Mountain climbing is one of the most exciting and thrilling hobbies in the world. It is also one of the riskiest and most dangerous. If you are looking for a mountain to climb in the Philippines, the best destination is Mount Apo, the highest Philippine peak. It is the best experience before trying to climb other notable peaks from around the world. And of course, it’s one of the best preparations before trying to climb the world’s highest peak – Mount Everest.
Here are some of the most significant and important facts about Mount Apo.
1.) At 2,954 meters, Mount Apo is Philippines’ highest mountain. This majestic peak, although not even half the height of Mt. Everest, is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the archipelago.
2.) Historically, the first recorded climb on Mount Apo was on October 10, 1880 by Don Joaquin Rajal (then Spanish governor of Davao) and party.
3.) The oldest persons to ever climb Mount Apo were Salvador Sebastian (76) and Froilan Mendez (65). They climbed Mount Apo in 2009 using the Kidapawan City trail.
4.) There are several trails that lead to the summit but the trail from Kidapawan proves to be the easiest route to the National Park.
5.) From Kidapawan City, a round trip from the city to the peak will take up to 4 days.
6.) One of the most astounding sights along the trail includes Lake Venado, one of the highest lakes in the Philippines.
7.) Another captivating sight along the trail is the old crater near its summit. The mountain peak is accessible for climbing all year-round.
8.) Mount Apo is a large dormant volcano. It is a solfataric, potentially-active strato volcano.
9.) This notable mountain is located in the island of Mindanao, the country’s 2nd largest island located in the south.
10.) The mountain is located between Davao City and Davao del Sur province and Cotabato province.
11.) Three cities can be directly viewed from the top of the mountain – Davao City in the northwest, Digos City in the southeast and Kidapawan City in the west.
12.) The term Apo means “ancestor”. The mountain, a flat-topped mountain, has 3 peaks and is capped by a 500-meter-wide volcanic crater.
13.) There are no available records of its most recent eruption and none are verified in historical times.
14.) This dormant volcano is one of the country’s most popular climbing destinations attracting thousands of mountain climbers and tourists every year.
15.) The Atas, Bagobos, K’Iagans, Manobos, Tagacaulo and Ubos consider Mt. Apo as their ancestral domain and their home.
16.) These six tribes have lived since time immemorial, around the mountain and consider Mount Apo as sacred ground, their place of worship and burial ground.
17.) These tribes regard “Apo Sandawa” as their great forefather and Mt. Apo is the source of their continual supply of food and medicine, their spiritual and cultural way of life.
18.) Aside from Kidapawan City trail, there are several different trails that can be used to ascend the slope.
19.) Davao City, which is accessible by land, air and sea transport, is another accessible route via Mount Apo.
20.). Mount Apo is home to more than 272 bird species, 111 of which are endemic to the area.
21.) Mount Apo is also home to the largest eagles in the world – the Philippine Eagle, formerly known as Monkey-eating Eagle. The bird is the national eagle of the Philippines.
22.) This fabulous and amazing area is home to 118 species of butterflies which have been documented.
23.) The “king of fruits”, Durian, grow abundantly in Mount Apo. The mountain is considered as the center of endemism in Mindanao.
24.) Mount Apo is known as one of the most ecologically rich mountains in the region with about 800 different types of endemic plants.
25.) Among the most notable plant species that are endemic in the area include the threatened Waling-waling (Euanthe sanderiana) – one of the most expensive and beautiful orchids in the world.
26.) Other remarkable plant species that can be found in Mount Apo is the rare Lauan or also commonly known as Philippine Mahogany and the endangered Almaciga (Agathis philippinensis).
27.) Mount Apo was declared a national park on May 9, 1936 by Manuel L. Quezon and as a protected area in February 2004.
28.) The peak climbing season to Mount Apo is during Holy Week or Easter and one of the most serious problems is the problem on waste management. Tourists are requested to be responsible in waste management to keep the area clean.
29.) A geothermal plant called Mindanao Geothermal Production Field in Kidapawan Ciy with a power output of 106 MW is a manifestation that Mount Apo is an excellent source of geothermal energy.
30.) On December 12, 2009, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR submitted Mount Apo for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list.