This is not my story, I would just like to share a story from concerned citizen/climber enthusiast that everyone should be aware of.
Last Saturday, September 6, 2014, we have reserved 20 slots for the Mt. Lanaya day hike via Barangay Legaspi Trail with some friends from Luzon and Mindanao, with the aim to help promote Mt. Lanaya as one of the Mountain Climbing destinations here in Cebu. Upon booking, we were not informed of any updates on the Hike fee that is being imposed by the LGU. With this, we expected that we will only be paying Php10.00 for the hike fee, just like how much we were charged before. Also, we expected that we will be assigned with some guides, expecting to pay them for only Php200.00 each – the same with what we paid few months ago.
Unfortunately, we were only shocked to know that we were obliged to pay Php50.00 for the hike fee and Php500.00 for each guide, requiring us to have 1 guide for every 5 guests/hikers, upon arriving and registering our names at the Barangay Legaspi trail entry. We were required to pay Php2,850.00 for the total of 19 participants which includes the hike fee and 4 guides.
Upon agreeing to pay the said amount, we asked for an official receipt; however, they only provided us with an acknowledgement receipt, saying that the Municipality is still working on an Ordinance to make things official and that they are still trying to produce the official receipts; and that these new fees has been implemented only since “last month”.
At first, we were very optimistic to promote the area and help the locals. But all the inspirations expired when along the hike, we have noticed that only 1 out of the 4 guides (named Ian, who was in the head group) was able to see which trail to follow towards the peak of Lanaya. It became so annoying to us that the 3 guides who were assigned to lead the middle group and the tail group kept CALLING Ian saying lines like “Ian, huwata mi” or “Ian, asa na mo dapit?”, or “Ian, ayaw lang kaayo palayo”. Instead of hearing the sounds of nature, which is one of the purpose of climbing mountains, we were dismayed to hear such calls from the guides whom we paid to help us were not first timers in Mt. Lanaya. We were wondering why and how they became accredited guides when they do not know the trails and were even afraid to be left alone with the group; not to mention that they were almost lost in the woods, unable to find the final trail towards the peak. Worst, the guide who was with us in the head pack/group did not even bother to go back to the trail and help the rest of the guides find their way.
I am writing this letter (to Department of Tourism - Region VII) NOT to scold anyone of file a complain. I just simply want to help you. I love the trails and the view of Mt. Lanaya and I am very saddened with this situation, worst to the point, that I cannot anymore suggest this trip to my friends here in Cebu nor from other places in the country. I will not do any recommendations to anyone who will ask me about Mt. Lanaya; not until you will fix this problem. And I am very much willing to help you.
The concerned citizen was right, in order to make things better and to make Mt. Lanaya be attractive to hikers/climbers; if the local ordinance is already approved and to be implemented, they should provide all the details to anyone and make sure that all fees, regulations, etc. has been relayed to the inquirer and should be posted in front of the Barangay Hall of Legaspi.
Official Receipts (current Official Receipt of the Municipality) must be issued as mandated by law.
It is very important that all accredited guides have undergone TECHNICAL training about hiking (which includes trail and camp management, trail etiquette, etc.), emergency response, ropemanship, sanitation (which includes proper garbage disposal), security and safety.
Thank you Ma'am for sharing this information that everyone should know. We are hoping that the Department of Tourism - Region VII will conduct an investigation regarding this matter and hoping for a positive response as soon as possible.