The municipality of Alegria, Cebu is probably the most unassuming and perhaps counts as one of the most laid-back towns in the province. Little does the average Cebu traveler know that a collection of little-known tourist attractions abound throughout this picturesque, south coastal province.
If you are of the mountaineering/climbing persuasion, Mt. Lanaya might be of great interest to you. The mountain is part of the Lanaya-Kangbulagsing mountain range that is periodically dotted by hot springs of volcanic origin. The mountain proper itself is actually quite accessible, as it resides just a few hundred meters south of the main poblacion of Alegria.
Mt. Lanaya sits at around 700 meters above sea level (masl), a lofty height for Cebu's low lying mountains. We presume 700 meters isn't too much of a challenge for experienced climbers. Yet one of its trails, the Legaspi trail, requires one to be in very good physical and mental condition to actually pass through it.
The trail is quite straightforward in nature. Yet the trail invites danger even from its few starting meters from the base of the mountain. Loose rocks dot the landscape and makes ascent very difficult for those mentally unprepared. Climbing up two steps while sliding down one step is quite normal, as struggling to grab bush roots to hold on to or sink your feet into large rocks are the norms. Mountaineers have to bring ropes to aid the entire group.
The trail is unforgiving. There are no comforting descents for the weary mountaineer, let alone large open spaces for sprawling out. The trail is punctuated by 60/70/80-degree inclines for most of the time. At the last 20% of the trail, there is a 90-degree rock obstacle from which no degree of climbing error should be made, unless one wants to fall into the green ravine below. From then on, the climber can go out of the tree line and into the summit area for a spectacular view of the Tañon Strait and the surrounding mountains.
Of course, you shouldn’t miss Mt. Lanaya’s highest point: Kalo2x Peak. From there, the mountaineer can take a glimpse of Osmeña Peak from the north, Mt. Kanlaon from the northwest in Negros Island, and Mt. Talinis located at the south of Negros. There is a small clearing at the base of the summit area which can be used as a campsite. Water is not readily available anywhere near the peak, which is why guides should be hired to fetch water from a relatively distant source. Or one could bring lots of water to spare.
Mt. Lanaya is just one of the many tourist attractions in Alegria for the hardcore traveler. There are also hot springs, waterfalls, and dozens of beaches found around the municipality if you wish to spend more time there.
How to get there:
1) Cebu South Bus Terminal -> board for Bato, Samboan, or any bus going southwest
2) Alegria town proper -> get off at the bridge just south of the town proper
3) Register your climb with the Alegria tourism
Location: Cebu (south)
Entry point: poblacion Alegria (highway)
Exit point: Brgy. Lumpan
LLA: 9°42'N, 123°21'E
Elevation: 700+/- meters above sea level (MASL)
Days required / Hours to summit: 2-3 hours competitive pace, 5-7 hours relaxed pace
Trail class: 4