I came. I saw. I conquered.
Nov 19, 2015
“I came, I saw, I conquered.” These are the words that you should definitely say when you’re already at the peak of the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Apo.
I was very excited when me and my friends arrived at Kidapawan City. It was already late afternoon since we travelled from Davao City. I was so pumped-up because we were about to climb mount Apo so we prepared and looked for a place to settle for the night at Barangay Bongolanon. We found a house to settle for the night. We slept early and woke up early for the climb.
First things first, for safety and information. We took an orientation concerning safety and the rules and regulations of climbing. I thought we were the only ones but there were more mountaineers who showed up during the orientation. We felt secured and glad that there were more people who would climb with us and I know for a fact that “The more; The merrier.” Permit by the way is mandatory so make sure to secure one before climbing.
After the orientation, we took a quick dip first on the cold Tausuvan Falls for we know that once we get to arrived to our next camp site, there would be no chance to take a bath due to cold temperature. The cold turquoise water of Tausuvan is really enticing but we left the place right after having a taste of Tausuvan Falls. So without further delay, we started hiking. We felt energetic but in less than an hour, we were already exhausted because in almost every mountain, the first few steps are really hard and the steepness will make you go nuts!
We had our lunch along the trail. Big logs intentionally placed along the trail ideal for taking breaks. It took us a few minutes to take our meal and after that, back to business. We wanted to arrive early at Camp Bob’bong so we could setup our tents before the night falls. It was about 5 PM and we still haven’t reached our campsite. I felt worried because the path was so unclear due to the fog that was surrounding us. Thanks to some campers who already knew the area, they helped us reach the camp in no time. We hurried and fetch our tents and prepare our meal for dinner. We were halfway to the top but It was already really cold that when I breath, I can see a fog due to the temperature of my body against the temperature of the environment. It was no time for going outside the tents and talking to friends, we needed to get inside our tents and call it a day.
Day 2, The moment I opened my tent for breakfast, I saw the sun really clear but I wasn’t able to feel it’s warmth which is a good feeling. Me and my friends went back on our hike towards Lake Venado. The hike wasn’t that tiring because the trail was friendly to our physical abilities. In just less than 4 hours from Camp Bob’bong, We were able to reach Lake Venado and by that time (11:30 AM), we were able to witness the fascinating beauty of Mt. Apo peak. The sun was still shining and I felt it under my skin, it felt good and I can finally take my jacket off and eat my lunch. But when I was taking my lunch before I open my lunchbox, I looked up into the sky and see dark clouds raging towards my direction. I was able to eat my lunch but It was inside my tent. I asked my fellow campers why is it like that, they responded to me as if the clouds up there were normal because we were thousands of feet above sea level and clouds normally move fast and the temperature also moves fast. By the time all of my friends reached the camp site, we were all having fun and we were taking pictures of each other. Behind us in every picture, is Lake Venado and the beautiful peak of Mt. Apo. It was too early to sleep but it was also too late to continue climbing the peak so we stayed inside our tents and bonded with each other through singing and laughter.
On our 3rd day, we woke up early and ate our breakfast real fast because we wanted to climb the peak and get there before the sun rises. I thought the steepest part of the mountain was at the bottom of the mountain and I realized, I thought wrong because It was very steep that I had to hold the tall grasses of the mountain just for me to level my steps up towards the peak. The peak look short from Lake Venado but It took us 2-3 hours just to reach the top of it. And finally, I can say “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
We took pictures and had our lunch at the peak and after that we went down from the peak running and clutching back to Lake Venado. And on that the same day we ventured through Ilomavis Trail so we could get back home. Back when we reached the bottom of the mountain, I looked back and I said it again. “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Mount Apo is a large solfataric, potentially active stratovolcano in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. With an elevation of 2,954 metres (9,692 ft) above sea level, it is the highest mountain in the Philippine Archipelago and is located between Davao City andDavao del Sur province in Region XI and Cotabato province in Region XII. The peak overlooks Davao City 45 kilometres (28 mi) to the northeast, Digos City 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the southeast, and Kidapawan City 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the west.