If Chocolate Hills bring you to the dreamy, marsh mallow-like world of the Teletubbies, let Osmeña Peak transport you to the bad boy, Tolkien journey of the Hobbits.
At 1,000 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is considered as the roof of Cebu. It displays an outstanding view of the rocky Mantalongon range covered with wild flowers.
It was weather-360 when we visited Osmeña Peak. The sun was blazing when we descended the bus at Dalaguete Road, ate brunch at a local chicken house and found a habal-habal driver but the rain started to pour halfway through our trip to the foot of Osmeña Peak. When our vehicles stopped to re-fuel, we contemplated for about 20 minutes if we would still continue with our climb. Climbing the mountain might be too risky when it’s raining and we’ve read stories of clouds hovering the view when it’s cloudy or rainy. Being the stubborn that we are, we decided to push through since we were already there. Fortunately, the rain stopped before we even had our actual climb.
Being Cebu’s highest peak, Osmeña Peak is at par with the clouds. Unless you are lucky, expect the clouds to cover vista. The sky is clear while we climbed and when we reached the peak. But a couple of minutes after, thick clouds started to move, fist swallowing the Mantolongon range, then enveloping us and finally clearing again. The clouds are so thick it made me have visions of us turning into evil minions or the peaks vanishing when the clouds fade away. 🙂
It was my first time to be surrounded by the clouds. It reminds of my childhood when I still believed that we can actually play or sleep in the clouds. It reminds me of riding in the plane for the first time and you get to watch the aircraft’s wings slice through the clouds. Only this time, I could actually slice through it with my bare hands.
How to Get There:
From Cebu City, have your way to South Bus Terminal and hop into one of the Oslob or Bato via Dalaguete buses. Alight in Dalaguete junction and take a single motorcycle ride (habal-habal) to Mantolongon market or at the foot of Osmeña Peak.
As for us, we climbed Osmeña Peak after our whale shark encounter in Oslob. From Oslob, ride a Cebu-bound bus and alight in Dalaguete. Bus fare for airconditioned bus is Php60.00/pax. Find a habal-habal driver that will take you to the foot of Osmeña Peak. Experienced hikers opted to start their trek/climb from Mantolongon Market but if you’re saving time, you may start at the foot the peak and have an estimated ascend time of only 30 minutes.
If you’re not sure where to find the habal-habal, don’t worry, you will find one by merely walking along the road. The price depends on your agreement so you will need to rely on you haggling skills. We got ours for Php1,600.00/2 habal-habal from Dalaguete Road to the foot of Osmeña Peak to Kawasan Falls. From the starting point, local children will volunteer to guide you on the way to the peak, expecting a small change in return. In our case, our driver Kuya Ramil, and his companion served as our tour guide.
Ramil Sandoval (Habal-habal Driver/Tour Guide): 0923-238-8539
Other Information about Osmeña Peak:
- Mantolongon is Cebu’s Summer Capital. Its elevation gives it a cool weather that permits the abundance of vegetables in the area. Crops and wild flowers are usual sight upon your ascent to Osmeña Peak;
- For an easier climb, you may drop your baggage at Mantalongon Barangay Hall. The staffs there are friendly and trustworthy. You may also sleep at the 2nd floor of the hall. However, do not expect to things that you may find in a hostel or inn. It’s just a spare room in the barangay hall that is used to accommodate hikers.
- You may find local carinderias at the upper floor of Mantalongon Market. The foods there are okay at a reasonable price.
- You may spend the night in Osmeña Peak. Just bring your own camping gears. You may buy foods and other camping necessities at Mantalongon Market beforehand.
- From Osmeña Peak, you may go to Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu. Other hikers camp overnight at Osmeña Peak and trek down to Kawasan Falls on the next day.