Climbing Canlaon in 3 Days & 2 Nights Via Mapot-Mananawin Trail

It was our 2nd attempt to conquer Canlaon in the same trail. Started at Mapot, exit at Mananawin. The first was almost 3 years ago in September 2012. Climbing a mountain and not being able to reached its peak is sort of an unaccomplished feat for a mountaineer but is sorely understood. Regretful and sad but who could battle Mother Nature when it’s angry.

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2012. Leaving the shoulder without reaching the peak due to bad weather.

3 years ago, with a heavy heart & a much heavier body because we’re wet and cold, we left Canlaon’s shoulder in a haze. The winds were strong. It was drizzling. The fog covered everything. It was pitch whiteness everywhere. Neither of us knew then that we were walking down a very steep slope, a fact just confirmed since it was a clear day when we left Canlaon this year, a stark contrast from 3 years back.

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2015. Going down on a clear day!

Note that our first climb was in September, a rainy season & this year was in February. It might really be best to climb Canlaon in Summer since it’s less likely to rain.

Compared to the first, this climb was a breeze. Somehow it’s not as battering. Must be because I have aged & accumulated trekking experiences over the years? Lol Kidding aside, I was really in high spirits all throughout. Could be attributed to having a camera as well, haha. Last time we have none since I lost it in Taal. Being unable to capture what I see is most heartbreaking. Whenever a trek has been decided, I always make it a point to research about it. And I always end up reading those with many pictures & an overly detailed story of the climb (found none for Alto Peak yet, waaaaa! makes me anxious!). Being true to my motto “Give what you want to receive”, I make it an extra effort to give everything I’ve got as well. 😀

Note this is the summary post of the climb, Day 1 is done, Day 2 and Day 3 is still in progress.

Foggy Moments on the way to Shoulder Camp (Night 2)

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View of the foggy peak from Makakawiwili Peak! It took as a while before we were provided this view.

It was all excitement when we reached Makawiwili Peak. From the blogs that I’ve read, that part has some cool views of the great Canlaon which is unfortunately unseen on our previous attempt. This time, we were very happy to have been given a slight clearing. I thought that was enough. But human as we are, I wanted MORE!

Like the first, I could only see an outline of the great Canlaon. It was still very foggy when we arrive in the shoulder camp. When I slept that night, I prayed that we would have a clearing* the day after. I was in for a little heartbreak but not for very long.

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Sunrise at the Shoulder Camp

It was the same whiteness in the morning of our 3rd day. Good thing that in spite of that, the sunrise is just as beautiful, painting the view in its orangey glow, like a ball of fire in a sea of clouds. In my mind, oh well, at least I saw the mighty sun this time and had a peek of the peak at Makawiwili. It’s already a better experience than the first.

When everyone woke up, they talked about how the waters broke into their tents and all. I was just listening and feeling very lucky ’cause Liz & I were spared. Then a thought came, it wasn’t luck, my prayer was answered in a different way, it said. I shrugged, oh well. There is always a 3rd time. But after the commotion die down, they told us to get ready for the summit. I was hesitant. Are we really safe in that fog?

The Climb to the Peak

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There were lots of like this but I can only watched them since I’m too tired to get the camera from the then-boyfie-now-husband Migo. Trivia: this was our last climb as Migo & Miga!

30 minutes ascent, the guide told me when asked about how much time it would take to reach the peak. The path was laden with loose rocks in an about 30 degree angle. Since it is still foggy, I could only make out a few of what was in my surrounding. But of course who would miss the cairns (pile of rocks). When we reached the top, the prayed clearing* is still unheard. But we were patient & maybe, also hoping that the gods would answer our silent prayer…clearing please.

The Peak

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Group picture while waiting for the fog to go away wearing our team shirt specially made for Canlaon. Our 2nd shirt! Yay! The first is a blue version worn at Mt. Apo!

While waiting for the fog to clear, we busied ourselves. I had a slight inkling that it was maybe just it. But the other part of me was hoping & continued praying. Please. Please. Pleaseeeeeeee. I couldn’t remember the exact time or for how long did we wait. All I remember is the happiness when the great Canlaon finally showed itself. It was amazing and euphoric.

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Soon to be Mr & Mrs. Julio enjoying their last climb as Migo & Miga with the very shy Canlaon on the background.

