Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Osmeña Peak- the highest point in Cebu.

Osmeña Peak is known to be the highest point in Cebu. Based on the web, it stands a little over 1000 meters above sea level. It is located in Mantalongon (Municipality of Dalaguete) and it is approximately 3 hours away from Cebu City.  Barangay Mantalongon is also known as The Vegetable Basket of Cebu, so expect a lot of vegetable plantations along the way.


Osmeña Peak is one of the best options to start your climbing adventure. The climb is just easy and the cold weather makes it bearable. Going on a weekday hike is a good idea to avoid long queues and waiting for your photo op at the peak. 


I first visited this place last year with my friends from Bacolod. We had our overnight stay in Oslob. From there, we hurriedly drove our way to Osmeña peak just to witness the beautiful sunset. We only stayed there for two hours as we were running out of time and we had to catch our scheduled trip back to Negros via Lite Ferry. I was in awe when I saw the beautiful sunset view from the peak and I told myself to visit this place again to witness the zero visibility. 



Last October 5, my co-workers and I decided to go back to this place and spend a night on top of the mountain and also to spend my pre-birthday celebration. Hihihi. While on our way to Dalaguete, we were a bit worried because it was raining cats and dogs but good thing the weather cooperated when we arrived there. We started trekking around 7 in the evening and it was kinda scary because it was too dark. We only had one flashlight and our phones, of course as our  only source of light. Our guide told us that we're the only group camping at the top of the hill which made it extra scary! Oh well, what's life without a little risk? It was almost 8pm when we reached the peak, so we started setting up our tent and getting ready for dinner.


We couldn't get a decent sleep due to strong winds that almost ruined our tent. I was too coward to step outside alone just to pee because I could not see anything. It was too dark and it scared the hell out of me. We stayed inside our tent the entire night, taking selfies, sharing our life lessons while listening to good music until we fell asleep. I woke up exactly at 5 am so I could feel the zero visibility experience. Hahahaha. At Last! 






How to get there: (including expenses)

From Cebu South Terminal, ride a bus bound for Oslob or Bato. Travel time is 3 hours. And fare is 105 Php. Tell the bus driver to drop you off at Dalaguete junction.  

Upon arrival in Dalaguete, you can hire a motorcycle (habal-habal) going to the jump off point for 100 PHp per person. Travel time is 30-45 minutes. 

In case you need to buy water and food before going to Osmeña Peak, there's also a convenience store at the drop off point. 

At the foot of the mountain, you have to register your name and the fee is 30 PHp. 
To those who are planning to stay overnight, there's a fee of 50 PHp per tent. 
You can also hire a guide to lead you to the peak and the fee is 50-100 PHp. Trekking is about 15-30 minutes. 


Travel Tips 

When trekking, bring lots of water. Cellphone signal is weak but there are areas where I was able to get 3G (globe), just enough for me to upload real time photos of my adventure. If you want to spend the night there, just bring your own camping gears. And always check the weather condition prior to visiting the place because climbing the mountain is too risky when it's raining. Safety first, always!


And always remember the LNT Principles by Center for Outdoor Ethics. 

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles

Plan Ahead and Prepare
* Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
* Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
* Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
* Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
* Repackage food to minimize waste.
* Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
* Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
* Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
* Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
    * In popular areas:
        * Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
        * Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
        * Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
        * In pristine areas:
        * Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
        * Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
Dispose of Waste Properly
* Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
* Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
* Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
* To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
Leave What You Find
* Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
* Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
* Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
* Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
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.
Respect Wildlife
* Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
* Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
* Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
* Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
* Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
* Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
* Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
* Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
* Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
* Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

More photos below: 







Thank you for visiting my page. You may also follow me on Instagram- to know more about my travelogue. Or visit my Facebook

See you on the road! 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Things To Do in Antique, Philippines

It was another boring night at work when I spontaneously decided to go on adventure. I hurriedly went home right after my shift, packed my bags and  went straight to the port of Bacolod. I reached the port of Dumangas around 6 am and  a friend of mine was waiting there for me as I had no idea where to go next. Hahaha.  I had no sleep but my mind was filled with euphoria and I could not hide my excitement. Finally, I could cross this place off my bucket list.


