Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Party 2011

Following a very successful gathering with some of the Mindanao mountaineers in the Island Garden City of Samal, our LOGSAC group had once again gathered for an annual Christmas party a week later, this time at our Sta. Cruz home court Tajos Beach Resort on December 18, 2011. This came early than most of our previous yuletide schedules considering that Papong, Irvhin and Pawiks will have their yearend climb at Mt. Ugo in Luzon on the 26th of December.

All members were refreshed and excitement were scattered all over the place. We haven’t exclusively done this for quite some time within the year what with the plenty of individual schedules each member had either work or personal reasons.

Other members, however, weren’t able to come but manifested desires to be around on the next gatherings. Chickay was taking a nursing board exam. Policeman John Jay was assigned at Compostela Valley. Kiba was with a touchy friend. Tolits was busy facilitating an event with his other group. The rest were nowhere to be found. But our presence was more than enough to fill the dance floor with reggae beat. Our self-made concert was headed by then-dredged-but-now-bald Bob Niloy. Newbies Anjo and Mariel also used to grace the event and enjoy the company so much.

Personally, this blogger, who is the group’s overstaying president (hehe, because others always refuse to have an election especially Jonas), will always be delighted to have all the club members gathered in an occasion such as Christmas. It will always be very rewarding that apart from all the advocacies of the club and all other commitments, fellowship and friendship will always prevail. Jah bless LOGSAC.

Thanks to all sponsors………………..

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MFSM Day 2011

A huge event hosted by the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao (MFSM) was actively participated by the Local Government of Sta. Cruz Adventure Club. It took place on December 10-11, 2011 at a newly-opened Sunset Beach Park in Island Garden City of Samal.

With a very timely theme of “MOTHER EARTH, MFSM AND ME,” it fulfilled another goal of making Southern Mindanao mountaineers part of the challenge in climate change co-existence and mitigation. It also allowed the new club members of MFSM to define the reasons of their membership to the federation aside from the sense of belongingness and camaraderie which is to “heal Mother Nature.”

The event was graced by no less than the Director of Department of Tourism XI Mr. Arturo P. Boncato, Jr. who himself believes that members of MFSM have greater roles in promoting Davao Region as an eco-tourism destination in the country with the presence of Mt. Apo as its banner site.

There were 22 LOGSAC contingents who joined the anniversary and everybody was overwhelmed with all the surprises prepared by the organizers.

More Notes:

• Welcome first-timers Anjo, Nice, Gene, Mariel, etc….
• Thanks also to the Alcoriza brothers for the car ride when this blogger lost his consciousness due to intoxication (hehehe).
• Congrats to Mr. Julius Paner who was one of the three awardees of the Most Outstanding Club Presidents of MFSM.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

LOGSAC soars high anew, scales Mt. Everest Base Camp

LOGSAC’s Danrev Bronola (Papong) has scaled the North Base Camp of Mt. Everest last October 30-31, 2011. This side of the world’s highest peak measures up to 5,545 meters above sea level and 3,303 meters away from Everest summit. This camp is one of the basic campsites on Mount Everest that is used by mountain climbers during their ascent and descent. North Base Camp is used when climbing via the northeast ridge. Unlike the south base camp where climb necessities are carried by porters with the help of animals, the North Base Camp has vehicle access.

Papong’s climb was via the Tibet-side with consent from the Chinese government. He got the permit through an arranged travel package which included a transport vehicle, driver and guide for a group of guests.

“Being novice to alpine mountains, I really had hard time doing this climb,” said Papong, stressing that climbing EBC presents dangers such as altitude sickness, weather and wind. He also pointed out that snow-filled mountains are a challenge to mountaineers who used to climbing tropical mountains like the Philippines.

The northridge base camp is made of plain gravel, just below the glacier formations. These glaciers are routes going to more North Face campsites going to the summit of Mt. Everest, a very treacherous track which includes a diagonal climb of Yellow Band.

