to subside and I can already see my surroundings. I found myself in the middle of the forest. I love forest, the smell of the trees, the sound of the crickets and the cool ambiance, who would not love that? But I was not there to do forest bathing, relax, enjoy and have some food in the basket. I was there to conquer the trail. My balancing skill was tested because the forest trail is quite slippery. Thanks to the twigs and roots of the trees, they're my savior against slippery and wet trail.


Struggling my way to the peak
As much as I was amazed by the wonders and beauty of the big rocks, I was also intimidated. I must say climbing from one rock to another was easy especially I have a good grip, but my problem was, I was aware that it was such a dangerous trail. The grip and grasp must be precise, or else, one single mistake will cause my dear life.


The breathtaking view of Bukidnon farmland from the rock peak
The last and final destination, the rocky peaks!!! The reward? The breathtaking view of the farmlands of the neighboring towns in the city of Bukidnon. And of course, the bragging right for conquering Mt. Capistrano.

The weather was not in our favor, so there's no sunrise and sea of clouds for us. However, I was contented with my experience and for the record, I was one of the first few people to arrived first at the peak. I realized I maybe lame and cowardice, but I am a fast climber, ahemmm... bragging aside. I don't know if you call it fast, but I made it to the top after more or less 2 hours including rest and picture taking.

Now, I am ready for my next climb, if there's still opportunity and strength and time, I must never say never.