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Osmeña Peak down to Kawasan Waterfalls, Cebu Philippines


Lady of the Fog: Osmeña Peak 

Fog gathers along the way — slow but incredible — covering the mountains as the sun begins its ascent. I took a shot of Osmeña Peak from left and right, and it showed a silhouette of a woman lying down with long hair whistling in the air. This was the Lady of the Fog of Osmeña Peak.  Let's go!



How to get there: 

From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport:
You can take a cab going to South bus terminal.  Estimated fare is 250 – 350 PHP, depending on traffic.  Or you can take it straight to Mantalongon Wet Market/Mantalongon Market Proper but we try for the cheapest travel method, which is by bus. 

Alternatively, if you're familiar with Uber and/or Lyft, then you can download and use the mobile app, Grab, to book your transportation. 


Travel time from Airport to South Bus Terminal: 1 hour (depending on traffic)


From Cebu City:
Take a cab or jeepney to South Bus Terminal which is a few metres away from Elizabeth Mall.  The terminal is clean and organized.  Buy your ticket at the counter and make sure to read the board signs placed in front of the windshield mirror before hopping inside the bus.


From the South bus terminal: take the Ceres Bus 


Buses Operates from 1 AM – 9 PM 

Bus Fare: 150 – 180 PHP 
Bus Route: Cebu to Dalaguete/Bato-Oslob
Drop-Off: Mantalongon-Dalaguete Junction
Travel Time (bus/private car): 3 – 4 hours

Prices may have changed.  


From Mantalongon-Dalaguete Junction: Take a "habal-habal" or motorcycle ride to Mantalongon Wet Market 
Travel time: 20 – 30 minutes


Another alternative if you're familiar with Cebu City:

Terminal: Magallanes Street in Carbon Market (bus parks nearby Caltex Gas station)

Mini-Bus fare (Cebu-Mantalongon Wet Market): 100 php
Travel time: 3 - 4 hours
Bus Schedule: 6AM,, 8AM and 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 and that's when they hit the road.


Tips
Power outlets: None
Money matters: We recommend getting your currency exchanged via Western Union (WU) since you'll get a better rate than at the airport.  You can send your travel budget to yourself and pick up the exchanged amount at the local WU.


Suvival Terms
CR is the term for the toilet
Salamat means "thank you"



Booking.com




Once you arrive at Mantalongon Wet Market/Mantalongon Market Proper — you can use either of the two names — you can then buy ingredients for your meals if you haven't gone grocery shopping yet.  And remember: prioritize clean drinking water.

Buy Supplies (Food and Drinks):
Budget: 700 – 1,000 PHP (100 – 300 PHP per person)

With this amount we were able to buy 1 and 1/2 kilos of rice, "adobo" ingredients, 2 kilos of pork cubes (be sure to slice it into small pieces so it cooks faster and saves some fire fuel), 1/8 dried fish, canned  goods, noodles, juice packs and some liquor.  Remember to drink moderately — you're alone up there and it’s a long way down if something happens.


We bought some butane fuel ahead of time for cooking, which can be bought at an ACE Hardware store for 70 – 100 PHP (burner price: 1,000 – 2,000 PHP).



Hike from Mantalongon Market to Osmeña Peak: 2 – 3 hours, depending on your pace.


Welcome to Osmeña Peak! Now what?!

At the camping zone, delegate tasks like setting up the tents and trash bins and, most importantly, start cooking and scouting for toilet spots.  Yes, you dig up your own hole to hide your treasures just like your friendly neighborhood dog.



Tip 1: Hike early

If you passed by a grotto of a Mother Mary along the way, you're on the right track.  Say a little prayer here for guidance and your group's safety.  There's no turning back once you started climbing up the mountain.  Breathe and watch your steps, be alert for rolling stones and avoid stepping on pebbles for better grip. Avoid traveling late in the afternoon; manage your time to reach the peak before sunset.



Tip 2: No tour guide? No problem


There will be kids following you as you start you hike.  They are cute and harmless.  If you don't have a guide, they'll be more than happy to show you the way.  Just be kind enough to tip them when you reach the top.



Tip 3: Water supply


There is no water station at the peak.  What you do is ask those small kids to go with you and take with them some water, which then you can use for cooking and washing your hands and utensils.  Mostly they'll ask 20 – 50 PHP, sometimes even more.  Just try to joke around them and you'll get a 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.





Tip 4: Here are important things to bring when camping
  • A tent is a must!  A sleeping bag will not get you through the night.  The weather is not stable even in March and that's already considered summer.  The tents danced like the crazy song "Harlem Shake" at night and we all had a Harlem Shiver.
  • One sleeping bag per person will help with the cold night
  • A jacket with a hood.  If without a hood, then bring along your beanie/bonnet, thick socks and a scarf for the wind
  • A flashlight.  There's no electricity and the houses are distant from the peak
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • A camera.  I don't advise bringing a DSLR.  It could rain at anytime and the moisture inside the tent and in your bag are not good for your camera.  If you do, make sure it's in a waterproof bag and with some silica gels inside to absorb the moisture
  • Optional: gummy bears!  Ahahaa.  It’s a great sweet candy when you're chatting in a circle and maybe pairs well with liquor too

We cooked our dinner, thanked our butane for such a lovely meal and each one of us for being resourceful.  Only a few, including me, forgot to bring the most important thing needed for eating: plates.  What we did was cut the bottled water in half and used them as plates for our hands. It’s not like we were complaining of getting our hands dirty.  Remember: there's scarcity of water.  Later that night we had some drinks paired with chips and gummy bears.


