The mountains meant nothing to me before.
I never appreciated it and never in my life did I aspire to climb even the pandak-est mountain. Well, I used to be a lazy boy who just wanted to do easy things. But my perspectives changed after I successfully climbed Mount Pinatubo. It was one of my glorious days; seeing the turquoise-blue lake literally blew me away.
Months prior my South Cebu trip, Jerome, Robbie and I planned to conquer Cebu's highest peak. I have seen a lot of beautiful photos of Osmeña Peak from the internet and read that the trek to the summit wasn't that difficult.
Or so we thought.
The Peaceful Town Named Dalaguete
From Cebu City, we traveled at least three hours to the Municipality of Dalaguete. After we ate our lunch, we explored this peaceful town and took pictures of the beach and its church.
|The beautiful church plaza|
|Interior of Dalaguete Church|
|Perfect weather + Perfect subjects|
The weather that time was perfect.
And oh, who would've thought that the plaza comes with a free wi-fi connection? The local government of Dalaguete had installed a few wi-fi hotspots within the municipality. My device detected a 'strong' wi-fi signal but it left me disappointed since I can't check-in at Foursquare (lol). But despite that, it's an innovation considering that Dalaguete is a third-class municipality.
After we met up with The Pinay Solobackpacker aka Ate Gail (finally, I met an online celebrity) at Obong Spring, we went back to the town center and hired a motor (habal-habal) that would take us to Barangay Mantalongon, the jump-off point to Osmeña Peak.
The Young Guides
The habal-habal driver drove us to the base of the summit, a good 30-minute climb to the peak. We decided to take the shorter route to save time.
|The quick ascent|
We met Kenneth, our 10-year old guide. Kenneth was recommended by Ate Gail, who was also her guide when she climbed Cebu's highest peak a week prior to our climb.
The weather was fine when we started the climb. We didn't feel the heat of the afternoon sun due to the cold wind blowing from the summit. During our ascent, we encountered a lot of wild and tall grasses, berries and other vegetations. Not to mention that the trail was a bit muddy.
In the middle of our climb, the wind started to blow again and the clouds began to shroud the trail. Oh oh, zero visibility! It was like a scene from Silent Hill.
The Summit (and how Robbie controlled the weather)
We did not see anything when we reached the summit. The weather didn't change AT ALL.
It was actually a blessing to have Robbie with us. Being a self-proclaimed Diyosa of da Repablik of da Pilipins, he actually instructed the clouds to clear up.
"Pwede ba clouds? Umalis ka muna para gumanda ang view namin?!", he shouted.
Minutes after, the wind started to blow.
|... and AFTER|
The view was really spectacular. Unlike other mountains, the summit of Osmeña Peak is composed of multiple rocky hills, making it as its unique topographical feature. As the highest peak of Cebu, the summit offers a breathtaking view of both eastern and western side of the island.
It was a fantastic experience, I tell you.
|Obligatory Osmeña Peak jump shot. Only Robbie dared to do such risky jump.|
Osmeña Peak may be one of the easiest mountains to climb but for first timers like us, there's always this risk before reaching the summit. The trail was generally steep and muddy and the chance of rolling in the deep ravine of the mountain is high, most especially if you're careless.
I still had that euphoric feel when I reached the summit, the same feeling when I saw the crater lake of Mount Pinatubo.
Conquering the highest peak of Cebu was definitely a dream come true for the three of us.
How To Get There
(1) From Cebu City, make your way to the southern bus terminal. Ride a bus that will take you to the municipality of Dalaguete. Travel time is at least 3 hrs.
(2) From Dalaguete, hire a motor (habal-habal) that will take you to either Brgy. Mantalongon (if you choose to do the 2-hr trek) or to the jump-off point of the final ascent to O-peak. Fare is Php 500 per motor bike but can be lower if you know how to haggle.
(1) You have to pay 20 pesos for the registration fee.
(2) Look for Kenneth, a 10-year old guide. He's very nice... even The Pinay Solo Backpacker highly recommends him.
(3) You can actually traverse to Kawasan Falls. But when we went there, we decided not to do it due to lack of time.