Davao is an all-time favorite travel destination at anytime of the year. Because of its laid-back feel, tropical climate and stunning sceneries, many people make it their getaway all year round. Since this quaint city boasts of many beautiful places, a month-long stay is not enough to explore it entirely.

In this article, I’m giving you a list of some of the famous tourist spots that would make you want to visit Davao soon.

Eden Nature Park and Resort

With an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level, Eden is the perfect place for you to escape from the stresses of city life while you enjoy the picturesque view of Davao City and Davao Gulf. Pamper yourself in a unique mountain experience. With over 100,000 pine trees planted throughout the resort, you will enjoy a cooler climate than the rest of Davao.

Philippine Eagle Center

The Philippine Eagle Center is home to the endangered Philippine eagle, which can be found in Davao alone.  Not only it is the Philippine eagle’s conservation facility, it is also a well-known tourist destination.

At present, the Philippine Eagle Foundation is in need of our assistance to preserve the Philippine eagle for future generations. Whatever help we can provide will go a long way.

Museo Dabawenyo

If you’re an avid fan of the arts and history, Museo Dabawenyo is your go-to spot. It is where the artworks and artifacts of different ethnic groups in Davao can be found. By coming to Museo Dabawenyo, you will learn about Davao’s culture and the story of its people. You will be truly amazed of how Davao evolved into a world-class city that it is today.

Magsaysay Park Fruit Stand

In case you don’t know yet, Davao is a certified fruit haven. With Davao’s abundance of Durian, Mangosteen, and Pomelo, to name a few, it will satisfy your fruit cravings.

Head on to Magsaysay Park Fruit Stand when you visit Davao to get your fix of these mouth-watering fruits.

Samal Island            

Want to plunge into the deep blue sea or bask in the sun? No problem. Samal Island, which is known for its lush beaches, is just 10 minutes away from Davao City by ferry. Since Samal houses so many amazing beach resorts, you can choose to stay overnight to enjoy the beach longer.

White Peak

After taking a dose of vitamin sea, you can go for a trek at White Peak, which is the highest peak in Samal Island. This is just a short climb so it’s perfect for newbie mountaineers.

What’s more interesting about White Peak is that upon your descent, you will be welcomed by the nearby Canibad Beach with its pristine and refreshing waters.

So the next time you take a trip to Davao, don’t forget to include these places in your itinerary. Again, these are just some of the famous tourist spots here. Once you step foot in this vibrant city, you’ll discover that there are countless places to see and loads of things to do.

For a hassle-free travel, you can book your tour with Discover Mt. Apo. It is the most reliable and trusted company that offers all-in tour and guide services in Davao and other travel destinations in Mindanao.

Visit Davao now! You can check our website at www.discovermtapo.com or email us at discovermtapo@gmail.com to know more about our latest promos and tour packages.

Trek at White Peak: Samal Island’s Highest Mountain

It is summer once again and there are many activities lined up for this scorching hot season. Most people would prefer to go to the beach to cool down and unwind. But how would you like to go on a short mountain trek and then rest your tired body in the sea? It’s like hitting two birds with one stone at the same time. You will not only enjoy the mountain but you will also have time to relax and unwind at the beach. I’m going to tell you about this little paradise in the heart of the Island Garden City of Samal.


White Peak or more widely known as Puting Bato by the locals of Samal Island in Davao City is the highest mountain in the island. Standing at a height of 1,345 ft. or 410m above sea level, it has become a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts and mountain climbers.

The Trek at White Peak can be reached using two different trails. The Guilon Trail which would approximately take 2 hours hike from jump off while the Tayapok Trail would only consume 30 minutes. You will be encountering bushy woods and grassy uplands along the way. It is not a difficult trek, hence, mostly anybody can do it.




After the Trek at White Peak, you wouldn’t want to pass the chance to visit the nearby Canibad Beach. It is a hidden paradise in this island. The water is so clean and clear because it is far from the city. There is also a cliff for those who like to try cliff diving. Spending the night in this paradise is highly recommended as the sunset and sunrise are stunning. It also a good place to unwind and woo your problems away since it is very quiet and serene.



