|Location: Lantapan, Bukidnon|
Major Jump-off: Sitio Bol-ogan, Brgy. Songco, Lantapan, Bukidnon (Ideal)
Exit point: Sitio Bol-ogan, Brgy. Songco, Lantapan, Bukidnon
Coordinates: 8.097980N; 124.96050E
Elevation: 2,938 MASL (9,649 feet)
Days Required/Hours to Summit: 2 days/9-10 hours
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail Class 2-4
Specs (Traverse): Major climb, Difficulty 8/9, Trail class 2-4 with roped segments
Description: Mount Dulang-Dulang is the second highest mountain of the Philippines, second only to Mount Apo of Davao at 3,412 meters (11,194 feet) and slightly higher than Mount Pulag of Luzon, the third highest at 2,922 meters (9,587 feet).
Descriptive Summary: This climb is actually a part of Mount Kitanglad – Dulang-Dulang Traverse Climb. The itinerary presented here is an ideal non-traverse climb and not necessarily what the blogger did.
View Larger Map
Originally, my plan was to have a Dulang-Dulang – Kitanglad Traverse but my guide told me that it is so expensive to do this since you have to pay for the ritual to be officiated by the datu as well as the chicken costs P1,500 not to mention that you have to pay for the climbing registration. Part of the ritual is the hanging of bands of white cloth at the summit with coins in it, as they say that it is a show of respect to the native culture. All these are paid to the datu where it will reach around P4,000 and since I was alone to climb the mountain, I have to shoulder the whole amount. With this, I changed my mind and sought the advise of my guide who suggested to me that I better opt to have my entry point in Kitanglad and traverse to Dulang-Dulang to avoid these expenses.
That is why, it is really difficult to climb this mountain without prior contact because you do not have a local knowledge about the place and you might end up spending much. It is recommended that groups who wanted to climb have to join the Mindanao-based groups where they know more about the existing climb regulating policies. It is highly recommended, too, that you should have an experienced guide. To make it lighter in your pocket, you arrange with the guide that he is also your porter at a rate of P1,500 per day. Guide and porter has a rate of P1,000 a day.
In my case, I just bargained to pay my guide the amount of P1,500 but I shouldered all the expenses ranging from our food, transport and registration/park fees for the five of us. My guide asked my permission to allow him to have three companions including a student nurse.
My guide and porters did not observe the time stated in our itinerary as initially agreed and so I find it not worth sharing for purposes of giving the accurate information.
According to my guide, this mountain is regarded by the Talaandig tribe of Lantapan as a sacred place. It is also within the ancestral domain of the tribe.
Just imagine, we woke up at 6:00 A.M. at our Kitanglad’s abandoned bunkhouse but we started the trek at 10:50 A.M. We descended the 90-degree vertical trail equipped with a rope at 11:00 A.M. where this part is grown with cogon grass and was at Kawa-Kawa Campsite at 12:00 Noon but we had our lunch along the trail at around 1:30 P.M. since we had our breakfast late.
Later in the afternoon, our group was heading for a Dulang-Dulang Traverse where we were trailing lofty forests. True enough, that according to my previous research, this mountain is a home to a variety of fauna and flora. Accordingly, it was revealed that it is a home to 58 mammal species including bats, squirrels, monkeys, wild boars, flying lemurs, shrews and deer.
Further, it was revealed that the Philippine Eagle is also sighted within the vicinity of this mountain but that I have not experienced. It maybe disappointing but I only sighted two squirrels along the trail and nothing more. Most of the mammal species in this mountain are endangered species and so climbers should be responsible enough not hunt them or cause damage to their habitat.
Walking through various trails was quite rewarding as you will see pine trees and forests where cicadas can be heard. As you enter the densely forested area, the air is becoming cold and what you will hear is the sound of your footsteps. You can see thick moss abounds along your trail and in open trails you can see clouds on top of you.
Nimrod and I were climbing a muddy vertical trail at 4:20 P.M. and finally reached the summit at 5:15 P.M. where we pitched our tent. It was extremely freezing at night comparable with that of Mount Pulag. With this, it is highly recommended that you bring thick and thermal clothing and gears like jackets, gloves and other thermal outfit.
Late in the afternoon until early in the evening, our group was in the summit capturing with our camera the changing hue of the sky and the distant mountains. We had our dinner at 7:00 P.M. and rested at 10:00 P.M. after our socials.
We woke up at 5:00 P.M. and stayed at the summit while the rest were preparing for hot beverage drinks. After taking hot milk and a pair of bread slices, we stayed in the ‘Fairy Land’ just adjacent to the summit. My companions were getting the coins from the white bands of cloth hanged from the trees. I noticed that trees around are like bonsai.
Gasiong and I started to trek at 9:00 A.M. and were at Manny’s Garden at 9:30 A.M. where we stayed there till 11:00 A.M. for cooking our food for our brunch.
After that was a long and exhausting trek until we reached the jump-off point at 4:00 P.M. in Sitio Bol-ogan. We have not booked for a chartered vehicle and so we waited for a passing jeepney just up to Barangay Balila where we dropped Gasiong and McDong who will be heading to Mountain View College Main Campus while the three of us: Nimrod, Shiela Mae and I headed to Valencia City for three cutting trips.
Below is the recommended itinerary from www.pinoymountainer.com which is an ideal one to guide your future climb:
11:00 From CDO’s Agora Terminal, take bus to Malaybalay
15:00 ETA Malaybalay market, meet with the local group
15:30 Take jeep to Lantapan
17:30 ETA Lantapan, Courtesy call with Datu
18:00 Prepare for next day’s climb, dinner
19:00 Attend ritual sacrifice by the Talaandig tribesfolk
21:00 Lights out
05:30 Start trek
11:30 Lunch at water source (near river)
16:00 ETA Plaza
16:30 ETA Manny’s Garden (campsite near summit). Set up camp
17:00 Visit the summit (just 5 minutes away)
05:45 Wake up to watch the sunrise at the summit, Spot Mount Apo
08:00 Break camp
08:30 Start descent
12:00 Back at water source
16:00 Back at jump-off point; take jeepney back to Malaybalay
17:30 Take jeep or bus to CDO
Manny’s Garden is a mystical forest right after the summit area of Dulang-Dulang if you are in a Kitanglad-D2 Traverse. It is named after the late Manny Serina, the great pillar of mountaineering in Mindanao. He was among the pioneers who explored and introduced Dulang-Dulang as a climbing destination.
We spent long at the Manny's Garden where we had our brunch since we only have a coffee and a pair of slice bread in the morning.
As Guiting-Guiting is dubbed as ‘G2’, Dulang-Dulang is now coined as ‘D2’. It is now high time to correct textbooks and other reference reading materials which give unverified information that Mount Pulag is the second highest mountain in the Philippines as D2 is 16 meters (52.55 feet) higher than Mount Pulag.
HOW TO GET THERE
Take an airplane from Manila to CDO. Take an airconditioned Rural Trans bus from CDO Integrated Bus Terminal going to Valencia for 3 – 4 hours for P180. Take a jeepney from Valencia to Aglayan for P20. Take a multicab from Aglayan to Lantapan town proper for P25. Take habal-habal from Lantapan town proper to Barangay Balila for P10 and a jeepney from Brgy. Balila to Sitio Bol-ogan of Brgy. Songco, Lantapan Municipality.
GUIDE'S CONTACT NUMBER
Nimrod Solis - +639267977522