Mount Apo is with 3144 meters above sea-level, the highest peak in the Philippines. The name makes that clear! ‘Apo’ means “grandfather of all mountains“. For the indigenous people living in the mountain area, Mount Apo is considered sacred. The origin of the mountain is volcanic. It is an inactive volcano. No eruptions were ever recorded.
This huge mountain is attractive for nature lovers and sportive mountain climbers. Guided trips are organized by the Department of Tourism in Davao City. The attractions during this mountain tracking are plenty. You will get the feeling of being part of the environment during your walking trip through the forest and alongside the slopes of the mountain.
On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park by President Manuel L. Quezon. The mountain is home to over 270 bird species, with more than a hundred that are endemic.
Although a declared National Park the current climbing trail are littered with rubbish and opening paths for soil erosion across the already denuded mountain sides. Some mountain climbing group are leading the way conducting up climbs after the main Easter climbing season.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has submitted Mount Apo for inclusion in the UNESCO world heritage list. Mount Apo is considered the center of endemism in Mindanao. It has one of the highest land-based biological diversity in terms of flora and fauna per unit area. It has three (3) distinct forest formations from lowland tropical rainforest to mid-mountain forests and finally to high mountain forests.
A portion of the eastern slopes are also with the scope of the UNESCO Hydrology Environment Life and Policy (HELP) Network. The Davao HELP Network is focused on building collaboration among watershed stakeholders.