Editorial: Badian should walk the talk

THE Osmeña and Kandungaw peaks have been a popular haunt of mountaineers even before the Dalaguete Municipal Government decided to make them more accessible by constructing a road that shortens the length of the hike to these areas. Of the two, Osmeña peak is the more popular, with mountaineers spending the night there before trekking to the Kawasan Falls in Badian town early in the morning.

People who visit the peaks for selfies or set up tents there usually are not interested in asking whether the peaks are in Dalaguete, specifically Barangay Mantalongon, or not. Their association with Dalaguete stems from the fact that the starting point of the trek is the said town. Apparently, Dalaguete officials also saw no need to talk about boundaries because nobody asked them.

The clarification made by the Badian Municipal Council that Osmeña peak is part of Barangay Patong while Kandungaw peak is part of Barangay Sohoton is therefore a welcome move, although there is no opposition to the claim from the Dalaguete side. But that claim would not matter if all Badian officials do is talk and not do something more to assert its claim.

For the longest time, the town of Dalaguete hosted visitors to the two peaks and tried to improve their accessibility because Badian didn’t do anything about it. The peaks themselves have largely been a neglected enclave with mountaineers and visitors left on their own and generally not monitored. The trek from Osmeña peak to Kawasan Falls is not Badian-inspired but the trekkers’ own initiative.

The Osmeña and Kandungaw peaks are not even the only tourist magnets in the Badian uplands. The mountains themselves offer a different view because of the shape of the hills that are unique in the entire province of Cebu. It’s just that Badian officials and the Provincial Government failed to develop the tourism potentials of the area (like, why not set up viewing sites like in Bohol’s Chocolate Hills?).

Now that Badian officials are staking a claim to Osmeña and Kandungaw peaks, then they should start to walk the talk. They should do what they should have done years before, which is to develop the tourism potentials of the area and aggressively promote it. With that, nobody will say that Osmeña and Kandungaw peaks belong to Dalaguete.
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