From January 17 to 28, I went to Mindanao to celebrate my 21st year. I scaled some of the highest mountains in the country, visited an island and explored its wonders, stayed in some cities and discovered how each differs from my hometown, Manila. It was a 12-day long journey - fun, exciting and crazy.For the second phase of my Mindanao Mountain Adventure, I went to Bukidnon to experience the 2nd and 4th highest mountains. We did the traverse, famously known as D2K Traverse, on Mts. Dulang-Dulang and Kitanglad. The beauty of this mountain plus the awesome people I was with in the entire 4-days makes it one of my most memorable climbs.
Summary discussed in this link: Mindanao Mountain Madness
Part 1 of our D2K Traverse is discussed in this post. From the time we attended the Talaandig Tribe ritual up to the moment we left the summit of Mt. Dulang-Dulang.
Day 8 - January 24, 2013
I woke up at 7 in the morning, it was my 8th day in Mindanao and I was missing home already. It was so far the longest time I was away from home, totoo pala yung homesickness. My family, my bed, the TV, my pc - I miss them all. So to battle this uncomfortable feeling, I went outside and checked the weather, it was very fine, blue sky over Malaybalay City. I smiled and told myself positively, "we're gonna have an awesome D2K climb!"
Then I received a message from my buddies in this D2K adventure who were now on their way to Malaybalay City. They said that they'll arrive at around 11 AM.
|Malaybalay City Central Plaza.|
I roamed around the city while waiting for my buddies. It was fun to watch the laid-back life of the people in Malaybalay, highly unlikely Manila.
|I stayed at Small World Travellers Inn when I was in Malaybalay. Just a fan room with TV, not bad for a P380/night.|
Soon after they arrived, Sir Oyec of Northern Mindanao Mountaineering Society (NORMMS), the guy who helped us arrange this D2K climb, and Sir Bogart of Bukidnon Mountaineering Club, our cool guide, came to welcome us.
Before climbing D2K, or any mountain in Kitanglad Range, you must first secure your permit (you may contact Sir Oyec - 09063492585, or Sir Bogart - 09058352999 to help you with the arrangements).
|Sirs Oyec (red) and Bogart (green) fetched our team...|
|and brought us to Kaamulan Grounds for briefing.|
Malaybalay's Kaamulan Grounds resembles that of Baguio's Camp John Hay, pine trees were all over.
Also, prospective hikers of D2K are required to attend the Talaandig Tribe ritual to be performed by their datu. Take note that there are items needed for the ritual: white cloth, 2 alive chickens, coins, eggs, candy, and wine. You are also expected to donate a sum of money to Talaandig tribe.At the city market, around 2 PM, after buying the chickens needed for the ritual, we departed for Lantapan, Bukidnon.
|jeep to Lantapan - off to another great traverse.|
By 03:30 PM, after about an hour and half ride from Malaybalay, we're already at Sitio Bol-ogan, the jump-off for our D2K climb. However, we cannot do the hike right away since we must attend the the datu's ritual in the evening. Good thing, our guide found a place where we could stay in for the night, woohoo.
|kawawang mga manok|
There were two of them performing the ritual. Special prayers (which I don't understand) were said, and chickens were sacrificed. The rite lasted for about an hour, and at the end of it, we feasted on the chicken (of course they cooked it first). Before we left, the datu gave us coins wrapped tightly in pieces of white cloth, he said it'll work like an amulet, would protect us from whatever evil forces.
Day 9 - January 25, 2013
We began our trek at 7 AM. With the sky so blue again, I was very positive that we're going to have a great D2K traverse.
Since it was raining continuously last night, the early parts of the trail was, well, extremely muddy. It was so challenging to move over an ankle-deep mud. Truly, this kind of trail is what I hate the most but ironically, I'm enjoying it. Enjoyed it even more when I trekked bare-footed.
to wear slippers on a terrain like this is a big no no.
|who cares if we get dirty?|
in the mountains, getting dirty is fun.
|patches of moss were already seen in the early parts of Mt. Dulang Dulang.|
|it really excites me to see trails full of obstructing fallen trees. I don't know why, but it really does.|
|The cool set of guide and porters (L-R): Kuya Bogart, Kuya Garry and Kuya Ayan|
Then at around 2 PM, lo and behold, thick layers of moss have begun to emerge.
|as we go further, layers of moss covering the trails of Mt. Dulang Dulang grew thicker|
The summit - the second highest in the country - was just 2 more hours away according to Kuya Bogart, so we continued trekking despite the presence of the forbidding weather.
|good thing I still managed to take photos of the enchanting mossy forest of Mt. Dulang Dulang.|
|the summit area has a campsite that would fit 2-3 tents at the same time. It's here where we stayed for the night.|
By that time, we were battling not only the rain but also the cold temperature which I suddenly felt when I stood still at the summit. Chills to the bones talaga. I would freeze to death if I won't move. That's why as soon as our tents were up, we all got inside. It was Magnet's birthday that day, and we were supposed to celebrate it over a dinner. But all of us just opted to stay inside our tents to stay warm. Actually, I even missed dinner that night.
Inside the tent, I checked the time, it was only 06:30 PM, but everyone seemed to be poised for sleeping already. Oh well, I just wished that we'll have a better weather tomorrow.
Day 10 - January 26, 2013
Although it was still very cold, I went outside to check the weather again. Well, it improved greatly compared to last night. "We'll have an awesome trek today," says my optimistic brain.
|Philippines' 2nd highest peak|
|my friends, here it is... the summit of Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the country.|
together with Mt. Talomo
|Mt. Kitanglad, the 4th highest.|
I almost jumped upon seeing Mt. Apo from Mt. Dulang Dulang's summit. I probably stared at it for like 10 minutes. Anyway, there's another trail at the summit leading to somewhere. I followed it and it led me to a special place.
|remember the coins wrapped in white cloth given to us by the datu of the Talaandig tribe? they were destined to be tied here.|
After breakfast, I went back to the summit to tie my coin-wrapped-in-white-cloth amulet in the, I really don't know what's the name of that special place. On my way, I was once again surprised by Mt. Dulang Dulang, I saw a sea of clouds formation!
|sea of clouds at Mt. Dulang-Dulang, although it was not as great as Mt. Pulag's, still it was totally awesome.|
Continue reading here: Mt. Kitanglad | The Fourth Highest