Because of our delight and fear that the mighty Canlaon would shy away again, we just each took our time to do things on our own. We totally forgot to have a group picture. LOL

Back to the Camp

After a slight taste of clearing, the fogs were back. We walked down in the same pitch whiteness. Breakfast was ready when we arrived. All thanks to our very nice porter & guide. Weeeeeee! While we are busy eating…my fervent prayers were answered. Lo and behold! The fogs left and I could see everything CLEARLY. Finally a 360 degree view of Canlaon’s beauty. It was such a wow moment.

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Finally a group picture on a clear day at Canlaon! 
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Margaja Valley!
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Jump for joy!!!

And then it was time to go. Unlike last time, we didn’t left with a heavy heart. We left with a smile on our face and a gratefulness in our hearts. Finally, we have conquered Canlaon. Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!

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Spot the difference! 2012 vs 2015

*clearing – term used to describe that instant where we could see & marvel the beauty of Canlaon, in short, the fog would disappear. 

Canlaon Series:
Summary -> You are here.
Canlaon Trek Day 1 of 3 – Sudlon Falls & Base Camp
Canlaon Trek Day 2 of 3 – Makawiwili Peak & Shoulder Camp
Canlaon Trek Day 3 of 3 – Slide Away from Canlaon

Canlaon Trek Day 1 of 3 – Sudlon Falls & Base Camp

We plan to met at North Bus Terminal before 4 AM. But the Migo&I was 30 minutes late. Instead of riding the bus bound to Canlaon directly, which was already so full when we arrived, the group decided to abandon the bus & proceed to Citilink, where we rode a V-hire to Toledo to catch the 0730 ferry for San Carlos City.

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We had an Economy(sitting) ticket but we lacked sleep so we opt to go to the Standard(lying) floor where we could lay, hoping no one would claim the bed we took.

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By 0930, we arrived at San Carlos City Terminal, had breakfast then took a bus bound to Canlaon City.

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At 1130, we arrived in Canlaon City Bus Terminal where we are welcomed by Kuya Islaw, our porter last 2012, now our guide. He led us to Sir Jigz place, our guide before, now one of the focal person for Canlaon treks. We weren’t the only group in Sir Jigz’s place, we saw other mountaineer friends from Cebu as well. After some chitchat, signing in the log book and of course, picture-taking, we were off to the entry point Brgy. Mapot. Since it was still too early to head for the base camp, we visited Sudlon Falls first.

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At 2:45 in the afternoon, we started the trek to the base camp. Unlike last time, the uphill climb was bearable. The combined walk and some stops together took an hour and 15 minutes. By 4:00 PM, we were ready to camp for the night.

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After a yummy dinner of boiled pork and dried fish, we played our favorite pastime – The Resistance. It was once again an epic but this time, Dave stole my crown. Couldn’t be happier that it’s finally not with me. 😛

Canlaon Series:
Summary – Climbing Canlaon in 3 Days & 2 Nights Via Mapot-Mananawin Trail 
Canlaon Trek Day 1 of 3 -> You are here.
Canlaon Trek Day 2 of 3 – Makawiwili Peak & Shoulder Camp
Canlaon Trek Day 3 of 3 – Slide Away from Canlaon

Climbing Mt. Naupa in Naga, Cebu (My Hometown’s Mountain)

It hasn’t been a while since knowing that Mt. Naupa has become a mountaineer’s destination. Seeing pictures of other mountaineers of the campsite puts me in awe. I wanted to be there and experience the beauty for myself. So last weekend, January 24-25, we finally took the time to climb Mt. Naupa as part of our preparation to conquer Mt. Canlaon on the 3rd week of February.

View of the campsite from the summit.
View of the campsite from the summit.

The green meadow was everything I’ve hoped for. The grass was so clean that it’s okay to barefoot but do it only if you could bear the cold. Unlike other’s experience, our Naupa weekend was a cold one. There was no rain but it drizzled a bit. The wind was chilly. I didn’t bring my jacket but good thing the boyfie insisted that I took his red long sleeve. Without it, he would have given me his again (he loves me too much <3).

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View on the way!

The adventure started with an approx of 20 minute motorbike ride to the jump off, Sto. Niño Cogon Chapel. From Gaisano Minglanilla, we were supposed to ride a multicab for Tungkop. But since there were motorbikes in front of Gaisano, one of the BRBs asked if they knew the place. We settled with a Php50 fare.

