Climbing Osmena Peak, the famous highest point of the Island of Cebu is part of my 2012 Travel Bucket List. And I am glad that it finally happened. I together with my boyfriend and my camera and pic ready sister we conquered this famous Cebu mountain!
We traveled from Mactan Island to South Bus Terminal to Dalaguete to Mantalungon and finally we reached the skies, sort of hehehehe. I’m telling you there is more to Cebu than white sand beaches and Lechon!!!
Traveling and reaching Osmena Peak has become popular lately not only for hard core mountaineers but also for those with Cebu Travel Blogs and Cebuanos looking for a different kind of adventure within the province. Even complete beginners of mountain climbing will not be daunted as reaching the top of O’Peak is relatively easy.
A lot of dayo or those tourists and visitors from other places in the Philippines is also starting to notice and realize that it’ll be cool to conquer Cebu’s highest point. It’s a bragging right so if you are coming here in our little island for a vacation, take to Cebu South and reach this spot before all tourist comes in droves. :) Or am I pushing it hard? Hahaha please pardon as usual my ‘I’m a Proud Cebuana’ mentality is rearing it’s head.
Before I blabber on, let me say that this blog post is part of my series on Cebu top tourist spots and attractions – Southern Cebu.
Please watch out for my post on Oslob Whale Shark experience coming soon
Allure of Osmena Peak – Mountains, Island and Sea – 360 degrees view!
What and Where is Osmena Peak?
Cebu’s highest point is the Osmena Peak. This peak belongs to the mountain range in Cebu South. Unknown to many, the peak is part of the town of Badian and not Mantalungon, Dalaguete. But the easiest way to go to Osmena Peak is via Mantalungon so most people think that this mountain is part of Dalaguete.
Mantalungon is like a little Baguio in Cebu, it’s surrounded by mountains complete with cool weather, pine trees and veggie patches and farms. This town is also considered as the vegetable basket of Cebu. Most produced here are transported to Cebu City particularly the Carbon Market.
Dalaguete Town Proper to Mantalungon Farm Market is about 12 kilometers. And from Mantalungon to the jump-off point is probably 2 or 3 kilometers.
If you are fit and adventurous, you can actually traverse the mountain range, get to Osmena Peak and exit in Kawasan Falls in Badian. This climb, trek and hike will take approximately 6 hours.
Unfortunately, di kaya ng powers ang 6 hours of mountain climbing kaya hanggang Osmena Peak lang kami hehehhe
Time to Travel to Osmena Peak!
Our agreement was that we will wake up early and leave at the break of dawn, something like 4am or 5am. Guess what? We left our house at 11am lol. So much for plans and schedules.
Because we live in Mactan, near the Cebu – Mandaue Bridge we decided to take a taxi to South Bus Terminal to save time. You can easily ride via jeepney or public commute from the airport or Mactan to the Cebu SBT. I’ll be covering how to go to South Bus Terminal on another post. From our place to the bus terminal it costs P158 on taxi (the return trip cost P164). Note: If the taxi driver will not use the meter system get off the taxi and find another. There are lots of taxis in Cebu so it’s not a problem.
We arrived at the Cebu Bus Terminal, paid the P5 terminal fee per person. I was surprised about this – why were passengers charged with entrance fee to ride in the terminal when the buses pays a fee? This is the first bus terminal I encountered that collects entrance fee from passengers.
After paying the entrance fee we went to where the Ceres Buses were lined-up. We were lucky because the Ceres aircon bus bound for Oslob via Liloan which of course passes by Dalaguete still has vacant seats. Ceres Aircon Bus up to Dalaguete Poblacion cost P105 per person.
Alternative – you can also ride buses bound for Santander or Dumaguete.
Some mini buses in Cebu South Bus Terminal
If you leave by dawn you can try to catch the Mantalungon bound mini-buses in Carbon Market. When you get to Carbon just ask any local or tindera where the terminal for these buses are. If you are taking this bus please make allowances for cramp accommodation and be ready to hobnob with the veggies or empty baskets. If you are lucky (or unlucky depends on your perspective) you’ll experience riding top load on the bus like the famous pictures of Philippine countryside buses. But you will definitely save if you choose this route.
Travel time from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Dalaguete was around 2 hours and 15 minutes on a Sunday. Might be longer if its weekday when traffic is heavy as you exit Cebu City Proper.
Okay these are the towns you’ll be passing by on Cebu South – listing it so you won’t miss your stop. You can of course remind the conduktor to drop you off in Dalaguete Poblacion – … Talisay – Minglanilla – Naga – San Fernando – Carcar – Sibonga – Dalaguete – Alcoy – Boljoon – Oslob – Santander (most bus lines ends route in Santander).
Getting Cozy with Habal – Habal Rides
We took late lunch in Maria’s Bachoy and Restaurant , after which Titus negotiated with the Habal – Habal Drivers. If you don’t know what is a habal – habal – these are motorcycles that carries passengers and are popular mode of transportation to reach far flung places especially mountain barangays in the Philippines especially in the Visayas and Mindanao areas.
Me and Kenneth on getting ready to ride habal – habal!
Just across the restaurant, on the corner of the road to Mantalungon is the waiting areas of these habal – habal transport. Seems like prices are now ‘fixed’ there. If you want to ride these habal – habal all the way to the foot of Osmena Peak you will pay P100 per pax per way. So that’s basically P200 per person if you contract the driver to bring you to the jump-off point and to wait for you for a round trip.
Each habal – habal is designed to carry two tourists. I say ‘tourists’ since I noticed there are habal habal that carries 3 persons who look like locals. But the drivers we negotiated with says max of two per motorcycle. But ughhh we were three in our little group and the other driver refuses to carry only one unless the 3rd person will pay P150 one way (300 pesos round trip). We agreed as we didn’t have much choice.
Note: Habal Habal fare from Dalaguete Poblacion up to Mantalungon Farm Market is only P50 per way per pax. You can do this and just walk the rest of the way to the jump off point. BUT I have to say that it is still far, if we walked it on our normal pace, would probably took us close to 1 hour to jump off point as part of the road from the veggie market to jump-off point is dirt road and uphill.
Part of the Road you’ll pass maybe midway of Dalaguete and Mantalungon
Jump-off Point and the Mountain Peak Beyond!
Okay as expected we asked our drivers to stop by the road so we can took some shot of the Cebu mountain ridges as backdrop. A mini-accident happened. My sister who was not used to riding motorcycles got off on the wrong side and brushed her leg against the tambutso (muffler). A reddish circle patch appeared on her leg, Ouch! Good thing it did not bother her (yet). Our drivers were concerned and suggested that they smear the affected part with gasoline as first aid. I’m not sure of its effectiveness but Kenneth says the gasoline was surprisingly very cold.
But well things like these will not stop Kenneth from having her picturse taken. I tell you the ratio of pics between her and me must be 4 is to 1. Why am I not surprised? =)
Kenneth with her leg (the burn is not yet visible)
TIP: When getting off any motorcycle, get off in the left side away from the tambutso, okies?
Us ‘Mountain Climbers’ on the road to Osmena Peak
Starting the Climb and a Near Faint
Yey! We arrived in the jump-off point! We were ready to master Cebu’s highest mountain peak – Osmena Peak! The famous summit is behind this mountain range.
Begin the Osmena Peak Hiking, Trekking, Climbing!
I am not proud of this but yes I almost fainted. Haha.
My typical day will see me facing a computer for close to 10 to 14 hours daily working, and when not working writing blog post. And I don’t exercise, Titus says the only regular exercise I get is when we go window shopping lol. So at the first 5 minutes of climb my breathing has become labored and I was sweating profusely and my lips have gone white. I had to sit down, gulp some water, catch my breath, beg for menthol candies hehhehe. We stopped 3 more times I think before I felt it was okay to proceed hehhehe. I am not built for mountain climbing I realized the second time around – the first one was when we traversed Sagada to Lake Danum via Mt Ampacao.
