Mt. Apo

Nov. 26, 2015 8:10am, Flight 5J 598 touchdown Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City unevenfully. I heard the screech of landing gears and  realized we were on the ground. it was such a relief to see Chief Mike Laagan waving to me just outside the arrival area. My new friends from Manila were all packed and ready to go, their excitement dampened a bit by the late arrival – me. Introductions were made and we head directly to SM Ecoland to buy supplies for the trek. Then we board a van bound for Digos City (fare P150).

Arriving at Digos City, we headed directly to the Tourism Office. Submitted medical clearance, paid P1000 for entry fee, issued permits; we are now allowed to climb.

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Took a Van bound to kapatagan (fare P150). There is an ongoing road improvement project  the entire stretch going to Kapatagan. The uphill trip sometimes covered with fog and visibility close to zero. It was 6:00pm when we finally arrived at Camp Linaw (accomodation P350). The pack will spend the night here in preparation for the long trek the following day.

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Camp Linaw. photo credits Paul Serrano

Early morning we again boarded a van bound for Mainit-the jump-off point (fareP150). Another road project is ongoing in this area. Hopefully this road can be finished in 2016 and have a better and safer ride the next year after.

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group shot at the jump-off site. photo credits Paul Serrano

Prayers were offered and it’s now time to start the trek to Mt. Apo.

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along the way we encountered farmers on horseback bringing goods to the market. photo credits Paul Serrano

After an hour of trekking, the group had a brief stop-over at sitio Paradise. This is the last place you can buy additional supplies.

Around 12noon we had our lunch on trail somewhere at upper Sabwag.

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Upper Sabwag. photo credits Paul Serrano

By 2pm we passed by the first Water source. Water is not a problem when climbing Mt. Apo. A 1 liter water bottle (depending on individual consumption) can last until the next water source.

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Water Source. photo credits Paul Serrano

4pm, the group started pitching tents at Camp Godi-Godi. The place got its name from an old treasure hunter (named Godi of course) who inhabited the area some years back.

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Camp Godi-Godi. photo credits Paul Serrano

Early morning was a flurry of activities. We had to start early if we are to reach the summit to catch sunset.

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..but first we have to conquer the dangerous boulders. After an hour of trek we reached the first boulders area.

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a brief rest

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..then it’s time to resume the trek.

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first look of sulfur vents and the first seem so near, yet a good 1hr of climb away.

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the Mighty Boulders.. photo credits Paul Serrano

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..a closer look of the boulders..our guide says this is an 87deg slope..but it does’nt seem like it during our ascent.. photo credits Paul Serrano

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..a closer look of the sulfur vents. we were lucky the wind was blowing on opposite direction otherwise we would have been subjected to pungent stinging odor.. photo credits Paul Serrano

By noon we were at Boracay Camp. We took our lunch and gathered enough energy for the last push. The second boulders awaiting and ready to test our endurance. This part of the trek is the most challenging.

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Boracay Camp. photo credits Paul Serrano

Testament to the difficulty on our ascent of the second boulders is the absence of photos. I was focused on the safety aspect of the climb, totally forgetting to  take pictures.

After 2 hours of the grueling ascent from Boracay Camp, we were rewarded with the sight of…well.. a foggy summit. Photo-ops will have to wait during sunrise the next day..

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the Summit Campsite

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pitching tents at Summit Campsite. photo credits Paul Serrano                                                                                  we settled early for the night..eager to face tomorrow’s sunrise. temperature was about 12 degrees..around 8pm, it started to rain, and i think the accompanying wind was typhoon strong, it ripped off my tent’s rainfly.

then came SUNRISE!..

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Sitting at Mt. Apo, the highest point of Philippines, i can only wonder at how beautiful the creation of God perfectly arrange nature for us to enjoy. It is up to us to protect the environment and leave this beauty for the next generation.

I would not advise this to anybody, but i went to this adventure without any form of training or exercise. I made it to the top through sheer enthusiasm and will power. I did not feel at any moment that i can’t make it or could go no further; for how could i, when at every turn, surprising vistas presents itself. i can only stare in awe every step of the way.

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at the top with my new friends.. photo credits Paul Serrano

Prayer of thanks were offered, then it was time to say goodbye to this majestic mountain.

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For inquiries and guide services pls. contact the ff: I highly recommend this guys.
Aldrin Batomalaque  : cel no.  +63 9183067386
Peter Rodelas : cel no.  +63 9076602457.

watch the video of our adventure


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