When asked about the possibility of climbing Everest summit in the future, Papong could only say “mahal masyado….climbing Mt. Everest is an expensive undertaking.”

Of course, aside from the financial consideration, climbing Mt. Everest is very dangerous. There are even portions above the 8,000 meters elevation that are dubbed as the “death zone”. Temperatures can dip to very low levels, resulting in frostbite of any body part exposed to the air. Since temperatures are so low, snow is well-frozen in certain areas and death or injury by slipping and falling can occur. High winds at these altitudes on Everest are also a potential threat to climbers. Another significant threat to climbers is low atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure at the top of Everest is about a third of sea level pressure, resulting in the availability of only about a third as much oxygen to breathe.

By the end of 2010 Everest had claimed 219 lives, including eight who perished during a 1996 storm high on the mountain. Conditions are so difficult in the death zone that most corpses have been left where they fell. Some of them are visible from standard climbing routes.

Here is the rest of my interview with Papong.

What are the motivations that made you decide to go to EBC?

Basically it’s the idea to really try a snow mountain. Kasi parang halos lahat ng bundok sa Pilipinas napuntahan na natin and they all shared the same characteristics eh considering that they are all located in a tropical location.

Based on your experience, what are the hardships of being exposed to alpine mountains?

First is the temperature, sobrang lamig talaga I even suffered minor nose bleeding. Second is the very thin oxygen content considering the altitude, kung hindi talaga kaya, the guides would recommend oxygen supplementation.

Which do you prefer climbing, tropical mountains or snow mountains?

Tropical. Syempre Masaya pa rin dito sa atin. The company, the jungle trail, the normal temperature and everything….Yung preparations in climbing tropical mountains are very basic for us kasi sanay na tayo.

If given the chance, would you proceed to Mt. Everest Summit?

Definitely yes. Ang kailangan lang talaga sa Everest is financial resources, the rest will just follow. Kung may pera ka, lahat mapaghahandaan eh…physical preparation, the equipment, guides, lahat ng bagay pwedeng paghandaan at gawin.

To whom do you dedicate this climb?

Actually hindi naman siya talaga matatawag na major climb kasi wala masyadong trekking eh, yung North Base Camp na pinuntahan namin we were assisted by a vehicle, konti na lang ang trekking. Mas mahaba pa nga ang travel time namin eh. Still, I would like to dedicate it to my LOGSAC mates, para sa inyo ito guys and to all the mountaineers in Mindanao.

Lastly, what can you say about Philippine mountaineers who aspire to go to Mt. Everest?

Wala naman, basta may financial resources sila kaya naman eh. Preparation lang konti sa weather doon. Yung BMC natin dito applicable pa rin dun except sa other areas of concerns.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


This technical and documentation climb was spearheaded by the Department of Tourism DOT) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) basically to see the actual situation of Mt. Apo Peak and Lake Venado. The date was May 18-19, 2007 via the so-called V.I.P Trail of Kidapawan Site G and H, Philippine National Oil Company area.

Two months after the Lenten season of 2007, it was reported that Mt. Apo was very untidy. Trashes were thrown all over its premises which prompted the above-mentioned offices to validate the information. The technical team was also composed of LGU personnel, media practitioners and photographers. Representing Sta. Cruz then along with this blogger was Danrev Broñola of LOGSAC and Lito Roque, SAVERS leader and now President of Tribung Mindanaw Mountaineering Club (TRIMMOC).

The two-day climb saw several issues confirmed. First, Mt. Apo was really beset with garbage problem. Second, there were concrete structures built in Lake Venado that was way beyond the PAMB policy. Third, there were still plenty of irresponsible mountain climbers climbing Mt. Apo every year. And fourth, some – if not all LGUs are not following and/or imposing the PAMB guidelines on trekking within the Mount Apo Natural Park.

