If not because of the untimely demised of my personal friend and co-LOGSAC founder Engr. Dan Alfarero, I won’t be able to remember a climb that was as important as my other survey climbs in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. Dan passed away last July 1 after a vehicular accident where his motorcycle was hit by a passenger van somewhere in Barangay Zone 1.
In 2007, Dan has been an integral part in forming the Local Government of Sta. Cruz Adventure Club. His passion for mountain climbing was evident that he always expressed interest in climbing despite his busy schedules being an employee of the Assessor’s Office. He climbed Mt. Apo only once, but had been with the group in minor climbs relative to local government operations.
|Mt. Libodon as seen in Barangay Tibolo|
In one of our survey climb schedules last July 2005, we traversed the highest point in Sta. Cruz – Mt. Libodon. This mountain borders five barangays in Jose Rizal, Coronon, Tibolo, Sinoron and Sibulan and offers clear 360 degrees view of Davao City and Digos City (Kapatagan mountain ranges). Along with other Technical Working Group members in the LGU and Upland Development Programme (UDP), we trail blazed Mt. Libodon starting from a hostile trail of Tibolo and had our exit through the Coronon trail passing Langit-langit sites in Upper most portions of Barangay Astorga.
|The Survey Climb Group|
|The Buribid Mountain Range|
Standing approximately 1,200 meters above sea level, Mt. Libodon is the wellspring of potable water in Sta. Cruz. The vast forest reserved is very apparent as highlighted with the presence of flora and fauna, including wild boars, deers and leeches. It is located within the Buribid Range featuring Sta. Cruz and Digos mountainscape and has been considered one of the highly critical areas for conservation and protection. Residents have in fact revealed that the forest was one of the breeding grounds of the Philippine Eagle, particularly in the southeast portions of Barangay Sinoron.
One of the experiences that I could not forget during that climb was our overnight stop at Langit-langit. We had some problems locating for water sources because we all had no idea about the trail. Our guides even had hard times fixing the right passages. Luckily we encountered a farmer-hunter in Langit-langit and settled for an overnight in his farm hut. The heavy rain was also a hardship for us, as we only had two tents. Other members of the group who were not catered to the farmer’s hut transferred to out tent (including Dan).
|In one of my camping chat with Dan Alfarero and Engr. Melvin Perosillo|
On the third day, we descended using two different trails. The first group composed of Jonas Florencondia, Melvin Perosillo, Jovany Tajores, Larry Senarillos and other members I could no longer remember; used the Tubison route all the way to Astorga proper. Meanwhile, my group proceeded directly to Barangay Coronon with George Saniel, Odik delos Cientos, Alonzo Tancontian and Dan Alfarero. We were fortunate to have witnessed the huge woodlands of Coronon, including the very popular scene among Sta. Cruzianz – the Kawa-Kawa forest basin where the Binuangon watershed lies.
I can therefore consider the Libodon climb as a unique climb, although maybe not the best climb, but with the company of the late Dan Alfarero, I can consider it as a treasured journey with a friend who now enjoyed his separate journey with the Almighty in heaven.