It was in May 2006 when I took my first memorable airplane ride bound for Albay, my humble hometown. When the pilot announced the landing, I was so thrilled glimpsing the majestic Mayon Volcano, the fleeting clouds, and the clear blue sky. When I stoop down, these mass of mounds caught much my attention because it looked like Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. I got so curious, why on earth this natural wonder hasn’t been discovered yet? I weaved a sigh wishing that this may be added soon to Albay’s roster of famous tourist attractions.
Came 2015, I was startled when I saw this picture of Quitinday Green Hills on the Facebook page of Governor Joey Salceda proudly promoting it. I was wondering, are these hills the same mounds on the ground I saw aboard the airplane in May 2006? Upon reading about it, I found out, it was! I can’t sustain my happiness because nine years after, my wished had been granted. It is now one of Albay’s emerging tourist attractions.
Such a wonderful and amazing find. I vowed myself; we will visit this tourist attraction when we spend a summer vacation in my hometown.
Quitinday Green Hills is located in Barangay Quitinday in Camalig. It is dubbed as “Pili Nuts Hills” because of its pointed tops, an amazing geological formation that resembled Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. But there are two things that differed one from the other. First, Quitinday Green Hills have three summits that could be trekked by visitors unlike in Chocolate Hills; this famed tourist spot is for viewing only from the view deck. And second, these hills are in lush green all year round, hence the name green hills.
Summer of 2017
This is it! With my family and nephews Errol and Bam (Shen was left because of measles) we set off to Camalig to trek Quitinday Green Hills. We were familiar driving in this town because of our frequent visits to Hoyop Hoyopan Cave. So from this cave, we used waze apps locating Barangay Quitinday. It was quite an adventure in getting there. Most of the roads were paved but there were not. Some were rough, some were narrow and there were the bumpy ones. There were hilly too but were not steep.
It seemed like the trip was leading us to nowhere. It was quite a long drive but thanks to the scenic pastoral environment as it whisked off worries and fear. House was scarce and there were lots of trees along the way. So if you are not used to this place, you might get scared. But let excitement rule above fear. I knew then, this long trip will lead us to a wonderful adventure with nature.
When we reached the jump-off point, we registered our names to the registration area. We paid Php20.00 per head for the entrance fee and Php30.00 for the parking fee. We were briefed by Ms. Elena for few minutes before we descend.
We hired a trek guide to help local tourism. Ryan, a twelve-year-old boy led us to the three summits.
The Exciting Trek
From the jump-off point, we reached the first summit in less than ten minutes. The trail was easy and friendly. Non-climbers, kids and even elders will surely love to climb here. The view up there was spectacular. It was so amazing.
I was so grateful to God for creating wonders like this. It was a refreshing sight. Every angle, every hill are worthy for picture taking.
The nipa hut served as resting place and shield from the scorching heat of the sun. Visitors flocked inside the hut. After few minutes of picture taking, we proceeded to the second summit and reached the top in less than ten minutes. The established trail was composed of soil stairs and erected wooden handle as support.
It was so hot by then but we did not mind the heat. I was approached by a guy when he saw my shirt (I survived Mt Pulag). He told me he was also a casual trekker like me who had been to Mt. Pulag last March. I was so glad to meet him who was so busy capturing memories.
Amid the summer heat, we managed to make the most of our time with our picture taking. We descended and went back to the nipa hut with more visitors inside and outside. We took some rest, quenched our thirst and off we ascend the last destination.
Approaching the last summit, Ryan pointed to us a sink hole. Unfortunately, I did not have a snapshot of it. We proceeded and were amazed to see the majestic view of the perfect cone of Mayon Volcano. And because this was the last summit, we savored the view peacefully. The experience was so great standing there admiring every wonderful creation our eyes perceived.
We were perspiring much when we went back to the nipa hut. We had our last photo ops and went back to the jump off point.
There were sari-sari stores near the registration area and comfort rooms for bio breaks.
Best Time to Visit
We regretted coming late. If we arrive early like our initial plan, we will not be bothered by the blazing sun and we will have much time on every summit. Anyway, we will go back here on our next vacation before the sun spills its rays into the horizon.
The best time to visit Qutinday Green Hills is early morning or late in the afternoon. The grassland has no tree to shade you so expect that you will be exposed to sunlight. Wear comfortable clothes, apply sunscreen and bring enough water to hydrate you.
In getting there:
From Legazpi City, ride a jeep with a signage “Camalig” or “Polangui” then alight at Camalig Market (Php20.00). From there, ride a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you to the jump-off-point (Php500.00 back and forth).
Open time: 5:30 am to 5:30 pm
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