Tag Archives: Panay island

Majestic Madja-as

Date: April 22 – 23, 2016

Intro(from Culasi tourism flyer): Mt. Madja-as is 2,117 meters above sea level and is the highest mountain in Panay. The summit is approximately 137 degrees inclination. It has 14 waterfalls cascading down its slopes. Trekking to the summit is a 15-km stony trail, leading to a dry river bed.


Since 2015 I was dreaming of climbing Mt. Madja-as. back then, I was so excited that this is a mountain only explored by a few mountaineers and the fact that this is the highest in the island of Panay.

After a few days of research, I was able to plan my trip, budget and who to contact for the climb. I also filed a two (2) vacation leaves to make sure I can cover the itinerary.

Since I am traveling from Cebu, the cheapest entry point for me is Iloilo via sea travel. I got boarded to Cokaliong shipping, left Cebu April 20 at 6pm and arrived 6am in Iloilo the next morning. Yes, that’s 12 hours travel.

When I arrived in Iloilo, I almost forgot that the dialect there is no longer Cebuano, It’s Ilonggo. So I communicated using tagalog, english and cebuano. My initial goal is to go to terminal that will bring me to the municipality of Culasi, Antique. But maybe because the driver did not get what I mean, I reached Jaro, Iloilo! When I arrived in Jaro, I asked locals how can I get to Culasi, then they told me that I need to get back to the city proper, drop in the stop light and ride a jeep again going to Villa, tell the driver to drop me off in Ceres terminal. Β In short, I was able to catch the 7:15 trip from Iloilo to Culasi.

sirJohn Sumanting

Sir John Sumanting, Culasi Tourism officer

Five(5) hours later, I was in the tourism office of Culasi where I met sir John personally. We talked about mountaineering topics, Cebu, and everything about Mt. Madja-as while waiting for the guide that they assigned for me. After securing / signing permits, the daughter of Jushue(guide) assisted me in getting a habal-habal going to Brgy. Flores which will be my point of entry.

When I arrived at Brgy. Flores, I logged my name in the Brgy. hall as a security requirement. It was around 4pm when Jushue arrived from the farm. I discuss with him my plan, my mountain experience, because he need it toΒ evaluate me if what trail and how many days it would take. He told me it is not advisable to climb by now (4pm) since it is still too hot for us to get into the trail and we will not make it to camp 1.

So the Plan is:

  1. Complete Flores – Alojipan trail in 3 days.
  2. We will start our trek the next day (April 22) at 5 am.
  3. Trek and climb straight to Camp 3 where we are going to spend our first night.
  4. Trek and climb again from 5 am next day(April 23)to Summit then go straight to Alojipan camp 1 so we can spend the night there.
  5. In the morning of April 24, we will trek again to Brgy. Alojipan.

And then I said, I am planning to visit Malalison island, do you think I can still make it? Jushue told me that if we climb/trek faster, we can try to finish the traverse in 2 days. But it will be the first time in his guiding experience to do that. So I told him, we’ll see tomorrow if we can proceed with the 2 days target.

Jushue and his family are so hospitable, they made my stay in their home comfortable and made sure that I had enough food and rest during the night.


Our simple dinner at Jushue’s family table

The next day, we woke up around 4:30 am, had a quick coffee and breakfast and checked our packs to make sure we’re ready. We left Jushue’s house by 5 am. It was a really good morning and it seems that it will be a very hot day. I am pacing smoothly and made sure that I am enjoying the beautiful surrounding of the trail.


Malalison island as seen in Flores trail

After 4 hours, we were able to reached camp 1. Had our coffee break, I also had a chance to enjoy taking a bath to cold river. The bath recharged me. From there, Jushue told me that he think, we can make it to 2 days. So I can visit Malalison island.


camp 1. coffee break and river bath

So after an hour break at camp 1, we decided to continue our climb. our target is to reach camp 3 by 3 in the afternoon. I must admit that the trail to camp 3 is one of the difficult trail I ever experienced, but also one of the most beautiful in terms of view, flora, scenery and the dense trees in the forest.


Beautiful and challenging trail to camp 3

By 12noon, we reached Libug falls and took our lunch.


