Mt. Bandilaan National Park

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Post image for Mt. Bandilaan National Park

Header Image By Brennan Mercado

A walk and plunge in the beach is rejuvenating and going up a mountain can be exhausting. But if you’re told that this mountain is worth the climb both along the way and at its very top, would you take the journey? You should, having ‘no’ for an answer is certainly not the best option. Climbing Mt. Bandilaan in the Island of Siquijor is like a trip to sky alongside the bounty nature has to offer. Get your gear set!

LOCATION:

Cantabon, Siquijor

HOW TO GET THERE:

Mt. Bandilaan lies in the center of Siquijor. To get to Siquijor, you need to take a plane from Manila to Dumaguete (the best route by far) and a ferry ride from Dumaguete to Siquijor. From here, we take Lazi town as our starting point. There are vehicles such jeepneys and motorbikes (or “habal-habal” as the locals call it) that can take you to the Mt. Bandilaan National Park.  Travel time may take about forty 40 minutes to 1 hour since there are some parts of the road that haven’t been developed and are covered with lime stones.

THE ATTRACTION:

From the foot of the mountain, the first notice its height. Mt. Bandilaan is 1,394 feet high and is 557 feet above the sea level. It is known to be the highest peak in the island and has often been compared to Mt. Mayon, having an almost perfect cone shape. The terrain is just naturally aesthetic. The springs (yes, five of them to be specific) and rivers flowing at its foot give you a rejuvenating feel that anytime just wanted to throw yourself in. Moreover, vegetable gardens grow around the whole park thereby giving the tourists refreshingly dirt-free air.

Image By: Storm Crypt

WHAT YOU CAN DO THERE:

Most people trek and explore the caves. But they make sure not to miss the lighter part of the journey– experience nature’s bliss with the endearing flora and fauna the park boasts of. Many fancy the colourful array of butterflies that thrive in its sanctuary, otherwise known as the Bandilaan Butterfly Range and Breeding Farm. And they continue their way up to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. Along the way at certain points, you pass by the Stations of the Cross.

Image By: Storm Crypt

Going up further will lead to you the 13th and last station. And if you got yourself extra energy, you might want to make the most by climbing some more towards the Metal Observatory Desk that beholds the breathtaking view of the whole Siquijor island. Hikers need not worry though since there are also a few stores along the way that sell cold drinks and crackers to keep you going.

Image By: Storm Crypt

When you’re done with your itinerary, you shouldn’t leave the place without buying some ‘magic’ stuff. Yes, amulets, potions, charms, oils and the like are being sold in the park. Locals believe these things provide you shield from evil forces as well as cure you of your diseases. Siquijor locals are known to be experts at concocting such, accompanied by rituals only they can utter.

Now, you have an assurance that visiting mountains can be a lot of fun.

Wanna visit Mt. Bandilaan National Park?


IMAGE CREDITS:

Storm Crypt under CC by-nc-nd 2.0

Brennan Mercado under CC by-nc-nd 2.0

SOURCES:

http://www.lawstude.net/2007/11/mount-bandilaan-nature-park.html

http://www.dumagueteinfo.com/mount-bandilaan.php

http://sexynomad.i.ph/blogs/sexynomad/2009/02/23/siquijor-mt-bandilaan-peak-haunted-house-tulapos-marine-sanctuary/

http://www.pueblophilippines.com/mt-bandilaan-national-park

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