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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Osmeña Peak down to Kawasan Waterfalls, Cebu Philippines

Eight Hours Trekking

Osmeña Peak is considered as the highest peak in Cebu and it is approximately 1,000 meters above sea level.

Terminal: Magallanes Street in Carbon Market beside/inside Caltex Gas station
Mini-Bus fare (Cebu-Mantalongon Market Proper): 100 php
Travel time: 2.5-3 hrs
Bus Schedule- 6am-8am-1pm (0% guarantees) we asked different drivers but they don't have a fix schedule for it. They based it on the number of commuters and when the bus is full off they drive the road.

Or you can take another route:
Terminal: South Bus Terminal
Ceres Bus: take Cebu to Dalaguete/Bato-Oslob: 150-170 php
Get off at Mantalongon-Dalaguete junction and take the habal-habal or motorcycle to Mantalongon Market Proper.

In Mantalongon Market Proper you can your ingredients for your meals and remember to prioritize your drinking water. You can actually ask the kids there to go with you and take with them some water which you can use to cook your food and wash utensils. Kid with Water fee: 20 php, they actually ask for more sometimes, try to joke around and you'll get your discount. You can even ask them to come back tomorrow morning for another gallon of water. Be friendly and they'll be at your service.

Buy Supplies Food and Drinks at Mantalongon Market Proper:
Budget: 700 php ( 100 php each climber is enough ) , with these amount we were able to buy 1 1/2 kilo of rice, adobo ingredients, 2 kilo of pork cubes - ( be sure to slice it into small pieces to cook it faster and save your butane), 1/8 dried fish, canned  goods, noodles, juice pack and a few liquors. Remember to drink moderately, you're alone there and it’s a long way down if something happens. We bought Butane ahead of time for our cooking, which can be bought in Ace Hardware around 70 php (burner price: 1,000 php up).

Mantalongon Market Proper to Osmeña Peak Travel Time: 2-3 hours, depends on your pace.

We passed by a prayer place along the way try so we say a little prayer for guidance and the group's safety. There's no turning back once you started climbing up the mountain. Breathe and watch your steps, be alert for sturdy stones and avoid stepping on pebbles to have better grip. Avoid heading there late in the afternoon; manage your time to reach the peak before sunset. While waiting set-up the tent, your trash bin, cooking area and scout for pee and poo spots.

Here are some important things to bring:
-Tent is a must! Sleeping bag will not get you through the night. The weather is not stable despite it was March and it’s already summertime, the tents were dancing the Harlem Shake like crazy and we were having Harlem Shiver.
-Sleeping Bag for each person will help with the cold night.
-Jacket with hood, without hood then just bring along your bonnet, Thick Socks and Scarf’s
-Flashlight, there's no trace of electricity out there and the houses are distant from the peak.
Eating and Cooking Utensils, Optional: Gummy bear’s ahahaa it’s a great sweet when you're chatting in a circle and somewhat a great pair with liquor too.
- Camera, I don't advice to bring with you your DSLR. It would rain anytime and the moist inside the tent and in your bag is not good for the DSLR camera.

We cooked our dinner, thanked our butane for such a lovely meal and each one of us for being resourceful enough, because only a few, including me forgot to bring the most important thing needed for eating. We had a one gallon of water so we cut it into half and used as plates and small plastics for our hands. It’s not like we are complaining of getting our hands dirty, remember there's scarcity of water. We had our drinks paired with some cheap chips and gummy bears. 

The fog started to envelope us, so before the night ends we headed to the peak for a quick glance. The flashlight is necessary to guide you through the way, watch each others back and walk slowly to avoid tripping. The fog was getting thicker when we go down to join our tents; it felt like I can almost taste the fog around me. Before we get lost in this thick cloud suspended in the air we decided to call it a night. We had a rough rainy night and the dawn welcomed us with shivering winds and continuous rainfall. It all equates to a sleepless night in the peak of Cebu.
I was glad to see a glimpse of light outside the tent, so we we're all up at 5 o'clock in the morning. It was still a bit dark so the girls run to take a leak at the far end spot away from the tents. It was the best feeling to release all those liquid-provoking-shivering-sensation that kept me up all this time; and I have only realized that in the morning. We packed our things and decided to have breakfast at the very first Sari-Sari store we pass by when we go down the mountain. We still have available butane and rice however, we run out of water for washing and drinking. Kenneth, the friendly kid who brought us water woke up late yet; he was kind enough to take our pictures.

The Fog was incredible, the mountains were still covered and the sun was starting to make its way up there. I took a shot of the Osmeña Peak from left and right views which shows like a woman lying down with a long hair and whistling in the air. I was delighted to see such a wonderful morning full of promises, it's not everyday you see fog in Cebu unless you're living on top of the mountains or in Baguio. Packed your things properly you don’t want to be bringing unbalanced backpack going down. Place the water bottle outside your bag, wallet in reach and prepare your hats and sunglasses for an agonizing, exciting hour of trekking.

Check out: 4 hours trek to Kawasan Falls from Osmeña Peak.

If you need a guide contact my friend Dudez at +63 9226038329. Be sure to mention you've found his number in this blog. Have fun and be Safe! ^__^

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