I knew there was more to Dipolog than its baywalk, sardines, and cheap seafood. So, on my fifth visit, I asked around and the locals pointed me to Linabo peak. They also talked about Baga Falls in Poblacion, Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental, an adjacent province, and a white and powdery sand-beach farther inside Misamis Occidental.
Linabo Peak is famous for repentant people, as my driver told me. You don’t go up there when you have nothing to repent. So, why am I going up there, he asked. I said perhaps I have something to repent.
So every step, I remembered my sinful pleasures and left them there.
Linabo mountain is a 15-30-minute drive away from Dipolog. The sign says it has 3,003 steps. The steps are made of concrete with railings on either side. Signs are put on the stairs after every hundred steps. After 2,300 steps the signs have stopped. Along the way, until about 2,000 steps are the 14 stations of the cross.
Linabo mountain is planted with coconut ang mahogany trees. There’s not much you can see except the bark and leaves of carefully lined mahogany trees punctuated by coconut trees.
After the 14th station of the cross is a community. And in the middle of that community is the Linabo Elementary School.
Few more hundred steps and there was a clearing where I could see the vast tracks of land, a river, the sea and an island on the right.The last hundred or so steps were carved in stone. And at the peak is… a cell antenna. Just below the peak is a boulder. From the boulder I could view the other side opposite the sea, vast tracks of green land that disappears in the horizon where the gods must have painted the outlines of far away mountains. It took me about an hour and 15 minutes to reach the peak. And an hour to get back to the high way.
I spent P400 for habal-habal ride from my hotel to the foot of Mt. Linabo and back.
Tip: Bring trail food and water. The sari-sari store across the street from the entrance only has Hansel and crackers and the water is of course twice the regular price.