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The motorbike trail was a combination of paved, slippery and rocky ones.

The boyfie and I’s driver was quite chatty or maybe because I kept asking him things. Haha From him, I’ve known that the chapel could be reached in 2 ways via Estaca (opposite of Tungkop) or via Cantao-an (this is our way). Despite his knowledge, he kept looking at the others since we were not sure what way to pick as well. The other driver signaled that we were to take the via Cantao-an route. On the way, I kept talking and taking pictures. Always burdening the driver with questions that is maybe the reason why we seem to miss the turn when we were in KSS. Haha! The other couple went on the paved road above us while we ended in the muddy one near the river. I feel a little uneasy. Manong driver assured us, we would surely reunite with the others in a while. He’s quite familiar with the place, he said.

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Finally, the fear vanished when I saw them arriving.

Because the road has become muddy and impassable, I focus my attention elsewhere. Praying a little that accident wouldn’t befall on us. At the back of my head, I kept praying that we were on the right track. When we arrived at the chapel, there was no one but us. It was then that my heart hammered. Oh my! There were 2 motorcycles before us, where are they?! The boyfie was quite agitated as well. We each proceeded to call the other BRBs.It turns out, it was them that had the wrong turn. Haha! Sorry, Manong Driver for doubting you. 😀

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Chatting about the rather adventurous motorbike ride before a group pic.

After the motorbike chatters died down, we gathered for a prayer and started on our way. We left the chapel around 3:15 and arrived at around 4:00 PM. Yay! We had it around 45 minutes which can be attributed to our luck in choosing the correct point on the fork paths. Haha! Plus there were locals everywhere as well, just when we needed them. 🙂

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And the journey begins…
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Catching up our breaths!
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Dry river!
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First of many fork paths? So where do we go from here?
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Foggy Welcome!
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Catching our breath 2!
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Sad, sad view. 🙁
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Human wrecking havoc to nature. Hayst!

The campsite was very wide. Since it’s still early, we laze around before setting up camp. The summit was a perfect background to the campsite. It was a short climb but mostly uphill so it might take a while before I’ll include it in my funtrek list. The motorbike to the jump off was quite scary too. 😀

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Setting up camp!

DINNER, GAMES & POSES

After setting up camp, we then prepare our yummy dinner. Unlike our previous climbs where we ate mostly canned goods, we had grilled meat this time. We had 2 wines and coke as well. Yay! Chat and almost 9 rounds of “The Resistance” game followed after. Haha! The night ended with me failing badly as a spy. Pffft! Learning how to bluff is no longer an option but a necessity. Hahahaha!

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Yummy Dinner!
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The RESISTANCE! It’s not good to be a spy on the expansion!!!
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Lovely clouds!
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Migo and Miga in Apo Blue!
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Hello Liz! First time with BRB! 🙂

THE DAY AFTER

It was around 30 minutes to midnight when we decided all that spying were enough. But Liz and I talked until 12. The night was tolerably cold but the howling wind kept me restless. It was foggy even at 7 AM. I decided to forego climbing the summit but after a while, the sun shone and everything went clear. Yay! Thanks to it, I was able to make the most out of Naupa. 😀

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Our leader who had chicken pox but still went with us. He was supposed to be resting but good thing we all had chicken pox when we were children. We were safe from him. 😀
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Loving the color of my hair!!!
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Just being meh!
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All that green with me in red and blue. So cool to the eyes!
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It’s been a while since the boyfie’s jump-scapade! Need to urge him to jump every time. 😀

ON THE WAY DOWN

I’ve known that Naupa is in my hometown. As a child, I have neighbors who has relatives in Naupa but I wasn’t that adventurous then. So I was quite excited when I knew we would have our exit in Lanas. It’s very near our place but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give my Mom a heads up that I would be visiting with friends. Maybe next time! 😀

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Farm lands on the way down!
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Extra careful cause the ground is wet!
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Tempted to pick one! LOL
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Liz and me!
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Finally, cemented road!
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Kuya Ali walking backwards to save the aching knees. 😀
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Migo as well 😛
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Don’t tell Mama I was in Lanas. 😛
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Waiting…
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Lunch in Naga!
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The boyfie posed while the others are busy with food.
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While waiting for the food to be served.
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Civilization at last!!!
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Lunch!
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Lunch!

