The verdant views of Mount Agua Colonia in Iloilo had always enchanted me since my first visits to Bucari, Leon. I could only enjoy a view of its grassy slopes from afar back then. Fast forward to 2016, I finally joined a traverse climb of this enigmatic mountain with Iloilo-based Talahib Eco Family.

Our journey began with a side trip to the pine forest in Bucari, which has now become a popular tourist destination. I was quite surprised because just a year ago, it wasn’t as developed and crowded. Afterwards, we headed to nearby Brgy. Bobon, where the group donated educational kits to the local school kids. It was also where we spent the night, at Linaw Kataw Falls, and the jump-off point of our traverse climb of Mt. Agua Colonia.

The actual trek started with challenging steep trails on the talahib/cogon grass-covered mountainside. This is the part of the mountain that can be seen from Bucari.

As we passed the tree line, approaching the summit, Agua Colonia revealed her hidden beauty. The trail was not well marked at this point, so climbers can really appreciate the dense and relatively well-protected mossy forest. This part was quite challenging because of the unestablished trails through the forest undergrowth and steep climb over rock cliffs.

The views at the summit was well-worth all the effort. Agua Colonia has around four peaks with amazing views of rock formations, thick forest treetops, and Iloilo’s countrysides. One of the best parts of the trek was Bato Dungok, a very picturesque rock formation. It looks quite similar to the iconic parrot’s beak (rock peak) of Mt. Pico de Loro in Cavite.

The climbing event by Talahib Eco Family – Trekkers Runners Bikers was a tribute to the 15th-year anniversary of the founding members first climb that happened in Mount Agua Colonia.