The reason I booked my flight to Cebu was because I really wanted to see Chocolate Hills, the famous nature wonder which even scientists are still figuring out how the thousands of hills could be formed. The moment I came to Cebu, I started to doubt myself whether I should go to Chocolate Hills or not. First reason, I was running out of money. Second reason, I found a place more interesting than Chocolate Hills, named Osmena Peak. I faced this hard situation, confuse to choose which destination I should go. Chocolate Hills are one of the weirdest world’s phenomena but looking at the picture, Osmena Peak is fiercer, that’s what made me chose Osmena Peak.
Osmena Peak is located in Dalaguete, southern part of Cebu near the popular whale-shark attraction, Oslob. After gathering all the information needed, I dashed into the terminal and took the bus to Mantalongan Market as the starting point to hike Osmena Peak. It took three hours to get there. I grabbed my lunch before making my way to the peak. My actual plan was walking to the peak, I read it’s probably around an hour but the habal-habal (motorbike ride) was very cheap. I could save up much time if I took the habal-habal so I decided to take a ride.
The driver took me passing through a small path surrounded by trees. I like the country-side ambiance with fresh air, green color everywhere, it was very calm. Just a short ride, about 10 minutes, the driver dropped me at the last point to start my hike. I saw a basket of cabbages were neatly tied, ready to be delivered and sold. Mantalongan itself is known as the Vegetable Kingdom of Cebu due to the high value vegetables. This area is suitable since it’s located in highland, 700-800 meters above sea level, and the climate is perfect for vegetables farm.
The track is easily traced so guide is not really needed actually. But there’s a young boy, followed me and I didn’t feel comfortable with his present. I knew he would ask for money. I told him I didn’t need a guide but he still kept following me. I gave him PHP 50 then asked him to go back. I saw the unsatisfied expression on his face. Finally he turned and walked back down. I continued walking to the peak. In 15-20 minutes I reached the peak, what?! It’s too short. I never thought it would be that short. The wind blew strongly, the cloud covering the sky and blocked the sun. Luckily the wind blew away the cloud so the sun came out and I could snap a nice shot.
Suddenly that little boy came back, I didn’t know what he’s up for. He just sitting down and looking at me. I felt sorry. I asked him to take a picture of mine, and together we went down back to the first spot. I gave him PHP 100 and a smile was drawn on his face. “Learn English if you want to be a guide”, I told him. He ran to his parents happily. I felt a bit guilty abandoned him at first, I just didn’t like that kind of attitude.
I supposed to walk bak to Mantalongan Market until a guy with a motorbike talked to me and offered me a ride back to the market because he’s going on the same way. Thanks for that guy I could catch up the bus back to Cebu, such a kind-heart guy. Anyway, you will spot a funny thing in Mantalongan where six adults sat together on a motobike, cool, right?
Getting to Osmena Peak
From Cebu City, I took a non air-con bus (PHP 100) from the gas station in Carbon Market since it’s near from where I stayed. There’s no exact time when the bus will leave. It is better to get there in the morning around 8 or 9. The bus directly goes to Mantalongan Market. The latest bus back to Cebu is around 2-3 p.m. You can also take more comfortable bus, Ceres (PHP 100-150) bound to Oslob via Dalaguete from the South Bus Station. Tell the driver to drop you in the junction and take habal-habal (PHP 50) to Mantalongan Market. The habal-habal I took from Mantalongan Market to the starting point to hike was only PHP 30. If you miss the bus to Carbon Market, you can take habal-habal to the juction and take another Ceres Bus back to Cebu.
In my opinion, it’s not really worthy spending six hours back and forth just to spend an hour in Osmena Peak. I was expecting the route a bit longer and more challenging. The view wan’t too stunning for me. I don’t know, just didn’t really feel it. I think it’s better to spent more time, traverse to Kawasan Fall or continue to Oslob.
Traveled in 20 February 2014
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