And then…home! I thought it was an easy climb but my body thought otherwise since when I arrived home, I’ve only managed to clean my feet and then I dozed off until 10 PM. The boyfie and I miss our Sunday mass again. Waaaaaaaaaa! And we’ll miss it again next week since we are off to Osmeña Peak then traverse to Kawasan the day after. Wew! Loving the weekend climbs. 😀

Apo Day 4: Playing with Kidapawan River

 

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The beauty of the smoking lake greeted us the next day. It would have been fun to have played with it longer but the schedule won’t allow it. Compared to the previous climbs, Apo’s last day trail was the most rigorous. Left the camp around 7 AM, an eternal descent followed.

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And just because we were in a haste, I would forget to have our team picture taken? NEVER. It’s a MORTAL SIN to do so. 😀
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Yip. We were way, way behind just because of that TEAM PICTURE above. Haha!

 

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Stops along the way…

 

It was a clear day but the guides kept reminding us how erratic the weather these days. We need to hurry or else be stranded in rain. The thought of crossing 6 rivers pressured me to hasten each stride. And each countable stop, I kept on asking how far do we have to go. Downhills were a friend but that time, I thought otherwise.

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From L-R, T-B: A doufie with the boyfie. Boyfie and our guide, Ronnie. With the century tree. Pong and me.
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Some views of the trail. The ladder looks really scary from above but it actually feels safe.

It was a almost a race. The stops were minimal and short. The group was divided into teams again with the guide leading the pack. Before reaching Mainit Spring, one of our companion got cramps. And just when I’m about to say my words of wisdom, I tripped and slipped on the rock. It was painful. I feared that I too would have cramps. It could have been a first if I did.

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Mainit Spring stop. The guide boasted of a hot and sour water and being “me”, I just had to try and decide for myself. It really was hot but not that sour. I actually love the taste, makes me think of “Pocari sweat”. I drank a lot and got reprimanded by the boyfie saying it might not be good for my acidic tummy knowing it’s sulfuric. 😛
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Finally…the RIVER! This is our 3rd crossing I think. Didn’t have the chance to take a picture with the previous since we are on a rush. Luckily this time, they are having a hard time on the bridge. Haha!
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More river pics!

After 7 hours of walking, we finally reached the last river crossing at around 2 PM. We were famished. The others were already eating when we arrived. Since it was the last stop before the ride, we settled matters with our new friends who have been very helpful throughout the entire journey – our guides.

Before the climb, our estimated budget was 450/day/porter but the actual was Php400/day/porter. It was our first climb with porter and we were a bit generous and happy, so every team decided to settle with 500/day/porter. And to make it easier for the boyfie and his friend, we gave Php 700 each for us three to our porter, Ronnie.

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The last river crossing!
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Lunch Time!!!
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Bye Bye Apo! Bye Bye Kidapawan!

And finally it was goodbye, Apo. I was restless on the ride to Davao City. My body was aching but I felt that something was missing. I later realized that the anticipation and excitement of the climb that occupied me since the start of 2014 was making me restless. When it was gone, I felt lost and goal-less. 😛

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From L-R, T-B: The sign before going out of Lake Venado. Century Tree. Mountain View. Almaciga Tree.

And that’s it. Apo has become a history. I kinda feel a bit of inadequacy on this last post. I wanted to write and tell you more but words are not my friend today. 😐 Oh well, next time perhaps.

We don’t have a schedule yet but Dulang2x might be next on the list. Yay! And while waiting for that new adventure, I’ll re-visit and update you with my Pulag and PamTarZam (Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales) travels. Stay with me. 🙂

Apo Series:
Prologue
Apo Day 1: Overnight At Tinikaran Camp
Apo Day 2: Sunrise and Sunset in 2 Different Peaks
Apo Day 3: Lake Venado’s Grandeur
Apo Day 4: Playing with Kidapawan River -> You are here.

Prenup Photo Shoot on the Philippines Highest Mountain

To be promised forever on top of Apo crossed my mind but didn’t linger.  There’s so much to do in the peak and proposing is not on the list. But sans engagement, it didn’t stop the boyfie and I to enjoy a free prenup session. Yay! Here are some of my favorites!!!

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Now it’s not only the mountain that we look forward to conquer…Credits to the photographer Dea! Visit her blog to see more of her photos. Yay!

