Osmeña Peak, named in honor of Cebu’s famous Osmeña clan, is also known as O-Peak. It is sometimes referred to as the rugged brother of Bohol’s Chocolate Hills, which I think is an accurate description. O-Peak is more or less 1,010 meters above sea level (MASL), which makes it the highest mountain in Cebu. The peak is part of the Mantalongon mountain range that overlooks the coastline. At the peak, visitors have a 360-view of the surrounding areas, including Negros Oriental.
Cebu is not only home to nice beaches and historical sites, it is also home to beautiful mountains, tall waterfalls, and more. As part of our trip to Cebu, we decided to include Osmeña Peak in our itinerary. We stayed there for a night before heading to Kawasan Falls. Unfortunately for us, before we could reach the jumpoff at Dalaguete, our bus broke down. Since we couldn’t understand what was going on and we didn’t want to sit on our hands until help arrived, we talked to one of the tricycle drivers and asked him to bring us to Dalaguete.
According to the map in my head, we should be nearby, but the driver told us it was still a bit far. Being the cautious tourists we are, we thought he just wanted more money, so we negotiated the fare a bit and off we went. I was wrong. We rode in that tricycle for more or less an hour, at a fast speed, without any stops. It was definitely far from where our bus broke down. We’re lucky we met a few good people who helped us along the way.
Important: Read the Leave No Trace Principles to know the best practices of a responsible mountaineer.
Where: Osmeña Peak, Brgy. Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu, PHL
Entry point: Brgy. Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu
Exit point: Badian, Cebu
Duration: 2 days; 1 night
Category: Minor climb
Route: Cebu City > Brgy. Mantalongon, Dalaguete junction > Osmeña Peak jump-off and registration > Osmeña Peak > Badian > Kawasan Falls > Moalboal > Cebu City
Dalaguete is approximately 80 kilometers from Cebu City and is known as the vegetable basket and summer capital of Cebu. To get to Dalaguete, we rode a Ceres Bus headed there. According to the locals, depending on the traffic, the trip from Cebu City to Dalaguete will take around 2 to 4 hours.
Upon reaching the Dalaguete junction, the tricycle driver was extremely helpful, so we were a bit embarrassed about doubting him. He negotiated with one of the habal-habal drivers lined up at the junction, who agreed to take us to Osmeña Peak that day and pick us up in the morning to drive us to Kawasan Falls.
If you want to make arrangements with a habal-habal driver beforehand, here’s the number of ours: Reyno 09488169633. He was very polite and careful while driving and he is open to requests.
Our habal-habal driver, Reyno, drove us to the foot of Osmeña Peak, which took about 30 minutes. There, we registered and paid the ₱40 environmental fee. Apparently, the area is a private property, but is open to tourists.
Just as we were arriving at the jump-off, a bunch of kids starting running after us, urging us to hire them as a guide. Our driver told us it’s not really necessary, but the amount given to the guides is up to the hikers, and it helps the kids feel like they’re contributing to the community. So we agreed to let one of the kids guide us.
Our habal-habal driver was right. The trek to Osmeña Peak is really easy as long as you follow the established trail. If you are physically fit and it’s a good day, the climb should take less than 30 minutes. The jagged rolling hills are amazing and you will pass by some thriving vegetable gardens. You can check out the following article for our complete itinerary and expenses: Cebu-Bohol 4D4N Getaway.
We set up camp at the foot of the peak, on one of the established campsites. The cool wind on our face was a welcome feeling as we went about fixing our things. Late in the afternoon though, a horde of campers arrived and set up their tents beside ours. Some had already set up a tolda on the mountainside — one tolda, but three big bonfires. We could see the flickering lights from where we were. At one point, they brought out a strobe light and started waving it at the sky while dancing to music on full blast.
The climbers beside us were also rowdy and drinking, and most inconsiderate of all, they did not shut up until morning. Needless to say, we hardly got enough sleep. At one point, we politely asked them to lower their voices. They apologized, but still continued their racket. Since they were drinking, we didn’t bother asking twice because who knows what they would do.
In the morning, we were so disappointed to see so much trash littered throughout the area. Our inconsiderate neighbors had carelessly left their empty bags of chips, plastic bags, and bottles outside. We immediately packed up our things, picked up what trash we could fit in our bags, and decided we should take one last look from the peak, then leave.
The only saving grace from that climb was that we got to meet two mountaineers from the Sugbo Outdoor Club, Ms. Maritess and Mr. Uchiha. They were the only other quiet tent in our area that night. They told us that their group has been campaigning to keep the mountain clean and that it wasn’t like that before. They even erected an LNT signboard at the foot of the hill. Alas, it seems this is not enough. The beauty we saw the day before was offset by the trash left behind the day after.
Osmeña Peak is such a beautiful mountain and does not deserve this kind of treatment. As responsible tourists, we should be smart enough to know that trash does not belong in the mountains. It doesn’t matter if someone comes everyday to pick it up. Learning the Leave No Trace Principles is a good place to start if you want to know about simple ways to care for the environment. Let’s all do our part.