Panimahawa Ridge under the moonlight and when the sun is rising is just breathtaking beyond words. Nothing compares to what you will behold when you reach the summit of the beauty that is called the Panimahawa Ridge.
I have long wanted to climb the ridge but it took me three years to finally realize the plan. I always planned to commute but I ended up driving three hours after lunch from Iligan City to Impasug-ong, Bukidnon for the starting point of this adventure.
We stopped over at McDonald’s and a convenience store in Cagayan de Oro City for snacks and to buy ourselves water and light dinner up the summit if we ever make it.
Here are some tips on what to do and prepare for your Panimahawa Ridge experience.
Time to Visit Panimahawa Ridge
I recommend trekking in the afternoon around 2 to 3 pm to catch the beautiful sunset from the top. You will have enough time to pitch your tent and rest under the beautiful moonlight.
Enjoy the scenery and sleep well before waking up early around 4 to 5 am to witness the beautiful sunrise before going down.
How to Go to Panimahawa Ridge
We used Googlemaps to guide us to Impalutao Elementary School where we turned left to park at Ant Farm Outdoors a couple of kilometers away from Sayre Highway.
You can also commute by riding a bus to Bukidnon or Davao from Agora Terminal in Cagayan de Oro City for around P150 per person. Confirm from the driver if you can be dropped off at Impalutao Elementary School as some buses have designated bus stops.
Panimahawa Ridge Address: Impasug-ong, Bukidnon
Who to Contact
We contacted Bob of Ant Farm Outdoors days before our trip through his mobile number, 09978013135, to confirm details and if we can camp overnight on our planned date.
You can also reach them through their page here.
Panimahawa Ridge Fee
A compulsory tour guide will be arranged for P300 per person with a minimum group fee of P1,500, i.e. if your group is less than five persons, your group has to pay P1,500.
Camping and Trekking Essentials
Never underestimate how a sturdy stick can help you stabilize your posture on the steep slopes. I was too confident to not need one until I found myself losing my balance on my own too often.
Good thing someone from another group chose to give up the hiking pole he bought at Ant Farm because he was struggling with the big sleeping mat he was carrying. I was so grateful and I used it immediately!
Buy one for yourself before starting your hike.
We brought our own tent. They also have tents for rent at Ant Farm starting at P300. Confirm availability at Ant Farm if you plan to camp overnight and rent a tent.
Water and Food
The hike on the slopes consumes your body’s energy. Make sure to have enough food and water to fill you up. There are a couple of stores on the way up but it’s better to also bring your own.
Extra Shirt and Emergency Kit
You’ll need to change at least your wet shirt once you reach the summit and enjoy the ridge.
One of my colleagues vomited when we settled on our tent. Make sure to bring medicines in case of emergencies like this.
Off we go! 🙂
We listed our names at Ant Farm and started to trek with our tour guide, Deedee. My colleagues shamelessly asked our tour guide why we need to pay for a tour guide like him when the summit which we can see from Ant Farm looks so near and manageable.
What we didn’t see was that we had to descend a steep slope, the easiest part, to cross a wooden bridge across a river before starting the exhausting climb to the summit.
I regretted not preparing or training my body before doing this trail. It was harder for my colleague who never did some physical exercise ever at all.
She had to stop once in a while and had to stop long a number of times because she felt her heart unusually palpitating. Good thing she was a nurse so she knew what to do. Her husband carried her backpack along with his after resting.
It was difficult. I had to stop to catch my breath once in a while. Good things never come easy indeed.
When we finally settled after pitching our tent, the scenery before us was absolutely worth the sweat and exhaustion.
The beautiful sunset on the way up. The ridge, breathtaking Panimahawa ridge, under the moonlight. The beautiful scenery during sunrise in the morning. Amazing is an understatement.
When the sun is already up, its heat can already be felt as early as 6:30 in the morning from up the summit. We had to undo our tent and make our way back to Ant Farm early if we don’t want to get sunburns up there.
Only two of us decided to go back by walking following the trail again. We let our colleagues bring our things back to Ant Farm as they decided to ride a motorcycle from the base of the summit.
Riding the motorcycle back to Ant Farm wasn’t very smooth either. They said the road was very rocky and it felt dangerous going down the steep slopes with a two-wheeled vehicle.
We moved fast following the trail back to Ant Farm confidently overtaking other hikers since we don’t have our backpacks to carry. Haha
It was quite easy going down the slope until we crossed the bridge across the river where I struggled going up the slope back to Ant Farm. I walked past others, out of breath, who swore they will never do the trail again. It was a good laugh as we were all struggling.
Side Trips Near Panimahawa Ridge
We visited Center for Ecological Development and Recreation, popularly known as CEDAR, right beside Impalutao Integrated School along Sayre Highway at Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.
We didn’t have the energy to trek and chase the four waterfalls in CEDAR after spending time to rest at Ant Farm in the morning.
CEDAR address: Impasug-ong, Bukidnon
We just visited the canopy of trees near the entrance and did not go further. One of the reasons was there were a lot of people in the place because it is a national holiday.
The waterfalls and other ridges accessible from CEDAR will have to wait for me on another trip someday.
I have always wanted to visit Lake Apo in Valencia but I just never had the time to do so. When I checked Googlemaps to look for a place to eat breakfast after our Panimahawa Ridge adventure, I was suprised to see that we were just 9 km away from Malaybalay City.
I was told Lake Apo is just around a 45-minute drive from Malaybalay. The adventurer in me got excited when I found out Lake Apo is just less than an hour’s drive from where we were.
Off I drove to Lake Apo after we ate breakfast early in the morning in Malaybalay. It was a holiday so I felt like I owned the road with a generally empty highway so we made it to Valencia and Lake Apo in around 30 minutes.
We stopped over at CMU near Valencia City for their really good fresh carabao’s milk and somewhere near Malaybalay for sweet pineapples before driving back past Cagayan de Oro for lunch at Panagatan in Opol.
My colleagues never replaced me in the driver’s seat. Good thing it was a holiday so it was quite a smooth, fast driving especially on our way back to Iligan City.
This marks my best overnight trip so far. I have been to a number of mountain tops but I have never seen anything like the Panimahawa Ridge.
It wouldn’t take much to make me go back if I have the time. Just make sure you are physically prepared for the challenge if you’ll invite me someday.
Natasha was a full-time banker who got to take a breather when she traveled. She loves the outdoors so much. She is currently in the UK pursuing postgraduate studies!