I climbed Mt Apo in the Philippines at 63 years old!

By |2018-12-06T13:37:21+00:00December 6th, 2018|General, Philippines|

I was not as prepared as I should have been for the climb of Mt. Apo that I undertook on 14th to the 16th September 2018. I did a little training at home but not nearly enough. It was entirely my fault because for some reason I didn’t imagine that it would be as difficult for me as it was. I have to admit to being a novice at mountain climbing but this was no problem for the Discover Mt. Apo Team. I have also to add that at 63 years old I am perhaps a little older than many who might attempt this climb so please don’t be put off by what I am about to say. It was hard! As well as trekking past fields and villages up the steep paths on the slopes of the fabled mountain, we splashed across streams and climbed up through the jungle undergrowth, over and under fallen trees, at times clinging onto roots and branches to stay upright as we slipped on the peaty paths. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, we ventured up through the sulphurous air and clambered and crawled over the boulders, the volcanic debris left after Mt. Apo’s most recent eruption, maybe balancing precariously while desperately feeling for decent footholds on the gritty and oftentimes slippery trail or leaping across the gaps between the huge lumps of inconveniently shaped rock that seem as if they have thrown there by an unhappy giant. Keeping on all the time upwards, ever upwards on the steep slopes! It really was a monster workout! I think I lost several pounds in weight over the three days and ended up with a much leaner and fitter figure! On the way we heard cicadas (the Mt. Apo variety makes the weirdest sound I have ever heard!), saw wild monkeys, met up close and personal with a mantis (it came in the night to inspect our tent), saw numerous butterflies and plants and heard many, many different insect creatures. Most memorable of all though, were the views. At every stage we could [...]

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Dreams really do come true!

By |2017-11-17T06:22:29+00:00October 11th, 2017|General, Philippines|

"Dreams really do come true! Climbing Mount Apo and reaching its summit is just but a dream, now finally it has become a reality! My first major climb to a mountain’s peak and to the highest one in the country has become possible last June 30 to July 2 of this year through Discover Mount Apo’s team #DiscoverMountApo. Doubts troubled our minds, weaken our hearts. Ask for help if needed. As we started on foot, climbing that steep hill carrying my pack bag going to Sitio Colan which for seasoned climbers was just some sort of ‘warm-up’ seemed to have drained all my energy abruptly. That moment hit me in the head that my preparation was not good enough, as I was catching up my breath so heavily and there was a second right there that I doubted myself if I can do it. Perhaps, my body did not feel well because it so happen that I had my monthly period. My thoughts were “Why it has to be now???”, though I see ‘it’ coming already. The struggle was so real, it was so tough. I thought my body would gave up on me, but I made it through rain or shine! Thank God! Thanks to Kuya Nel our porter for carrying our bags right where it needed it to be safe and sound. Kudos to #TeamDMA superb guides and pro-ecology warriors Francis, Oliver and to the ever patient head guide and ou r ‘sweeper’ Elvis. Shout-out to my life savers, Romeo, Jen, Margot, Dominique and Mae. Believe in yourself, don’t let your dream slip away. Listen and be prepared. It was 22 days before the big day that I confirmed my registration, still waiting for my travel buddies to sign up, then I was good to go (at least in paper though)! For me, it was helpful to research, read the tips and blogs, even to watch the videos too on the page of www.discovermtapo.com. The checklist given to us and the online communications made it hassle free. But to know a ‘bit’ of what was there gave some apprehensions, actually [...]

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“Winter Trek” by Singapore Management University Climbers

By |2017-11-17T06:26:15+00:00August 1st, 2017|Philippines, Winter|

Winter Trek 2015 Mount. Apo, Davao-Philippines Length of Trip: 6 days Length of Trek: 3D2N Mount Apo is located in Davao, the southern part of Philippines. It is the tallest mountain in Philippines and stands at 2954 metres. In Filipino tongues, it means “master” or “grandson”. This was an unofficial trip by the SMUX Trekking Team, in view of opening up a few slots to the seniors. Day 1-7/12/12: We met up at Changi Airport Terminal 1 at about 5am to consolidate our stuff. As we were trying to save costs in whatever ways we can, we purchased one checked-in luggage only and shared among ourselves (#lifehacks101). Those items that cannot be brought up the plane was placed in Clinton’s 53L Trek Bag. The rest of us all carried one hand carry bag of about 30L respectively. Flight was at 6:35am, and we crashed on the Jetstar plane to Manila. Upon touched down at NAIA Terminal 1 airport, we collected our only checked-in luggage and went to find Ben Chan, who has been in Philippines touring and trekking for the past 6 days. We managed to contact him via telegram due to the free wifi at NAIA. We had to walk all the way out to find him at the waiting area, and then make a detour back so we can board a bus to the domestic terminal 4 for transit. As Ben did not have a boarding pass that day, he had to cab there for about 80-100 pesos. We reached T4, hoping to find some lunch, but to our sad tummies, there weren’t much food. Siang Kiat bought a tiramissyou waffet biscuit at 197 pesos, and we settled for chicken bread and coffee for about 180 pesos in total. We couldn’t check in as it was only 11am and our flight was at 3:35pm. So we just sat to one side of the check-in lobby and caught up after finals. About 2 hours later, the check in counter opened and we proceed to self-check in for AirAisa. The crucial part here was having the booking [...]

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