Another hiking wonder in the Davao region is Mount Talomo. Situated near the highest peak in the country, Mount Talomo is a great experience for those looking forward to hiking up Mount Apo. Mount Talomo in itself, offers a very hard trail up its peak. Hikers would have to go through mossy forests, steep slopes and slippery terrains; and this just the beginning of what the nature of Mount Talomo has in store for those who enter it. One of the things to look forward to in Mount Talomo is being away from the hustle in the city and being completely immersed in the wonders of nature.
As of the moment, experts are still debating on the exact ranking of Mount Talomo in the highest peaks in the Philippines. One thing’s for sure, it is high enough (with trails tricky enough) to provide hikers with an exciting adventure. Relish the sights up at the summit, where you can expect amazing front row view of Mount Apo. With its peak resting among a sea of clouds, hikers who happen to catch either the sunrise or sunset will surely be in awe by the spectacular show they will behold.
Aside from these, hikers will also pass by villages of native tribes. One of which is Mt. Sicao village. Hikers are required to register their hike in the village, where they will encounter the Bagobo folks. Try to strike up a conversation with a few locals, or play with the children for a while before continuing with your trek. Observe their activities and learn a thing or two from our brothers and sisters living in these mountains.
These are just a few things to expect should you decide to take on Mount Talomo. Don’t forget to check the weather before you start your journey. The forests can get foggy and cold, so be sure to bring enough clothing to protect you. Also, be reminded that this is a particularly hard hike. If you are a beginner, make sure to bring an experienced hiker and a local guide with you! Be cautious but have lots of fun. And with that, you’re set to go on your next adventure!
Elevation: 2,674 m above sea level
Days needed to complete hike: 2 to 3 days
Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 9 to 10 hours
Major jump-off point: Purok 6, Sitio Utan, Brgy. Tamayong, Calinan, Davao del Sur
From the jump-off point, start your trek up Mount Talomo. Around an hour or so, you will reach the quaint village in Mt. Sicao. Greet the locals and spend some time here before you really start your assault up the summit. Remember that this is the last community you will pass by.
Once you proceed with your trek, you will enter the much-awaited mossy forest of Mount Talomo. Expect everything to be covered in moss, fog and slippery substance. Watch your step as you cross over fallen logs, tangled roots and lanky tree trunks. Small waterfalls and narrow rivers also make up the nature feel of the mountain. You should stock up on water supply as you reach these spots. They also make a nice place to stop and rest for a while. Continue on with the trail and try to catch the sunset up at the summit. The path sometimes gets a bit tricky, especially when fallen logs and mud cover it. Be sure you know where you are going because it is so easy to get lost in the enchanting woods!
The wonderful view of the summit, plus the feeling of achievement as you reach your goal, will be something you remember for a long, long time. Take enough photos to last a lifetime and just enjoy your time at the peak. In the morning, return to the summit to catch the amazing sunrise before descending the mountain!
Difficulty: Very Hard
Days needed to complete hike: 4 to 6 days
Average hike duration per day: 12 to 14 hours
Starting point: Purok 6, Tamayong, Calinan, Davao del Sur
Ending point: Sitio Mainit, Brgy. Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur
Talomo-Apo is known as "Mindanao Mega-Traverse". For those looking for the “extreme” experience, why not try this traverse trail that takes on two of the highest peaks in the country? With that being said, hikers can expect this to be most challenging and strenuous climb. Although for a nature lover, this experience is most rewarding. The previous paragraph shows what you can expect from Mount Talomo. When you reach Mount Apo, expect to encounter more mossy forests, some sulfur vents and huge boulders among others. Aside from this, hikers will also pass through Lake Venado, where a picturesque scene will greet you.
Hikers will surely be immersed in different kinds of environmental surroundings. Rocky terrains, thick forests, steep and slippery slopes, you name it; these two have got it. Nevertheless, the views up the two summits are the ones to watch out for. Marvel at the nearby peaks, sea of clouds and beautiful flora that grace the summits.
Rest assured, there are campsites and villages along the way to stop and rest. A few examples would be Mt. Sicao village, Lumot campsite and Basinan campsite. Be reminded that this trail is only recommended to highly trained and highly experienced hikers. Some parts of the trail are not clearly defined, requiring hikers to be cautious in navigating through the trees. All in all, this traverse trail is a great experience for hiking enthusiasts.
It’s important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go on the day itself. Here are some ways to get to your destination:
From Davao City, take a jeepney to Calinan Public Market. Proceed to the registration area to register your hike and pay the necessary fees. You may also hire a local guide here or at the jump-off point to assist you on your journey. After which, you may choose to arrange for transportation to send you to the start of the trail.