The Unplanned Hike to Osmena Peak


Before I begin, I would have to warn you that this post is not a guide on how to get there, but in case you are planning to go there, Read: A Vegetable Basket in Cebu

All I can remember was, I was nodding to a 5AM rendezvous after glasses of sweet white wine the previous night after a sumptuous boodle feast.  

The next morning, I heard the alarm clock after three hours of sleep. The karaoke neighbor wasn't awake yet and I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed.  I started rushing around at 4AM like a mad woman.  Five minutes to the agreed time, we joined the group in their van. Everyone muttered a brief "bonjour" and "g--morning" and then silence. We all fell back to a short sleep during a 40 -45 minute drive from Argao to Mantalongon in Dalaguete while it was pouring outside.

The foggy morning greeted us along with the two 12- year old kids cum tour guide who are both waving at the side of the road. The group was supposed to take the trail yesterday and they hired both of them after their impressive sales speech, but it started raining hard  before they even began their ascent.  

We were all amazed by the professionalism of these kids. We arrived at the meet up point past 5:30AM and they were there at 5AM sharp.   They explained and started giving pointers like adult guides. They're witty and quick to answer and you can sense in their driven ways that they are enthusiastic to learn and their optimism will take them very far in life.  

The trail starts here. Log in, register, pay the entrance fee and off you go.
As soon as we reached the Registration Office at the bottom of the trail, the rain stopped. I'm glad we wore strapped hiking sandals but I have forgotten that up there it was really cold.  I was wearing a tank top again like I did in Tagaytay.  Luckily, we had rain coats with us while we wrapped Anais in a fleece blanket. 


The kids were not allowed to work as guides. There's a new rule imposed by the Department of Social Welfare and Department of Labor and Employment to discourage child labor and kids getting out of school to work. We didn't hire a guide after registering and paying the entrance fee.  We took the trail on our own. 

Niqqque, my visiting friend from Dubai at Osmena Peak


The trail is easy. It is a 20-30 minute hike. However, that morning it was treacherously muddy and slippery so we took our time.



We later saw the 2 kids, Lyndon and Joseph at the peak. During my descent, I had the opportunity to talk to Lyndon. He's the 7th child of 15 children. According to him, he goes to school regularly but it was a Saturday so he's free and aims to earn on the side. He has nine sisters and five brothers. His parents sell vegetables and are busy working at the market.  Joseph offered me wild berries when he spotted them and we continued the trail downwards while chatting with them both.



It was an honor to meet these kids. My unexpected encounter with them will always be embedded in my memory of Osmena Peak. I pray for a bright future for these two souls and I hope in one way, I can contribute and do something for kids like them. This is one of my long term future goals. I pray that God lead me to what that might be.

Our Group at the Peak
A Family Photo at the Peak

Have a lovely week everyone!
Love & light,
Arni


You Might Also Like

10 comments

  1. the nature certainly is stunning, seems like tons of clean oxygen to breath in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For that, it inspires me to spend more time outside :)

      Delete
  2. An easy hike you say? Then I'd love to climb that mountain haha... I must say the view from the top is gorgeous. I remember the kids at Mt. Pico De Loro in this story, they are also young, but quite an expert in climbing that mountain. We were all crawling up the perilous slope to the summit while they were climbing like there was nothing to it, and they were just wearing flip flops. When I saw our pictures, I couldn't help but laugh.

    I do hope also that the kids that you met during your hike would have a bright future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surprisingly it was, especially on a clear day. The slope is not too steep and the trek is easy. It can all be done in 20 minutes, there's no need for a guide especially when you're traveling in a group. Though, I heard there's a difficult trail that starts at the bottom instead of taking the road by car.

      Delete
  3. Enjoyed hearing about the entrepreneurial kids and hope they keep that special spark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too, Rooth. I pray for a bright future for these kids.

      Delete
  4. Good to know there is some hiking in Philippines! I love hiking so If I ever go to your country I will do this hike, the views from the top are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will enjoy many hiking trails here and there are still many off beaten paths left to be discovered.

      Delete
  5. I would love to try trekking to Osmena Peak when in Cebu. Thankyou for the stunning photos as well as your insights on the kids you met.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Gelyka, I can't wait to go back there again. Hopefully very soon.

      Delete

Flickr Images