Huffing Thru Hibok-hibok
March 15, 2014 Leave a comment
Mt. Hibok-Hibok is a popular hiking destination in the small island of Camiguin in Misamis Oriental, Philippines. Also known as Mt. Catarman, volcanologists classify it as a stratovolcano and dome complex with an elevation of 1,332MASL and a base diameter of 10 kilometers.
The ascent to Mt. Hibok-hibok is usually approached via Tagdao near Ardent Spring; however, since we’re just doing a day trek, the Yumbing jump off in Mambajao was suggested. Depending on our pace, the trek to Ilihan crater lake, site of the 1950s eruption–our guide briefed us–takes about 3 to 4 hours, then another hour or so and we’ll be in the summit with the view of the nearby White Island, Bohol to the north, Eastern Mindanao to the east and the island of Siquijor to the west.
When our trek guide told us that it’s an easy hike with “gradual” ascents, I took his word for it… barely 30 minutes into the hike [we started at 6AM], huffing and puffing, my mind was already screaming: What the f*** have I gotten myself into this time?!?!?!?!
Stopping by the first AND ONLY water source, a natural mountain spring, I reassessed my situation: GO or NO GO. Some of the younger people in our group had already decided to turn back and spend the day in the comfort of the soft, sandy beach of White Island. Having been there the previous afternoon, images of its pristine water and calm ambiance seemed tempting… but nah, imma finish what I came here for: summit Hibok-hibok… and I’m glad I didn’t chicken out…
Marveling at the diverse tableau of flowers and mushrooms and mosses, I have totally forgotten about my earlier rantings at how difficult the climb turned out to be. Please feel free to identify these for me, teeheehee…
… sadly, Lady Luck was not on our side that day. Reaching Ilihan crater lake a little past 9AM, visibility was close to zero. We couldn’t make out even the outline of the lake! Sad… but whaddaheck!
With conditions turning from bad to worse, and a slight drizzle beginning, our guide advised us to forgo going to the summit–which we acceded to heartily! As some of us began the long trek down, myself included, the fog momentarily lifted, affording those who lingered a peek of the crater lake:
Well, blessed are those who wait, indeed! Next time, this is what I will capture: