Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mindanao Mountain Madness

For 12 days, I was in Mindanao... scaling some of its beautiful mountains.. Inexplicable happiness I felt when I survived the notorious trails of Mt. Talomo, even happier when I summitted the 1st (Mt. Apo), 2nd (Mt. Dulang-Dulang) and 4th (Mt. Kitanglad) highest peaks in the country. A great treat for my 21st year.

Talomo-Apo Megatraverse

Day 1 - Manila to Davao to Brgy. Tamayong to Lumot Campsite

For about 12 hours, we dealt on a trail that was difficult and quite lengthy. Fallen trees, fallen trees and more, well, fallen trees. It was like a daylong obstacle course.

Day 2 - Lumot Campsite to Talomo Summit to Basinan Campsite

The second day was also extensive, we trekked for almost 13 hours. The trail was still obstacle-laden and has steep portions that required the use of rope. Oh, by the way, the trail was infested with limatik, I acquired 13 bloody bites that day.

Day 3 - Basinan Campsite to Lake Venado

Unlike the first two days, the third day trek was a lot easier and shorter. Through a forest akin to Makiling's Wild Boar trail, we reached Lake Venado in just 4 hours. 

I was both happy and sad upon seeing the cloudy Mt. Apo at the background of Lake Venado. 

Day 4 - Lake Venado to Apo Summit to Lake Agco

Pounded by strong winds and hit by bullet-like rain drops, our assault to the highest summit was really a big challenge. Mixed emotions when I set foot on the Philippines' roof. Proud yet broken-hearted.

Samal Island Adventure

Day 5 - Island Garden City of Samal

Celebration after an arduous activity. Scrumptious food, comfy bed, beach trip - simply the things you wouldn't find up on the mountains. It was also a great opportunity for us to dry up our things drenched during the 4-day climb.

I almost forgot to mention, it's here where I celebrated my 21st year of existence. 

Davao City

Day 6 - Samal to Davao City

Pasalubong shopping is the highlight of our 6th day.

All except me were scheduled to fly back to Manila later that day - sad
I will be able to have more time in Davao City - happy

Day 7 - Davao City to Malaybalay

Sipped a cup of Durian Coffee before I left Davao for Malaybalay City. A 5 hour bus trip can be butt-numbing.

D2K Traverse

Day 8 - Malaybalay to Lantapan

After being alone for 2 days, finally I'm united with my D2K team. Met our guide then set off to Lantapan to attend the ritual and receive the blessing of the datu of Talaandig Tribe. I feel so honored to have witnessed such indigenous cultural practice, poor chickens though.

Day 9 - Lantapan to Dulang-Dulang Summit

We hiked for about 9 hours from the jump-off up to the summit of Mt. Dulang-Dulang. It was a muddy start, an extreme one, then turned tropical forest, then finally a great mossy forest. Strong pour of rain at the last leg of the trek almost jeopardized our planned traverse. 

Day 10 - Dulang-Dulang Summit to Kitanglad Summit

Woke up at Dulang Dulang summit, slumbered at Kitanglad Summit. Our traverse on the ridge between the two giants, which lasted for 6 hours, was successful. And to celebrate, I cooked pasta putanesca at the bunkhouse where we stayed. I guess everyone enjoyed that meal.

Day 11 - Kitanglad Summit to Sitio Intavas to Malaybalay to CDO

Five hours down from summit to Sitio Intavas. Muddy, steep and full of fallen trees, there were stairways too, perhaps 15% of the whole trail has stairway.

Before we part ways, we ate lunch at Malaybalay City. I saw priceless smiles when I handed to our porters, Kuya Ayan and Kuya Garry, a printed copy of their photos which they requested.
Our team then went to CDO, good rest at last.

Chillaxing at CDO

Day 12 - CDO to Manila

On a ranch house owned by a late vice president of the Philippine we stayed for a day. We were supposed to do nature tripping - river trekking, waterfalls side trip - but opted to just rest at the ranch house instead, lazy time for the whole group.

Later that day, we're back in Manila.


In this 12 day trip, I visited 4 provinces, stayed at 4 cities, and climbed 4 major mountains. 

Talomo-Apo Megatraverse

Samal Island

Davao to Malaybalay

D2K Traverse



My big thanks to the people who made this climb possible. 
Jay Manabat and Arjay Seron for doing all the arrangements for our Talomo-Apo and Samal Island Trip
Magnet and Sir Oyec for their efforts in making our D2K possible.
To our guides for both Talomo-Apo and D2K, my big thanks to you as well. 


  1. Congratulations Ivan! You are such an inspiration!

  2. A-Y-O-S!! adventurous birthday celebration.

    Ivan, excited na ako sa upcoming posts mo but when you mentioned "Before we part ways, we ate lunch at Malaybalay City. I saw priceless smiles when I handed to our porters, Kuya Ayan and Kuya Garry, a printed copy of their photos which they requested." I became curious doon, sana they won't mind and you won't mind insert to one of your articles said pictures.

    Looking forward too to your windy/rainy climb to Apo's summit, haven't seen one online, wanna know yung ganung experience [at your expense, joke, knowing you eh may return climb ka (I don't call it revenge climb) parang August plan mo (di ba rainy season din?) pero parang may isasabay ka one festivity.]


    1. antindi.. super duper updated ka tlga sa happenings ng buhay ko sir joni. hehe.. can't wait to create my detailed posts on this :)

      I think Luzon naman ang inuulan sa August..

  3. It must be difficult negotiating a "trail" littered with moss covered fallen trees and infested with limatiks.

  4. Congrats Sir! Ang galing! Sulit na sulit ang Mindanao trip nyo. :)

  5. grabeh! ang dami mong napuntahan in less than a week. certified gala kang bata ka. at ano yung lamitik? leeches bah yun?



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