Me at My Sorry State at the Start of the Climb. Major Fail Hehehe
Please don’t let my unfitness discourage you. Osmena Peak is a very easy climb. The children who collected the entrance fee to the peak (P20 per person) climbed very, very fast like they were just strolling in the park. And my sister who was wearing ballet shoes did it without trouble. It’s just me hehehhe
Climbing Osmena Peak from Jump-Off Point is probably just around 15 to 20 minutes of light climb. In case you fell off the ravine, no worries as its not deep but a bit rocky. So try to be sure footed still =)
You’ll be passing vegetable lots and patches along the way and farmers here and there. There are only a few houses nearby the summit.
Finally we saw the Peak of all Cebu’s mountain peaks!
Out of nowhere three kids with a logbook appear. They must have seen us climbing Osmena peak from afar and waited for us at the top. We told them that there were two kids who earlier climbed behind us and about midway as I don’t want the two first kids to climb just so they can collect the Osmena Peak entrance fee at the top, I handed them the P60 fee for the three of us.
The leader of the kids on the top asked, where they bringing log book? Uhmm my brain cells started churning and I was ready to defend, “Opps… did I give the fees to the wrong kids?” Lol. Of course, di magpahalata so I said ‘No but they said they will collect’. (the first kids really said that!). The leader kid says okay but with frown on his forehead.
Name logging at Osmena Peak
Saturday is when many visitors climbs the mountain, in fact the day before our climb there were 74 listed tourists and visitors at the mountain apex. And the three of us were the lone climbers for this particular Sunday.
Until now, I am not sure if I handed the payment to the right kids but I hope it will be endorsed to the right collecting authority or whoever it is that manages this Cebu tourist spot. Before the trio kids left, we requested for our group photo at Osmena Peak to be taken and they willingly obliges
Cille, Titus, Kenneth Conquers Osmena Peak! Oh la la!
We must have spent 45 minutes at the top trying to get good photos of ourselves in Cebu’s Osmena Peak We had tons of photos – as is normal when we are traveling for fun and adventure.
Kenneth at the Peak of Cebu!
Me of course posing with a 360 degrees view of Southwestern Cebu!
Titus and Me getting our customary couple shoot at the top
It’s the sea yonder visible from Osmena Peak!
Chocolate Kisses are present around the Osmena Peak!
Rounded Peaks Completing the Beautiful Scene
In case you are thinking of transferring from one peak to another, it would take much effort as the peaks appear close to each other in the images but actually they are far apart.
Rocky Walls , Mountain Peaks and the Sea!
One more from Cebu Travel Bloggers – Penfires and Field Trip Boy
Sister Act Atop Cebu’s Highest Point!
My last shot on Top of Cebu!!!
Leaving Osmena Peak – Happy!
On the trip back from O’peak and Mantalungon, we requested for our rides to drop us off in the seaside of Dalaguete so we can checked out the centuries old stone church of Dalaguete.
On going back to Cebu City, we opted to stop in Carcar to picked-up our pasalubong. We bought Carcar Lechon at P280 per kilo at their market. And also bought some of Carcar famous ampao, chicharon and banana chips.
We chose to ride minibuses that ends/starts their route in Carcar as the big buses like those of Ceres Liners are full to the brim with some people already standing in the middle. In case Carcar mini-buses are also full, no worrie as you can take the multicab to Bulacao Pardo and from there catching a ride all the way to Cebu City is easy.
Hope you will visit the next big attraction that Cebu offers! Please drop a comment here of your experience in climbing Osmena Peak!
Last Hirit – Photos and Images from Osmena Peak
Kenneth at Osmena Mountain Summit!
Titus enjoying the view at Osmena Peak!