Mt. Apo
Measures 2,956 meters above sea level, Mt. Apo is dubbed as the "bubong ng Pilipinas" because it is the highest and the father of all the mountains in the Philippines. Its circumference stretches to two provinces in the southern Mindanao region, the provinces of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur. Though, Mt. Apo is considered as an active volcano, trekking on its terrain is safe and can provide a package of remarkable experience and photos to be shared. CLICK TO WATCH MY MT. APO VLOG

Mt. Apo
MT. APO DAY 1 HIKING ITINERARY | 9:00 AM: Our journey started at the water reservoir, the jump off. It was an uphill trek passing by the community and their vegetable plantation. Two hours from the jump off, on a continued ascent, we reached the trail which is the start of the actual ascent to Tinikaran, the first camp. On this part, the uphill trail continues enclosed in a healthy forest, with mosses and ferns hanging on trees, with the visibility of lichens on the boulders and trees, and with the birds singing their lullabies - it was really a trek though a jungle trail.

Mt. Apo Climb
Walking on the "pilapil" in the middle of the carrots plantation.

trails of Mt. Apo
The start of the actual trail to Mt. Apo Tinikaran Campsite

Mt. Apo update
Mt. Apo camp 1: The water source near Tinikaran Campsite.

WE REACHED TINIKARAN CAMPSITE AT 2:30 PM. It is also know as the Camp 1 and part of Sibulan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur - 5.45 kilometers away from the summit of Mt. Apo. The campsite isn't wide but can accommodate a few tents. The area is surrounded with a countless flora. Plants help preserving the so called tranquility in the area. The Tinikaran Campsite of Mt. Apo is prominent for having a wealthy bio-diversity that only exists on rain forest areas. Monkeys and birds are proof that this campsite is considered as a virgin forest. Our first day ended with the darkness and rain showers mixed on a very cold wind. On the other hand, the sound of  the "kuliglig" and the lullabies of the birds made us fall sleep.

Mount Apo
MT. APO DAY 2 HIKING ITINERARY | 4:30 AM - our second day started. As we turned on the lights and prepared for our breakfast, the monkeys nearby started their new day by stealing our stuff but all attempts were unsuccessful. Waited for the golden sunrise to contrast the cold breeze. Had our breakfast and break camp. We started our ascent at around 9 AM. From Tinikaran Campsite, the healthy ecosystem and great wildlife on the terrains are noticeable. On this part, the trail isn't just about an uphill ascend, it also includes hopping on and off the boulders and bending your body back and forth because of the trees blocking the trail.

Mount Apo

Mt. Apo eruption

Mt. Apo travel guide
THE SULFUR VENTS OF MT. APO | We reached this area at around 11:30 AM. Mt. Apo is an active volcano, thus, vents or opening on the ground with steam and sulfur coming out gives another challenge, though, it's a unique experience. The steam coming out from the vents smells like mud - a powerful smell of mud! Despite of its smell, the area can still be a perfect backdrop for photo ops because of the yellowish color covering the surface of the rocks and boulders, well, that is if you can disregard the smell.

Mt. Apo summit

Mt. Apo

Mt. Apo

Mount Apo

Mount Apo
It was a long expedition of trekking and hopping on and off the rocks and boulders after the  sulfur vents area. Though the boulders trail is a bit interesting because of the gigantic walls made of artistic rocks and pile of boulders, I can personally compare it to the limestone walls in Greece (photo above). Also, the cute and colorful wild berries by the trails are another interesting discovery. Then, the next part was an assault to cogon grassland, which served as our campsite.

Mt. Apo
 The wild berries on the trails of Mt. Apo.

Mt. Apo crater
 Photo ops by the crater of Mt. Apo.

Mt. Apo campsite
THE COGON GRASSLAND - THE CAMPSITE | We reached the cogon grassland of Mt. Apo at around 4:30 PM. The weather wasn't friendly, the wind was very cold and strong with rain showers. Not exaggerating but when it strikes my skin, it feels like blades slashing. Anyways, we set up our camp and prepared our dinner while there's sunlight. Had our dinner and socials inside the tent while the wind was still strong. And we call it a day!

Mount Apo campsite
MT. APO DAY 3 HIKING ITINERARY | We were unable to take a complete eight hour sleep because of the cold weather and the noise created by the strong wind. It was still early but everyone was up, so we started a conversation while the campsite was surrounded by darkness. Waited for the sunrise. Prepared and had our breakfast. And ascent to the summit.

Mt. Apo summit

Mount Apo summit
Our group photo on the summit of Mt. Apo, with fog on the background.

Mount Apo
From cogon grassland, the trails are uphill and the terrain is rich with the dwarf trees, wild berries, lichens on the rocks and some other plants - a proof that Mt. Apo still has a virgin and wealthy ecosystem. Also, Apo has several peaks, therefore, the trails are combination of uphill and downhill. We got a glimpse of the golden sunrise but wasn't enough to see the beauty that surrounds Mt. Apo. Descent to cogon grassland and explored the wide area.

Lake Venado

Mt. Apo
FROM COGON GRASSLAND TO LAKE VENADO TO AMALCIGA CENTURY TREE AND BACK TO THE JUMP OFF | It was around 9 AM when we left cogon grassland to descend. If our Day 1 and Day 2 were all uphill, Day 3 is purely downhill. On this part, the terrain is abundant with flora such as the wild orchids, mosses and ferns hanging on the branches while the birds were tirelessly singing while we were passing by. Another hard part was the downhill trail to Lake Venado, though, panoramic sceneries are spectacular. Had our lunch by the lake at around twelve noon. Started trekking and reached Amalciga Century Tree at around 2:30 PM. Continued trekking to Sibulan Jump Off. Unable to track the time because my gadgets were empty bat. Hopped on the motorcycle and headed back to Sibulan Brgy. Hall. Tidy Up. Ate a lot and headed back to Davao City for our side trip to Isla Reta, Talicud Island, Samal.





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