Pres. Ramon Magsaysay’s Crash Site: The Historic and Event to Remember in Mt. Manunggal Balamban, Cebu

Updated. Just to bring back the active lifestyle memories of scaling few of mountains in Cebu, I could still recall a part of an event that for once I had the privilege to visit and witnessed a very significant activity in Mt. Manunggal. An annual trek is held that took place yearly in commemoration of the death of Former President Ramon Magsaysay at the plane crash site on March 17, 1957 in Balamban, Cebu.

I am sharing here some of the photos during the March 2012 activities. And to add up more content of this post, also covering below about the historic details of the said place. The truth is, I felt sheepish by my poor written piece — following to rework and rephrase the original content of this post and consider the previous commenter a constructive criticism.

A group pose picture of the Su.O.C. (Sugbo Outdoor Club), one of the mountaineering group participated at the event of March 2012. Our location is at the monument of former Pres. Ramon Magsaysay’s plane crash site.

To be honest if only I’ve got more stories to tell about the entire event, but sad to note. If only I have the uplifting spirit before to become one active individual of the group – since we can’t control everything what’s going to happen and that I am sincerely a failure one. I just missed by now the countless opportunities of scaling mountains and to further out my insights of the many stunning nature — a beholden gift by God.

Also Read: The Legaspi Trail Mt. Lanaya Alegria: Assaulting It’s Ignorance

Anyway, this event is considered as my first ever experience to witness and participate an annual celebration of mountaineers as they’ve called it “Anniversary Climb”, a pay tribute to the saddened fate of former President Ramon Magsaysay at Mt. Manunggal, Balamban, Cebu. Held once in a year every 2nd week of March.

You will notice at the event are the different mountaineering groups of Cebu and even from different provinces being gathered to unite in a one time significant cause. It is by the time you will get to know and befriend by some of active mountaineers, get to know and share the same climb passion, even learning their adventure stories and experiences of their past and upcoming climb ventures.

This activity is open to all ace mountaineers, non climbers and even kids too are allowed to witness the activities at the open space of Presidents’ crashed site. You can also bring your own tent and join the other campers, there will be ample space for you. Please note that the event will happen once a year in the 2nd week of March.

Anyway, you too should visit this historical place one day even at no event, else be listed also in your must visit place in Cebu and to climb up one of the mountains found in Cebu province.

Below are other parts of the photos I’ve taken during the said event of March 2012. My apology for sharing only few of images.

In the photo, the activity was not yet started and even there were still enough spaces for camping.
Noticed some are still fetching their tent at the other side corner of the premise.
This was late afternoon capture. A very seclude and serene place. Please note if you are planning on your first visit, I suggest to bring a jacket hence the atmosphere of the place is cold especially during at night.
I’ve learned that the entire venue will be filled with campers especially during the March event.
This is the view from afar.
Mt. Pinatubos engine

Here are the parts of the historic details of Mt. Manunggal.

About Pres. Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay and Plane Engine | Born on August 31, 1907, the seventh President of the Republic of the Philippines — serving from December 30, 1953 until his death in an aircraft catastrophe on March 17, 1957, Douglas C-47 plane named Mt. Pinatubo crashed in the slopes of Mt. Manunggal.

What is Mt. Pinatubo? Is derived after the tallest mountain in Magsaysay’s home province of Zambales. This is an engine name of the President’s plane, which has transformed into one of the tourist attraction of the place before arriving the plane crashed site. This is a must visit historic place of Cebu.

About Mt. Manunggal | Mount Manunggal is a mountain in Barangay Magsaysay in Balamban, Cebu, rising 1,003 meters above sea level (MASL). It is the plane crash site of the presidential plane Mt. Pinatubo which killed President Ramon Magsaysay and twenty-four others on March 17, 1957. An annual trek is held to commemorate his death. The site is accessible through many trails but the trail from Tagba-o and at Cantipla in Tabunan, Cebu City is the main route.

The site is about 2-hectares (or more) wide and this place is crowded or even fully occupied during the annual event. According to source that this location can accommodate to about 200 tents or more. As a side note, this is a remote area wherein only few locals are living, a tranquil character can be observed of the premise especially when the event is over then becomes peaceful and quiet.

How To Get There and Tips

  • From the crossing of Balamban Trancentral Highway, getting there is not an easy way unless you’ll be riding on a private vehicle. Motorcycle is good since the road heading the Mt. Manunggal area is a bit high slopes and steepy. A one way lane for vehicles can pass. Drivers must be cautious enough in going there.
  • There’s a space for parking your own vehicle. It is suggested to have someone left at the parking to attend to your belongings hence this place is far off from bustle city.
  • To commute, take an option to ride on a public van at the Ayala Center terminal, GT Express are the only public vehicles crossing to Balamban road. Inform the conductor/driver to drop you off at the crossing where going to Pres. Magsasay’s crashed site or the keyword “Mt. Manunggal”, from there take habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) to take you off to Mt. Manunggal proper. It takes you about less than 30minutes to arrive in the area.
  • You can visit Mt. Manunggal for a day tour. I suggest to start your journey in the morning so as not to get caught with heavy sunlight in the afternoon. So you could also enjoy your visit and furthermore venture as there are side trips to visit.
  • Please consider bringing the following necessities: face towel, a cap and or any form of headgear, umbrella, sunglasses, bottle of water, extra shirt and the like.
  • You can also bring your own meal for lunch and some finger foods.


There are plenty of mountain spots in Cebu and one of which is to visit the Mt. Manunggal. A historic and must visit place.

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Janeth is the Admin based in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines. A budget traveler wishes to get venture on different adventure memories, lifestyle and entrepreneurship, that's everything you need to know about Cebu and beyond. Please count me in as your blogger partner, Thanks!.


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