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 to help you with your needs.