Trips - Cebu
Mt. Manunggal Climb

by Robert Gardner

Mt. Manunggal is a nondescript peak in a nondescript mountain range in central Cebu. What makes it special is that it was the location of a tragic plane crash in 1957 that took the life of the popular president Ramon Magsaysay. 

Fr. Miguel Bernad was the first climber to record a pilgrimmage to the site just ten months after the crash. Since then, it has become an annual event in mid-March that has grown in popularity with the sport of trekking.

As much an outdoor party as an adventure, the Manunggal trek is a reunion of sorts bringing together the many trekking clubs based in Cebu. 

I climbed Manunggal twice in the early 80's and maybe because of the passing of time or more likely because of how hard we partied, I can no longer recall the details of the climb. 

I do remember how soothing to a parched throat was a glass of the local refreshment, buko (coconut milk). Now there are Cebuanos out there reading this saying "You mean tuba (coconut wine), don't tou, Bob?". Yes, either one is great and the choice only depends on how much of the trip that you want to remember. 

I'll always remember this mountain as the place where I first met local climbers. In particular was a group of engineering students and graduates from the University of San Carlos who called themselves "Mountain Muscle". I joined them again later on a climb of a real mountain called Kanlaon.

I also met the Carpentero family of Mactan who sort of adopted me during the first trip. They made Cebu feel like home.

Check out my photos and join me on a virtual trek. For a more recent and eloquent description of the Manunggal trek, read Antoinette Go's interesting account. 

Take me back to Bundok's  Trips Page

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Related Links:

Central Cebu National Park Locator Map