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Mount Apo

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General View

With an altitude of 2,954 metres (9,692 ft), Mt Apo is the highest mountain in the country and is located between Davao City, Davao del Sur province and Cotabato province.. The peak overlooks Davao City 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the northeast, Digos City 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the southeast, and Kidapawan City 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the west.. On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park with Proclamation no. 59 by President Manuel L Quezon, followed by Proclamation no. 35 of May 8, 1966 then Proclamation no..

The first two attempts to reach Mt Apo's summit ended in failure; that of Jose Oyanguren (1852) and Senor Real (1870). The first recorded successful expedition was led by Don Joaquin Rajal in October 10, 1880.. Prior to the climb, Rajal had to secure the permission of the Bagobo chieftain, Datu Manig. It is said that the Datu demanded that human sacrifice be made to please to god Mandarangan.. Fortunately, the datu agreed to waive this demand, and the climb commenced on October 6, 1880, succeeding five days later. Since then, numerous expeditions followed. These and more are described in colorful narrations by Fr..

On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park by President Manuel L Quezon.. A note on the etymologies; Mt Apo is said to be named after a nobleman named Apong, who got killed while mediating the battle between two suitors of his daughter Saribu. Another proposed origin of the name is from the word Apo itself, which in Filipino tongues means " master " or " grandfather ".. Six indigenous peoples consider Mt Apo as their ancestral domain and home, namely; Manobos, Bagobo, Ubos, Atas and the Tagacaolo. Since time immemorial, these tribes have lives around the mountain that they also consider as sacred ground..

Mt Apo is their place of worship and the burial ground of Apo Sandawa, their great grandparent. The mountain is the source of their continual supply of food and medicine, but more so, the foundation of their spiritual and cultural way of life.. A total of 227 vertebrates species belonging to 69 families of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals have been recorded in Mt Apo. Likewise, 118 species of butterflies belonging to 69 families are recorded in the area.. Of these, the most notable is the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jeffreyi) - one of the world's largest eagles and the country's national bird..

The mountain is considered by the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as the center of endemism in Mindanao. It has one of the highest land based biological diversity in terms of flora and fauna per unit area.. It has three distinct forest formations, from lowland tropical rainforest, to mid mountain forests, and finally to high mountain forests..

General Info

Mount Apo is a large solfataric, potentially active stratovolcano in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. With an elevation of 2,954 metres above sea level, it is the highest mountain in the Philippine Archipelago and is located between Davao City and Davao del Sur province in Region XI and Cotabato province in Region XII.. The peak overlooks Davao City 45 kilometres to the northeast, Digos City 25 kilometres to the southeast, and Kidapawan City 20 kilometres to the west.. The first two attempts to reach Mt Apos summit ended in failure that of Jose Oyanguren and Seor Real. The first recorded successful expedition was led by Don Joaquin Rajal in October 10, 1880..

Prior to the climb, Rajal had to secure the permission of the Bagobo chieftain, Datu Manig. It is said that the Datu demanded that human sacrifice be made to please to god Mandarangan.. Fortunately, the datu agreed to waive this demand, and the climb commenced on October 6, 1880, succeeding five days later. Since then, numerous expeditions followed. These and more are described in colorful narrations by Fr.. Miguel Bernad, S.J. On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park by President Manuel L Quezon. A note on the etymologies Mt Apo is said to be named after a nobleman named Apong, who got killed while mediating the battle between two suitors of his daughter Saribu..

Another proposed origin of the name is from the word Apo itself, which in Filipino tongues means master or grandfather..

What To See

Mt Apo possesses a formidable array of landscapes, from craggy rockscapes to virgin forests; from mossy swamps to volcanic structures. The mountain possesses the widest spectrum of environments, and provides an experience for mountaineers that lives up to their expectations from the country's highest..

How To Get In

The most convenient way to climb Mt Apo is by contacting trusted adventure providers such as Trail Adventours (info@trailadventours com).. Run by mountaineers, the service can help visitors arrange a trip to Mt Apo, as well as secure all other necessities such as hiking permits, English speaking guides, porters and even tents and food..

