“Take nothing, but pictures. Leave nothing, but footprints. Kill nothing, but time.”
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t go camping, I’m a city kid. I have never turned on a burner nor pitched a tent in my entire life. My idea of a vacation is laying on a beach and soaking in the sun, but the usual beach weekend getaways were starting to get boring. I wanted something different, something challenging. The idea of roughing it, always appealed to me. Of course, my definition of that is spending a whole day without a computer. I am not a mountaineer nor an outdoors-man. So let’s consider this an urbanite’s guide to Osmeña Peak.
How to get there:
(1) Drive south to Dalaguete proper. It’s a 2 hour and 30 min drive.
(2) Take a right to go to Bgy. Mantalungon.
(3) Park car in barangay hall.
(4) Register in the barangay hall – for safety reasons.
(5) You can get a guide in the barangay hall to accompany you up the mountain or you can opt to walk up yourselves. It’s a 2 hour trek.
(6) Once on the peak, someone will collect P20.00 per person as entrance.
Once on the peak, we enjoyed a great view of Cebu. The wind was strong and the sun was shining brightly. We set up camp and with nothing left to do, we did the most sensible thing… drink! It was a lot of fun! The alcohol of choice was Tanduay Rhum with orange juice as a chaser (beer would be too heavy). As we drank, the clouds started creeping in and eventually engulfed the entire camp. Admittedly, I got wasted. I don’t remember much of what happened early in the evening. When everyone was having dinner, I was in my tent, “resting.” The next thing I remember was I woke up to the loud and persistent sound of the wind hitting our tent. In retrospect, I made 3 big mistakes.
(1) I got drunk way too early.
(2) Our tent was too big and was placed right where the wind hit with maximum velocity.
(3) I didn’t bring ear plugs.
It turned out to be one of the longest nights of my life! Not only did I have to cope with the hard ground, I was incredibly hung over (damn you Tanduay!) and the wind was strong and loud enough to keep me from sleeping. At one point, I had to go out and brave the wind to fix the pegs that kept the tent to the ground. There were times when I thought the wind was going to uproot the tent and send us tumbling down the mountain. After what seemed like 2 minutes of sleep, the sun came up and we awoke to a cold foggy morning. The hot breakfast tasted sublime, especially since all I had the night before was peanut butter and bread. We then cleaned up all the trash and broke camp.
Even though we came down the mountain battered, tired and bloody (ok bloody is a bit much), we felt a great sense of accomplishment. For most of us, this was a feat we’ve never experienced nor dreamed we could ever do. Once we reached the top, there really was a moment of calm and satisfaction. It wasn’t Mt. Everest, but maybe this trip could act as a metaphor to mean that if we put our mind to it, we could overcome our own personal mountains.
– Bring a tent that isn’t too big.
– As a backup, bring food that doesn’t need to be cooked; ex. bread and peanut butter. If it rains, you may find it difficult to cook.
– Situate your tent where there is less wind – you’ll thank me when you get to sleep at night.
– Bring sunscreen – it can get HOT.
– Bring a jacket, warm pants and thick socks – it can get COLD.
– Bring a back pack fit for mountaineering – one with straps for a tent.
– It is best to go with someone who is familiar with the area or who has experience in camping. Knows how to cook and pitch a tent = not me.
– For the cooking, bring burners, butane cans, and a cook set.
– Remember to hydrate! Bring a one liter container of water per person. You can buy water from the locals when on the peak.
– Along with comfortable walking shoes, also bring a pair of slippers.
– Consider wrapping all your essentials with plastic bags, in case it rains.
– Last few items to bring: Funnel, flashlights, and ear plugs.
– Most important!!! Make sure to clean up all your trash. Help preserve Mother Nature.