The good thing, however, about the climb was that concerned authorities had learned their lessons. After that, a documentation report was created so that all stakeholders would be able to see the real condition of the country’s highest peak. All LGU’s had already complied with the agenda of trekking policies which includes conducting of an annual clean up drive particularly after a Lenten climb.

Leading the technical climb was no less than the former Director of DOT Ms. Sonia Garcia and Protected Area Superintendent Leonilo Rivera.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nature Watch: Philippine Tarsier recovered in Barangay Astorga

A specie of Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) was recovered in Sitio Idong, Barangay Astorga, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur on September 29 in the morning by a certain Alex Espelita, a resident of the said place. The mammal is akin to the species of tarsiers located in Lobok, Bohol province.

The tarsier is classified as a threatened mammal specie within the entire Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP). Generally, it appears that MANP is hosting numerous Philippines and Mindanao Faunal Region’s endemic mammalian species. From the list of these mammals, twelve (12) species are endemics only to the Philippines which include the captive tarsier in sitio Idong.

The information was forwarded to this blogger by a mountaineering friend Mr. Ruel Nuevo of AMECC.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Papong’s Kanlaon Climb via Guintubdan Back Trail

LOGSAC’s Danrev Broñola has added another mountain to his already fully-loaded belts of peaks collection. The latest of his climbs along with Miss Mother Theresa of Mountaineering was Visayas’ highest peak Mt. Kanlaon of Negros Occidental backtracking the Guintubdan Trail on August 26-29, 2011.

Similar to his other major climbs, Mt. Kanlaon is a highly-technical mountain featuring crater views and leeches bites among others.

Mt. Kanlaon stands 2,435 meters above sea level and is dotted with pyroclastic cones and craters. It is in fact the most active volcano in Central Philippines. It has by far erupted 26 times since 1886, although several eruptions were minor in nature creating only minimal ash falls.

The most fatal eruption of Mt. Kanlaon happened in the year 1996, killing three (3) mountaineers including 1 foreigner.

Congrats Papong and Miss MTM. Hope to see you guys climbing more mountains soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Sometime on June 2007, our group decided to delve into a small waterfalls located in sitio Lower Quinokol, Barangay Inawayan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. The falls was situated in the border of SODACO durian plantation and Ayala Agricultural Development Corporation coconut farm.

The jump off point was at a house of LOGSAC member Dadz Ruty Moral. It was approximately a 1-hour river trekking using the Quinokol creek passing Señorita Piggery Farm. Before reaching the falls, we passed through several small tributaries. The stones making up the Quinokol creek were very slippery, and we used to cope with it although we only had a pang-videoke-inspired outfits (hehehe).

Inawayan Busay measures approximately 12 feet in height with an 8-meter diameter pool. It was fairly attractive then but due to the presence of a piggery farm nearby, bathing in the area is not a good idea for some messy reasons.

After taking pictures of the falls, we headed back to Dadz’ house for more videoke session. Our team was composed of Chickay, Papong, Dadz and Jaymar.

Three years after that, a king cobra (banakon) was caught and killed just right within the Quinokol creek. The residents there found out that the place has been an abode of king cobras. Very interesting fact, we might have met one along the way.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Environment Month 2011

The whole month of June is Environment month per Proclamation No. 237, Series of 1998. This is pronounced in order to focus public attention to the protection and conservation of the country’s natural resources.

This year’s theme; FOREST: NATURE AT YOUR SERVICE, is very timely considering that now is the highest time to act together to save our forest as a very vital piece of our natural resources.

In relation to the Environment Month 2011 and the 1st Anniversary of the Sibulan River Ridge to Reef Conservation Project, the Local Government of Sta. Cruz and the HEDCOR Aboitiz Corporation have spearheaded a tree planting and river clean up activity on June 28, 2011 at Sibulan River, Barangay Darong, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. Other private companies as stakeholders of the initiative were also present during the event such as the Ayala Corporation, CJ Toyota Tsusho Philippines, Inc., among others.

