Monday, September 12, 2011

Osmeña Peak Dalaguete

A less popular view from O Peak. I over-exposed most of my shots of the "real" peak.

A trip to the clouds is P50 pesos away from the town entrance of Dalaguete. You can take a motorcycle there for a 13-kilometer ascent through smooth and electric-bumpy road.

The froggy foggy road to Mantalongon, Dalaguete. Taken while riding a habal-habal.

Thick fog covering the narrow road that leads to Mantalongon seemed like a natural sight. I have mountain-biked up there three times and the fogs are ever-so-present.

You can ask the habal-habal driver to take you all the way to the foot of Osmeña Peak if walking is not your thing. But if you plan to walk from the marketplace of Mantalongon, just remember to turn left before the first bridge that you will cross. You will immediately see a groto of the Virgin Mary and that road will surely lead you there.

The barangay park at Mantalongon, around 12noon.

A Walk to not-Remember

Chyrel Gomez carrying our spare tent.

On the way to the summit, we were met by a kid who asked if we wanted water. We refused him politely then he went ahead of us to show the way. It seemed at first that he was just going home and leading us while he was at it. But then, our Good Samaritan turned out to be a paid tour guide. He met up with two more kids along the way. I don't know what they were up to but there were a lot of whisperings involved. I didn't want to be outdone so I also talked in whispers to everyone.

Osmena Peak way before you get there.

The tour boys told us that at the camp site we would pay 20 pesos each. When we neared the place, two teenage boys caught up with us. We made them walk ahead because their pace seemed faster than our SM-Ayala-Emall trained legs.

A footpath on the way to the camping site.

At the entrance of the camp area, we found them with handbook in hand, ready to collect our money. It was a surprise that was not welcome at all. I did not know that going to Osmena Peak involved a lot of fine print.

A wild boar.

Suddenly, an elder man joined and got the money from the two boys (I don't know where he sprung up. From the cracks in the ground, maybe!). He started whispering with them and the three kids who guided us. So it was a whispering party. Their equivalent to our metal music? That was the lousiest part of the trip. Any part where locals are conspiring is so not good. Anyway, we did not figured out what the 20 was for. There sure was no guard in the night or free firewood at least.

Campers resting. Osmena Peak is on the other side. I don't know what I was doing up here.

The road that we walked.

I did not bother complain about it. I have this one simple rule: if you are in a place where you are being robbed of 20 pesos in broad daylight in a quasi-legal way, just give them your money. You do not want to mess up with people who are on their own turf.

The wild boar-cat followed the campers.

A Shivery Night (the really scary movie sense)

Do I look like I don't know what I'm doing? Yeah I don't! I'm a mountain biker. This is only my second camp ever.

We bought canned tuna for the night because we thought that Osmena Peak was an ever-verdant place where lighting a bonfire is graver than blasphemy. We failed to consider the "established camp site" part. Soon as I found out that there is nothing to preserve about the place, I gather firewood for the night.

Our camp from afar. We were the only exception.

We went inside the tent at 7pm. We brought two tents, actually. I told a friend that I have a tent, COURTESY OF ROX, that can fit in five people. There were four of us on the trip and one failed to do the math so she brought another tent.

Chyrel Gomez with a bottle of The Bar.

Sahree, I digress like foot trails. Anyway, we went in at 7pm because our Agent friends haven't slept since their night shift. My eyelids were also heavy from exhaustion and boredom so I went inside my sleeping bag as well.

James with the ultimate camping gear: pink-and-yellow elephant pajamas.

But I was kept awake at night by the sound of tuna cans clattering outside (it's getting creepy typing this). There was no wind and definitely those were not fireflies eating from the can.

The five-minute bonfire. There was not enough wood to get by.

The undefinable noise and motion outside heightened my senses like I just chugged a gallon of espresso. Those were not humans outside, whatever they were, they just roamed freely around our tent after they were done with the cans. The fog has passed and the moon was bright enough to cast shadows against the tent. There was no shadow at all of that thing outside.

Our littered camp. We cleaned up before we left, promise!

I could not have cared of they were ghost or other entities (like those humanoids with three fingers who always want to phone home). Humans are the most dangerous creature of all. It is a wonder there is no world record to officially recognize that yet. Nothing could be worse than being robbed or killed for pure psycho murder while you are romanticizing the thought of sleeping in a tent at night instead of staying at the safety of your home.

View from Osmena Peak in the morning. There are so many peaks I don't know which really belongs to Osmena.

Whatever it was/they were, we just let them do what they pleased as they were not harming us (just scaring us to death). It made me wish that I've set up the other tent to give the illusion of number.

