When it comes to mountains in Cebu, nothing beats the fame of the mountains in Mantalungon-Dalaguete, where the famous Osmeña Peak is found. Dubbed as the highest peak in Cebu, Osmeña Peak also offers picturesque landscapes and stunning rock formations.
I once climbed the peak years ago but it was only a day trek and the weather was not good. I got the opportunity to climb the peak again but this time I was camping overnight together with my fellow outdoor bloggers, Sir Wandering Soul Scamper and Four Eyed Laagan.
The trip was just an extension of the original itinerary plotted for that weekend trip, which focuses on Mt. Lantoy and Mt. Takliad in Argao. Since there were modifications on our itinerary due to the weather and we still have that itch-for-an-adventure to satisfy, we proceeded to Osmeña Peak which can be accessed via Dalaguete, a municipality just next to Argao. There were 8 in the group who made it in Mt. Takliad, but there were only 4 of us who proceeded to Osmeña Peak, the other half went home.
From Argao proper, we rode a tricycle to Dalaguete proper where we hired another motorbike to get us to Mantalongon public market. From there, we took our lunch and bought our next meals. We started our hike from the market. As we were hiking, I silently prayed that may the skies give us a good clearing. It took us around an hour to reach the foot of the mountain where we registered and paid some fees.
Since the place is already famous, the trails are already well established that even little kids can manage to climb. As usual, there were plenty of tourists and visitors at the peak, mostly day trekkers aiming just to take good photos at the peak. We then pitched our tent right after we arrived on the camping area and selected our camping spot. The weather and the skies did cooperate and heard our prayers for they gave us the clearing we’ve been praying for. The skies even added some dramatic cloud formations combined with the sweet sunset as our background. We took several photos at the peak and on some of the lovely spots.
We had our dinner as early as around 6pm, since it’s already pretty dark due to the fog and no moonlight present. After our dinner, we got nothing to do but to talk with each other knowing each other more. I can say that I, personally, don’t feel awkward around these people anymore, that I can already get to make jokes with them. I guess not bringing cards or any game materials can really make a difference during the “socials” segment.
Osmeña Peak is known for its brute winds by night which causes some campers to be hesitant to stay overnight. Multiple cases of destroyed tents are reported daily at their tourism office especially during stormy days.This could be a perfect venue to test my tent’s durability. We strategically chose our spot where there will be minimal wind impact. The night came and the anticipated winds started to howl and slapped through our tents while accompanied by drizzle. I had an intermittent sleep that night for I was anxious that my tent would not make it. Fortunately, our tents survived and everyone was able to get some sleep.
Morning came and we had to break camp to start our traverse to Kawasan Falls early. We had our quick breakfast right before disassembling our tents and proceeded with the traverse. The traverse would take around 4-6 hours of hike, depending on your pace. The trail though is already established so I expected it to be less of a challenge. Thankfully the weather was great, no hint of rain to come.
How to get there:
- From Argao proper, you can ride a motorcycle or a tricycle to Dalaguete-Mantalungon crossing. Trip would take around 30 minutes.
- Or if you’re from Cebu City, get yourself to Cebu South Bus Terminal. Ride a bus that will pass through Dalaguete. Tell the conductor/driver to drop you at Mantalungon crossing. Trip would take around 3 hours.
- From the crossing, hire a motorcycle that would take you to Mantalungon Public Market if you want to hike, or you can let the driver drop you at the foot of the mountain, where the registration office is located, for a higher price.
- From the registration office, you can start your hike to the peak on the well established trail.
What to expect:
- There is a registration/tourism fee.
- Camping fee for each tent will be collected for the overnight campers the day after. That is if your tent survived the weather. If not, then you’ll pay nothing.
- Easy and well established trail.
- Weather and clearing might change every now and then, so as the temperature.
- There will be plenty of visitors on the site especially during weekends and on holidays.
- There will also be a number of overnight campers.
- Strong, howling winds by night could break someone’s tent, so better select a strategic location to pitch your tent.
- There will always be those noisy campers that might hinder you from sleeping aside from the howling winds.
I am glad and saddened at the same time, that as the place slowly becomes more famous day by day, more tourists are coming. By that, there will always be a ratio of responsible and irresponsible ones. There were traces of unkept campfires and garbage left everywhere. There is nothing wrong with enjoying ourselves and the place, but please let us do our part and give effort in preserving the beauty of the mountain.