Journal 3: Manunggal Trek

I joined the annual climb to one of Cebu’s high peaks, Mt. Manunggal, I think in 1995. The Manunggal trek comemmorates the death anniversary of then president Ramon Magsaysay, whose plane Mt. Pinatubo crashed on that peak, which is part of Balamban town, on March 17, 1957.

I had a long talk in last year’s edition of the trek with the young Balamban Councilor Dave Karamihan about the need to organize well the annual activity. He sought my inputs but he received them only after a formal meeting had already been held. Here’s Councilor Karamihan’s info on this year’s trek on March 17, 18 and 19:


We had a meeting with Balamban Mayor Alex Binghay, Capitol consultant Pablo John Garcia, Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival, representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the University of San Jose-Recoletos and various mountaineering groups last Feb 9. We basically covered what you just wrote, or at least most of it.

Your suggestion: The Manunggal Trek should have a theme and a direction. It should no longer be just a trek but to remember the death of Magsaysay. This is the reason for the proposal nga dunay museum about the Mt. Pinatubo crash in Manunggal (you can seek the help of the Cebuano Studies Center at the University of San Carlos on this. They can provide you with ideas and materials.)

My answer: Traditionally, it’s been the DENR that formulates the theme. This time, the mayor insists, as you have proposed, it should not be about President Magsaysay but something current. Gahunahuna pa mi unsa. As for the museum, this is a long term goal. We want to first promote Manunggal as an eco-tourism venue not only for mountaineers but for some picnic folks, as well. I know it’s a which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg argument but the funds for maintenance of a museum is still absent.

Your suggestion: As for the trek itself, it should be organized well. Preferably, dunay minimal registration of P50 ba kaha (you can collect this at the entry points (Tabunan, Kuros-kuros, Manunggal itself). To make sure nga way complaints, you should conduct an aggressive information drive especially in the media about this. Part of the registration fee should be used for the reading materials on the Pinatubo crash, information on Balamban, etc. plus maybe a certificate for every participant. Of course, transportation should be provided.

My answer: There will be a registration fee in the entry points upon signing up. Pablo John has committed for the transpo starting off at the Capitol. Our mayor has committed to have our bus available for non-trekkers to be taken to kuros-kuros. Certificates will be provided to all registered participants. There will be a lecture on basic mountaineering principles on SAturday of the Anniversary (MArch 18), adventure race, and some presentations in the evening. As for the media PR, we would need your help about this. We’ll certainly have some brochures about the crash and Balamban.

–from Councilor Dave John Binghay Karamihan

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