The Five Highest Mountains in the Philippines

This is exactly predictable to mountaineering community. As exploration continues, and with better documentation the order of the highest mountain in the Philippines are as follows. Just briefed

1.Mt. Apo in Davao del Sur

The King, still the highest mountain. No other recent discovery to vie its towering height of 2,956 meters above sea level. Apo is located in Davao del Sur. Sulfur vents, Lake Venado, Boulders, century trees, falls, rivers and various species of flora and fauna all represents majesty.

2. Mt. Dulang Dulang in Bukidnon

With 2938 meters above sea level making it as the second highest peak. One of the favorite hiking destination of mountaineers for its challenging trail, plus a feature of Manny’s Garden

3. Mt. Pulag in Cordillera

Do you still remember that Mt. Pulag was regarded as the second highest mountain? But then as early 2006, some mountaineers and Mindanao explorers documented that Mt. Dulang Dulang in Bukidon is 16 meters taller than Pulag.

4. Mt. Kitanglad in Bukidnon

Surprisingly the summit features towers of, ABS CBN, GMA , NAPOCOR, PTT and etc. This is really Ironic! Whenever in Kitanglad, Mount Dulang Dulang can be traversed and is usually paired with KD2LM (Kitanglad, Dulang Dulang, Langkayugan and Maagnaw). This is a major traverse climb and it takes 4 days to summit them all. Kitanglad’s height is 2,899 masl

5. Mt. Piapayungan in Lanao del Sur

The recent 5th Mt Kalatungan is now down to 6th place, taller by at least 80 meters. This is the newest revelation to mountaineering community and another challenge to all who have completed the major 5. It is commonly mistaken as Mt. Ragang or blue mountain. Its distinction is that, Mt. Ragang is located in the range of Piapayungan where as the highest point of Piapayungan range is referred as Mt. Piapayungan.

Mt. Kalatungan
Mt Kitanglad

Others in the top 10;

6th Mt. Kalatungan, 2860 masl

7th M.t Tabayoc, 2842 masl

8th Mt. Maagnaw, 2742 masl

9th Mt. Timbak, 2717 masl

10th Mt. Ragang, 2714 masl

For sur, in the year to come, there would be another discovery to reveal especially to this top 10. Explorers continue to study its accurate elevation thru satellite imaging. For the meantime, this is how top 5 ordered.

Holiday Hike to Mt. Kiyawa

We all love natures but not all are outdoor lovers. I have so much passion in mountaineering since then. I summited the five highest mountains in the Philippines but I never stop climbing. I even keep participating several minor climbs especially in local outreach programs in Mindanao.

This time I’m going to introduce you a minor summit that would give you an itch. Yes an itch! especially to mountaineers out there. I agree that a mountaineer will always have their bucket list checked. They ignore none, considering fulfillment on their passion at the same time a hobby.

Best view recorded in my camera

Mt. Kiyawa, a minor peak standing approximately 420 meters above the sea level recorded in my altimeter watch, it is located in Sta Maria, Davao Occidental in Mindanao, Philippines. A day hike treat that will give you a total view of  nature landscape from seas to mountains.

Marker of Sta Cruz Municipality

At the top of it, offering you a 360 degree view of the town and neighboring Municipalities of Malita, Malalag, Sulop and Padada. And surprisingly, Mt Apo is visible on the other portion of the ridge depending on weather condition. The impression of mountain ridges will give you a total picturesque. Davao Gulf and its seascape are stunning, it is so relaxing and breathtaking.

Scenic portion at the summit. According to folks, it’s a  local beach resort 

What makes it more interesting, is the highest part of the mountain which is nestled by a Sto. Niño Shrine. A shrine that is purposely built to honor such patron saint. Locals are climbing during its feast to celebrate and in Lenten Season for pilgrimage. It was holiday when I climbed, I expected that  there would be a lot of climbers going up, but adverse. I realized that this mountain is still thriving to get the attention of local mountaineers though it’s free of registration.

Sto. Nino Shrine at the summit

Going up, is really steep, the trail is mostly single tracks and with few cliff segments. It’s hot, and mostly covered with coconut trees, cogon grass and very less perennial trees. Consider it a direct assault in very shortest time of at least two hours. Anyway it all pays off when you get there.

Trail going up to summit

It’s not advisable to bring a lot of stuffs, it’s a minor climb. Just enough food and drinks to sustain your stomach and to quench your thirst, but if you want an overnight camping do so, and make sure you have some local folks with you to ensure your safety.

Mt. Kiyawa is just reared Municipal Hall Building of Sta. Maria. There is only one suggested jump off site, and it’s only at the back of the municipal building. To reach Sta. Maria, simply take a bus from Davao City going to Sta. Maria then drop at their municipal hall. I suggest, start your hike earlier in the morning to prevent you from that scorching heat.