Going to this place might seem a bit of a challenge since it is quite far from the city and the transportation is not quite convenient. You have to haggle for the best prices once you get there. To avoid such stress and just enjoy your trip, it would be best if you get the services of a travel agency like www.discovermtapo.com. They will make sure that your trip will be the best you’ve ever had so far.

So what are you waiting for? This is the best time to enjoy this extremely fun summer getaway. inlcude this Trek at White Peak in your priority list this summer   You can bring your family and friends and spend some memorable time together.


(images courtesy of  sherylblossom.wordpress.com)

MY JOURNEY TO MT APO – PART 3: #savemtapo

mt apo still on fire


It was on that unfortunate afternoon of Black Saturday that the once luscious and green forest of Mt. Apo will be scarred for a long time. I was one of the few who witnessed the fire when it was still beginning to devour more than 400 hectares of land as of this writing.

Our group arrived at the peak when the fire was already starting. I was able to take a video of Mt Apo fire incident so people could see the damage that was brought upon by irresponsible mountaineers. I’m very disappointed by how people reacted to this incident. Some were pointing fingers as to who really did it and some were bashing those climbers who were there on that day. There is really no point in doing this since the damage has already been done and there is no more way for us to determine who really did it.

The authorities are saying that it was caused by a bonfire left by some campers the night before but this is still unverified, hence, we cannot consider this as a fact. There were stories that came out that it was caused by one of the members of our group, the German doctor and his guide, but this is NOT TRUE. I am the living testimony that it was just a lie fabricated by people who are running out of fingers to point at in this fiasco.

Who would have thought that such a brushfire when I first saw it, had already made a huge impact on the country’s tourism economy, nature and the locals living in that area. Firstly, aside from being the country’s highest peak, this mountain also offers a lot of scenic views and interesting experiences, hence, one of the must-climb places for a mountaineer. There are a lot of foreigners and locals who climb this mountain for various reasons. They spend money to pay for the fees and the permits which adds to the government funds.

Secondly, this is home to one of the endangered species of birds in the country- the Philippine eagle. It is heartbreaking to know that one of their habitats has already been destroyed and it will take a long time for it to recover. Thirdly, there are many natives living in that area. They grow crops and vegetables as their source of livelihood. They also offer services for climbers and trekkers alike. Now that the mountain will be closed for 5 years, they will have to find another way to sustain their living.

I was part of the many trekkers who climbed Mt Apo n on that Holy Week. I had my own special reason for climbing. Each of us who were there, have their own reasons why they were there and took the challenge to reach the peak. Some may have been seeking that solitude that has long escaped their lives. Some may find peace while surrounded by nature. Some may have found mountain climbing as their passion. But for whatever reasons we may have, it was just so unfortunate that the fire happened. I’m very sure nobody wanted to hurt Mt. Apo. For all those people who were not there and who are just updating yourselves through social media may you find peace in reaching out to help in any way you can instead of saying negative things towards the climbers, trekkers and authorities – especially those people who even didn’t climb the mountain and keep on bashing our trekkers that climbing is just for show-off, please try to validate your reasoning why there is so much hate? For all those who climbed Mt Apo before the incident, we appreciate the concern and support that you are giving. To all people, the least you can do is to pray that the fire will be finally put out and the recovery process would speed up. If your time and resources would permit you, then perhaps you could lend a hand by volunteering or sharing awareness with regard to the effect of irresponsible mountaineering. This is also a high time for us to be aware of the 7 environmental principles so the same incident would not happen again.

Our call to everyone to pray and unite to #savemtapo.


My Journey to Mt Apo – Part 2: Black Saturday Fire at the Peak

March 26, 2016, the Black Saturday that will be forever etched in my memory.

This is the story of how I became a witness to one of the biggest mountain fires that has devoured Mt. Apo.

