If you think exploring Cebu is all about beaches and historical places, then you may have not heard of the secrets of southern Cebu yet. Here, every town has a tourist attraction to boast. And one place that remains an undiscovered gem to adventure travelers is the laid-back town of Dalaguete, Cebu.
Osmeña Peak is a cluster of jagged hills like a deformed twin of the Chocolate Hills in Bohol hugging the shorelines of Badian, Cebu. Located in Brgy. Mantalongan in Dalaguete, there are four trails that will lead you there; one from Mantalongon,and the rest from Badian that ends in Kawasan Falls, and Liong. This beautiful massif is well-known to mountaineers, but for non-climbers, taking the easier route via Mantalongan Market is a wiser choice.
From the main road in Dalaguete, you can take a habal-habal to the nearest jump-off point to Osmeña Peak. Negotiate the rate with the drivers including the waiting time, usual rate is Php 200 roundtrip for the motorcycle but you may be asked to pay additional for the waiting time. The greater portion of the road has been paved except the ones near Mantalongan Market which are currently in the works. The scenic route to the craggy hills will take roughly 30 minutes. Sturdy four-wheeled vehicles can access the road, just ask the locals for directions.
This part of Dalaguete is reminiscent of the mountain villages in the northern parts of the country. A laidback place with low temperatures and dotted with pine trees. Vines crawling in towering trees and lush green vegetable gardens, roosters cocking, and humble cozy shacks are usual sight. A remote barangay inhabited mostly by vegetable farmers sporting their jackets, boots and old jeans. You will meet children eagerly helping their families in their farm work, while some may approach you and politely ask you if you need a guide. Give them a few bucks and you will see wide smile on their naïve faces. A Php 20 entrance fee per person is required since the area is a private property. The only rule is respect; respect the locals and their environment. Never leave your trashes and do not trample on the farmers crops. And never take anything from their land. Do not give a reason for them to close Osmeña Peak to tourists.
Osmeña Peak offers that ethereal feel when you are standing on the summit with a majestic landscape patiently waiting to be explored. Feel the cool breeze breathing through your hair and your sweaty face and eyebrows. Like me, you will surely feel accomplished, excited and calm. Savor the moment of being embraced by this wonderful creation of nature.