See the so-called as the Chocolate Hills of Cebu. Only, Osmena Peak is more jagged and more otherworldly!
Osmena Peak, the highest point in Cebu is located in the town of Dalaguete (pronounced as “dalaget”), which is the summer capital of Cebu primary because of its high elevation. True enough, cool wind and pointy limestone exposures make up for a sensory overload.
Our Habal-Habal Mishap
En route to Osmena Peak with our habal-habal, we passed by zigzagging highways that affords us a view of a canopy of trees and limestone exposures from far off valleys. The cold soon descended as we near the unpaved parts of the road where the soil turns sandy and rocky.
Unfortunately, eighty percent through the ride to Osmena Peak, we encountered a minor motorcycle accident that rendered our habal-habal unusable. Josh and I were told to walk thereon to the peak. Good thing we were climbers, we really didn’t mind walking longer than expected. Although let me add that the driver did not have the courtesy to get back to us afterwards, and Josh sustained second degree burns.
Passing by Agricultural Communities
Along the way, we passed by local villages with kids who repeatedly offered tour guide services to Osmena Peak “at any price”. The villages often consist of farmers who make up the vegetable basket that is Dalaguete. Soon, we reached the jump-off point where there is a registration to log in our names. Note that there are no fees to climb Osmena Peak.
We started the straightforward trail and encountered families carrying harvests with woven baskets carried on top of their heads. Little children even gave us the traditional “mano”, a sign of paying respect to the elderly, and we realized that it is still practiced in the provinces of Cebu.
A Scene From Another World
Twenty minutes later, we finally reached the Queen City of the South’s crown at 1,013 meters above sea level. The 360 degree view is filled with pointed mini-peaks that stretches between the towns of Badian and Dalaguete, South of Cebu. There are also visible plantations from the lower parts of town. Even Bohol and Negros are said to be foreshadowed from the Osmena Peak.
Because we like climbing mountains, our Cebu trip will not be complete without hiking up peaks. I can say this is one of my highlights during our Bohol-Cebu backpacking trip!
How to go to Osmena Peak: From the National Road of Southern Cebu, we took a bus to Dalaguete. Since we came from whale shark watching, Oslob, the aircon bus ride costed PHP50. Get down at Mantalongan Market, where habal-habal rides to the jumpoff point of Osmena Peak is located. The ride costs PHP100 per head, one way, for trip of about 40 minutes. Forego hiring a tour guide.