My First time to ever hike at Osmeña Peak – Cebu, hopefully not the last.
When I was back home in Cebu, Philippines, I’ve always asked my cousins, friends and whoever agrees with me in going to Osmeña Peak, Mantalongon Dalaguete, Cebu. However for years nobody seems to have the time or interest, atleast to my circle of friends. Everyone was busy or our schedules doesn’t line up. I was never able to go there when I was in college, and when I was already working.
This year, after my side trip in HK, I went straight home to my City and was very much happy and thankful for being home. I still had in mind the hiking experience that I’ve been longing since then. I was very much interested in experiencing something fun and adventurous. So I asked my best friend, that as planned we really had to go there, and she agreed.
About Osmeña Peak: (details based on research)
Osmeña Peak is located in the Municipality of Dalaguete in the province of Cebu. The peak is approximately 1,000 meters above sea level making it the highest peak in the island of Cebu.
The peak is part of the Mantalungon mountain range, which is unique from other mountain ranges in the Philippines because of its multiple jagged hills grouped together that overlook and stretch as far as the Badian shorelines. The highest of these hills is the Osmeña Peak named in honor of the famous Osmeña clan in Cebu.
We were still climbing and stopped by the rocks. Photo taken by our guide.
The visual appearance of the Mantalungon range is almost similar in form to the Chocolate Hills of Bohol but the peaks of the ranges are thinner, sharper-pointed and rocky. Unlike the Chocolate Hills, the peaks of the Mantalungon ranges cluster quite near each other and give the impression of being formed from rocks that have survived through time.
Once you reach the Osmeña Peak, you get a 360-degree view
of that includes the southwestern coastline of Cebu, and you even see the province of Negros Oriental. However, the peak area is fenced and under private ownership. A lot keeper collects at least 20 pesos from each climber that enters the area and there is a campsite a few meters down the peak. The campsite has a toilet and a bunkhouse available to the public for a fee.
Osmeña Peak and the Mantalungon range are accessible to hikers and mountaineers all year round but it is best to climb the peak in the first half of the year since the rainy season is from June to October. The peak and mountain ranges become wet and slippery during the rainy season.
Mantalungon is famous as the summer capital of Cebu because it is 700 to 800 meters above sea level giving it a pleasant climate all year round. The high elevation has made the village an ideal place to grow flowers, vegetables and other high-value crops, which gives Mantalungon the reputation of being the vegetable basket of Cebu.
Held every year is the Utanon Festival, a celebration of dance and music as thanksgiving for the good harvest of Mantalungon. Utanon is the Cebuano word for vegetables. Many locals and foreign tourists visit the village during summer because of its cool climate.
The Osmeña Peak is located in Barangay Mantalungon, in the Municipality of Dalaguete, Cebu. Dalaguete is about 85 kilometers from Cebu City and is about 1 ½ hours ride by bus from the city. If you are in Cebu City, take a jeepney or taxicab going to the Carbon Public Market and inquire from people there the location of the bus terminal for the Mantalungon mini-bus.
The mini-bus will drop you off at the Mantalungon public market. From there, you can either take a motorcycle for hire that will take you to the foot of the mountain ranges or you directly hike to Osmeña Peak that will take you at least one to two hours. Another alternative is to take a jeepney or taxicab, go to the Cebu South Bus Terminal at the Cebu North Road, Cebu City, and take a bus from the terminal.
You should take the buses traveling southward to Oslob or Bato via Dalaguete and get off at the Dalaguete junction. When you reach Dalaguete, you can take a tricycle that will take you to Mantalungon and from there make the hike to Osmeña Peak.
Credits to: everythingcebu.com
Trivia: It was previously known as Tanawan due to its panoramic view but soon became Osmeña Peak or O-Peak, named in honor of the Osmeña political clan of Cebu. In the past, this site was former President Sergio Osmeña’s favorite horse-riding destination.
Credits to: The Travel Visionary
Note: Tan-aw means look. Tanawan means something you will look at or looking at or the place where you’re viewing something.
Our Own Experience:
My best friend and I went to the Bus terminus at around 6:30AM (UTC+08:00) and the bus left before 7:00AM. We took the bus going to Bato (not sure is via Oslob), and it took us around 2.5 hours to reach the junction road going to Mantalongon. We got off and looked for a Habal-habal.
In Cebu, we have a ride called “Habal-habal”, a very important means of transportation specially for those people living far from the Jeepney stop, bus stop, stop far from the village gate, or simply if no other transportation is available going to their houses, then they take Habal-habal. It’s a normal motor bike or sometimes customized, where you will just ask the driver to take you wherever you need to go in that particular location he is parking. You can either take the Habal-habal alone and pay for the whole ride, or share it with anyone who’s going the same way.
We then found a driver who’s very much willing to take the both of us to the foot of the Hiking spot. His price was Php 200.00 per person and we agreed, since it’s the usual price. It took 15-20 minutes to arrive at the location, the driver will be waiting for us there while we climb the mountain.
There is a fee when you get at the entrance, or like a maintenance fee perhaps. It cost Php 15.00 per person. Guides are stationed by the entrance so they can guide people who needs guidance in climbing. You can pay any amount or give donations to the guide as they call it for there’s no actual payment price for their work.
Our guide was Ate Yvonne (Ate means sister or you use it to call someone older than you as a sign of respect). She carried our bags immediately when she knew that she will be guiding us. We refused to the thought of her bringing our bags as we were very much capable of doing so, our bags were a little heavy and she insisted on carrying them and just wouldn’t let it go. So, we just proceeded with our hiking. Ate Yvonne was good at taking photos. She took our photos with style. She’d make us climb a rock that was high enough for me to feel a little fright. She’d put flowers in front of the lens, grass or whatever she could find on our way to the top.
After an hour or so, we reached the top and saw the beauty of the rocky mountain. It will only take less than and hour if you won’t have a lot of stops to take pictures, in our case we had a lot of stops as our guide was fond of photography. After some time, we went back, paid and rode the habal-habal again.
We wanted to go to Kawasan Falls situated in Badian, as you can traverse from Mantalongon to Badian, however it will cost us an additional Php 400.00/450.00 each. We didn’t bring enough money with us so we decided not to.
Note: If you want to do everything you want, then bring enough money. Always.
If you really want a long hike, you do not have to ride the habal-habal. Just start from the bus stop, hike through the cement rode to the Osmeña Peak.
The driver took us to the Obong Spring after Osmeña Peak. Entrance fee is Php 10.00 per person.
When we got there, there were a lot of people. We wanted to take a dip, however we lack sleep and we felt really tired. So we just ate some Barbecue on the side and some street food. After eating, we went to the bus stop and took a bus home.