It’s Halloween time again! Another long weekend for the most of us. And what better way to celebrate the scariest season of the year than to scale an equally scary mountain in the highlands of Bukidnon? This time, we realize our long-time dreams of conquering one of the meanest, toughest and most difficult traverse in Mindanao and in the whole country – the K2DL – Mt. Kitanglad to Mt-Dulang-dulang to Langkayugan Peak. Considered a major climb due to its technical difficulty, Mt. Kitanglad-Mt. Dulang-Dulang will test a mountaineer’s endurance and ultimate tolerance for the harsh environment. This is a 3-day chronicle of what transpired during this climb. Pardon me for saying too many things on this article, I just happen to be a natural-born story teller with a knack of attention to detail.
As usual, the only reliable passenger ship available to take us to Cagayan De Oro City was leaving at 7PM. We’d typically hire a taxi cab but this time, we opted for a “habal-habal” to easily squeeze our way into the hopeless traffic of Cebu City. To my horror, I saw the jam-packed crowd at the pier trying to enter the port facility amidst the guards blocking the lobby to contain the crowd. Just wow, waaayy lot of people trying to get home and take advantage of the holidays like us. After consuming a liter of patience, we’ve finally paid our terminal fees and on our way to an overnight boat ride
K2DL Day 0 (Saturday)
The next morning, we docked at the CDO port around 7:30AM. Since our itinerary notes an end on November 1, the three of us decided to purchase our tickets back home in advance to avoid the post-holiday surge of passengers. We fell in line with the rest of the people carrying pink slips to have it “validated”. Turns out that there’s a promo where all passengers coming from Cebu-CDO can have free passage home if they have their tickets (pink slips) validated before departure within a week of travel time. As of this writing, that promo has long been gone, it only lasted about 3 months as some kind of introductory marketing. Now, this is probably – and hopefully – the worst wait time I had to endure in my entire life. Imagine the volume of people that wanted validation to avail of free ride back to Cebu; the three windows fully lined up but only 1 teller manning the counter; at least half of them carrying multiple tickets which made every transaction even slower not to mention the unruly behavior of men trying (successfully) to butt in line and bypass us disciplined, law-abiding citizens that patiently waited for our turn. Regardless if we took the promo or bought new tickets, it’s the same queue we shall fall upon. Had there been enough common sense and customer compassion on the side of the shipping company, people may have saved the trouble of unnecessary queueing up. In the end, we spent nearly 3 hours before being catered to, hungry, tired and very much annoyed.
We met our resident guide Jumong at the Agora terminal, bought some supplies and headed to the bus station bound for Malaybalay City. Almost 3 hours later, we arrived at a house in Malaybalay where we joined two more Manila-based groups. At 6PM, we left and looked for a multicab jeepney to transmit us to the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) bunker house. It was quite painful to convince any driver because of the dark, rain and distance of the place. Out of a dozen failed attempt, someone has finally agreed to take us to Mt. Kitanglad’s initial entry point along the highway that took more than an hour. As we disembarked, another multicab vehicle was waiting to transport us to the bunker house. This is a small-sized utility vehicle and there were 16 of us, each carrying large backpacks. It was literally a pain in the ass as I could barely sit my butt due to the tight spot. How we managed to fit like canned sardines is beyond incredible. At 8PM, we arrived at the PAMB bunker house, settled ourselves in one of the deck beds, consumed our packed dinner and dozed off.