3 Different Faces of Osmena Peak

" You can never visit the same place twice. Each time it's a different story. By the very act of coming back, you wipe what came before." - Maureen Johnson

One might be quick to assume that visiting the same place three different times will paint the same picture.

I daresay nope, not really.

I think each place we visit changes. It depends on who we are with, the season, the circumstances, the moods we are in and the experiences we have created.

Call it new age mumbo jumbo, but I always believe that we leave traces of our own energies and vibrations behind, negative or positive, in each place we visit.  Whenever a personal bad memory is associated in a particular destination, I always make it a point  to go back and create a better experience there to erase the unpleasant ones.

Yet, all trips to Osmena Peak were wonderful. Each trek was unique on its own.

First Hike

I vividly remember my first unplanned hike to the summit some time in January this year. You might have read it here. Our group aboard a white van, consisted of friends visiting from France, U.S. and Dubai. We were at the bottom of the trail at 5:30AM sharp. Without a guide, our group managed to hike the slippery mud-drenched trail under intermittent rain.  It was an extremely cold wet morning for a tropical country like the Philippines.  My 3 year old daughter was covered in fleece blanket and my husband carried her on his shoulders all the way to the summit.

We trekked at our own pace,  despite being in a group and there were lots of blurry pictures. The drawbacks hiking up there in this weather were unclear skies, low visibility and feet covered in thick mud. 

{ Read more about it here: The Unplanned Hike to Osmena Peak }

Second Hike

When my college best friend, Zepy and a new found friend, Arlen decided to spend their Holy Week here with us, I played tour guide.  It was my first time to drive the car all the way up the steep winding roads of Mantalongon, Dalaguete.  The road work was almost complete. A huge contrast to our first drive here, but there were still a few narrow turns while driving. I had to show a composed and brave face to conceal my fear of heights.

We saw Osmena Peak in its Tuscany-like glory under gorgeous blue skies and cool sun.  The temperature was fresh. The kind where despite the 30-minute ascent, I did not perspire.  This time , I hired a guide to assist me with my 3 year old daughter.

My friends took the opportunity to capture the scenic vista and a number of selfies at the peak.  Our guide became instant photographer.

My toddler wanted to break free and explore by herself. I held her for fear she'd run and jump off at the edge of the cliff.  She threw a tantrum in exchange. We continued to perch on a rock together as she calmed down in my arms while waiting for my friends to descend.

There were lots of trekkers this time.  Waiting for our turn to pass along the narrow trail, giving way to others.

Osmena Peak revealed her welcoming and friendly side.  A certain kind of beauty that wasn't there during my first visit.

Third Hike

Third time's a charm.  Our friend, Lito from Dubai decided to spend the last leg of his Philippine vacation with us.  I was more than happy (in fact relieved) for my husband to take the wheel.

Just like the previous visits, there is limited parallel parking along the narrow road that leads to the base of the 1.5 km trail. A small shed sits at the top of the steps where you need to register. You'd need to pay an entrance fee of Php 30 per person. After signing your name on the log book, you're good to go.

We didn't hire a guide this time.  My daughter knows the trail well by now so she excitedly hiked next to her father.

It was an extraordinarily beautiful day similar to the second visit but the weather was even more fresh. The colors jumped out as though I'm staring at an HD version.

This was sometime in June, on a week day. Classes have already started so we were half expecting lesser groups. Yet, I was wrong. There were vans of barkadas (group of friends) coming from Manila.  It was something that made me smile inwards, to listen to them speak Tagalog, my native tongue.  Happy to hear the language again.

I need not worry about busy trails. Armed with gadgets, they went at their own pace, stopped from time to time to take selfies and 360 degree videos with their Go Pro sticks.

At the top, my daughter stood next to my husband several feet away. She knew she had to escape before I lock my arms tight around her.

To our surprise,  she suddenly ran towards the other direction leading towards a sharp drop. She almost lost her balance and stopped just in time, at the edge of the ravine.

I screamed, along with the rest of the tourists at the top. Everyone froze to watch the scene.

Out of impulse and an adrenaline spike, I jumped over a thigh-high rock and caught her before she moved an inch. My heart stopped beating.

My motherly side kicked in and started scolding her, while I heard judgmental murmurs stating, "Why do they have to bring kids up here?"

I suppose that came from someone who either has no child or someone who has nannies at their beck and call at home.

Anyway, that fell on deaf ears.

We would never bring her to extreme activities we know would not be suitable to a child.  However, I will not stop her from experiencing and enjoying nature .

She obediently held our hands during descent. My daughter learned a valuable lesson.

Osmena Peak took us by surprise, one of fear coupled with  joy of walking, but its beauty will always be captivating, no matter how many times we visit.

We will be engaging our fourth visit soon.

How to Get There?  { Read more about it here: Vegetable Basket of Cebu }

Have a lovely Sunday!
Love & light,

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  1. She's certainly spreading her wings and growing, that's for sure. Sounds like she has her mother's adventurous spirit :)

    1. It is my dream to be able to provide a stable environment for her to comfortably grow into the girl that she really is. I am happy for her to express her adventurous streak 😊