It was the second day of my journey to Mt. Apo. As scheduled in our itinerary, we would be climbing the peak and would be spending the night there. We started our ascent at around 7am. There was a total of 7 people in our group. One German doctor (Doc J) three Davaoeño trekkers (Dan, Ralph and I), two porters (Bradack and Wen) and one of the head guides of #DMAFamily (Fresnow Padernal aka Miko).



We left our camp in Tinikaran 1 with much excitement and anticipation. I was so looking forward to taking a lot of nice pictures of the peak especially with the sunrise and sunset since Mt. Apo is noted for it and the sea of clouds. I never would have thought that it would be replaced with fear and disappointment upon reaching the summit.

The journey to the top would take about 5-6 hours depending on the pace of the trekkers. Since it was my first time to climb, I was lagging behind. I was so impressed by the speed and stamina shown by Doc J during the entire trip. I had a short talk with him during our free time. He is much older than all of us and a doctor in Germany. He has been to several developing countries doing medical missions. Currently, he is in the Philippines extending help whenever his expertise is needed. I was wondering why he climbs fast and seems to have an unlimited supply of energy. Well, he told me that he has already climbed a lot of mountains around the world. The Alps and the Himalayas were among them. That explains everything.

Now to continue with my adventure, at the start of the trek from camp 1, there were only five of us who started the climb at 7am. The porters decided to just follow after they had finished packing and cleaning up the area.

The five of us were tailing each other at the beginning. Because Doc J was faster than anyone of us, they already went ahead. Dan, Ralph and I continued the climb all by ourselves. We took a lot of photos along the way which made our trek slower.




The most difficult and challenging part of the trek were the boulders. Here, you will be walking, crawling and climbing on stones. It would probably take about 3-4 hours to surpass this trail. We took a lot of rest on this part of the mountain as this was really the hardest. About halfway through the boulders, we caught up with our porters and another group whom we became friends with during this journey. We talked and shared a lot of good laughs just to forget how exhausting it was.



At exactly 1:14 pm, we finally arrived at the peak. I was so elated and relieved that I finally made it. Even though my emotions were soaring high, I could not help but feel upset because there were so many litters everywhere. Cans, cartons, cigarette butts, plastics, you name it, they were all around the place. Perhaps because there were so many trekkers the day before and they haven’t finished cleaning up yet. But in spite of that, every trekker should learn responsible mountaineering attitude.


We started unpacking our stuff and prepared for lunch, when all of a sudden we heard people screaming “fire”. I saw some smoke coming from one of the peaks. Some guys were running and looking for sticks. Some were shouting for the men to go up and help put out the fire. The natives who were selling goods started packing and were about to leave the place. As for me, I didn’t finish eating my lunch and went hurriedly to where the fire was. I didn’t bring any sticks as we were told by the porters to just stay where we were but I didn’t heed his advice. Armed with only my phone, I took a video of mt apo forest fire.

It was already spreading fast, eating mostly dried grasses and trees. I went back to where my group was having lunch. I showed them the video and told them how big the fire was. From where we were set up, we couldn’t see the fire as it was at the back of one of the peaks. We could only see the smoke and hear the crackling fire.



We waited for advice from our guide, Miko, on what to do. Should we wait till the fire would be put out or should we leave immediately? It took us a while to see him, as he was one of those who led in trying to extinguish the fire. When I finally saw him, I could see the pain and disappointment on his face. According to him, it was our German companion who first saw the fire. But he didn’t pay attention to it saying that it was only fogs. When he realized that it was really fire, he immediately tried to put it out but it was already too late. The fire had already spread beyond control. I found it funny though that there were some people who said that it was them who started the fire when in fact, they were the ones who saw and helped in extinguishing it. Sometimes wrong information spread like wildfire and people are so gullible to easily believe what they hear.

