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Reflection of a Mt.Apo Hiker

Posted by on May 8, 2023

It’s been a month since Mt. Apo and I’m currently in quarantine for COVID and I have plenty of time so let me tell you about the experience. Little stories are in the captions of each photo. All jokes aside, Mt. Apo was an incredible experience that each climber will have uniquely. My experience was a bit chaotic but it was also an exercise in learning to calm down. It challenged me physical but it also showed me that most my perceived limitations are mental limitations. #teamkaladkarin

Mt. Apo was a dream trip 13 years in the making. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to reach the summit and lay on Mt. Apo’s crown. The obstacles and challenges that got in the way of this adventure almost stopped me from going. That includes kidney surgery just two months before summit day! 26 of us were on this epic Mt. Apo Expedition with a support team of 24 (I think). Daghang salamat for making this dream come true, Team Kaladkarin. Tita Marissa @Gasfi Gigs and Ms. June @Queen Sebastian were the first ones to bring climbing Mt. Apo into my consciousness in 2010. Tita Marissa has had a carved trekking pole in the GORSH van since 2009. The pole was in the van until Kuya Chris picked us up from the airport in March 2023. It was a constant reminder for the Bucketlist item we were fixated on. Ms June is DavaoeƱa and I’ve spent so much time in Davao with her. From beaches to farms, little hills and islands. Mt. Apo was our “Where to next?” Even if our families thought we were crazy for even thinking of it. Ferd Garcia became an amazing inspiration and put the necessary pressure on us to actually go. It was constantly: is Mt. Apo open? Can we go? He flew here several times since 2018 hoping for a chance to climb Mt. Apo. Rica and Divine came along and started getting us to get in shape with their workout routine videos early on. They also gave lots of great advice for better movement and breathing on the trail. Tomas was the best training and hiking buddy I could ask for. He had the most useful advice like trusting my boots, stepping a certain way, use a bonnet to keep your ears warm and nibble on Snickers at every stop. AND he has a cool drone: Dr. Ricky Pecson, Jona, Aisa, Kuya Chris of GORSH and of course and everyone there were such gracious hosts! They handled logistics flawlessly and kept Team Kaladkarin well fed. The MAAP Boys/ Influencers promised they would take lots of photos and videos and keep the good vibes rolling with lots of laughs. The AMOSUP Bundokeros were great Kaladkarins. They knew what they were doing. Through out the trip they either cleared the way or swept the trails when needed. They even brought Bimby along! Then there was the rest of the Kaladkarins who open-mindedly and open-heartedly accepted the invitation to do something beyond their comfort zones and heeded the call of our “promotor”, Tita Marissa. A huge shoutout to Sir Gab, Albert Gabriel of and his massive 24-man support team. @Ponce and the gang of guides, porters and logistics staff for keeping us safe for 3 days and 2 night on Mt. Apo. Thank you Mom & Dad for always being so supportive and for praying for our safety. Thank you Pam for a lot of my gear! The 3L Hydration Pack was awesome! Photos from Team Kaladkarin and Sir Gab. Little stories are in the photo captions. I’m on quarantine for COVID today so the captions may be a bit more colorful for my own entertainment. Click on the album name “Mt. Apo” to view in chronological order.

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Mt.Apo Hiker

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