Climbing Mount Cabuyao and Mount Yangbew (in one day!)
Climbing mountains have become one my latest hobbies, and it’s not that easy to climb a mountain, you know. So here’s a “simplified” Travel Guide in climbing Mount Cabuyao and Yangbew!
Mount Cabuyao has been a rockstar tourist spot in Tuba, Benguet when a popular primetime show shot their teleserye in what is popularly known as ‘Sitio La Presa.’ It was then a quiet neighborhood of simple vegetable farmers until tourists began to go there to experience what living on-top-of-a-mountain feels like.
Situated 2,025 meters (6,644 feet) above sea level, Sitio Pungayan had that skyrocket fame when it was renamed La Presa for a while.
Going back to the topic, from the Baguio Central Business District (their jeepney station is located near the former Bayanihan Hotel, now a popular ukay-ukay complex), travel time to the foot of Mount Cabuyao is around 20-30 minutes, depending on the traffic volume along Marcos (now, Ben Palispis) Highway. Regular fare until the Police Outpost at the foot of the mountain is at PhP 15.50 (might change without prior notice). From there, you have to pay an ‘Environmental Fee’ amounting to PhP 25.00. From there, too, you have the option to hike for two hours, or if you’re in a private car, you can reach the summit for about 30 minutes.
Upon reaching the main neighborhood, you will a wide variety of plantations, from cabbage to root crops, and other popularly known Benguet produce can be found there.
If you want to have some ‘add-on’ to your experience, you might want to dine at Café in the Sky, the most popular restaurant on the mountain. They serve breakfast, lunch, and late afternoon snacks. But personally, the experience here is quite disappointing because they serve ‘generic food.’ There is nothing ‘new’ and it is not the usual gourmet restaurant everybody is expecting. They serve the usual -silog meals, and other popular Filipino combos and some cakes and drinks found on a usual karinderya. (But as they say, it is the experience that counts! So be it.)
If the weather permits and when it is in good condition, you will see the whole of Baguio from their view deck, and if you’re lucky enough, you will get to see Mount Cabuyao’s own version of ‘sea of clouds.’ (But nothing beats the sea of clouds in Mount Pulag. Hahaha! Peace!)
The best time to go up the mountain is around 6-7 a.m. or 4-5 p.m. if you want to see the sunrise and the sunset.
Sitio La Presa
From Café in the Sky, if you want to visit “Sitio La Presa,” it can be reached 10-20 minutes by foot and 5 minutes via private car. You can easily know if you’re in that sitio if you see a string of souvenir shops. From those shops, you will have to walk about 5 minutes before reaching Agnes’ house and farm (plus the great view of the clouds and mountains!)
For commuters, there are jeepneys servicing the Mount Sto. Tomas-Baguio route for only PhP 25.00 and will drop you off to the same terminal as that of Green Valley-Baguio jeepneys. Travel time is around 45 minutes.
Mount Yangbew is one of the up-and-coming mountains-to-climb located in Barangay Tawang in La Trinidad, Benguet. With its staggering height, this fog-kissed mountain serves as one of the ‘training grounds’ of budding mountain climbers. With its rugged and steep terrain, you really have to wear appropriate foot gear for this climb.
To reach Mount Jumbo, you have to ride a Tomay-Baguio jeepney (its terminal is located in Magsaysay Avenue, near Baguio Centermall) and ask the driver to drop you off to Tawang Junction. Fare costs PhP 17.00. Travel time is about 30-45 minutes, depending on the traffic volume in La Trinidad proper. Along the way, you will see a sign going to Mount Kalugong (another ‘training ground’ mountain), and I will post about this when we get there and edit this itinerary in the future.
Upon reaching the Tawang Junction, ride a jeep from there to Mount Jumbo drop-off point. There are no signs pointing to the drop off so you have to tell the driver that you’re climbing to Mount Jumbo. He’ll drop you off at a steep concrete strip – that’s the way leading to Jumbo. You will reach the summit approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your trek pace. There are steep and slippery areas in the trails so you might as well have the appropriate climbing gear to protect you. There are also tall grasses surrounding the base of the mountain, which will make you itch, especially if you are irritable to such.
The mountain is also referred to as “Little Mount Pulag” because its summit is fog-kissed every now and then, especially in the early morning and late afternoon (when temperature usually drops). Mount “Jambo” or “Jumbo” used to be a place for Jamborees during the American era in the Philippines, in Benguet, hence the name, but locals thought it as “Yangbo”/”Yangbaw.”
|0800 – 0830||Travel time (Baguio City – Mount Cabuyao Drop off point)|
|0830 – 1030||Trek (from drop off point to summit)|
|0830 – 0900||(by private car / van)|
|1030 – 1130||Brunch (Café in the Sky)|
|1130 – 1200||Trek from Café in the Sky to “Sitio La Presa”|
|1200 – 1245||Mount Cabuyao Summit to Baguio City (via public jeepney)|
|1300 – 1330||Travel time (Baguio City – Tawang Junction)|
|1330 – 1400||Travel time (Tawang Junction – Mount Yangbew Drop off point)|
|1400 – 1530||Trek (from drop off point to summit)|
|1530 – 1700||Descent to drop off point|
|1700 – 1800||Travel Time (Tawang Junction – Baguio City)|
|Jeepney Ride (Baguio City – Mount Cabuyao Drop off point)||15.50|
|Brunch (Café in the Sky)||160.00|
|Jeepney Ride (Mount Cabuyao Summit – Baguio City)||25.00|
|Refreshments and snacks||35.00|
|Jeepney Ride (Baguio City – Tawang Junction) – round trip||34.00|
|Jeepney Ride (Tawang Junction – Mount Jumbo Drop off point) – round trip||17.00|
We’re born to travel!