As per advice of the monitoring team, we need to vacate the place as soon as we can or else we will be trapped and suffocated by the smoke. With a heavy heart and aching muscles, we had no choice but to leave. Because of that fire, I wasn’t able to experience sleeping at the peak of the highest mountain in this country. I wasn’t able to take the best profile picture so far. I wasn’t able to experience how cold it was at night. I wasn’t able to experience many things that I wanted to do when I’m up there.

At around 2:30 pm we started our descent back to camp 1. This was the worst part of the trek since we had to pass by the boulders again with only less than an hour of rest and not enough energy to walk. But we had to keep moving, or else we would be trapped.

As I was walking down, I looked back at the peak. There was still smoke in the sky and I can still hear the crackling sound of fire devouring everything it can reach. I was silently praying for rain to come but nature has its own plan.

As of this writing, the fire has already destroyed more than 300 hectares of land in that mountain.  I never imagined that the fire I saw when it was still starting could reach up to this far. This Black Saturday Fire could have been avoided if we were responsible enough in our dealings with nature. But now it’s too late, the great damage has been done. All we can do now is to help restore its beauty. It may take long but this is the price we have to pay.

Although not yet verified as an official statement from authorities, Mt Apo is said to close for rehabilitation for 3 to 5 years.

As part of #TeamDMA it is our intention to help in any way we can. Any form of help is greatly appreciated as well to anyone willing to extend in any form. You can reach us at discovermtapo@gmail.com or message us at +63932 882 0828.
Rest and heal now our beloved Mt Apo.

My Journey to Mt Apo – Part 1


Ever since I was a child, I have always been fascinated of mountains. I grew up in a place where the distant horizon is enveloped by hills and peaks. I told my parents if we could one day go there and climb it. But until now, that simple dream had never materialized.

Ten years ago, I have moved to a different place, far from where I grew up. This place boasts of having the highest peak in the Philippines. Every morning, as I opened my window, the towering Mt. Apo greets me in its splendor and beauty. Inviting me to take a life changing adventure. But just like my dream of becoming rich and helping many people, I just stare at it and do nothing at all.

Climbing a mountain is not an easy feat. Though it may look like a walk in the park from a distant view, traversing the rugged path, surviving the almost zero degree temperature, and fighting the exhaustion just to reach the peak are only some of the challenges that await you in pursuit of that desire to reach the top.

To climb the highest peak in the Philippines, one needs a lot of preparation. To reach your dream and goals in life, you need to prepare both physically and mentally for the journey. I started thinking that somehow climbing a mountain is similar to a life’s journey of achieving your dream.

First, when you begin your ascend to the mountain, you have to choose which trail you will enter. This is similar to life, each of us chooses our own path to reach our destination. In my case, I have chosen the assistance of a mountain climbing tour guide called www.discovermtapo.com. I have read good reviews regarding their package as it already includes meals which are not just canned goods but freshly cooked meals.

Secondly, as you trek the mountain, in my case, the highest peak in the Philippines which is towering to more than 9,0000 feet above ground, there will be many ups and downs along the way. As everyone has experienced our life is full of uphills and downhills. It is just a matter of how we perceive these challenges in our lives, whether it would inspire or demotivate us to continue our journey.

Thirdly, our goal is to reach the summit- our ultimate dream. Reaching the summit of one of the highest peak in the Philippines is a very rewarding and exhilarating experience. Just imagine all the things that you have been through just to reach the top would all be worth it.

A few days from now, I will be accomplishing one of my childhood dreams. I have specifically chosen this month since this will be the start of the climbing season until July. I’m going to see with my own eyes the mystical Lake Venado that I have once wrote an article about. My excitement cannot be contained and I’m just praying that God will give me the strength to make it to the top.

How To Climb Mt. Apo Or Any Mountain

Climbing a mountain, like Mt. Apo or any peak here in the Philippines, may appear as a very difficult outdoor activity for some. However, for several people, it is both challenging and exciting.

When it is your first time to try this adventure-filled journey, there are actually a number of tips you may consider for you to enjoy it despite the difficulty that you might experience while you are on your way up to the peak.