6 AM               Arrival from the port of Dumangas
7 AM               Breakfast in Jollibee
8 AM               Take a van or bus from Molo terminal bound for Culasi, Antique
12 NOON         Lunch at Anna Sophie Hostel, Centro Sur, Culasi, Antique
1 PM                Check in at Anna Sophie Inn, Mararison Island
2 PM                Take a walk on the beach 
3 PM                Start trekking around the scenic Mararison landscape 

Mararison Island  is a 20- min. boat ride from the port of Culasi. If you don't like crowded beaches, this is the best place for you. Great beach, clear water and breathtaking view. It is also a perfect place to unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life. 

The Little Batanes of Panay

The picturesque view of the blue waters of Mararison Beach with the highest peak Mt. Madjaas in Culasi, Antique as the background.

The mini cave of Mararison Island 

Accommodation and Expenses

You may contact Anna Sophie Hostel and book a reservation. (pump boat, tour guide and a good place to stay on the island) contact number is 0920 476 2508/ 0905 272 8685/ 036-277-6673. You may also contact Mr. John Sumanting of Culasi Tourism Office. (036) 277-8077, 09163245068. 

Mararison Island Rates 

Room with AC                            2,000 PHP 3-4 pax
Non AC                                       1000  PHP  4-6 pax
Group Room                               1500 PHP max of 10 pax

Pump boat                                   800 PHP good for 5 pax  (round trip) 
Tour guide for trekking              200 PHP good for 5 pax 

Van Fare going to Culasi            200 PHP ( travel time is about 4 hours)

Travel Tips 

When trekking, bring lots of water. The island has a generator that operates at 6 pm- 5 am. Cellphone signal is weak but there are areas where I was able to get 3G (globe), just enough for me to upload real time photos of my adventure. They also cook food for guests, just pay a service charge but very affordable. There are many sari- sari stores on the island where you can buy supplies like water, ice, food, shampoo, body soap and beer. The locals are very friendly and helpful. 

Sunset View
Swim with me
How's this for a morning view?

 How To Get There

From Iloilo Airport, take a shuttle van going to Molo Terminal. Fare is 50 PHP. From Molo Terminal, you have two options. You may either take a van bound for Culasi, Antique (travel time is 4 hours) or take a bus (travel time is more than 5 hours). Fare is 200 PHP. 

From Kalibo, take a ceres bus or van going to Culasi, Antique. Travel time is about 2 hours and fare is 82 PHP.

 Be sure to spend a night here. Set up a camp on the sandbar and just enjoy watching the stars while listening to good music and to the crashing waves. Share your life stories with your travel buddies over a couple of beers. Forget all your worries and just live in the moment.

Day 2 

6 AM               Wake up call and breakfast by the beach
7 AM               Time to say goodbye, Mararison Island and wait for manong bangkero
8 AM               On our way to Tibiao, Antique
9 AM               Visit Kayak Inn and experience the famous Kawa Hot Bath
10 AM             Visit the hanging bridge
11 AM              Start trekking and visit Bugtong Bato Falls

At last! I experienced the famous Kawa Hot Bath here in Kayak Inn, Tibiao. It was an awesome experience. This is one of the best tourism products here in Tibiao, Antique. One will surely enjoy a hot bath under the huge trees overlooking the beautiful Tibiao River. 

After that unique Kawa Hot Bath experience, we went straight to the hanging bridge. Overcome your fear of heights and cross the hanging bridge and enjoy the breathtaking view of Tibiao River and the beautiful mountain view from afar. Based on the web, the Tibiao River is one of the best white water rivers in the Philippines because of it's clear waters suitable for water rafting or kayaking.

Our next destination was Bugtong Bato Falls in Barangay Tuno, Tibiao. It is a 7- tiered waterfalls but only three of which are accessible. It was almost lunchtime when we started trekking. The falls is accessible through a 30- minute walk. It is suitable for adventurers and nature lovers. You will definitely enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way and will serve as your reward for the hike. 

Bugtong Bato 1st Falls 
Bugtong Bato 2nd Falls
Bugtong Bato 2nd and 3rd Falls 

Accommodation and Expenses

For inquiries, you may contact Kayak Inn at 0908 504 3463 or 0921 570 1947. 

