Mt Mago: A Rainy Night Trek

I’ve been climbing mountains for quite a while now, but I haven’t experienced night trekking yet. Not until last July 2017 when we ventured, once again, for another last-minute trekking plans under the influence of caffeine. It so happened that it was one of our friends birthday week. We decided it to be a birthday climb in Mt. Mago. With less than a day of preparation, we adjourned and went home to pack up our necessary gears.

Mt. Mago
heading to Carmen, Cebu

The meet-up was at Cebu North Bus Terminal. I might have been a bit excited as I was the first one to arrive. We departed quite late already and the bus ride was quite long. We arrived in Carmen, Cebu where the jump-off for Mt. Mago is located. The weather wasn’t cooperative when we arrived. It really rained so hard causing quite a delay in our schedule.

Mt. Mago
at Carmen Public Market

Before we departed for the jump-off, we bought some of our supplies at the public market. As this was a birthday climb, we bought something special for the birthday celebrant. A cake shop was nearby and so we bought a small cake, enough to divide and sweeten our pallets. To make it more special, we brought a very light wine.

Heading to the jump-off area, one must endure a 30-minutes of habal-habal ride. Most of the habal-habal drivers stationed near the public market already know where the jump-off site for Mt. Mago is located. The ride isn’t a bore at all. There are tough road sections which adds thrill to the ride. The roadside scenery is also sure way to fend off the boredom. The sky was rainy that time, so the sun’s heat was never a problem. But that does not exempt us from an unfortunate event. The motorcycle we took suddenly gave up after several ascends. We were left in the middle of the road while the rain poured heavily. After several attempts of fixing, thank goodness, the motorcycle went okay.

We arrived at the jump-off work late already, it was almost 5 in the afternoon. We took a quick rest from the stressful ride before starting our trek towards the campsite. Usually, a registration is required for the climbers at the jump off site, but we found none. Maybe because it was already late.

It was already twilight when we started our trek.

Mt. Mago
the muddy trail prior the first ascent

The trek did not take so long regardless of us forgetting or headlamps and only relying on the power of our phone’s flashlights.

Mt. Mago
first rest stop

I guess we were able to reach our campsite in less than 2 hours. If not for the visibility issues, we could have achieved it in just an hour. The trek was actually easy. No major step ascents except for the last assault to the campsite.

Before anything else, we looked for a spot to pitch our tent. Still early in the evening but it was already too dark. We immediately prepared and took our dinner right after we pitched our tents. No other camper was present that night. We fend off the cold night by playing simple yet fun games. It was so fun that we did not notice the time. T’was already near midnight when we called it a day.

Early morning and the dews were still dripping from the grass leaves as if racing before the first ray of sunlight peeks from the horizon.

Mt. Mago
early morning at the campsite of Mt. Mago

Slowly, we crept outside from our deep slumber and stretched every limb to flick the cold away. The birthday celebration is not over yet.

Mt. Mago
breakfast preparation

We prepared another set of special foods for our breakfast. To top it off, we added simple balloons, party hats, and sprinkling candles.

Mt. Mago
our birthday meal for the day
Mt. Mago
Happy Birthday Angel Ace!

Of course, we observed LNT. We had a small celebration before breaking our camp.

We have to break camp before the sun gets searing hot.

Mt. Mago
break camp
Mt. Mago
always bring your trash with you. Leave No Trace.

Mt. Mago

Mt. Mago has an open trail of plain green grass, so you’re really exposed to direct sunlight once the sun peaks. We made several stops for a breather and to take several photos.

Mt. Mago

Our pacing wasn’t fast at all but we made it back to the jump-off area before noon. What can really drain climbers down is the heat of the sun.

Mt. Mago

Enough water for hydration really is a must when trekking Mt. Mago, especially during sunny days. That is why Mt. Mago is best trekked during late in the afternoon or during non-sunny days.

Before heading to the main highway, we did a little side trip at the nearby cold spring just to wash-off the dirt and sweat.

Mt. Mago

Mt. Mago
spring’s pool

We still have plenty of leftover foods which served as our lunch before heading back to the main highway. It was already early in the afternoon when we departed Carmen, and arrived at around 5pm in the afternoon in Cebu City.

Mt. Mago
heading back to the main highway

Sample Itinerary:

12:00   Meet-up at Cebu North Bus Terminal

13:30   Depart for Carmen, Cebu

15:00   ETA Arrival at Carmen Public Market

16:00   ETA Departure for Mt. Mago jump-off area

16:30   ETA start trek to the campsite

18:00   ETA Arrival at the campsite (buffer time due to visibility issue during night treks)


Without humans, mother nature can live on. Without mother nature, humans cannot exist.

Leave No Trace.

Leave Nothing but Footprints, Take Nothing but Photos, and Kill Nothing but Time.

What you bring, take it back with you.

Dispose waste properly.

Leave what you find.

Respect wildlife.

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