Below are some practical tips which you can read through while you are still booking a trip to the summit of the country’s highest mountain:

  1. Research, research and research. Like any other thing you would love to check or try, research is definitely a very important factor. Thus, you need to read a lot of materials that can help you prepare yourself for that great Mount Apo climb. After all, with the advent of technology, you can easily browse for good reads. Tips from friends and family members who have tried it out can also be of great help.
  2. Find out if you are mentally ready. Climbing Mt. Apo does not only require a healthy body, but a healthy mind, too. You need to know, therefore, if your mental health is totally prepared by asking yourself the following questions: Do I easily panic whenever something happens? Am I creative enough and quick to solve possible problems while trekking? Am I optimistic yet know when to conclude that something wrong is going to happen or already happening?
  3. Exercise, be fit, prepare your body. As mentioned above, physical health is also very necessary if you are planning about to explore this outdoor activity called mountain-climbing. Some of the best exercise routines you may do are jogging or running and wall-climbing, or anything that will improve your endurance and strength.
  4. Spend for the right gear. To become more comfortable in climbing Mt. Apo, you have to acquire the right gear and equipment.

Keep posted for more tips on mountain climbing and before you even think of reaching the summit of Mount Apo.

The Mystical Lake Venado



Philippines is a country which is not only rich in natural resources and culture. It is also home to many myths, folklores and superstitious beliefs. In Mindanao, there is a mountain towering to more than 9,000 feet above ground, called Mt. Apo. Upon climbing Mt. Apo, one can pass the beautiful and mysterious Lake Venado. Its name is derived from the Spanish word “Venado” which means deer owing to its deer-like shape.

The lake is what we call as an endorheic lake. This means that the water is stagnant, cold and clean. There is no outflow from the lake, hence, the water remains where it is except when evaporation occurs.

This beautiful expanse of water vividly reflects the majestic mountain as it is situated below the summit. But a word of caution, as it is believed by many locals that behind its alluring beauty, death awaits to those who dare swim the lake.

Based from several urban stories, this tranquil place is inhabited by a deadly fairy who claims lives of those climbing Mt. Apo. In 2007, a group of climbers decided to take a dip into this mystical lake. Unfortunately, one of them wasn’t able to emerge alive. He was heard screaming for help. His comrades immediately went to where they heard the sound, however, he was nowhere to be found. His lifeless body was found floating on the lake days after they have reported the incident to the local authorities. Owing to this, urban legends of fairies, gods and spirits arose. The chieftain of the place believed that he was taken by their god “Apo Sandawa” as a sacrifice.

To avoid similar incidents from happening, climbers are advised to undergo a ritual called “Pamaas” before climbing Mt. Apo. This ritual is performed by the tribal elders of the community to appease the mountain god “Apo Sandawa”. The elders are convinced that spirits and other entities are disturbed from their peace, thus a ritual should be performed to remind locals to respect these paranormal spirits dwelling there.

Amidst this spine chilling story, the mountain offers many beautiful attractions and sceneries to those who know how to respect and value nature and the supernatural entities living there. There are many reasons why everyone should try climbing Mt. Apo. If its mystery baffles you, then perhaps a 3-day trek to the mountain would enlighten your curiosity.

Our very experienced and trustworthy guides will help you make your Mt. Apo climbing adventure a very memorable one. Come visit us at www.discovermtapo.com to help you with your needs.

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles

Letter Landscape

Image from Leave No Trace – Center for Outdoor Ethics (https://lnt.org/)


As we revel in the resplendence of Mt. Apo, let us not forget that we have a responsibility to preserve this treasure for the future generations. The Center for Outdoor Ethics suggests the Leave No Trace Seven Principles for every outdoor enthusiast. The said set of principles teaches people how to enjoy nature responsibly, setting a guide on how to make sound decisions in order to protect our natural world.

Read more

Is Summer the Best Time to Climb Mount Apo?

