There’s this little inside joke in the travel blogging community about me being a ‘dyosa‘ because of how it never seem to rain during my trips even though rain showers and thunderstorms were expected to fall that day. I never really took it seriously even though inside I keep praying for good weather just to maintain a good track record. But the unexpected really happened when me and my companions reached the top of Cebu’s Osmeña Peak.
The moment a friend from Cebu (hello Doi), updated a photo of their group on top of what seemed to be a rockier version of the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the green-eyed devil in me squinted those emerald eyes with envy and vowed to climb the same peak just for some bragging rights that I was able to climb Cebu’s highest peak.
GETTING TO OSMENA PEAK
But before you get the chance to see a panoramic view of southern Cebu, you have a long way to go especially if you’re coming from Cebu City. So head down to the South Bus Terminal and ride a bus that’ll take you Oslob, and on your way make sure to tell the driver you’ll be getting off at Dalaguete (pronounced as ‘Da-la-get’).
From there, you can ask a motorcycle driver, or what we call habal-habals, if they can drive you to Mantalongon market which will take you 30-45 minutes of riding the 2-wheels along cliffs and rocky dirt road. Pretty intense and nerve wracking for pussies like me. Once there, you can take another habal-habal all the way to the final ascend point or if you are more adventurous, make your way by foot all the way there. By foot, it’ll take you 20-30 minutes longer, but the view and experience is probably a lot better.
Since we were big adventure buffs, we went for the shortcut and opted to take a habal-habal from Dalaguete all the way to the final ascend point. Yeah, less trekking please. A big piece of advice though, whenever you recruit a habal-habal, make sure that the rates are settled. Haggle as much as you can before jumping in.
LET THE TREK BEGIN
Since we chose the easiest and fastest way to get there, our trio only needed to trek for about 20 minutes before reaching the peak… or so the mountaineers say. I always make sure to double the estimated time given by the experts just to give myself allowance for taking photos and simply sucking at the actual climb.
As Gael recommended, since she climbed the same mountain a few days before we did, we looked for Kenneth to guide us all the way to the peak. He’s this young, vibrant kid who greeted us as we alighted the motorcycles. Together with his friends, they went along skipping and laughing about in front of us while we were panting and laggin behind. Kids these days.
Kidding aside, I wish the kids in Manila were more like Kenneth. =\
We really hoped for good weather that day. When we met up with Gael a few hours before our climb, she mentioned how she was not able to see anything at the peak because of thick fog surrounding here. All three of us were really excited to see the rocky hills up top and have been anticipating for this experience so prayed for a different outcome.
I sort of joked around and told the guys the need not worry because a dyosa is with them. Pressure.
Compared to other mountains that I have climbed, this one was mostly made up of steep uphill ascents and trekking beside ravines for a good 20-30 minutes. It wasn’t hard and I don’t think you need any serious hiking gears and outfits for this one. I mean, look at me sporting beach wear, flip flops and all, despite the decrease in temperature.
Once you get to the peak, there are kids who will be asking you for a Registration Fee of P20 each because, supposedly, a family lives on top and this is a privately owned area. Okay. Well, it’s just a measly charge in exchange of a fantastic view so we just paid up anyway.
ZERO VISIBILITY & CONTROLLING THE WEATHER
Minutes before we reached the peak, we could already tell that there would be zero visibility because of all the fog/clouds surrounding us on our way up. It was the same case for Gael a few days before and it would be really disappointing if we went all the way here expecting a spectacular view but failing miserably.
It was a big let down once we did get to the summit. We couldn’t see the rocky hills that made Osmena Peak distinct and famous for. We waited for several minutes but the view didn’t seem to change. I could already picture myself writing about how we made it all the way to the top but not being able to see any view at all. And that was supposed to be the reward after every climb!
Frustrated and still a bit hopeful for what could happen, I decided to wait a couple more minutes to relax and take it all in. We still managed to conquer a mountain do everything is not lost.
I then stood up, looked at the non-existent view, and started talking to the clouds. ‘Pwede ba! Umalis muna kayo for a couple of minutes! Kukuha lang ng pictures. Please lang!‘
To our surprise, the wind started blowing our way and the fog started clearing up. It was an awesome sight how the mist were moving along and the view of the rocky hills and islands started showing themselves. I recorded everything on video and you could hear us laughing our hearts off because of what just happened. I guess I did have some sort of ‘control’ after all. Storm ang peg.
It wasn’t a perfect view, there were still blocks of clouds in the distance and thin sheet of mist around the rockies. Still, it was so much better than having a white background in all our photos. I climbed down to a group of limestone rocks for a better photo opportunity (Ahem, Jerome, where my pic? Hahaha.) and it was a bit tricky because you have to go through sharp rocks. But anything for a Facebook photo, right?
Our original agenda was to camp here for the night because my friends said that catching the sunset is a must-see, however we did not want to go down the same trail in the dark so we were supposed to go down the next morning after sunrise. But major change of plans happened before our trip began and we decided to go back to Dalaguete the same afternoon.
Thanks to Kenneth for being our charming guide to Osmeña Peak. He didn’t ask for a guide fee but we gave him P50 to share with his 2 friends.