Hiking Mt. Apo in the Philippines via Sibulan-Kapatagan Trail
Entry point: Brgy. Sibulan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur
Exit point: Brgy. Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur
LLA: 7°0’30?N, 125°16’33?E, 2,956 MASL
Mt. Apo is located in Davao city, in the island of Mindanao. Davao is well connected with Manila and Cebu City, having the two most busiest aiports in the country. Fare would range from $45 – $55 dollars one way to Davao. You can a take night’s rest in Davao City and have the following day going to Santa Cruz. After arriving Davao International Airport, try to avoid the taxi-touts at the entrance/exit who will try to charge 1500 pesos for a ride to Santa Cruz. Walk instead 50 metres from the terminal, where the white or yellow metred-taxis are. Here you can easily negotiate a price of 600-700 pesos. If you are on a really tight budget it will be even cheaper to commute like described below (total 207 pesos):
1. After arriving at Davao International Airport, ride a taxi to Ecoland Transport Terminal (travel time 20 minutes – 150 pesos)
2. At Ecoland Terminal, look for south-bound buses such as yellow bus, weena bus, ACFB or Metro Shuttle and ask the driver or the conductor that you will be dropped off at Santa Cruz Terminal (travel time 45 minutes to 1 hour – 43 pesos).
3. At Santa Cruz Terminal, take a motorcycle or tricycle taxi to the municipal hall, Tourism Office (travel time 5 minutes – 14 pesos)
To get from Santa Cruz to the trailhead in Baruring you can hire a jeep for 800 pesos or commute. The latter would be cheaper, 3 persons would cost 400+ pesos, but the time-frame would be more uncertain. While a jeep will take 1-1.5 hours to the trailhead in Baruring, commuting will take at least 2-3 hours depending on availability/departure of share-taxis, motorcycle taxis etc. First you need a bus from Santa Cruz to Digos, then a shared van/taxi from Digos to Kapatagan, and finally a motorcycle-taxi from Kapatagan to Baruring. This will be quite complicated and time-consuming, but at least you have your guide to take care of this.
You need a permit for this mountain, and guide/porter is mandatory. At the Tourism Office (+6367 81831) in Santa Cruz ask for Julius Paner. You better contact him in advance, at least a couple of days before you arrive Davao.
His mobile: 09208567991 (replace the leading zero with +63 if you are calling outside of the Philippines)
His e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The fees are:
500 pesos in registration/trekking fee
500 pesos in exit-fee (only if exit-point differ from entry-point)
500 pesos per day for a guide (mandatory)
300 pesos per day for a porter (mandatory)
Courtesy of pinoymountaineer.com and summitpost.org.