Who does not know the highest mountain peak in the Philippines? I bet no one. I really wanted to step foot on this mountain but never really took it seriously for all mundane reasons until my plane ticket to Davao was booked. Okay, I thought. This is it. My chance to see this famous mountain. Our first trail was Kapatagan-Kidapawan. We sent all necessary documents for the climb weeks before. We were waiting for the ‘go’ signal when the tourism of Digos City in Davao told that further climbs are suspended because of dry spell which means shortage of water. This was 3 days before our scheduled flight. THREE DAYS! We were heartbroken with the news. We’re thinking of the opportunity, of the waste. T’was really a bummer. And then we thought of trying a different trail. Weighed the pros and cons and unanimously decided to go for TALOMO-APO trail. (Disclaimer: We have no idea what’s in store for us. All we know is that the trail is ‘kinda’ technical.)
DAY 1 > April 8, 2015
We arrived at Davao City Airport at around 10:30am. We took our lunch then bought food and other supplies for the next six days in the wilderness. After the last-minute ‘panic’ buying, our guide, ‘Macmac’, picked us up and we headed to the jump-off point in Tamayong Village in Calinan District, Davao City that took us almost two hours. From there, we walked under the rain for 30 minutes going to Sicao, a village named after the tribe’s ancestors. Presently, the village is ruled by Datu Jun Sicao & his brother Apo Sicao. By 7pm, we were settled in a wooden house owned by the chieftain. We re-packed our things and checked if everything’s perfect. We were so excited for the next day, hoped & prayed for a great weather. Lights off!
DAY 2 > April 9, 2015 Woke up early. The girls cooked breakfast while the boys took care of the guides and porters. The weather was great. Mt. Talomo is a closed trail that’s why a permission from the village chief is needed. We paid P100 per mountaineer as registration. By 6:30am, we started our trek.
After 4 hours, we were already surrounded with a thick mossy forest. The temperature changed into something colder. Everything was so green. When you look around, everything’s healthy and happy. It was beautiful, so beautiful. It was enchanting.
Arrived at Mt. Talomo peak around 6pm. Settled down, ate dinner then went inside our tents because it was sooooooo cold. And it started raining. Imagine how cold it was.
DAY 3 > April 10, 2015. Woke up at 5:30am. We wanted to be able to witness the sunrise. And yeah, it was amazing! Made me wanna cry. It was so majestic.
By 7am, we started trekking going to Basinan Camp. Target was to arrive before sun-down. I was with the last group and we arrived around 7pm at the campsite. The last two hours of night-trekking was really scary. Our pace was very slow coz of the fear of the unknown trail. We had dinner then crept our way in our tents and sleep for tomorrow is another battle.
DAY 4 > April 11, 2015. In the morning, after a sumptuous breakfast…
Started trekking by 7pm going to Lake Venado… We arrived by 1pm and to our deliht, Mt. Apo greeted us with this beautiful sight.
Started our way up to Mt. Apo with great excitement in our hearts. We we’re all thinking ‘THIS IS IT!’.
Day 5 > April 12, 2015
The view at the boulders was amazing. Going down through it was tough though. One needs to be very careful.
After 10 hours of trekking, we arrived at Paradise Village, had dinner then went back to the city.
This is by far the longest time I’ve spent with the mountains. It was really challenging. There was a point I almost cried. But there’s no giving up. To conquer Mt. Apo’s might was the goal. To be able to witness God’s wonder was the ultimate goal even. And we did it!
Until next adventure…