Apo Day 3: Lake Venado’s Grandeur

From the start, sunsets and sunrises are not really that appealing. It was maybe because I had other things to marvel about. Everything in the entire journey is already beautiful. What more would I ask for?  And then Pulag. Oh yeah, Pulag again. Who would forget Pulag?! Certainly not me, when most of my outlook on mountaineering were crushed and gone with the wind upon it’s slopes. After this Apo series, I’ll definitely dig into the abyss and relive the biggest adventure that I thought I’d had – Pulag. Now back to Apo.

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Sunrise in Apo’s Davao Peak.

Only 6 of us were able to experience Sunset at Kidapawan peak but Sunrise at Davao peak was different. Although we went in separate batches, only 2 missed the spectacle. Despite the numbing cold of around 8 degrees, we indulged in the beauty that only the top of the mountain has to offer – an unobstructed view of the sun’s majesty. We cam-whored on the lights, the sunrise itself and the daylight. And when every angle and pose were caught, we descended to prepare breakfast. Eating was the only definite activity of the day since on our itinerary, we were supposed to stay on the peak for 2 nights but there were voices of concerns.

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BRB’s 4th Major climb along side Talinis, Canlaon and Pulag in order.

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After breakfast, it was confirmed that the group would no longer stay at the base camp, the last night of the journey will be Lake Venado – estimated to be 4 hours away. The boyfie and I was kinda excited so we finished packing ahead of the others. While waiting we fill our almost battery dead cameras with more stress. It was then that I noticed Kuya Tindero on the sides.

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Break Camp.
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Say hello to Kuya Tindero. Took a picture of him and his goods. I wasn’t very chatty so I just managed to ask him how much the cost of the coke and liquor. Both were Php 200. The price was not a disappointment, just about right knowing how far they’ve come from. 😛

When everyone was done packing, we took our BRB Shirt picture. I was happy we were able to do this. Although I was kinda hoping we’d have the group picture in the peak. Next time I’ll impose. For now, ain’t it grand? Our first picture with the same shirt on a climb. Hooray!!!

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BRB’s first uniformed group picture. 😛

And…it was time to go. I looked up at the peaks again. Smiled, feeling very proud of myself. I did it without a hitch. Thankful, because I have the most supportive and understanding team of all. Excited for the next trail was mostly downhill – my favorite.

 

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Photo Ops stop along the way.
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One of Venado’s Grandeur.

I couldn’t remember how many times I’ve paused, mesmerized by the beauty of the lake a far. Each stride brings me more excitement to gaze upon it’s beauty…no longer in bird’s eye view. It must have been the reason why we reached the lake around 2 hours or less from the estimated. Had I known that a bottle of coke and banana cues were waiting for me when I arrived, it would have been much faster.

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And ohhhh…the sweetest smile of all!!!
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Lake Venado: Setup Camp

And because Lake Venado didn’t disappoint, I hurriedly took my team for a stroll and picture taking.

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Team picture with the grand Apo on the background. And of course…Lake Venado!
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Our last dinner of the journey.

We ended the night eating together with non-canned or pouched goods courtesy of Team Musni. Yay! Camp Venado wasn’t that cold compared to the base camp and to this day, I still wondered why we didn’t play together after dinner. I’m sure it wasn’t because of fatigue. We reached Venado at 2 PM, we’ve been resting the hours after that. Hmmm! I’ll ask them on our next climb. 😀

And as for you…hold on to the last part of the series! I hope to tell a great tale about Kidapawan river. Also, may I ask a favor? Let me know if you want to know more or you’ve been overflowed with too much information alright?!

Apo Series:
Prologue
Apo Day 1: Overnight At Tinikaran Camp
Apo Day 2: Sunrise and Sunset in 2 Different Peaks
Apo Day 3: Lake Venado’s Grandeur -> You are here.
Apo Day 4: Playing with Kidapawan River

Apo Day 2: Sunrise and Sunset in 2 Different Peaks

The beauty of Apo encompasses no other. I realized it on the 2nd day while going through an uphill battle towards a seemingly endless mounds of white rocks popularly known as “The Boulders”. It was just so beautiful, other worldly and simply awesome, makes me think of Essos (Game of Thrones where Dainerys is). Haha! The yellowish patches of sulfur, the smoke on the side and the fog makes it more beautiful but dangerous. The fog sometimes cover the ribbon-ed path, forcing us to stop and wait until it goes away, letting us continue. Hearsays tell of a mountaineer that forced its way despite the fog got lost in the boulders. We were never told to stop but is it not common sense to do so?!