LOGSAC and other outdoor groups in Sta. Cruz like SAVERS, AMECC and TRIMMOC Sta. Cruz Chapter also showed interest by participating the event. This gigantic alliance of mountaineers in the place is a manifestation that indeed we need to closely work hand in hand to save the remaining piece of our natural heritage, the SIBULAN RIVER.

The vacant area along Sibulan River in Darong was planted with bamboo seedlings. Already saturated with such specie because there were other tree plantings conducted before this event, there is still a need to plant more trees in order to attain higher survival rate. It will also stabilize the riverbanks that will eventually prevent more floods in the future.

“This is a very commendable undertaking,” said Sta. Cruz mayor Joel Ray L. Lopez. “We hope to see more initiatives like this in the future that will protect nature.”
Adventure sidelights were conducted after the tree planting through rappelling and water tubing. These activities are maintained to further beef up ecotourism development within Sibulan River and are somehow envisioned to make the river visible in a longer period of time.

Many thanks to LOGSAC members who joined the event: Julius Paner, Jonas Florencondia, Irish Ann Palanca, Trecelyn Cabaluna, Faridah Lumpapac, Dra. Raygene Medronero and Henry Gapula.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

An amazing taste of Bicol Express

We were supposed to climb Mt. Mayon on June 12-14, 2011 but with the 6-km restriction still in effect due to Mayon’s Alert Level 1, we suddenly thought of alternative destinations where we could stay for three days in Bicol region. I and Papong arrived very early in Manila on June 11 and with the luxury of time, we were brought by MTM (Mother Theresa of Mountaineering) to several unique places in the metropolis because our flight to Legaspi was scheduled on Independence Day. Our stay in Manila was remarkable as it was highlighted by a double eat-all-you-can in Malate and MOA, instant shopping at BCG Taguig and a face-to-face experience with Johny Deep on Pirates of the Caribbean at MOA Imax cinema.

From a cozy transient house in downtown Legaspi on June 12, we travelled all the way to Cagsawa Ruins; perhaps the most visible remainder of Mayon’s cruelty. This place is also a perfect place to see Mayon in all its glory although we didn’t settle for that because of the cloudy sky. We instead drove through 180 degrees to see Mayon on the other side in Mayon Rest House (MRH) located in Tabacco, but the place didn’t give a clear Mayon perspective either.

After a sumptuous and scorching lunch made of Bicol Express and laing, our next stops were Tabacco Church and Busay Falls; afterwhich we enjoyed the rest of the day at Ligñon Hill Nature Park, the 360 degrees point of Legaspi City.

On June 13, we headed to Caramoan Island, an isolated island located at the heart of Caramoan cape. It occupies the lower eastern portion of the Province of Camarines Sur. It is bounded on the north by the town of Garchitorena and the Pacific Ocean; on the northeast by the island province of Catanduanes; on the south by Lagonoy Gulf; on the east by the Maqueda Channel and on the west by the municipality of Presentasyon (courtesy of When you get there, you will really be enticed by the very fine white sand and blue waters. The group of islands is very clean and commercialization is purely inexistent. Because of its loveliness, it hosted several Survivor Series shows like Survivor Denmark and Survivor France, among others.

From Guijalo port, we navigated directly to Pili, Camarines Sur on June 14 to see and experience Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC), a world-class and unique watersports park designed for wakeboarding, wakeskating and waterskiing. For beginner riders to the professional wakeboarders and skiiers from all over the world, CWC offers a 6-point cable ski system, coupled with restaurants, sand bars, spas, pro-shops and grand stands to hold guests. From then on, Papong and MTM were instant wakeboarding addicts.

On our way back to Manila, I got the lone chance of taking picture of Mt. Mayon when I was on the plane. Mayon is indeed extremely beautiful.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Apo Aduk passes away at 111

Sta. Cruz vintage man Apo Aduk died on June 18, 2011 at 111 years old. His cadaver lies at his house in sitio Tudaya, Sibulan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. The cause of his death was not identified and is believed to be just a natural death due to his aged existence.

