Travel Diary: The Reality of Paminahawa Ridge Bukidnon

Bukidnon is known for its beautiful mountains and greenery landscapes and one of the best attractions of Bukidnon is the Paminahawa ridge in Impasug-ong Bukidnon. It has already been visited by the tourist locals and foreigners even the famous Filipina actress Angel Locsin. However, is it worth it?

It has always been my dream to experience mountain climbing and hiking, do camping at the top of the mountain and waking up in front of the nature, my adventurous spirit pushed me to go out of my comfort zone and decided to hike and climb up to Paminahawa ridge. Hiking and climbing up to the mountain ridge takes 3 - 4  hours for the beginners, you need to register first at Ant Farm. Ant Farm will provide you a local guide and some types of equipment that you need. You can do Day hike or camp overnight in the camping ground of Paminahawa ridge, you just have to pay a registration fee for 300 Php per person for Day hike, but if you do overnight camp aside from 300 Php per person for registration you have to pay  another 300 Php for the group, you can divide the additional 300 Php with your friends. You have to contact the Ant Farm 2 days before your plan to hike up to the mountain because they will arrange the guide for you and they can assist you where you can meet the Ant Farm staff and they can also answer your questions. Furthermore, they might not respond to your inquiry immediately, better to call them. You can visit their Facebook Page HERE or contact them at +63 936 861 1326

When you say Paminahawa Ridge the only thing you see in social media is the magnificent view of the mountains, the sea of clouds and the amazing color of the landscape up in the ridge. If you will ask the people who already went up to Paminahawa ridge about their experience hiking and climbing up the mountain, 99% of them will say "it's okay", "it's easy", "you can do it" or in Bisaya language "Kaya raman, okay lang, dali raman". But honestly? half of what they say is not true especially if you are a beginner or no experience at all with trekking, hiking, and mountain climbing, like me. Before we hike up to Paminahawa ridge, I already did my research and asked a lot of people I knew who already went there, and it seems like it's not easy but it's not difficult until the day comes and I realized my friends were not telling the truth, LOL!

Since me, my friend and her brother are going to sleep overnight in Paminahawa ridge, I need to prepare a tent and sleeping bags. Good thing my friend Kristine have a Tent and camping equipment for rent, she is based in Cagayan de Oro City, you can leave a message in her Facebook account HERE. The tent that I rented from her is good for 3 people for 180 Php for 2 days rent, however, base in my experience the tent that we rented can accommodate only 2 people. The sleeping bag was 80 Php each. They can deliver the tent and the sleeping bag to your address with an additional 20 Php for the delivery fee. I can totally say the tent and the sleeping bag are very reliable, the tent keeps us safe under the rain during our sleep at the camping ground and the sleeping bag keep us warm from the very cold weather and temperature.

If you do Day hike it is best recommended to be at the meeting point in Impasug-ong Bukidnon at 3:00 AM. Moreover, for overnight camping, it is best to be at the meeting point at 2 - 3:00 PM. The aunt of my friend knows the staff of the Ant farm so we did not make any reservations anymore and we go directly to Ant farm around 4:00 PM, it's quite late already because it was raining at that time and we waited for the rain to stop. We started our hike around 5:00 PM with a guide and the suspense story begins.

At first, the hike was easy it was just a plain road with the view of mountains and vegetable plants with an open area and fresh air. After 30 minutes of an easy hike, the struggle started. The pathway is so slippery and muddy while going down my shoes can't hold the slippery soil. The bamboo along the pathway where you can hold on while going down is honestly not reliable. Going down, I experienced grasping the bamboo with all my energy in order for me not to roll down and get an accident, I also slipped while going down, I crawl in the muddy soil and sorry to say I cursed a lot. It was honestly unexpected at all, I did not read or heard all about this struggle during my research. Were not yet in the middle of the hike, but it feels like I want to go home, but I did not. After a few hours of the same routine and struggle finally, we made it to the first resting station, it was totally a physical and emotional struggle of my life. Because it's already dark and we don't have complete equipment like hikers do, like flashlight and etc. we just rely on our phone's flashlight. After a few minutes of rest, we continued our journey, trying to breathe normally, I'm almost out of air because I'm so tired already. And I thought that it was the hardest struggle of my life, I was not informed that there is another ultimate struggle that I'm about to face, the hike up to the mountains. Imagine a vertical straight line, you have to hike up to to that vertical straight line without anything to hold on while hiking up. You just have to put all your trust to your shoes that it will not slip going down, you have to control your breathing, you need to hike up fast because once you slow down and stop you will get out of balance and fall down, and during this moment I find myself a survivor. It sounds funny but for me its a matter of life and death, if I made a mistake, I will fall down and might get a terrible accident in the middle of nowhere. During this moment I experienced and realize that I can go beyond my limits and push myself to go up and hike up or stop and regret what comes next. This is also the moment where I realize to myself that I'm definitely a strong, independent woman with God's guidance. That experience of struggling is worth it because without it I will never know that I am a strong woman in mind, body, and soul. We finished the trek maybe around 3- 4 hours and arrived at the top of the Paminahawa ridge camping ground around 9:00 PM. We are all tired, good thing our guide helped us to build our tent. Our dinner was a roasted chicken and cooked rice we shared it with our guide. 

By the way, loves, we are the only people at the top of the ridge. During 12 midnight the rain comes, good thing our tent was able to keep us safe and dry. Unfortunately, the next day we are unable to witness the sea of clouds, I'm not sure why there is no sea of clouds maybe because it rained. However, we witnessed how beautiful and amazing the mountain view is, words are not enough to describe how magnificent the mountains are. It looks like a painting with a lush green color. It was so cold but it never bothers us. We took photos and just stare at the lovely view for an hour and keep our tent and sleeping bags. We decided not to hike back to Ant Farm anymore because we are in a hurry to catch a flight in Cagayan de Oro City. There are motorbikes down the camping ground that will send you to Ant farm for 20 - 30 minutes for 300 Php per person, but we manage to haggle 150 Php per person because we are the only people at the ridge. It was also a struggle riding a motorbike going down in the mountains, since its very muddy and a lot of big rocks. But the driver was already an expert with this kind of situation and reminded us not to panic. We did not panic, I just hold my breath for a second, LOL! praying that we will arrive in Ant Farm safe, and we did.

My experience with Paminahawa ridge proves that ITS ABOUT THE JOURNEY NOT THE DESTINATION, I love the view up in the mountain ridge but the journey was the highlight of everything. I hope my experience in Paminahawa ridge inspires you love to try also to go beyond your limit because you will discover that there is something more in you.

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