Cebu Province is peculiar to many islands in the Philippines --mountains in the middle and low lying areas in the coastal sections. If you look at the map of Cebu, you will notice that the road system and towns are also along the coast. This topography makes Cebu a wonderland of land formations, mountain rages, waterfalls and beaches. Tried two waterfalls in our Southern Cebu trip last year, Kawasan with its clear waters and Tumalog Falls with it fairy tale-ish feel. And before we headed back to Cebu City, we dropped by another on-the-rise destination in this amazing island province --- Osmeña Peak.
Osmeña Peak is located in the town of Dalaguete which is 2-3 hours away South from Cebu City and 1 hour from Oslob where we had the wonderful experience of swimming with giant Whale Sharks.
HOW TO GET TO OSMEÑA PEAK
Ask how was it possinle for us to go to Kawasan Falls, Oslob, do whale shark watching, visit Tumalog Falls, drop by Osmeña Peak and be back to Cebu City in a day? Thanks to our friend John Earl who has a car and is very careful with his driving, it became possible. But if you are taking public transportation, going to Osmeña Peak is also pretty easy. Just;
1. Ride the BUS from Cebu Southern Central Termina boud to Bato Barili.
Via Private Car
Going there via private ar is easier. Drive up to Mantolongon Market where you can park your car for a minimal fee and rent a habal habal to Osmeña Peak Set-off point. It is an easy 30 minute hike from there.
In our case, we were offered habal-habal at the public market but were escorted first to Mantolongon Brgy. Hall where we parked our car for free. There were only 3 slots for parking and we were lucky there was only one car parked there at that time. From the Brgy Hall, it took us around 10 minutes of less to the set off point.
The motorbike ride will take you to the base of the peak where you get the best view of the mountain range. There is a sari-sari store where all you need to do is register, get a guide and off you go.
FREE as of last visit, November 2015.
Despite its popularity, the locality still didn't charge any entrance fee. I admire the government official in the area for this decision. I guess they are still in the period of making more people aware of the area. And it makes sense, people come and share their experience therefore enticing more visitors. In the end, the place is the winner.
A guide is not necessary if you are to consider the difficulty of the climb but I am sure you will be encouraged to get one. All the guides on weekends are local kids as young as elementary grade. The idea is for the young generation to be aware of the beauty of the place and internalize the importance maintaining the place for the next generation --them.
Hiking to Osmeña Peak is like a walk in the park. 30 minutes and you are up the summit. Yan yung take your time na and me picture picture pa along the way. The path is well defined and safe.
Chocolate Hills-ish, Baguio-ish, Pulag-ish Mountain Range in Dalaguete Cebu
So this mountain range has been here all along. And so why only now? Better late than never, Osmeña Peak has the make of different attractions in the Philippines wrapped into one.