Monday, September 4, 2017


Mount Apo Dayhike: Reaching the top of the Philippines - in a day.

Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines that lives up to it's name as the grandfather of all the mountains in the Philippines. It is said to be named after a nobleman named Apong, who was killed while mediating the battle between two suitors of his daughter Saribu. 

At an elevation of 2,954 meters (9,692 feet) above sea level, Mount Apo towering over Davao Del Sur Province and in Cotabato Province provides an experience for every mountaineers it's awe-inspiring views from the jump-off to the trails and up to the summit. Many mountaineers do recommend completing Mount Apo hike over two days and one night span to get your body properly acclimatize. However, for some who has limited time due to work will probably just doing it in a day.

Here’s our honest experience on what to expect as well as some useful tips when climbing Mount Apo. It was really challenging as everything was compressed into one day. From climbing up to the campsites to boulder face up to the summit climb. It was certainly a test of our endurance, both physically and mentally.

Getting to Mount Apo

Mount Apo is a large solfataric, potentially active stratovolcano in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. The easiest way to reach the mountain is to fly directly to Davao International Airport and then take a long drive from Davao to Digos City then take a habal-habal ride from Digos City to the foot of Mount Apo via Kapatagan. This drive takes 3-4 hours from Davao City to the foot of Mount Apo. It features long windy rolling roads and an off-road with banana's on your side. 

Climbing Skills

To Climb Mount Apo does not actually require advance climbing skills. In fact, Mount Apo is just one big hike.

On our route - Sta. Cruz Trail, there a is one section called the Boulder Face that requires basic bouldering skills. No preparation is required for this section of the hike though, but be extra-cautious on touching and stepping the boulders because some are loose and shaky. 

Gears and Essentials

We cannot stress enough the importance of having the right equipment to climb Mount Apo. Spending a day visiting this mountain, wandering it's neighboring mountains and run along the heat of the sun is a bit adventure. The list of survival gear is presented so you can see what others carry, and to give you some ideas if you’re just getting started in preparedness. Everyone’s needs are unique and will change depending on a number of factors.

Many hikers use trekking poles which are helpful for balance and take the pressure off your knees, especially when you descend.

Hydration Vest (Amihan)
500ml Water
500ml Gatorade
Arm Sleeves 
First Aid Kit
Chicken Skin

The lists is really meant to be a basic list. It is in no way a complete list, or a list of things that need to be included in everyone’s stockpile. It is here to give you some ideas, and some things to think about when hiking mountain/s in a day.

The two key things to consider hiking Mount Apo:

1. Drink load of fluids

Dehydration is a key cause of Acute Mountain Sickness. The more fluids you can drink the better. Daily recommended intake is 3 litres of water. You can add an energy supplement to the water to make it taste better and always remember to add purification tablets.

2. Climb high, take a nap

Climbing high, sleeping low allows your body to experience altitude for a short period before descending to sleep. On our Mount Apo Dayhike we take a bit nap at the summit before descend.


Getting to the top of Mount Apo has a lot to do with determination. There will likely be a point during the summit attempt where you might feel like giving up – typically around the boulder face. You might be feeling awfully sick and exhausted due to sulfur and bit heat. At that lowest point it is important that you remain determined to get to the top – one step at a time!

Here’s the aftermath of our Mt Apo experience! Don’t be fooled by the smiles on our faces! Though we were feeling really accomplished, we were also extremely tired and our legs felt like they were gonna break any moment! We didn’t take much photos of our descend as we were too focused on getting down as fast as we can to get over and done with this climb. We finally reached the foot at around 5.30pm.


From Davao City accompanied by our guide v.v. we shared Php 3,627.00 all in. Thank you so much to Mr. John Kalog for securing our permit, John Lester (0949 4079 411) for guiding us all the way and to all the mountaineers we meet along the way, the local mountaineering of Davao City for the kindness and of course God for the guidance and for showing us what the world could offer, for those wonderful creations. Salamat Kaayo!


  1. Hi! Can i ask for your itinerary and budget for this climb? Thank you so much! 😍

  2. Hi! Can i ask for your itinerary and budget for this climb? Thank you so much! 😍



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