I thought climbing up the Osmeña Peak — the highest elevation in the entire Cebu Island — would be a tough one. I was wrong. It turned out, it was one of the easiest climbs I have ever done. That was the reason why I felt, somehow, I didn’t deserve the reward of a breathtaking scenery I experienced at the top – 360 degree view of the Cebu Island, the cool and fresh air, the lovely mountain ranges blanketing down the horizon as they embrace the seas, and the romantic golden glow of the sunset. Indeed, the beautiful landscape was more than what I imagined it would be. Osmeña Peak gave me a perfect treat to close the 3rd day of my backpacking journey in South Cebu.
If you are traveling to South Cebu, adding OsmeñaPeak climb in your itinerary is worth-considering. And if you do, you might find the following bits of facts / guide worth-noting:
The road to Osmeña Peak is an attraction in itself
Your journey from the town of Dalaguete to Osmeña Peak is a real treat in itself. Riding a habal-habal (motorbike) on a long and winding road provides an awesome view of South Cebu’s unique terrain. You are going to pass by mountains, valleys, and other land forms unique to the place.
The Mantalongon bridge serves as a landmark
The Osmeña Peak is located in Baranggay Mantalungon; you’ll know you are entering there when you reach the Mantalungon Bridge. A ride from the town of Dalaguete to the jumping-off point could take about 45 minutes
The Mantalongon market is another landmark to note (also a jumping-off point)
Another useful landmark that you will notice is the Mantalungon Market; it is where fresh vegetable harvests and other produce are delivered, sold. There are climbers, tourists who make the market as their jumping-off point for Osmeña Peak, but I would advise you not to follow that as it would be a physically challenging attempt even if the road is paved; it is not advisable most especially for those who are constrained by time as it would take a couple of hours to reach the peak from there. Tell your habal-habal driver to drop you off at the base instead, near the registration area.
The registration building
Speaking of registration, you need to register you name and the time of your visit, as well as to pay the 30 pesos entrance fee before you can proceed; the registration area is also where some keepsake items are sold.
The signage bearing the rules and regulations
Upon entering, you will notice a signage bearing the rules and regulations for visitors to follow; take some time to read, and, of course, obey those rules
Children act as tour guide
As you start your ascent, you will notice children reaching out to you, offering a tour guide service; they do not price; they just say, “it’s up to you, sir…” but usually, based on my observation, they are happy with 100 pesos (they agree even lower than that). With that amount, they can help carry your stuff and they can also double as photographers. So, if you want to help locals earn some amount in your own little way, you might want to consider getting a guide. Otherwise, you are still free to climb up on your own.
The rocky, steep trail
While you can reach the top in 15 minutes from the base, the trail is pretty steep. It is rocky, so you need a good outdoor shoes for more protection. Also, there is nothing in there except grasses and shrubs, and the planes (of either side of the trail) is dotted with just a couple of trees or so. In other words, your trail is pretty bare. So, if you are climbing when the sun is high, better bring some sun protector. Otherwise, just climb at late afternoon towards the sunset.
Osmeña Peak is suitable for vegetation
Barangay Mantalungon is considered the Mountain Province of the South because it enjoys a colder weather that is ideal for vegetation. That is why, along the trail, you’ll notice a variety of vegetables growing, such as the what is being shown in the photo above.
Some locals selling fresh produce along the trail
Along the trail, you’ll notice some locals selling their harvests – vegetables, root crops, among others. If you need some, why not buy from them?
Overnight stay is allowed
Overnight stay, camping is also allowed but that requires you to pay additional charges. Campfire isn’t allowed, so better bring portable items for cooking.
A lone store halfway through the trail (the barely noticeable blue color in the photo above)
Still, along the trail, there is a lone store that sells pretty much all you need while you are on top – snacks, drinks, and the like.
Great breath taking view awaits you above
At the top, you are rewarded with beautiful scenery. I let the photos speak for themselves
HOW TO GET THERE FROM CEBU CITY
- Take a bus ride at South Bus Terminal bound for Bato via Oslob
- Tell the bus conductor to drop you off at the Dalaguete junction for Osmeña Peak (the landmark is 7 Eleven)
- At the Dalaguete junction, negotiate for a habal-habal (motorbike) ride that will ferry you all the way to the base of Osmeña Peak
OSMEÑA PEAK CLIMB BUDGET
- Cebu City to Dalaguete Junction = PHP 110 (travel time is approximately 3 hours)
- Dalaguete Junction to Osmeña Peak Registration Center = PHP 100 per person, one way (if you are alone, they charge 2 heads)
- Registration fee = PHP 30