Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Walk to Remember At Osmena Peak

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." - John Muir

Last June I had been bugging my ex-office mate to take me Osmena Peak, the highest peak in Cebu (located in Mantalongon, Dalaguete).  She joined this organization called ORGASM (Organization of Single Mountaineers). I was quite envious with her photos so I asked her to invite me in her next nature adventure.  I thought I needed fresh air and recharge with nature.  The thing about being adult, sometimes, you don't know where that emotional turmoil is coming from and all you want is to let it out.

She was hesitant to bring me along because she thought I don't like to get my shoes dirty.  She had a picture of me in a neat office dress pants and collared top.  Little does she know, I used to trek when I was in college its not really sometime new to me.

Part of the trip I wanted to prove I'm not at all sissy. A little sun burn wont hurt me.  The trail was not really that challenging.  All you need is good pair of knees. But mostly I wanted to have a long walk to recharge with nature. My regular activities at work and home can be draining.  Also, it's a checklist in my bucket list.  While Mt. Apo (highest peak in the Philippines) is out of my reach and Mt Kanlaon can be challenging. It was just a regular Sunday away from home.

It's not often that we see cow in the city other than a box of milk in the grocery store. And let the adventure begin.

An estimated walk of an hour and a half according to our guide who gave a pretty good estimate based on our pace.  We have to climb over those rock formations behind me. That was the challenge.

An hour after we arrived. But this isn't the peak yet. This was the rock formation behid me from the previous photo.  It's a grass land filled with tiny yellow flowers.

We continued our way to the peak singing A Whole New World with small laughs while panting in between and of course water breaks.  I was smart to bring chocolate candy for energy booster.  With my nostrils bigger than normal at this point, some of us were ready to give up. Finally, we reached the top.

The view was breath taking.  You could see the west coastline of Cebu, beautiful rock formation.  You would feel its alive and moved your spirit and gave more energy.  Nature gives answers to your question far more you've expected.  A reminder that life is so beautiful and its okay to take a break.  It gives you the strength to continue living.

The descend was more challenging.  You need stronger knees this time that serves as your brakes.

Finally a road! After one hour of non stop descend, I needed to squat.  I started to imagine an iced cold soda.

You don't have to understand all things, some things are just meant to be felt.  We don't see the wind, we just need to feel it.  And that's what I needed "to learn to accept things".


You can take a bus from Cebu South Bus Terminal for php120.  Alight in Dalaguete town then take a motorcycle ride for php50 to Mantalongon market.  Then you can start the walk from there.  There are guides available, you can pay them up to 300 php. So the more the merrier and lesser fee.

Wear shoes if you don't want blisters for wearing slippers.  Grass may cause itchiness so wear pants. Dont forget to bring sunscreen fro minimal sun burn.  I consumed 2 liters of water, a pack of chocolate candy and a tuna rice meal on an easy open can.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Attack of the Sweet Tooth Co.

Trying to get away from Monday blues, I decided not to work today. It was a valid leave though, I had it plotted the other week.  I had a scheduled dinner with 2 of my college-partners-in-crimes.

Last year, the 3 of us met in Vietnam and befriended a local.  This year, it was our turn to give our Vietnamese friend a tour. He will be leaving the next day, so we took him to Big Flat Bread.  I bet he had enough of Filipino cuisine.


I settled for penne in tomato sauce grated with Parmesan cheese.  You see, this year I have learned not to eat meat from any four-legged-beast. My friends ordered the spaghetti in bolognese sauce. Then, here came the platter of chicken in some weird-but-in-a-good-way mayonnaise dip.  I thought it tasted good not until on my 4th bite because I just saw a bacon strip.  Yeah it was chicken wrap with bacon. Naaah there's no need to react overly.  I just asked new set of plate, knife and fork.  The last time I ate pork was last Feb.  The waitress could have warned me when I constantly asked her if the other menu has red meat on it.  Luckily, the pizza tasted good.

I was more excited for dessert. The three of us has unique love for chocolate.  Our first stop was at Abaseria.  Here's the photo and be the judge:

brazo a la mode .  four corners . homemade chocolate cake    

I like the Four Corners among the three.  The one in the middle. It's vanilla ice cream with caramel and toron (deep friend banana rolls with jack fruit).  It's warm and cold then the sweetness of vanilla, caramel, banana and jack fruit will burst in your mouth.

Not enough sugar yet, we went to CMYK and here's what we got:

sizzling brownie . ube cake . deconstructed cheesecake . (i forgot the name)

I love them all because it's vanilla ice cream but I love the most is the sizzling brownie.  There's something about warm and cold desserts.  It confuses your taste buds, again in a good way.  And then we call it a night, I guess none of us had room for coffee anymore. So long, maybe next time when we see each other again.

Since I was on vacation leave, I thought I'd end the day with a relaxing massage and bentosa.  I end up having these bruises on my back from the jars they placed. naaah it does not hurt.

Cheers to friendship tested through time and distance. Here's the map: