Menu

Category: Places

0 Comments

Three city councilors conducted an ocular inspection Wednesday morning in several wharves in Davao City to see if the sea vessel operators are complying with the law requiring all motorized seacrafts to have their passengers wear or hold lifejackets while on voyage.

Councilors Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. of the Committee on Public Safety; Al Ryan Alejandre of the Committee on Tourism and Beautification; and Victorio Advincula Jr. of the Committee on Social Services first visited the Sta. Ana wharf where several sea vessels going to the Island Garden City of Samal are docked.

Before the three councilors arrived, they have already coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard stationed in Sta. Ana wharf. PCG personnel were already checking on the passenger sea vessels docked at the said wharf for compliance.

Mario Reta, owner of a boat plying the Davao and Isla Reta route, said that there is no need for the passengers to be wearing lifejacket as their vessel is a closed-deck vessel. He reasoned out that only the open-deck vessels are required to wear a lifejacket.When the councilors arrived in the wharf, they readily checked the passenger vessels and noted that Isla Reta passengers are not wearing lifejackets while waiting for the start of their voyage.

Councilor Abellera confronted Reta about their non-compliance that led to a heated exchange. This prompted Abellera to call Maritime Industry Authority 11 (Marina) director Felisa Orongan to give light on the issue.

0 Comments

Climbers wanting to scale the highest peak in the country, Mt. Apo, will be limited to only 1,000 this summer as the area is experiencing dry season and the threat of forest fire is high.

The Mt. Apo Natural Park Protected Management Board passed the resolution last week as a precautionary measure to protect the country’s highest peak.

The board, composed of officials from the towns, cities, and provinces surrounding Mt. Apo, have also agreed to implement a common set of trekking policies designed to “be consistent with the principles of biological diversity and sustainable development.”

Aside from a strict prohibition on smoking, the climbers will also be asked to bring their own garbage on their way down from Mt. Apo.

Kidapawan City Tourism Officer Joey Recemilla said the board fears a repeat of the forest fires that hit and damaged a large part of Mt. Apo in 1997 and 2003 thus the decision.

Recimilla said walk-in climbers will no longer be accommodated.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources 11 Park Operations Superintendent Edward Ragaza said the status of the Kapatagan trail of Mt. Apo was also assessed last week.

He said the grasses and trees in many parts of the mountain have turned from green to brown. The report, Ragaza said, showed that there are water sources that might eventually dry up if the dry spell continue.

Jhune Bacus, chairperson of the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao (MFSM), meanwhile welcomed the news.

He said that there really is a need to regulate the number of climbers this summer. He also appealed to those who will be allowed to go to Mt. Apo to be responsible.

0 Comments

DAVAO CITY, PHILIPPINES — Mt. Apo has always been mystical. Being the country’s highest peak, Mt. Apo is always on top of the list of mountain trekkers. And like any other mystical mountain, Mt. Apo had its share of tragedies with lives lost and others saved.

Urban legend has it that a mystical white deer is sometimes seen in the forest. This deer was said to have saved lives of mountain trekkers who get lost in the forest.

One popular story was how this white deer saved the lives of two Boy Scouts who wandered aimlessly into the forest of Mt. Apo for almost two days when a white deer appeared before them and led them back to the camping site.

In last week’s traditional Holy Week mountain trek, Ralph Ryan Rafael of North Cotabato was one of the limited number of trekkers allowed to scale Apo’s 2,954 meters elevation.

Rafael recounted how he and a friend went ahead of their group on the second day of their trek. Though they have climbed Mt. Apo several times already, Rafael admitted that the two of them got lost along the way.

Then a dog appeared out of nowhere and led them to the right path. He said that whenever they fall behind, the dog barks loud so they could keep track. And sometimes the dog backtracks and finds them and then leads them back to the right trail.

They named the dog Bobong, after the campsite where they first saw it. Rafael said that the dog led them all the way to the peak of Mt. Apo and to Lake Venado where most campers stay before trekking back down to civilization.

Lake Venado was named as such since the body of water forms a deer-shape when viewed from atop. Here, many lives were also claimed by the so-called fairies of the lake.

The latest casualty was 23-year old Ian Caasi who drowned in the lake last April 5, 2007 during a Holy Week climb.

On the third day of their stay in Mt. Apo just as they were about to go down, the climbers could no longer find Bobong.

Despite the number of deaths of climbers in Mt. Apo, the lure of the highest peak has not diminished. This prompted authorities to limit the number of climbers during Holy Week to only 1,000.

This is because the area is experiencing dry season and the threat of forest fire is high.

The Mt. Apo Natural Park Protected Management Board passed the resolution as a precautionary measure to protect the country’s highest peak.

The board, composed of officials from the towns, cities, and provinces surrounding Mt. Apo, have also agreed to implement a common set of trekking policies designed to “be consistent with the principles of biological diversity and sustainable development.”

Aside from a strict prohibition on smoking, the climbers will also be asked to bring their own garbage on their way down from Mt. Apo.