Day 2
0530 Wake up
0630 Breakfast

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A good night’s rest always makes a difference. I woke up inspired and ready to start the day with preparing breakfast only to be stop by the thought that I don’t know how to light the burner. And as if by heaven’s grace, the owner of the burner drops by. Hooray!

0730 Tinikaran Break Camp

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After breakfast, we proceeded breaking up camp ahead of the others. But because we’ve been slow packers, they catch up almost immediately. Around 8 AM, we were ready to conquer the said to be the hardest part of all – The Boulders.

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0800 Trek to boulders

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The path were mostly covered with trees, the ground was still moist with dew thus slippery.

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2 hours after, we reached a dried creek – an entrance to the boulders. The group stop by in awe of the smoking mountain.

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1145 Lunch
We continued our journey until our stomach grumbled. Had lunch at a clearing in the middle of the rocks.

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0100 White Sand
After lunch, the guide assured us that we’re halfway thru. Reaching white sand is our salvation from the boulders.

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The view of white sand was picturesque so the group took the time to cam-whored.

Crater Lake

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0230 Apo Base Setup Camp

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I was still in high spirits upon reaching the camp so I wasted no time, have my team setup our tents and prepared an early dinner. It was super cold but the heat of the sun balances it. After we’re done, we prepared to climb the peak.

0400 Kidapawan Peak for sunset

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We weren’t actually able to see the sun set because of the clouds! Anyhoo, it was still a beauty to behold. We waited until the wind was chilly enough and hurried back to the camp. When we reached the camp, I cooked soup and had an early dinner. After preparing to sleep, the group called to play our favorite game – The Resistance. After 3 rounds or so, we called it a night.

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Here are some of my favorite pics and panoramas of Day 2!

A view from the boulder!
A view from the boulder!
A view from the boulder!
A view from the boulder!
A view from the boulder!
A view from the boulder!
Apo's Crater!
Apo’s Crater!
Campsite!
Campsite!
Campsite!
Campsite!
Boyfie's Signature Jump on The Boulder's entrance! See the smoke on the background?!
Boyfie’s Signature Jump on The Boulder’s entrance! See the smoke on the background?!
Up, up to the top!
Up, up to the top!
Run before the fog catch and hides the ribbon-ed path!
Run before the fog catch and hides the ribbon-ed path!
More uphill battle!
More uphill battle!
The view of the entry to White Sand!
The view of the entry to White Sand!
More rocks!
More rocks!
The crater JUMP!
The crater JUMP!
View from the top of the crater!
View from the top of the crater!
Sunset on Kidapawan Peak!
Sunset on Kidapawan Peak!
A View of the camp from the top!
A View of the camp from the top!

Apo Series:
Prologue
Apo Day 1: Overnight At Tinikaran Camp
Apo Day 2: Sunrise and Sunset in 2 Different Peaks -> You are here.
Apo Day 3: Lake Venado’s Grandeur
Apo Day 4: Playing with Kidapawan River

Apo Day 1: Overnight At Tinikaran Camp

Last year’s Pulag via Akiki really changed my over-all disposition towards every climb. Nothing is easy in the mountains. And despite my preparations, I still feel uneasy and inadequate so when the group brought up porters, despite wanting to own all the glory in conquering mountains, I agreed. But right after our team’s grocery, I realized I may not be load less after all. But compared to Pulag’s 15 kg backpack, carrying just my personal things and water (around 6-8 kg) was certainly a relief. And maybe because I’m in top shape with the regular Zumba, I wasn’t that tired throughout the entire trek. For the first time, I wasn’t spent on the first night in a major climb. Hooray!

Overall, I felt that our group has improved. Even the first timers were noteworthy. We were fast, the walks are long and rest stops were short. Having porters for each team has also help not only in carrying foods but also support. In previous climbs, I am always pressured to be faster to catch up but this time because we have our own guide, I took my time.

I didn’t really like the group separation to teams but it turned out best unto our advantage. The boyfie and I has always been slow with packing so it helps that we could cook and eat earlier to pack first before the other team does. 😀 And because of that team-ing, I have acquired a new confidence in cooking. I could finally say that I have become a true mountaineer. Yahoooo!