That must have happened between 8pm and 9pm. I woke up at 2am and went outside to do my part for the environment. Our three tuna cans were gone and we did not find them with the periphery of the campsite in the morning. There was no time for ghost stories. We had to set out for our Kawasan traverse, a.k.a. the long guess-walk through wilderness. Just to spoil the plot, we did find our way.

The whole place was dewy in the morning.


whotheheck said...

amen to the pink elephants!

approximately lost said...

Amen. No one can beat that.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun but Smarty, you are such a noob camper! :D It's best to cook meals, grill, or heat canned soup and eat before the dark. Clean up immediately so you can enjoy your campfire in the evening. Wild animals may smell food miles away. When we camped in the Sierra Nevada, we had to keep our food properly in order not to attract coyotes and bears. We were not allowed to store food inside the car because bears could break into cars just to get to their munchies. The campgrounds designated "bear boxes" for food storage.

approximately lost said...

Well, we all start from being noobs. But you were uber-hyper-nube when you started camping.

coolwaterworks said...

I haven't had the opportunity to set camp in O-Peak. You had such an adventure...

At night, the ambient noise level for rural areas is very low, as such spikes in noise levels are very defined and audible to human ears. :)

It is also probable that those who tinkered with your cans are Visayan leopard cats ( Although rainforests are their primary habitats, they are known to live near humans too, and they can also travel long distances away from their niches.

And I do agree, nothing could be worse than the atrocities of our fellow men.

And one more thing, the "O-Peak" is actually the highest one of these many peaks, and you set foot on it in the picture after your camp clean up. The are is actually private. So, the collection thing (done just recently) might actually be justified... Nevertheless, I still think it's shamefully small for the opportunity to wonder. ;)

It's also good to visit the peak during rainy season... You get to hug the clouds... (

approximately lost said...

bai mark,

thanks for this comment.

the more alone you are, the closer you are to your demons. our demons that time was the uncertainty of what it was outside the tent and what the unfamiliar noises meant. i was really wishing those were not humans, as the passive aggression of the locals that afternoon made me feel cautious.

thanks for this comment, i sure learned a lot from an experienced mountaineer/photographer :D

Anonymous said...

Next time... dont create a bonfire... please review your mountaineering codes of conduct....

Bal Marsius said...

we lit a few twigs. we didn't burn an entire forest. maybe you can do better on being nice and introducing yourself

Bal Marsius said...

we made fire on bare ground that's already been burnt. pretend that you don't exist(and that you actually have a name) and i'll pretend you're not self-righteous

Bal Marsius said...

this blog does not tolerate comments from self-righteous cowards who won't even introduce themselves

Penfires! said...

WoW grabe ang fog! must be real cold when you guys climbed up sa Opeak!

I am not sure if the fees come with official ordinances and such but yah they do collect.

I won't forget climbing this peak ever, I almost fainted, kay super unfit man haha

I love the pajamas murag naa sa bedroom lang hehe

Im typing as I am reading and just read the last sentence

Saludo! gi traverse dyud ninyo to Kawasan!

>>>this blog does not tolerate comments from self-righteous cowards who won't even introduce themselves

winner ni! heheh =)


WeLOVECebu said...

Went there last year but we hired a habal habal up to the foot of Osmena peak.. this saves time and makes the trip easier for non hikers hehehe!!!

Anonymous said...
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Rene Leandro Padilla said...

Wa jud mi kahuna2 mag campfire atong niadto mi. Nice post!

Bal Marsius said...

@penfires: dagan pud panagsa oi..wehehe..sori super late response i've been light years away

@welovecebu: great idea, you get to enjoy the view without working for it..wehehe

@rene: ayaw kay naa'y manuko XD

Erwin Punay Medalle said...

I've been in OSMEÑA PEAK twice but there was no trail that time....bati-a na ana ron...mura mag cementado na agianan anyway that was year 1995 and 1996.kinahanglan gyud di-ay naay mausab

Bal Marsius said...

lagi, nangabati na gyud ang mga trail karun

Anonymous said...

Minimize Campfire Impacts

Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires.
Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

Fires built on the ground overheat the organic soil and kill the creepy crawlies living in it. It may take a very long time for anything to grow in the spot where a fire was built. An established fire ring is a sacrificed spot in which fires are accepted to prevent destruction of other areas.
In the absence of fire rings, rather than creating a fire directly on the ground, it is better to insulate the organic soil from the heat of your fire by using a camp stove, fire pan, or mound fire.

Anonymous said...

Pagka hanggaw nag bonfire sa osmeña peak. Mga amaw

Bal Marsius