Municipal Hall Building of Sta. Maria

Don’t just live in any four corners or any perfect angles structures, go out and explore because life is amazing.

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Lake Holon, untold paradise of South Cotabato

It was long weekend holiday when I and my friends from my mountaineering community decided to take a visit a lake in South Cotabato, a fresh water lake favorably known to hikers and outdoorsy people like me. In fact, we just descended from Mt. Matutum when we decided to side trip the lake. Not really in our plans but just in our bucket list. And we pursue with our group’s decision.

Tourist’s Receiving Area

We reached the receiving area of Brgy. Salacafe in T’boli late night. Pitched our tents and prepared foods and waited early morning to begin hiking. It was guided hike with corresponding fees agreed by their local tourism business. We took briefing and orientation, discussions of do’s and don’ts were presented to ensure safety among hikers and its impact to the environment, especially to the lake.

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As early as 3AM trekking to witness morning dew of the lake

At about three hours of trekking we reached the indescribable body of water, the Lake Holon. Indeed was a feeling of irresistible to imagine to stand right behind a paradise, a paradise beyond busy streets and urban people. A happiness and fulfillment after a long hike and sweats which you ended up a very scenic, unique and a truly hidden treasure of the pearl of the orient. A feeling of honored to have witnessed the astounding creation where natives are among the steward to protect and preserve its beauty.

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My friends in Mountaineering Buddies

Lake Holon or Lake Maughan is undeniably one of the most beautiful lake I’ve ever known. The green sceneries represents the rich vegetation of untouched forest surrounding the lake. The waters of it, is the cleanest among inland waters in the country.  Its calm and deep waters embodies the superlative and inimitable nature gift given by our Creature. While natives and neighboring Sitios enjoy fishing as their daily source of income.

Early Morning Scene of the Lake

Right behind the lake, is the famous Mt. Parker. One of country’s hiking destination of both local and foreign mountaineers. At the summit of it, you can take a 360 degree view of the lake and even more stunning like a blue gem engraved in the middle of the mountains. Every hikers and visitors left this view deck no instragrammable photos saved, in fact it’s among the favorite shot of the entire hikes and you should have your phone backed up.

Camping Site of Lake Holon

To date, Lake Holon remains prevalent among locals. In fact when you ask some, they would reply “where is that?” To be biased it’s more known to local trekkers and mountaineers. The local tourism also shared efforts to boost their tourism activities, and it’s doing well.

Kayaking is a must try activity when in Lake

To have this amazing nature, isn’t only for us to enjoy, it is not about but we see but it’s about what we should care of. After all, we are all recipients from what we have not taken for granted.


The Mystical Beauty of Mt. Dulang Dulang; the PH second highest

“Open the window of your mind, allow the fresh air, new lights and new truth to enter” – Amit Ray

Mountaineering is not my sport really, but it’s my passion too. Being attached in this strenuous sport requires a lot of efforts. I mean physical conditioning to adapt the temperature and trained to walk at various types of trails of any mountains.

At my young age, I already climbed few of the minor peaks in Mindanao Islands. Until such time, I learned that mountain climbing is my passion and almost my life.

Ritual Area, Summit of Mt. Dulang Dulang

One of the stunning mountains I’ve ever climbed was the second highest mountain in the Philippines. Mount Dulang Dulang seats in Kitanglad Range in Lantapan, Bukidnon in Mindanao. The mountain towered 2,938 meters above the sea level, just 16 meters lower than Mt. Apo.

Frostiest Area, Mt. Dulang Dulang

Like any other mountains such as Apo and Pulag, this mountain is also sacred to the locals, especially to the Talaandig Tribes of Lantapan. To date, it is accorded ancestral domain of the natives.

At the Summit, and Mt. Kitanglad in the background

When in summit, mostly covered by fogs and clouds. Scenery of different landscapes is breathtaking, from grasslands, pines, bonsai plants to huge trees makes you alien at all. The view from the top will also give you a glimpse of Mt. Apo, Mt. Kalatungan and Mt. Kitanglad, which are both major summits of our country.

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Manny’s Garden of Mt. Dulang Dulang

The aura of this mountain will give you an impression of Elven Forest of Rivendell in “Lord of the Rings” film. Trees are almost covered with moss and lichens, the impressive forests will definitely give you the significance of flora and fauna.

With the ritual sacrifice of chicken, a tradition before climbing will complete your hiking experience. White cloths are hanged at the summit to pay respect the native culture. Thus, it added the mysticism of the mountain.


Lowly trail of Mt Dulang Dulang via Mt. Kitanglad

This mountain is a major climb. Never underestimate, secure your local guides to summit safely. Mental and physical are needed to successfully surmount it. At the end of your journey, it’s all about  enough determination.

To God be All the Glory.

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