How To Get Around

Mt Apo, as the highest mountain in the Philippines, attracts a lot of attention from hikers all over the world.. The Kidapawan Magpet trail, though one of many trails, is the easiest. The trail will first lead to Lake Agko. From there, hikers will have to cross Marbel River by walking on coconut logs without anything to hold for support.. The threat of sudden flashfloods, emphasized by the strong flow of water, will remind the intrepid hiker that he not climbing an ordinary mountain.. After three hours of river crossing, the first campsite will be reached - the Mainit Hot Springs. Here, hikers can dip in a hot and soothing pool. This first campsite must be reached before 3; 00 PM, because the next campsite, Lake Venado, is 5-6 hours away..

Between the two campsites is a thick forest. There, two " killer trails " will be encountered; the " 87 degree " and the " 90 degree " trail. Each taking around 15 minutes, these trails are known to have taken their toll on climbers.. As of 2006, ropes are in place in the ' 90 ' to make it a little bit safer.. After the difficult ascent, the next landscape is the swamp that heralds the proximity of Lake Venado. This is where many Mt Apo trails intersect. The peripheral areas can be used for camping..

During summer, Bagobo tribesfolk would also camp here and put up stalls. Hikers can choose to camp here, or proceed to the summit.. From Lake Venado, the summit is still 3 hours of trekking. This time, the environment changes into a cogon grassland. Then, the otherworldly summit area is reached. It is rocky, with wild berries, and temperate plants.. Beneath is the old crater of Mt Apo. The beauty of the summit, the highest point in the Philippines, has captivated countless climbers.. Going down, the Magpet trail is suggested, even though climbers typically do a traverse to the Davao (south) side..

The Magpet trail, said to be easiest of all trails to Mt Apo, will lead to what is called the Bobbong campsite, and from there, a beautiful waterfalls will be reached, called the Bongolanon Falls.. It appears as if the water curves and bends, before descending. Weary hikers can swim in the pools beneath, and it is perfect refreshment after a grand Mt Apo experience !.

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How To Get In

The most convenient way to climb Mt Apo is by contacting trusted adventure providers such as Trail Adventours (info@trailadventours com).. Run by mountaineers, the service can help visitors arrange a trip to Mt Apo, as well as secure all other necessities such as hiking permits, English speaking guides, porters and even tents and food..

How To Get Around

Mt Apo, as the highest mountain in the Philippines, attracts a lot of attention from hikers all over the world.. The Kidapawan Magpet trail, though one of many trails, is the easiest. The trail will first lead to Lake Agko. From there, hikers will have to cross Marbel River by walking on coconut logs without anything to hold for support.. The threat of sudden flashfloods, emphasized by the strong flow of water, will remind the intrepid hiker that he not climbing an ordinary mountain.. After three hours of river crossing, the first campsite will be reached - the Mainit Hot Springs. Here, hikers can dip in a hot and soothing pool. This first campsite must be reached before 3; 00 PM, because the next campsite, Lake Venado, is 5-6 hours away..

Between the two campsites is a thick forest. There, two " killer trails " will be encountered; the " 87 degree " and the " 90 degree " trail. Each taking around 15 minutes, these trails are known to have taken their toll on climbers.. As of 2006, ropes are in place in the ' 90 ' to make it a little bit safer.. After the difficult ascent, the next landscape is the swamp that heralds the proximity of Lake Venado. This is where many Mt Apo trails intersect. The peripheral areas can be used for camping..

During summer, Bagobo tribesfolk would also camp here and put up stalls. Hikers can choose to camp here, or proceed to the summit.. From Lake Venado, the summit is still 3 hours of trekking. This time, the environment changes into a cogon grassland. Then, the otherworldly summit area is reached. It is rocky, with wild berries, and temperate plants.. Beneath is the old crater of Mt Apo. The beauty of the summit, the highest point in the Philippines, has captivated countless climbers.. Going down, the Magpet trail is suggested, even though climbers typically do a traverse to the Davao (south) side..