Is mountain climbing one of your dream activities? Do you want to try it this summer? Would summer be the best time to climb Mount Apo?

As classes come to an end and everyone starts to feel the summer vibe, you and your friends and some relatives might have been discussing about your great summer escapade. In fact, you might have just been considering to climb Mt. Apo to make sure that you are going to have an unforgettable experience this summer break.

So this summer, try giving yourself the opportunity to enjoy the excitement and thrill that mountain-climbing is bound to provide you. Do it with some pals and family members so that you will have companions as you savour the beauty of nature.

Therefore, opting to climb the Philippines’ highest mountain this sunny season is definitely a wise move because you will have higher chances of enjoying the trek towards the summit of the majestic peak in Mindanao. Why? Because there would be less rain, thus, going up would not be as hard when the trail is so wet and slippery. Other than that, there are other reasons why you should allocate some time to visit Mount Apo this summer. Read on to learn more about these things:

1. Weather condition is better. As what we have already mentioned above, the weather during summer is very enticing thus very conducive for any outdoor activities.

2.      Better view of the surroundings.When you go mountain-climbing and trek to the peak of Mount Apo during summer, you will have a better view of what wonders the journey can offer – whether you are still on your way up or you are already on top of the mountain. You can just imagine the different species of flora and fauna that you will get to enjoy during your journey.

3.      You are bound to meet new friends. When it is summer time, more climbers, both professional and neophytes, schedule their climb to Mount Apo. Therefore, you will have bigger chances of meeting new friends. Isn’t that fun and exciting?

4.      More special rates and packages are being offered. Since it is break time for students and the best time to go trekking towards the apex of the highest mountain in the Philippines, various companies which are into organizing and facilitating climbs offer special rates and packages around this period. In short, you may just dig into the best deal and enjoy great savings.

So this summer, grab your camping and climbing gears with you after you find the best package for you and your companions. Enjoy your climb to Mt. Apo!


ARTICLE SOURCE: http://www.articlesbase.com/outdoor-sports-articles/is-summer-the-best-time-to-climb-mount-apo-7406324.html

9,000 Feet above Ground

Have you ever wondered how it feels like to be in a place where all you can see is just how magnificent this world is? Have you ever imagined yourself standing at the summit of a high mountain, while the cool air caresses your face and the sound of nature relaxes your very soul? If you are itching to try something new and challenging, then perhaps a trek on the highest peak in the Philippines will satisfy your craving for adventure.


Towering at almost 3,000 meters above sea level, Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines. Aside from being the highest peak in the Philippines, this wonderful creation is so blessed by nature. As you trek your way to the top, you will be seeing several unique plants and animals that can only be found in this region. One of these is the Waling-waling, a flower which belongs to the orchid family and the monkey-eating eagle, which is now considered as an endangered species. At the foot of the mountain, one can see the beautiful and picturesque Lake Venado. The lake is so cold and tranquil. It is surrounded by pine trees and one can see a very clear view of Mt. Apo. It is also where many of the trails intersect so climbers will have time to meet and socialize with other climbers. There is also a small hot spring in one of the camp sites. The water is very warm and soothing. Many climbers, take a dip into the pool after a long and tiring day of trekking.


Generally, it would take a three-day climb depending on the trail that you have chosen to complete your Mt. Apo trekking adventure. Since climbing Mt. Apo is not like a walk in the park, it entails some physical preparations before starting your ascend. It is recommended that at least regular cardio exercise such as jogging or running for at least 30 minutes per day for two weeks would give you the needed stamina to reach the peak.


Once you reach the summit, you will be treated to a fantastic view of the mountain’s crater. It is surrounded by white boulders where you can sit down and take a photo of yourself or with your group. A proof that you were able to conquer the highest peak in the Philippines.


So what are you waiting for? Ready those hiking equipment and book your climb now. Visit www.discovermtapo.com for more details.  This is the best time to discover Mt. Apo while its beauty still remains.


To learn more about this adventure you can check out our previous posts.