Apo Aduk was the oldest man in Sta. Cruz and part of the legacy he has left to his tribe folks is his being leader to a lanahan group in Tudaya. When he was still able to walk, he led his members to a sambuokan, a religious worship of the Tudaya Falls.

This blogger still remember one time when we conducted a reconnaissance survey for the first Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge on March 2008, we still used to see and talk to Apo Aduk. Every Sta. Cruz mountaineer will always recall this man as an example of a serious environmental crusader and a cultural icon of Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe.

To Apo Aduk, have a great journey ahead with our creator.

P.S. LOGSAC would like to thank Ms. Cheryll Fiel for the first picture which appeared in this blog.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Series of Fun Runs manifests LOGSAC’s social responsibility

At least 4 running events were participated by LOGSAC last May and June 2011 to manifest its social responsibility. While the club runs, the spirit of giving was also extended through the monetary contribution it paid for the event registration fees.

The first after the Aboitiz Run was the Unilab Run for Wellness conducted last May 22. Then it was followed by the Davao City Run last May 29 sponsored by Nike For the benefit the Padre Pio's Home for Children, a Catholic institution for the orphaned and abandoned children governed by Sisters, Apostles of Jesus Crucufied at Rambutan Street, Tugbok Proper, Davao City.

The latest of the run series was the Independence Run on June 5 which was organized by the Lightbulb and Dunol Kahayag Project, benefitting the school children of Marilog and Baracatan areas of Davao City.

The most consistent joiner of fun run among LOGSACs is Jonas, completing the chain run schedules. Good job Nasjo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Mt. Kitanglad climb is a completion of Bukidnon’s two heaps that was started early this year. After a successful climb to Dulang-Dulang last January, LOGSAC and two affiliates completed two of Bukidnon’s pride by scaling Mt. Kitanglad last May 14 and 15.

A very unique mountain at that because of its being home to many communication towers including huge networks GMA and ABS-CBN, Mt. Kitanglad is the 4th highest peak in the Philippines. The summit is resided by technical personnel which made the mountain far-different from other summits. When you get there, you don’t need to set up a tent because there are available bunkhouses where mountaineers can opt to stay overnight. As Ella would put it, “Mt. Kitanglad is a unique mountain. It’s the only mountain where you can see flowers, bunk houses and even basketball court”.

Adjacent to Mt. Kitanglad is the towering Mt. Dulang-Dulang, the country’s second highest mountain and has formed part of the magnificient panorama of the Kitanglad mountain range which also includes the Kalatungan peak.

“Mt. Kitanglad has really made my climb hard and funny,” said Josephine. Certainly, the steep angle going to the summit plus the cold weather due to heavy downpour in the first day were reasons or our severe exhaustion. We started trekking at 9:00 AM and the first to arrive in the summit was Pawiks at 2:40 PM. Our sweeper arrived at around 5:30 PM. One good thing about Mt. Kitanglad is the ladders established made of angle bars for easy assault.

Another interesting thing about Mt. Kitanglad is its almost untouched, thick forest vegetation. It has so far one of the widest forest in Mindanao and in fact records show that Philippine Eagle Foundation is liberating some of its species within the Mt. Kitanglad mountain range. Hopefully this stature of Kitanglad will remain unspoiled in the coming years.

The temperature of Mt. Kitanglad is comparable to that of Mt. Dulang-Dulang. While having our early morning peak tripping, we enjoyed the splendid overlooking spots of the city of Malaybalay and the island of Camiguin, adding vital pieces to this already-memorable adventure climb.

SPECIAL NOTES: Many thanks to the members of this expedition Josephine, Ella, Irvhin, Papong and Pawiks (it was Pawiks’ first mountain climbing experience outside Mt. Apo). The experience you’ve provided was major flavor to make the climb more appetizing.