Kawa Hot Bath                                        200 PHP for 30 minutes only 
Habal Habal                                             70 PHP (one way) 
Bugtong Bato Falls Tour Guide              200 PHP 

How To Get There

There are two gateways to Antique by land, these are Iloilo and Aklan. From the Molo Terminal, you can take a bus or van bound for San Jose, Antique and Libertad. Travel time is approximately 3-4 hours. Fare is 180 PHP. 

More Photos Below 

Memories make life more meaningful 

Thank you for visiting my page. You may also follow me on Instagram- meljun1689 to know more about my travelogue. Or visit my Facebook

See you on the road! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Camotes Island, Cebu, Philippines

June 4-8, 2015

I almost gave up on this trip because my body had not yet recovered from our exhausting travel from Isla de gigantes 3 days ago. And a friend of mine got sick so he decided not to join us. But these guys did find a way to pursue our summer adventure to Camotes Island. If only you knew how persistent they were that i couldnt say No

Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Camotes island is located between Cebu and Leyte. Based on the web, the island got it's name when the Spaniards came and asked the locals what the name of the island was. The locals thought they wanted to know what they were planting. And they responded "camotes". 

Since we're from Bacolod City, we took a bus via Escalante going to Cebu. Fare is 620 pesos including RORO. We left the North Ceres Terminal at 10pm and finally reached Danao port around 6am. Unfortunately we didnt make it to the first trip to camotes since the ferry (Jomalia Shipping) left at 5:30 am so we waited for the next trip at 8:30 am but the ferry left around 9am already. Travel time from Danao Port to Consuelo is about two hours. Fare is 180 pesos and a terminal fee of 5 pesos. At first we were a bit worried because it was raining when we reached Danao but Mr. Sun showed up while we're on our way to Consuelo. So worry no more! Lol

On our way to the island 

On our way to the island 

If you're from a different city and wants to visit Camotes island, then you can take a bus or a van from Cebu North Terminal in Mandaue going to Danao. Fare is 50 pesos. 

Daily Schedule (Jomalia Shipping)

Danao to Consuelo   
5:30 am 
8:30 am
11:00 am 
2:00 pm
5:30 pm
9:00 pm

Consuelo to Danao
4:00 am 
5:30 am 
9:00 am
1:00 pm
3:00 pm
5:00 pm

We reached Consuelo port at 11am and manong driver was waiting for us there to bring us to the resort. We rented a van and paid 50 pesos per head. 

It was already lunchtime when we reached the resort. We stayed at Payag Beach House in Santiago, Camotes and paid 6,500 pesos for 3 days and 2 nights. The room was just okay. It was air-conditioned and we had our own washroom. They also serve food and beers. But sad to say, i would not recommend this place since they have limited water supply. We initially planned to stay in Santiago Bay Garden and Resort but they had no more rooms available and same thing with the other resorts nearby. So Payag Beach House was the only place that could accommodate us. But you can call them if you want to book a reservation. Their contact number is +63 922 7125542 and (63 32) 2331158

Finally! We're here. 

The best wacky pose goes to.....? 

Finally! We're here

An hour after we checked in, the receptionist told us that they didnt receive the money that we deposited. So we were kinda "what!!??". My friend, Mr. Montelibano, had been calling the bank for almost the entire day and finally got it squared away after 48 years hahaha. But that didnt stop us from enjoying our staycation. We always approach every experience with a positive outlook. 

On our first day, we went to Santiago Bay Garden and Resort as day guests and paid an entrace fee of 100 pesos. We spent the entire afternoon swimming in the pool, enjoying the view from their infinity pool and taking a lot of selfies.

For reservations, you can call them at +6332 2534966, +6332 4107069, +63 922 8525150, +63 919 9913828, +63 917 6262242.   

Enjoying the view from their infinity pool 

Enjoying the view from their infinity pool

Adventure is always better with friends

We went back to our beach house at 5pm. We took a quick rest and went directly to the beach to watch the sunset. The house we rented is situated in front of the beach. We had our dinner at Pito's SuToKil in Santiago. SuToKil means Sugba Towa Kilaw. They have a lot of combo meals to choose from especially varieties of seafood and very affordable. 

Take me to the place i love


2nd Day

We hired a multicab for our whole day island tour. Initially the driver offered us a rate of 1,500 and the destinations are Paraiso Cave, Mangodlong Rock Resort, Lake Danao and Timubo Cave. We also added Buho Rock Resort and Holy Crystal Cave and paid an extra 500 pesos. 

