Malaybalay City, Bukidnon: Runner’s High in the Big Rock

Related Events: 4th Tri 30 + Run (March 1, 2014, Valencia to Malaybalay)
Related Stories: 5 Reasons Why You Should Run in Malaybalay, Bukidnon
Tri 30+ Run: Running & Biking Priest Robert Selecios’ Giving Back through Running

I have heard a lot about this run route that some of my fellow Malaybalay Runners tread on regularly. They said that this tough trail is guaranteed to take one’s breath away. And it is not just because of the long uphill portion which stretches for about three kilometers but also due to the beautiful view which can be seen once you reach the spot they called the “Big Rock”.

Malaybalay folks have this fondness of naming places after its obvious landmarks. The “Two Trees”, for example, is coined after the two tall trees which stood prominently at the peak of the Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park. Likewise, the Big Rock was named as such because of a large boulder that sits like a sentinel at the turn of the road. Geographically, this spot is part of Sito Caleb in Barangay Can-ayan.

Intrigued by the promise of another rave running experience, I invited my friend James for a long run to this route. My wife Malou decided to tag along.

Barangay road going to Can-ayan

Barangay road going to Can-ayan

We started our run at the corner of Rubin and CM Recto Streets in Barangay 1. The paved road ended 200 meters later as we entered Sitio Kimambong. Pine trees clad both sides of the barangay road and we instantly feel the coldness sink to our skin. The atmosphere was kind of damp as it rained the night before. The sound of birds chirping on the trees made us feel closer to nature.

The road went up and down, passing by the City Swimming Pool, the Water District Reservoir and then the Sanitary Landfill which is the only eyesore of the otherwise beautiful route. We headed towards the direction of the fog-wrapped Mount Kiamo looming imposingly from a distance.

We made a left turn upon reaching the Community Learning Center, about 5 kilometers from where we started our run. After passing along some residential dwellings, the scenery became more interesting. Since it was my first time to run in this route, the sights excited me to no end.


A beautiful hanging bridge brought us across the Can-ayan River. The long uphill stretch commenced thereafter and right there and then, I knew we’re already in the toughest part of the route.



James was the stronger runner so we let him go ahead. Malou and I huffed and puffed negotiating the terrain so we have to walk often. But as we got higher, the view became more and more wonderful.

Road side scenery

Road side scenery

After an eternity of going uphill, we finally reached the Big Rock.  GPS tracker showed it is a little over 8 kilometers from our starting point with an elevation of about 3,200 feet ASL.


James approaching the Big Rock



The Big Rock, sadly, fell victim to vandalism

We climbed to the top of the rock and thoroughly enjoyed the view while munching on chocolates and raisins. The majestic Kitanglad Range can clearly be seen from towering above the smaller mountains. Though the nearby hills are already denuded, the slopes are contoured and planted with trees. Soon, this route will become cooler and more beautiful.



We then decided to go a little farther to see the view on the other side. And then we got more mesmerized as the mountains and undulating hills appeared closer. It was simply jaw-dropping that I could describe it as a scene straight out of Lord of the Rings. The view was so otherworldly it made me feel we were somewhere far away and beautiful.




Running to the Big Rock was indeed a wonderful experience. The hills gave us a good workout and we discovered another beautiful side of Malaybalay. It wasn’t only the long run that made us breathless, but also the amazing sights that we have seen. And best part is that since it is only less than 10 kilometers away from the city proper, we could go back there as often as we want.


Want to run in Bukidnon? Check 4th Tri 30 + Run (March 1, 2014, Valencia to Malaybalay), organized by Running & Biking Priest Robert Selecios (check his story here >>).


Written by:

Earl Bolivar. A banker by profession, a runner at pulaguy blog, a traveler who waves stories at, and a proud settler of Bukidnon, Bukidnon Photo Journal.
View his aktib profile >>


2 Responses to Malaybalay City, Bukidnon: Runner’s High in the Big Rock

  1. richard chamen crusio 11 December, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    very nice………. very beautiful………. very good……. next sa upper pulangi napod.

  2. selorioemonemonselorion selorio 4 May, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    been here.. also to mt. caleb, a secret paradise in can-ayan..

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