Libug falls

By 1 pm we continue the climb again going to camp 3


We found this beautiful wild orchid in the trail


Our last break before camp 3

By around 3 pm, we reached camp 3. prepare our tent. and good news, Jushue were able to catch eel from camp 3 water source.


Dinner is ready

I decided to rest around 5 pm. I was really tired. The next morning, we had a quick coffee, cooked rice for breakfast at the summit and then we started climbing again. I am now excited as this is the day that I will reach the summit of Mt. Madja-as!


Before reaching the first peak

Jushue told me that Mt. Madja-as have two peaks, False and True peaks. By 8 am, we reached the summit. Again, I was so lucky to have a clear sky during the time we reached the summit as they say that it is very rare for the climbers to have a clear sky on their climb to the summit

Please allow me to share some of my photo at the summit


summit 2

summit 3.jpeg

Summit 4.jpeg

As planned, we were able to reach Brgy. Alojipan by 4 pm of April 23. 2 days, 20 hours of rigorous trek and climb. I would honestly admit that Mt. Madja-as is one of the toughest trail I ever experienced. In fact, I was not able to go to Malalison island since I was so exhausted and got fever after I logged my name out in Brgy. Alojipan.

Again, I would like to thank Jushue for keeping our climb safe. and also to his dog Jackie for keeping us company and helped us secure the trail from snakes πŸ™‚


Jushue Alejo, my great Mt. Madja-as guide


Jackie, the dog

I hope you add Mt. Madja-as in your bucket list.

But please don’t forget.. Leave No TraceΒ  ^_^



Cebu – Iloilo : 880.00 (tourist)

Iloilo – Culasi: 200.00 (Ceres)

Permit: 150 per day

Guide: 450 per day

Person to contact: John Sumanting (Tourism officer) , 0916-324-5068 / 0947-587-3067

Here is my original itinerary for Mt. Madja-as climb.

Mt. Madjaas
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Alojipan, Culasi
Elevation: 2177m
Days required to summit: 3-4 days
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 8/9, Trail class 1-4
Features: Open slopes, Mossy forest, Waterfalls, Highest Point

DAY 0 (April 20, Wednesday)
05:00 PM – Assembly at Pier 1 (TransAsia shipping) 885(tourist)
06:00 PM – ETD Cebu City

DAY 1 (April 21, Thursday)
0700H – ETA Iloilo City
0730H – ETD Iloilo City Van/Bus Terminal
1030H – ETA Culasi, Antique (Last Minute Shopping and Buy Food for Lunch)
1100H – Drop by Culasi Municipal Hall and Secure Permit from Mayor’s Office (Login at PNP Station)
1130H – ETD Culasi Town Proper (Via Habal-habal)
1200H – ETA Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff (Lunch and Meet Up with Guides and Barangay Officials and Gear Check)
1300H – Start Trek to Hangud Tubi Campsite
1900H – ETA Hangud Tubi Campsite (Dinner)
2100H – Socials
2130H – Lights Off!

DAY 2 (April 22, Friday)
0400H – Wake Up Call! (Prepare Breakfast and Packed Lunch)
0500H – Breakfast
0600H – Break Camp and Water Refill
0630H – Start Trek to Boundary Campsite
1230H – ETA Boundary Campsite (Lunch and Rest)
1400H – Start Ascend to Summit
1500H – ETA Mt. Madjaas Summit (Explore and Take Pictures)
1600H – Start Descend Back to Boundary Campsite
1700H – ETA Boundary Campsite (Prepare Dinner)
1800H – Dinner, Socials and Mountain Juice
2000H – Lights Off!

DAY 3 (April 23, Saturday)
0400H – Wake Up Call! (Prepare Breakfast and Packed Lunch)
0500H – Breakfast
0600H – Break Camp and Water Refill
0630H – Start Descend Back to Hangud Tubi Campsite
1200H – Lunch, Rest and Water Refill
1300H – Start Descend Back to Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff
1900H – ETA Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff
1930H – ETD Brgy. Alojipan (Via Habal-habal)
2000H – ETA Culasi Town Proper and Logout (PNP Station)

DAY 4 (April 24, Sunday)
6pm Iloilo to Cebu

If you want to see more photos of my Mt. Madja-as climb, click here



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