The Magpet trail, said to be easiest of all trails to Mt Apo, will lead to what is called the Bobbong campsite, and from there, a beautiful waterfalls will be reached, called the Bongolanon Falls.. It appears as if the water curves and bends, before descending. Weary hikers can swim in the pools beneath, and it is perfect refreshment after a grand Mt Apo experience !.

What To Buy

During summer, Bagobo tribesfolk would also set up camp in Lake Venado and put up stalls..

What To Eat

Unless it is summer with Bagobo tribesmen present, hikers will have to bring their own food..

Options For Drink

Water sources are abundant throughout Mt Apo, particularly in campsites and the summit..

Where To Sleep

There are no lodging facilities in Mt Apo.. The first campsite is the Mainit Hot Springs, where hikers can dip in a small, hot pool. This campsite should be reached while the sun is still out because the next campsite is 5-6 hours away.. The second campsite is at Lake Venado, where the many trails intersect. It is very cold, and also very serene, surrounded by pines on the north, and the peak of Mt Apo from the south..

How To Stay Safe

The water level in Lake Venado may swell, decreasing the size of the campsite. The weather in Mt Apo is very unpredictable; strong rains may just come. Rely on local knowledge on whether to pursue river crossings in bad weather..

Geothermal Energy

The Mt Apo 1 and Mt Apo 2 geothermal plants, each with a rated capacity of 54.24 megawatts.. Owned and operated by Energy Development Corp, the power plants were commissioned in February 1997 and June 1999 under a build operate own contract scheme.. Located in Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City, North Cotabato is the Mindanao Geothermal Production Field with a power output of 108.48 MW, currently the only power plant of its kind in Mindanao.. The Philippine National Oil Company geothermal plant supplies electricity to Kidapawan and its neighboring provinces, its completion boosted the city's economy..

Indigenous Peoples

Six indigenous groups, the Manobos, Bagobo, Ubos, Atas, KIagans and Tagacaolo, live in the area of Mount Apo. They consider the mountain to be sacred ground and a place of worship.. A number of genealogies of Lumad leaders in South Central Mindanao trace their roots to Mount Apo. For the Lumads, the term " Apo " was coined from the name of their great grandparent Apo Sandawa..

Hiking Activity

At 2,954 meters, Mount Apo is the highest volcano in the Philippines. This majestic peak is one of the country's most popular climbing destinations.. Several trails lead to the summit, coming from North Cotabato and Davao provinces. Arguably the easiest route to the National Park is through Kidapawan City with an average hike taking 34 days roundtrip.. In the classification system used by local popular mountaineering website PinoyMountaineer.com, the difficulty of the hike is 7 out of 9 Various sights along the trail include Lake Venado, the highest lake in the Philippines, the solfataras and the old crater near its summit..

The mountain may be climbed year round or one can register and join the city's Summer Climb or the Annual October Trek Climb..

Conservation

On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park with Proclamation no. 59 by President Manuel L Quezon, followed by Proclamation no. 35 of May 8, 1966 then Proclamation no.. 882 of September 24, 1996. On February 3, 2004, the approval of Republic Act no.. 9237 established Mount Apo as a protected area under the category of natural park with an area of 54,974.87 hectares; with two peripheral areas of 2,571.73 hectares and 6,506.40 hectares as buffer zones, provided for its management and for other purposes..

Although a declared a Natural Park, the current climbing trails are littered with rubbish by irresponsible climbers, opening paths for soil erosion across the already denuded mountain sides. Some mountain and social climbing groups conduct climbs after the Holy WeekEaster, the peak climbing season, to clean the affected areas.. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources submitted Mount Apo on December 12, 2009 for inclusion in the UNESCO world heritage list. The mountain is considered by DENR as the center of endemism in Mindanao..

It has one of the highest land based biological diversity in terms of flora and fauna per unit area. It has three distinct forest formations, from lowland tropical rainforest, to mid mountain forests, and finally to high mountain forests.. A portion of the eastern slopes are also within the scope of the UNESCO Hydrology Environment Life and Policy Network. The Davao HELP Network is focused on building collaboration among watershed stakeholders.. The mountain is home to over 272 bird species, 111 of which are endemic to the area. It is also home to one of the world's largest eagles, the critically endangered Philippine eagle, which is the countrys national bird..