The fog started to envelope us way before the night started.  We headed to the peak for another quick glance until we couldn't see it anymore.  Your flashlight will be your best friend; take it with you wherever you go and watch each others' steps.  Make sure to take your time walk slowly to avoid tripping.

The fog got thicker when we went down to join our tents.  It felt like I could almost taste the fog around me.  Before we get lost in the thick cloud suspended in the air, we decided to call it a night.


My friend and I slept like a baby.  Then all of a sudden, we were awoken by a sudden gush of air.  Rain and strong winds pushed our tent back.  Oh my.  I prayed, ahahaa.  It was a rough rainy night before dawn welcomed us with shivering winds and more rainfall.  It all equated to a sleepless night in the peak of Cebu.



I was glad to see a glimpse of light outside the tent at 5 o'clock in the morning.  It was still a bit dark, so the girls ran to take a leak far away from the tents.  The boys ran to theirs in the opposite way.  The best feeling after holding a pee for too long is to release all the liquid tension that kept me up all night long.  I had only realized that relief in the morning because of the wonderfully unexpected weather from last night.

I'm not done yet.  Our next plan was to Hike from Osmeña Peak to Kawasan Falls.





We packed our things and decided to have breakfast at the very first Sari-Sari store or convenient store that we passed along the way down the mountain.  We still had  some available butane and rice.  However, we ran out of water for washing and drinking so we needed to refill our supply for the hike ahead.  Funny thing was Kenneth, the friendly kid who brought us our water supply, woke up late, yet he was kind enough to take our pictures.



The fog was incredible as it covered the mountains while the sun was beginning to make its way up.  I took a shot of Osmeña Peak from left and right and it kind of showed a woman lying down with long hair, 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. 


Tip 5: Pack light, NOT just a flashlight


Pack your things properly.  You don’t want to bring an imbalanced backpack down the mountain.  Place your water bottle outside your bag, prepare your hats and sunglasses for an agonizing, yet exciting hour of trekking to the waterfalls.


Why eight hours of hiking?  Two hours to Osmeña Peak plus four hours to Kawasan Falls and two hours back to the main road to catch the bus back to Cebu City.  Have fun and be safe ^__^

Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).


Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go for a 4-hour trek to Kawasan Falls? Push!

Where am I going next?

16 comments:

  1. I wonder if we had a different route to Kawasan from Osmena. It took us 5.5 hours. Maybe it was just because of our pace.

    Leandro at Osmena peak

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guessed we were just pretty hungry and less stop overs, my friend also told me that there seems to be new tracks perhaps that helped too.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny thing is I actually have that button located at the upper right corner of my blog. Check out my blog using the web version.

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  3. Hi,
    Me and few friends are planning to go Osmena peak. Is it possible for us to do it dayhike? Do you have contact person there who can actually ask questions and inquiries?
    Thanks so much. Hoping for a reply from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Shirlyn!

      As of the moment I'm not in the Philippines. I don't have access to my phonebook in Cebu. I'm sorry about that.

      You can check istorya.net they have a few topics about climbing the peak and safety tips before you get there. I recommend making your way there in Summer.

      The view up there is worth every sweat you make. Have fun and be safe!

      Delete
    2. @ Shirlyn Mae Vailoces
      my fellow traveler/climber have contact number of kenneth, the child tour guide

      Delete
    3. Hi Konrad,

      I think that's the same child who brought us fresh water in the morning,a close friend of our fellow climber. He lives nearby the place so you can ask for water to cook your rice and wash your face.

      Delete
  4. Hey nice post. I was in Osmena peak last august 6 to 7..our climb/tour guide was also KENETH(the same impressions we have he is kind and love to take pictures), who approached us with his Tuxedo..

    PS
    we have contact number of Kenneth..just pm me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there!

      It's nice to hear from people who has been up there in the peak. I hope the weather was at your favor, during our time the weather gone mad for a while. However, that made the experience more extreme and memorable.

      This boy has just gone viral for Osmeña Peak climbers, that kid sure got his charm work out.

      Thanks for checking out my blog post.

      Delete
  5. HI, good morning.. i want to have a day hike to osmena peak via mantalungon,, is it possible to have the contact no, of kenneth,, im planning to do it on tuesday,, please advice, thanks

    bijam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Bijam,I'm sorry for the late reply but I don't have Kenneth's number and his not really an official guide. I hope you had a wonderful time at the peak. Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!

      Delete
  6. After watching the movie a walk in the woods, me and my daughters are now planning na to go to Osmena Peak. Is it SAFE for 3 ladies? (ako, og duha ka girls nga anak).

    Please reply.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Joy, I'm sorry for the late response. I hope you got there safe and sound. If you did manage to check out the peak I hope you had a blast. Thanks for checking out my post. Cheers!

      Delete
  7. t one point, there was a dance contest where anyone could join in. Best Philippines Vacation Guide

    ReplyDelete