A Refuge Way Up High

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Apr 17, 2013

Kapatagan, Davao del Sur lies at the foot of Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines. The cool, fresh mountain air and fertile land is ideal for growing vegetables. Flowers and plants grow profusely and its blooms are a delight to the eyes with its different colors and variety.

Nestled along one of its hills is the Mt. Apo Highland Resort-Hilltop. Cabins offering a breathtaking view of Mt. Apo dot its slope. A night of relaxing sleep and rest is guaranteed. And when you wake up, the early morning sun gently bathes your room and invites you to stand up and take a walk along the pine tree shaded lane.

The vegetable plots that you see provide your nutrient rich meals of the freshest greens. Even the honey to sweeten your drink comes from the bees on the hill.

Near the top of the hill are benches designed to make you sit down and just gaze at the beauty of Mt. Apo, take in the Kapatagan landscape, and breathe in the cool air.

It just doesn’t whet your appetite to go explore the landscape but to sample what the resort’s restaurant has to offer such as crisp lettuce and arugula vegetables, hot civet coffee or Davao chocolate, or a Filipino breakfast of fried rice, tapa and eggs.

Sated, you can relax for a while before taking a bath in cold as in very cold water or turn on the heater to have a hot bath. Adventure awaits you so better finish that bath fast.

Wear sturdy shoes for walking or trekking. A jacket is highly recommended for the mountain breeze can be quite cold.

The PhP400/head package tour would take you to Camp Sabros to go ziplining and ride on a cable car, Kublai Milan’s Agong House/Playground in the Skies to play or just take a rest and appreciate Kublai Milan’s artworks, take pictures of Mt. Apo reflected on Lake Rosario, ride a boat at Mt. Apo Highland’s Lake Mirror, visit a Bagobo Tribal House and buy souvenirs at the Tibolo City View.

For an additional PhP300 (US$6.98) fee, you can include a trek to Virgin Falls in your tour.

If you prefer a cabin near the lake, staying at the Mt. Apo Highlands-Lake Mirror would be your choice. Cabin rates are PhP2,000 (US$46.51) good for 4 persons and PhP1,800 (US$41.86) good for 2 persons.

It’s a good 5 minutes away from the hilltop cabins and restaurant.

Those who want to rough it up can stay in tents that you can bring or rent. Rental fee for a tent for four (4) is PhP1,000 (US$23.26) and for two (2) for PhP500 (US$11.63).

How To Get There:

Major airlines fly daily to Davao City from Manila and Cebu. Kapatagan is 2 to 3 hours away from Davao City. It is located in Sitio Barras, Barangay Kapatagan, Digos City, Davao del Sur.

If you’re going on a private vehicle from Davao City, go south to Digos City and take the right road leading to Kidapawan. There’s a big sign saying “This Way to Kapatagan”.

It is best to bring a 4 x 4 vehicle to go up the Kapatagan.

If you’re commuting, take a bus from the Ecoland Terminal for Digos City. Tricycles will take you to the “old” Digos terminal where the vans are for Camp Sabros. Vans cost PhP100/head (US$2.33).

Or avail yourselves of the Day Tour from the Davao Crocodile Park for a minimum of fifteen (15) to a maximum of six (20) persons at PhP600 per head. The shuttle takes you to Mt. Apo Highland Resort and brings you back to the Crocodile Park.

For details, call (63) (82) 275-7955 and look for Lito.

So the next time you want to hide away, go where the breeze is fresh and cool and find refuge at the Mt. Apo Highland Resort.

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