During my time in the Philippines I spent two separate one month stints living in Cebu city. I also spent some time exploring southern Cebu. One of the highlights of my journeys south of the big city was visiting the highest point of the island; Osmeña peak.
Dalaguete town lies a few hours south of Cebu city. While the town itself may not hold any of Cebu’s top tourist spots such as the whale shark watching of Oslob or the famous Kawasan falls it’s a pleasant enough town with a few resorts nearby.
There’s a nice beach available over at Dalaguete beach park that has a small entrance fee(when there’s actually someone around to charge you).
For even more bathing one can visit Obong springs, which seems really popular with local families.
Mantalongon & Osmeña Peak
The reason to come to Dalaguete however is it’s proximity to the peak which makes it an ideal base for you mountaineering expedition. From Dalaguete market you can haggle with one of the friendly motorcycle drivers to take you up in the mountains to the scenic town of Mantalongon; also known by the easier to remember moniker; The vegetable basket of Cebu.
True to it’s nickname Mantalongon is an excellent place to stock up on vegetables or, perhaps more appropriate for the aspiring hiker, fruits. At the time of my visit sweet yellow mangoes could be had for as little as 30 PHP per kilo. While your friendly motorcycle driver can take you all the way to the base camp for Osmeña peak i suggest you stop at the market and then hike to the peak from there. It’s only a thirty minute walk or so through lovely surroundings.
Once at the base camp you register your name and off you go. It’s not the hardest climb in the world and as you can see from my pictures and video below it’s worth the effort. Best of all is probably the cool air and the sensation of actually feeling slightly cold in the Philippines!
Some useful links:
Climbing the osmeña peak(Cebu daily news)