Mt. Apo, the Philippines' highest mountain peak with an elevation of 9,692 feet is once again welcoming professional mountaineers and mountain climbing enthusiasts, locals and foreigners alike as the official climbing season has begun with the launching of Mt Apo Sandawa Climb Festival last Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in Kidapawan City.
The launching started with performances presented by a group of local cultural performers from Sitio Agco, Kidapawan City called "Kalumad" to welcome the trekkers and guests.
Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista with Department of Tourism- 12 (DOT 12) Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera led the launching of Mt. Apo Sandawa Climb Festival held at Mandarangan Trail, one of the favorite trails for Mt. Apo trekkers located in Sitio Agco, Brgy. Ilomavis in Kidapawan City.
|Mt. Apo Sandawa Climb Festival officially launched|
|Kalumad cultural performers entertained the visitors and trekkers with their music and dances.|
A tribal ritual called "Pamaas" was also conducted by the tribal elders or datu's in the area during the send-off ceremony of the first three batches of trekkers. The ritual was done to ask permissions from the Anitos of the forest and mountain spirits to conduct the activity and ask for protection of the mountaineers.
|Tribal Datu's conducted the ritual "Pamaas"|
Both Mayor Evangelista and Reg'l Director Dillera expressed hopes that with the launching of Mt. Apo Sandawa Climb Festival more mountaineers will be climbing Mt. Apo using the Mandarangan Trail in Kidapawan City.
"The best trail in going to Mt. Apo's peak is Mandarangan trail," according to Mayor Evangelista. The trail also includes bird watching and falls hopping.
|Kidapawan City Mayor Evangelista and DOT-12 Reg'l Director Nelly Nita Dillera led the launching of Mt. Apo Sandawa Climb Festival. In blue were two of members/officials of CAAP.|
Among the first three batches of mountaineers sent-off during that day were a group of air traffic controllers and members of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) from Manila, Cebu and Davao, a group of lawyers from Davao City and a team from the Municipality of Cortes, Surigao del Norte headed by their Mayor William Cortes.
Interested to climb Mt. Apo?
Contact the Kidapawan City Tourism Office through their Facebook Page or call 064 - 278 - 3361