Climbing the Highest Peak in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao


My love for the mountains started in 2011 after I solo backpack Zambales. It was an unplanned climb, because I was there not physically torture myself, but to bum and chill at the fine sand of Anawangin Cove. The decision of climbing Mt. Pundaquit (despite the typhoon signal) gave birth to this new hobby, mountain climbing. After that climbed, I dream of climbing the three highest mountains in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. That's how ambitious I am.

Here comes February of 2012, I got an invitation for a Mt. Pulag climb via the executive Ambangeg­-Ambangeg trail. This is the preferred trail for the non­-climbers who only wanted to witness the sea of clouds which is the major highlight of this climb. I easily confirmed my participation without any second thought that I may not survive the extreme cold weather and the high altitude. Prior to this the highest mountain I climbed is just below a thousand meters above sea level. After climbing the highest roof in Luzon, I had a grandiose idea of climbing not just the three highest peak per major island group, but to explore and climb every mountain as much as possible while I still can.

I do not have any climbing group, because I do not consider myself as a mountaineer. I just love the feeling of being on top of the world both literally and figuratively. The downside of being a freelancer is that you have to wait until someone would invite you for a climb, or you have to organize your own event. I got bored waiting for an invitational climb for Mt. Kanlaon so I decided to organize a climb. Luckily, I have fibr supportive friends who responded to my invitation. Prior to the major climb, we had series of pre-climbs in Cebu to prepare ourselves physically for the treacherous trail of Mt. Kanlaon via Mapot­-Mananawin trail. I would say, this climb was the toughest and the most physically demanding climb I had so far, but that experience did not stop me in finishing my goal of setting foot in every peak of the county's highest mountain per major island group.

The last and the highest mountain that will complete this dream is Mt. Apo which stands 2,954 meters above sea level. Unlike the Kanlaon climb, I do not have any preparation for this climb because I do not have the luxury of time to do so. I almost backed out because my request to take a leave of absence was not granted.    To cut the story short, we were able to find ways and the event was push through. Finally, I was able to reach and stand at the top of the Philippines' highest peak.

Now that I have completed and reached the highest peaks in Luzon (Mt. Pulag), Visayas (Mt. Kanlaon) and Mindanao (Mt. Apo), that does not mean that I will stop climbing. Like I said, I will continue exploring every nook and every mountain in the country while I still can. My plans right now is exploring the mountains in Cordilleras (Mt. Amuyao, Batad, Mt. Ugo, Bakun Triology and Kibungan Circuit) so if you have any plans of climbing any of this, please don't forget to drop me an invitation.

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