Dec 19 2014

the Osmeña Peak to Kawasan Traverse

With the fast approaching holidays, I’ve been grounded to my daily routine of work and home. It has been 2 weeks since I last put on my hiking gears. I guess this is a good time to go through some backlogs.

This backpacking trip happened last August June 28, 2014. The trail is commonly called the O. Peak Kawasan traverse. Or at least that’s what I commonly hear from my peers. The trail we took was a moderate one and it was mostly downhill. My gps logged a total of 14.03km starting from our group photo at the O. Peak to the highway past Kawasan Waterfalls.


Day 1

We started the day by taking the bus that’s parked at at the gasoline station at corner Magallanes and Panganiban Street.


The bus left the city around 830AM. The bus ride from Cebu City to Mantalungon was about 3 hours and were full of interesting photo subjects.


We arrived at Mantalungon at about 11:30AM. Just enough time for us to buy supplies from the local market and have our lunch before we make the final hike to the campsite.


Osmeña Peak is a well known place for backpackers and it’s really important to be at the campsite very early so you can get hold of the prime areas for the tents. There are no trees in the area for hammock users. We decided to split the group. 1 smaller group to go ahead and secure the campsite while the main group stays and buys supplies.


I decided to join the lead group. This will allow me to setup my tent early so I can focus more on scouting for photo opportunities.


It’s nice to see wild flowers blooming in the area. Too bad the day was overcast. It would have been perfect if we had blue skies.


The main group arrived, setup their tents and get to prepping for dinner.


I decided to take the opportunity to explore the less taken areas. I’ve always wanted to climb this peak.


The view up the peak was different than I expected. It gave a panoramic view of the farming areas below.


A selfie! Don’t worry, this area is totally safe. The camera angle just made it look as if I was at the edge of the cliff.


Here’s KG, my photo buddy in this trip. He joined me in climbing to this area.


Turning to face west, this is our view. It’s similar to the view from the site they call Osmeña Peak, but without the crowd. We had this area to ourselves.


Turning to the Southwest, you can see the campsite and the Osmeña Peak in the background. It’s almost sunset and I really wanted to wait for golden hour. Unfortunately the fog has covered our view and is slowly creeping towards our direction. Time to descend now since the trail back to the campsite is not easy.


When we got back, everyone was has already settled and just waiting for dinner.


The fog cleared up. I should have stayed up there. Oh well, I just have to settle with this generic shot and try my luck later for star trails


Back at the campsite for some socials.


After a few rounds of drinks at the campsite, when most of the group has decided to call it a night. KG and I went back to Osmeña Peak for the stars!


Day 2

Being a landscape photographer is never easy. You rarely get enough sleep. Up early for the sunrise!


Group shot!


Now we are off to the main hike, the traverse to Kawasan Waterfalls. It was the humidity and the heat of the sun that was really wearing me down. The trail was mostly easy to moderate since it was mostly downhill.


We already had a designated stop at the water source. Here we had our lunch. We were already half way the trail.


Last break before we tackle the last few kilometers for the trail.


The last part was easy. Mostly paved roads.


Finally reached the Kawasan Waterfalls!


Overall, I had fun. I would like to try this trail in reverse next time. I bet that will be more challenging. There also a few areas along the hike that I wish I had more time to spend taking photos. Maybe a 3 days 2 nights hike would be better if it’s a group of hiking photographers.


For those interested, here are the technical details of the trail from Osmeña Peak to Kawasan.