Sunday, May 20, 2012


It seems like it has been customary for me to visit Mindanao at least once a year which started last 2010. When I plan for my MINVAC (Mindanao Vacation), I always consider scaling some greater heights in the area as it is home to the some of the beautiful mountains in the country that promises eye catching views with challenging terrains. As a side trip, I usually visit beaches and just simply be on a vacation mode – detached from the real world, eat a lot, immerse in new culture and simply do nothing without being mindful of time.

I never expected that my MINVAC would be at the first half of this year as it usually happens on the second half. When Sheng, a good friend of mine from Bukidnon said that she wanted to climb again as her last was still during our Kitanglad Dulang Traverse last February 2011, I suggested in a heartbeat that we climb Mt. Apo. She agreed. I booked myself plane tickets and eventually set my feet on Mindanao again.


I can still vividly recall my first climb in Mt. Apo last August 2010. We took the Kapatagan – Kidapawan Trail. I can remember the rough and muddy roads on the way to Purok Mainint, the plantation on the first part of the trek after the jumpoff, Upper Sabwang, Baroring and Godi Godi Campsites, the overwhelming huge boulders, the not so nose friendly sulfur vents, the beautiful bedrock with an almost 90 degree ascent after that on the way to the summit, Lakes Jordan and Venado, the seven peaks, the long and winding road down to Mainit on the way to Kidapawan exit, the hot spring where I took a bath , river crossings and eventually exiting to Lake Agko Resort.

While I was reminiscing my first climb in Mt. Apo, I was also painting a new memory that I could just grab at the back of my mind whenever I want to think of a happy place. One of the differences with my revisit from the first one would be the company I am with. We were a large group then as opposed to the current one as we were only 4 – Myself, Sheng and the two guides. Also, the weather was cooperative now than before as we were able to witness the beauty of Mt. Apo from sunset to sunrise. Lastly, my endurance and stamina had improved. While we spend the whole day before walking from one point to another, our average walking time was just between 4-5 hours a day during my revisit to this mountain.

Below are some of the photos taken during my revisit to the Grandfather of all the Mountains in the Philippines.  Pictures they say can paint a thousand words so I let them tell the story for you.

The Plantation on the first part of the leg

Upper Sabwang Campsite

Godi Godi Campsite


Long way up

More Boulders

At the Bedrock

Lake Jordan
Summit Picture

Summit Picture

View of Lake Jordan From Summit

View Of Summit from Lake Venado

I am humbled to revisit Mt. Apo and I would definitely be back here in the near future...
Part 2 of My Superlative Vacation to follow... 


  1. parang solo climb ka lang ah. hehe.

  2. d naman... kasama ko si sheng dito... kelan tayo climb ulit?

  3. Nice places you've been Ian. Continue to be an ambassador in showcasing the unexplored wonders of our country. Truly, "It's more fun in the Philippines.