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MT. APO REOPENS

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Mt. Apo, the father of Philippine mountains, now reopens. The Philippines' highest mountain was closed early 2016 due to fire incident that damaged about 400 hectares forests. The fire allegedly started at the camp of irresponsible climbers. The 2015-2016 El NiƱo phenomenon caused drying up of grasses and other mountain vegetation which also resulted to damaging fire incidents in some other mountains like Mt. Kitanglad, Mt. Kalatungan and more.

MY BIT OF HEAVEN MOMENTS WITH MT. APO

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Since my childhood years, I have always seen Mt. Apo in an unreachable distance. Living at the foothills of Mt. Kalatungan, while working in our farm, I would be thankful to clear mornings unleashing the majesty of the country's highest summit entouraged by Mt. Matutum (South Cotabato) and Mt. Pianggayungan (Lanao del Sur). Back then, never in my dreams would I summit any of them. It never came to my mind.

All of the sudden, I became a mountaineer. I just love mountains! 

MT. IRAYA: Philippines' Northernmost Summit

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Mt. Iraya in Basco, Batanes, standing 1,009 meters ASL, catches every eye upon landing Basco airport in Batan Island. Due to its perpetual cap clouds, the forested mountain is moist all year round and it deprives most climbers the lowland view. Some say there's no clearing at the ever moist summit regardless of the season, thus, there's no summer in Mt. Iraya. Its trail is steep starting from its shoulder. Its summit is abundant with giant reeds. Batanes White viper is also endemic in the mountain. 

MY TOP 16 TREKKING MOMENTS OF 2016

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My 2016 travels have been so meaningful.  This year I got to explore new wonderful sites in my province Bukidnon. I also had number of travels together with my little family. This is also the year I realized my dream of traveling to my ultimate travel destination---Batanes.


CDO RIVER RAFTING: Wrestling with the Rapids

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Cagayan de Oro River is among the country's pioneer sites for rafting. Its mighty rapids makes rafting more adventurous, enjoyable and exciting. Various categories can be availed based on one's preference. One may opt for beginner's course for simple yet remarkable experience. Adventurers may go for extreme course passing through more than 20 rapids in about 20 km stretch.     

Having your raft capsized makes rafting more exciting. It can be experienced upon request. The Red Rafts is one of the outfitters with most experienced guides. The company has reliable photographers/videographers who capture remarkable and worth keeping clips and photos of your entire adventure.  

HIGH FIVE!!!

GANTUNGAN FALLS: The Little Mighty Falls

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Gantungan Falls is one of the major cascades of CEDAR, Impalutao, Impasugong, Bukidnon. The mighty waterfall measures 30 feet high. It cascades among gigantic rock walls that sandwich Gantungan River. Usual trek in CEDAR makes one see Gantungan Falls topview. Adventurers, however, risk to river trek to see the falls in its full glory. Swimming is even required to get through the deep still portion of the river. Among salient features of the falls are its compact drop, the cavern at the base of the falls and the clear water drops that curtain the cavern.

WHAT A RESPONSIBLE MOUNTAINEER IS NOT

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Since my early years, I have been admiring people reaching major summits. I live in a province which is a home to 4 of the Top 10 highest summits in the country. Many climbers visit my place to reach those mountains. I was inspired then to go into mountaineering.

From my years of mountaineering experience, I have encountered different climbers. There are some admirable and some abhorrent. Some keep their trash in their pockets while some leave them anywhere. I experienced being forced to drink liquor in the mountains. I was even offered marijuana on trail. I witnessed untoward and abusive acts against other climbers, porters and guides. 

I realized many climbers don't possess a heart of a real mountaineer.