Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mt. Everest, who says the quote,“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”, understood the inner challenges that all too often prevent us from reaching our goals in life. I understood this after reaching Mt. Danao Sergio Osmeña.
When I went on my first hiking trip in Cebu City, it’s something that I have never seen myself to be doing in the long run. Back then, I was driven into the world of club partying, socializing with people who has eventually forgotten me, and I was busy becoming the city girl I thought that would fulfill myself. That hike was merely a requirement to pass a subject when I was an airline management student. Although, I have to admit that it was one of my most favorite memory as a student.
9 years later, in a middle of a pandemic, I was able to hike again. No! It’s not the willingness that swayed me to do it but it’s because of pure boredom and doing what’s on trend. Besides, there’s nothing else to do. Everyone was posting photos about hiking and conquering mountain peaks. And Mount Danao is one of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes in Zamboanga del Norte. The view and the length of the ridges, even in photographs but most especially in person, is just simply amazing!
Being stuck in my home province when I was supposed to start my journey away from home was so frustrating. Little did I know, my growing love with nature has become a way into finding one of my life’s purpose, experiencing the real happiness that I thought I would find somewhere else, being able to find another dream, and finally conquering myself.
How To Get To Mt. Danao, Sergio Osmeña
Sergio Osmeña is a second class municipality of Zamboanga del Norte. People calls it the Little Baguio of the province because of its cold breeze of weather on some of the high grounds of the municipality. As a mountainous area, one of its attraction is the Mt. Gumok which is famous for its name Mount Danao because it is situated in Barangay Danao, Sergio Osmeña.
- By Bus. With everyday trip of transportation bus, go to the Dipolog Integrated Terminal and take a rural bus going to San Juan. You stop in the bus terminal station of Sergio Osmeña. From there, rent a habal-habal ride that will take you to Barangay Danao, on the base of the mountain where the trek starts.
- By Private Vehicle. This is way more convenient since it’s a one and a half hour travel. No need to worry, locals are kind enough to lead you the way. Just ask nicely where to take turns.
I went there with my brother and cousins on a private vehicle. It was a nice, wonderful day for a roadtrip as well. Witnessing the sunrise along the way as it peeks through the high mountains is such a beautiful thing to see in the morning. Best thing though is enjoying a cup of coffee while hitting the road.
The Trek To Mt. Danao
Hours/Minutes to Summit: 1 hour to 20 minutes (The longer route is almost 2 hours)
Difficulty of Trail: 4/9
Best Time To Hike: Early Morning (6:00AM)
We arrived at around 7AM. With full of energy and determination, we started to trek right away. The fog as we hiked along the rocky road going to the mountain is one of the things I live for. It was such a beautiful sight!
First 30 minutes was pretty easy because the view helped to distract us. It’s what pushes us further. Not knowing where to turn, a local advised us to go right instead of left as he said that the left route is very steep. Human as we are, we chose comfort than risk.
Over an hour passed of walking, we didn’t even know if it’s already halfway point after we turned right. I started to feel the burn in my legs and remember that it was supposed to be just an hour hike to the summit. But it’s passed an hour already! And we haven’t seen the welcome arc yet that says “Welcome to Mt. Danao” like what we have seen in a lot of photos.
“How much further?”, I keep on asking myself and my answer always came like,”Just over the next corner and that’s it!” LOL! My two personalities were getting crazy!
Two hours later, we reached a shed that which we believed was a mark that we have arrived to our destination.
Mt. Danao View
Even before reaching the summit, the view is already breathtaking. My knees were refusing to take more steps but I pushed it further because seeing the view, I was more curious to see how it looks like on top.
I was beyond mesmerized to see the long stretch and waves of ridges! This is what I came here for— the view. I already expected it to be beautiful but I didn’t know that it’ll be more exhilarating when you’re finally up there.
And I thought, this is the world that I almost replaced with a makeshift lifestyle. This is my home. I can’t even start to explain the feeling of disbelief that this is in my home province.
I am not going to lie I had some reservations before I was determined to make hiking a new hobby. People who have been on a summit would say that it’s easy and not even challenging. But remember that it’s always going to be a different experience for you compared to mine and others. Travel guides that you read online even on this blog is just a mere guide. It doesn’t speak for yourself. I don’t speak on behalf of you. So, go out there and see it for yourself.