The first two attempts to reach Mt. Apo’s summit ended in failure: that of Jose Oyanguren (1852) and Señor Real (1870). The first recorded successful expedition was led by Don Joaquin Rajal in October 10, 1880. Prior to the climb, Rajal had to secure the permission of the Bagobo chieftain, Datu Manig. It is said that the Datu demanded that human sacrifice be made to please to god Mandarangan. Fortunately, the datu agreed to waive this demand, and the climb commenced on October 6, 1880, succeeding five days later. Since then, numerous expeditions followed. These and more are described in colorful narrations by Fr. Miguel Bernad, S.J. On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park by President Manuel L. Quezon. A note on the etymologies: Mt. Apo is said to be named after a nobleman named Apong, who got killed while mediating the battle between two suitors of his daughter Saribu. Another proposed origin of the name is from the word Apo itself, which in Filipino tongues means “master” or “grandfather.”
Olanivan Island Small Island with the white seashores, clear water and rare corals.
Tudaya Falls (Sibulan, Sta Cruz) is touted to be the tallest waterfalls in the Mt Apo Natural Park (at 100 meters). The waters plunge form a rock cliff ton a 50-meter diameter pool.
Davao del Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Davao Region in southeastern Mindanao. It is subdivided into 14 municipalities and 1 city which is Digos City, the provincial capital. The province is bounded on the north by Davao Province, on the east by Davao Gulf, on the west by the provinces of Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato, and on the south by the Mindanao Sea.
The western part of the province is dominated by Mt. Apo which is the country’s highest peak. Mount Tanglao and Mount Latian are two other landmarks of the province. Wide fertile valleys are found between the mountain ranges and the narrow coastal plains in the east.
Davao derived its name from the Bagobo word Daba-Daba which refers to the Sacred Brass of Datu Duli, the tribe’s legendary chieftain who lived in Mount Apo. The letter “o” was added to the word, making it Daba-o Daba-o which, to the Bagobos, means justice and the datu’s fairness to his people. As years went by, the word was shortened to Dab-o and eventually, Davao.
The majority of the populations are Visayan migrants. Cebuano is the most widely spoken language. Other prominent migrant groups are the Ilonggos and Ilocanos. Several ethnic groups exist in the province; among them are the B’laans, Bagobos, Manobos and Tagacaolos. These early settlers occupied the slopes and base of Mt. Apo, and have developed their own cultures which have been preserved to this day.
Because of its favorable climate and fertile soil, Davao del Sur is primarily an agricultural province. It is popularly known as “Coconut Country” since coconut is its major commercial crop. Other crops grown are rice, corn, bananas, cacao, ramie, coffee, fruits and vegetables. Davao Gulf is the major fishing grounds of the province. There are eleven coastal municipalities facing the Philippines Sea.
Davao del Sur has the highest Philippine mountain peak, the Mount Apo. With its height of about 10,300 feet, it has many secrets to divulge to relentless explorers and climbers. Spectacular views, lush forest, sulfur pillars, wild rivers, waterfalls, serene lakes, strange flora and fauna are among the features of Mount Apo that mesmerize travelers.
Other tourist destinations in the province are the Davao Museum, the Durian farms, the Japanese Peace Memorial Shrine and the Philippine Eagle Research and Nature Center which is home of the Philippine Eagle, the world’s largest eagle and the country’s national bird.