No Stairway to Mt. Apo - iSTORYA.NET
    • No Stairway to Mt. Apo

      THE WHOLE PHILIPPINE mountaineering community had been in a state of agitation lately ever since the news of the planned construction of more than 16,000 trail steps that will be undertaken by the City of Kidapawan leading to the summit of Mount Apo was hatched.

      The main purpose of the project is to facilitate tourism in the area; to discourage the establishment of new and unsanctioned trails; strengthen conservation and preservation; bring economic gain in the local tourism industry; and position Kidapawan as a major tourism hub in the entire Central Mindanao. It was presented to the Kidapawan City Tourism Council and to the media recently by the city government’s Investment and Tourism Promotions Office and would cost P2.5 million.

      An advocacy movement in the Internet opposing this project was immediately started by mountaineers belonging to the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao, led by Art Daniel Bacus, when it discovered that the whole idea is morally wrong and so found support from their brethren in Luzon and in the Visayas. Aside from mountaineers, environmental advocates and citizens with right frames of mind joined in this fray with which a signature campaign now found its way among the malls and public places.

      A parallel fund-raising drive was started in Davao City to provide the needed monetary resource for an information drive to counter this planned desecration of the country’s highest point. For info, Mt. Apo is sacred land to the indigenous Bagobo, Matigsalug, Talaandig and Manobo peoples which all referred the peak as Apo Sandawa. Lake Venado and the forests along the enclaves of the Mt. Apo National Park are traditional hunting grounds for these tribal peoples and no local government entity should have dominion on ancestral lands claimed by these people. Besides that, Mt. Apo is a protected area and no structural development should be undertaken which would violate the law proclaiming it as a national park and, as it is, may destroy the natural essence of the mountain.

      Here in Cebu, our very own outdoors community start its very peaceful protest action at the IT Park last March 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM. It coincided with an Earth Hour program but separate and produce its own distinct crowd. All wore black T-shirts with the print “No Stairway to Mt. Apo” to show disapproval and displeasure about that planned stairway construction. Organizing this event are Chad Bacolod of the Mountain Climbers Alliance of the Philippines, couple Randell and Marjorie Savior of Tribu Dumagsa Mountaineers, Bonny Ann Gicale of the Outdoorsman’s Hub and Leo Linog of Star FM. This writer came to observe and document that activity. Ultimately, I affixed my signature opposing this project for a good reason.

      On this same ground, this writer started a thread about this entitled Mt. Apo Crisis in the Politics and Current Events Section of iSTORYA.NET last March 26, 2013 to find consensus among members of the online Cebuano community. As of this writing, the majority of comments had already been posted opposing this folly of an idea with only one in favor. It is an opinion poll which, altogether, represents the macrocosm of the sentiment of the Cebuanos. You don’t need to be a mountaineer or be an environmentalist to distinguish which ideas are commendable for Mt. Apo and which are not despite the rosy picture given by the adherents of this Hagdan Ni Apo project.

      You don’t need a stair to climb a mountain. If you are fit you could do it. If you are not, then discipline yourself to be fit and climb your mountain else do not climb at all. Don’t change the mountain to accommodate you. Let the mountain change your mindset. Better still, know the mountain better instead of just climbing it.

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      About the Writer:

      PinoyApache is a former mountaineer and have summitted Mt. Apo nineteen years ago to this day. He now teaches survival and primitive-living skills to mountaineers and other interested people under Snakehawk Wilderness Skills School. He is owner of a blog called Warrior Pilgrimage and is an article contributor for iSTORYA.NET and Pinoy Mountaineer.
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      Comments 22 Comments
      1. rick_mozy's Avatar
        rick_mozy -
        Anti Hagdan! Let us all support the campaign. God bless Mt. Apo!
      1. pinoy's Avatar
        pinoy -
        naka anha na ko sa una ... 1997 .. dugaya na ato oi... sa kidapawan mi agi before katong naay oil company.

        Bitaw Anti Hagdan tang tanan!
      1. amsick00's Avatar
        amsick00 -
        Save Mt. Apo.... No to Hagdan!!!
      1. ishmot0i's Avatar
        ishmot0i -
        batia sad anang naai hagdan ois..
        di man nimo ma enjoy ang natural landscape sa mountain...
      1. windshock's Avatar
        windshock -
        Binoang mana, ila pana i donate sa charity dghan png palaboy mka benefit.
      1. cyareful's Avatar
        cyareful -
        walay hagdanan dapat..kamang kung kamang..kamras kung kamras!
      1. rhame's Avatar
        rhame -
        lol, asa naman ang climbing sa mountain "climbing" kung naay hagdanan.
      1. jc080208's Avatar
        jc080208 -
        boom! guba ng beauty sa mt apo inganang styla !!!
      1. gunbalina's Avatar
        gunbalina -
        anti stairway! Preserve the natural beauty of Mt. Apo!!
      1. Code Talker's Avatar
        Code Talker -
        no stairs please. preserve and sustain
      1. shinx's Avatar
        shinx -
        No Stairway to Mt. Apo! >,<
      1. carrotski's Avatar
        carrotski -
        preserve & reserve, NO HAGDAN TO MT. APO
      1. hardzrock's Avatar
        hardzrock -
        Support tanan kay maguba ang nature sa mt apo.
      1. clidim's Avatar
        clidim -
        this is good advocacy for the preservation of nature!
      1. mingscians's Avatar
        mingscians -
        sorry guys favor ako sa stairway
      1. nature_protect's Avatar
        nature_protect -
        no offense sa mga PWD ha... pero kung PWD tang tanan pwede siguro ta mo-advocate sa pro's... pero ang mosaka ug bukid kay phsically man.... wala man gani ni advocate tong nisaka sa mt. everest nga puro artificial limbs ra iyaha ug ang usa buta... unsa pa kaha mo nga maayo ug lawas kamo na hinoon mag una-una sa hagdanan.... istoryahe... kung di ninyo kaya ang mosaka sa bukid nga walay hagdanan ayaw pagtugatuga unya ganahan man jud mo kaha mosaka, di pagkamang mo para kaabot mo... gamita ang 4WD ninyo nga tiil ug kamot... matud pa ni bobby nalzaro - pagka toytoy....
      1. webdreamer's Avatar
        webdreamer -
        For those who care, sign the petition on
      1. kirakira's Avatar
        kirakira -
        I don't think that's right. I mean, I've been to Mt. Apo year 2000 and it was easy enough to go up there. There's no need for stairway at all and the natural beauty of it will be damaged. Haler, that's why tourists/foreigners go there because of nature no.
      1. Mr.DIY's Avatar
        Mr.DIY -
        I think we give them a chance and listen to their proposed project. Protesting without even listening and understanding is a typical Pilipino crab mentality. Im not against or infavor of this stairways. Lets dig and take a full understanding about the pros and cons of this project. When you talk about stairs there are several type of stairs that can be done in harmony with nature and will fit to the environment of Mt. Apo but im sure its not the concrete one. If you have gone to Mt. Kinabalu there's a labyrinth of foot trail and wooden stair that will lead you to the summit. I really admire the idea of putting wooden stair. First, it will maintain a single trail and minimize impact to the vegetation. for the past 10 years i've been climbing Mt. Apo the trail is getting bigger and wider. These are not happening ni Mt. Apo alone, its the same issue where mass climbing is allowed like in Mt. Pulag. 2nd, it will prevent soil erosion as the trekker's feet is not directly in contact with the soil plus it can handle hundred of trekkers a day like in mt. Kinabalu.
      1. Mr.DIY's Avatar
        Mr.DIY -
        dont just say no... please understand what you are saying!

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