Banawa Ridge

Banawa Ridge overlooks Cebu City and is about three miles long. It's an easy walk from my apartment and I like to suroy-suroy (explore) there often. Let's go!

Banawa Ridge

START

We'll start at the northeast end of the ridge, located in Barangay Guadalupe (If you prefer to begin at the southwest end of the ridge in Buhisan, go to the bottom of the page and work up.)

Ride a jeepney to Guadalupe.

Cebu jeepney

Get off the jeepney at intersection of V. Rama Street and A. Salomon Street (about 300 yards before the landmark Guadalupe Church). A. Salomon Street looks like an alleyway. Start walking west... the "street" quickly becomes a narrow pathway through the crowded barangay.

Interesction

Begin a gradual ascent through the barangay. Last chance to buy water or a snack at a sari-sari store.

After 15 minutes easy uphill walking, the path makes a U-turn to the left and you're on top of the ridge. Follow the ridge trail on up to the green hills in the background.

Soon you leave houses behind and are ascending open grassy slopes.

You're now on top of Banawa Ridge. Set your compass heading to SouthWest and follow the trail that mostly goes that direction.

There are a few small farms up here, growing malunggay, lemongrass, papaya and camote.

When you see this big water tank, you have arrived at the Monterrazas de Cebu subdivision.

Monterrazas de Cebu is a high-end subdivision on top of the ridge. For now, visitors are still allowed to walk through; but the day is probably coming when a high wall and armed guards will block casual hikers from entering.

Past the water tank, walk through Monterrazas. After 10+ years of carving up the ridge (a monk at a nearby monastery told me they were "raping" the mountain), the first houses are being built.

monterrazas

Mega-mansion under construction in Monterrazas. The future wealthy residents will have fantastic views... but a steep drive up the mountain to get home.

Monterrazas mansion

The view down to Cebu City is spectacular.

Tourists like to visit this place just for the view (me with Charlie Green, my usual hiking partner.)

The road through Monterrazas changes from concrete to dirt and then back to trail again.

You may see people carrying firewood or other goods over the mountain to sell in the city.

Look for a fork to the right in the trail: make a sharp right turn to stay on the ridge (if you miss the turn and go straight, the trail takes you back down to Barangay Banawa).

Walk through deep woods for about 1/4 km, then the trail opens again at two large mango trees.

Walk towards the second mango tree and continue. The trail drops off the ridge to the east, downhill towards the city.
After descending 100 yards look for a fork to the right which climbs back up to the ridgetop again.
Reaching the ridgetop again, you emerge into a grassy, open area with a well-marked trail.

There are nice views again along here. That's the huge new SM Seaside Mall down by the water.

When the South Hills subdivision comes into view, it's time to drop down the back (southwest, away from the sea) side of the ridge, towards Barangay Buhisan.

Be alert to see where the trail drops down the backside.

The trail drops down steeply into the jungle...

After 15 minutes hiking downhill, you emerge onto the Buhisan Road. Congrats, you made it!

Follow the road to Barangay Tisa, about 2 km. You can walk or hail a passing motorcycle for P10.

From Tisa you can ride a jeepney or taxi to home. Hope you enjoyed the hike.

FINISH

Balik-balik! (Come back soon!)

** Special thanks to Gary Forbes, my first hiking partner on Banawa Ridge.
(Photo taken July 30, 2005, our first time to walk the ridge.)

Gary Forbes