We started our island tour at 8am and we first went to Paraiso Cave. Entrance fee is 25 pesos. The cave has a crystal clear undergroud pool. It's not that big but you'll surely enjoy the cold water and take a lot of pictures. It is the best place for those who are afraid to get tanned. 

Ready to explore the cave 

The hole in the ground 

The underground pool

Our next destination was Lake Danao Park. Entrance fee is 10 pesos. There are a lot of water activities that you can enjoy. You can go kayaking and horse back riding. For group activities , you can also try their duck ride, crocodile ride and fish ride. They also have an infinity pool and perfect picnic spots. 

Lake Danao Park also known as the Lover's Lake 

The Lover's Lake

#groufie before hittin' the water

tried this fun water activity for the first time 

tried this fun water activity for the first time 

After Lake Danao Park, we went directly to Holy Cystal Cave and waited for the tour guide to arrive. There is no entrance fee, only donations.

 At first, we were afraid because it was too dark inside the cave, no lights installed. The way going there is not easy as you will pass through narrow rocks going up and down and you need to be extra careful because you might bump your head on sharp rocks above. The caving has 8 levels. You will be asked by Mr. Avito, The Tour Guide, if you are brave enough to accept the challenge until level 8 since the way going there was kinda creepy. Most tourists would decline the challenge beacuse they think they might get suffocated. 

In every destination, you have to try something new. Only those who are willing to take the risk can enjoy adventure at its finest. Holy crystal cave is a must see attraction in camotes island. The caving takes almost 2 hours and you'll be able to see stalactites, stalagmites and crystals up close. I still cant believe we survived with only a flashlight and a camera. 

We're excited to see the Holy Crystal Cave 

Read first before entering the cave 

The hole in the ground 

The only photo i took inside the cave 

We also went to Timubo Cave. Entrance fee is 25 pesos. The cave has cold spring water inside. Best place to go swimming as well. Water level is 5 to 6ft. Good thing there are lights installed so tourists wont get scared going down there. 

We're going down 

The underground pool

The Boys of Summer 

It's cold in here

We had our late lunch at 1:30 pm already in San Francisco Bay. It is located near the public market. They serve pork and chicken barbecues. And their rice is called "puso" or hanging rice. (rice wrapped in coconut leaves). 

We went to Buho Rock Resort right after our lunch. Entrance fee is 15 pesos. The place is much more of a cliff-diving spot.  There are a lot of beautiful rock formations and nice place to take selfies. The view from above is amazing. 

A leap of faith 

would you jump?

It's more fun under the bridge

Let's go down, but first...... lemme take a

Our last destination was Mangodlong Rock Beach Resort. Entrance fee is 15 pesos. They have swimming pools. Jet skis, boats and kayaks are also available for rent. Mangodlong for me is one of the best resorts you can stay in Camotes. It was almost 5pm when we got there so it was also the perfect time for sunset watching.  For reservations, You can call them at +6332 4203385+6332 3458599

Mangodlong Rock Resort 

Mangodlong Rock Resort 

Ready to watch the sunset 

Sunset view

3rd day

We woke up at 7am and had a morning walk on the beach and a quick swim. We went back to Santiago Bay Garden and Resort to buy souvenirs and had our breakfast at Pito's SuToKil. 

A morning walk on the beach 

Someone's still sleepy 

Smile Guys!

Til next time, Camotes 

We checked out at 11am and went straight to the port. The ferry left at 1pm. From Danao Port, we took a pedicab going to the terminal. Fare is 15 pesos. From the terminal, we took a van going to north  bus terminal in Mandaue. Travel time is 1 hour and fare is 50 pesos. The bus going back to Negros left at 6pm.  So we arrived in Bacolod almost 5am. 

More photos below

Lake Danao Park also known as the Lover's Lake 

Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Mangodlong Rock Resort 

Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Buho Rock Resort 

Santiago Bay Public Beach

Buho Rock Resort 

Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Buho Rock Resort 

Buho Rock Resort 

Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

For more photos and videos, just feel free to add me on facebook, or you may follow me on Instagram, meljun1689. Thank you!