And so much for my blahs, I know you’d like to see some action…so here’s my amateurish photos, pardon the blurs in an effort to document the details.  Day 1 trail consists mostly of just trees and grass. The real Apo action begins the next day so stay tuned!!!

APO DAY 1 TIMELINE
0730 Flight to Davao
* Reached Davao
* Hello to our guide, Kuya Charlito
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Group picture before boarding
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Musni recite the plans for the day while waiting for our packs at Davao Airport.
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Our ride to Digos City! Meeting our guide Kuya Charlito.

0900 Breakfast stop at BCJ Kambingan

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Because the boyfie and I were still full, we just content ourselves with the free soup, banana and coke.

1100 Sta. Cruz Registration

 

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Unfortunately Kuya Char wasn’t able to print our forms so we had to redo the whole process again in a rush. After sign up, we paid Php 288 each for the entrance fee.

 

1130 Shell break while waiting for the ride to Kapatagan
* Lunch and bought supplies at Kapatagan market
* Ride to Culan – start of trek, meet porters: Ronnie, Jun2, Axel, Loyd and Edel
* Walk an hour to basketball court where we organize the load for porters

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After the registration, the jeepney drop us at a shell station where we wait for our next ride – an open type “de-karga”.
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It was lunch time when we reached Kapatagan. After lunch, we proceeded to buy lacking supplies like rice, water and vegetables.
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And off we go to the jump off where we meet our porters.
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Then the walking begun!
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We settled in here for a while to organize the loads for each porters.

0230 And the journey begins…

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Photo ops along the way…
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Catching our breath stops before an uphill trek!
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And it was night time! The boyfie and I’s first night trek!

0700 Reach the first night camp: Tinikaran

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Unlike other teams whose tent were setup when they arrived, our team postponed rest for setup.
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The owls who chilled some time under our common tarp before retiring for the night.
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Playing with the lights! #OOTN

Apo Series:
Prologue
Apo Day 1: Overnight At Tinikaran Camp -> You are here.
Apo Day 2: Sunrise and Sunset in 2 Different Peaks
Apo Day 3: Lake Venado’s Grandeur
Apo Day 4: Playing with Kidapawan River

Apo in 4 Days & 3 Nights Via Kapatagan – Kidapawan Trail

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It was everything but a blissful memory, that exceeds far beyond expectation. Apo Climb was my 4th but the greatest of them all. The fears and doubts that loomed over months before has truly become my biggest support. If not for those doubts, Apo would have quickly become a Pulag experience.

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Knowing that a few less adventurous acquaintances have survived Apo didn’t change my plans a bit. Climbing my country’s highest peak would not be easy so I have to be fully prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. To aid the physical preparation, despite liking dancing, starting to join Zumba sessions was never easy. It took a lot of push and rewards to get me going. Glad they did. 🙂

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Our group leader has always mentioned about being self-sufficient but it didn’t get to me until the actual implementation. Cooking was never a problem on the previous climbs, but the decision to separate the group into teams of 3 took an emotional blow. This was the boyfie and I’s 4th climb but we never really bothered ourselves with cooking until then. I was actually hoping to be paired with one of the pro’s (someone who know how to use the burner). Oh well! I was forced to be that pro, and letting my team down is a no-no. And what help me through that? It was that new year’s resolution to not mind what other people think too much. I should only be responsible with myself and those that rely on me. Never force yourself on people. Do what you can and just wait for people to offer. Never ask and rely on anyone for anything to avoid heartbreak. It’s a rude resolution, but so far it gave me nothing but strength.

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Lastly to prepare me mentally, I need to know the nature of the trail. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that suits my overly detailed specification so I just armed myself with what I knew so far – to conquer a mountain is not easy. Always expect the worst. Never let your guard down.

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And…so much for the over-introduction and prologue…come with me as I try to relive the journey towards and away from Philippines’ highest peak, Mt. Apo on the next posts! 🙂

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Apo Series:
Prologue -> You are here.
Apo Day 1: Overnight At Tinikaran Camp
Apo Day 2: Sunrise and Sunset in 2 Different Peaks
Apo Day 3: Lake Venado’s Grandeur
Apo Day 4: Playing with Kidapawan River