Kapatagan – A Sneak on Mt. Apo’s Peak

Few minutes before sunrise, we were traveling along the road of Davao del Sur from Agusan. A jolly conversation ended when someone asked if we already have been in Kapatagan. I only knew the town of Kapatagan which is in the province of Lanao del Norte. I was so curious for I didn’t hear such place.

We rerouted to a new unfamiliar road. We turned right from the main highway before reaching Digos City proper even we were all first timers. The road to Kapatagan was already cemented and developed. It was believed that sunrise was best seen here on the lake that mirrors the peak of Mt. Apo. We traveled more than 30 minutes with winding, downward and most upward hilly roads. This remote barangay is a village situated on the highland. Our ears felt the changes on atmospheric pressure.

DSC_0594.JPGOur first sight of the peak was so amazing. We stopped on the road side and took a beautiful view with the peak of Mt. Apo as the background. We didn’t reach the lake nor catch the sunrise. However, the romantic and beautiful place was already worth discovery.

We were not familiar with the place but as long that the car’s wheels were still touching the cemented road, we were still on the track. We decided to see the proper village for breakfast. We traveled far and it was not good to return back while our stomachs need refueling. The last restaurant we sighted was still on the main highway.

DSC_0628DSC_0592DSC_0597Along the road, we noticed few numbers of car parked on the signage of Dhen Yho’s Place. We thought of a restaurant so we decided to stop and walked uphill. The site was so marvelous as we never expected it. There was an entrance fee but we didn’t know who is collecting and where to pay. We headed to the restaurant but it only serving coffee and packed crackers.  There was a swimming pool and we also saw tents as there were groups who stayed overnight. The towering pine trees covered the place’s hidden attractions. The place is a must to visit to see an artistry landscaped hills with a big letters sculpted “Land of Peace”. Due to lack of research, I just found that it was the Kublai Art Garden, a master piece of a well known Mindanaon artist. We saw the Bagobo’s tribal ways of living through displayed sculptures.

DSC_0617DSC_0604DSC_0626We really enjoyed few minutes of our free tour and left the area as we oversaw the village proper from the site. The peak of Mt. Apo was already covered by clouds. We took our affordable but heavy breakfast at the village where we found that it was a drop point for sacks of newly harvested vegetables such as potatoes and cabbages.

As we were heading home, we asked if there was a strawberry farm and a local told us to visit Hillside Resto Civet Farm. We confirmed the existence of a strawberry farm. We noticed that the place was actually Mt. Apo Highland Resort and we were on the altitude of 1,160 meters above sea level. The resort has also bee farms and started materializing their honey-coffee production. We left the resort after a sip of their cheapest brand of the world’s most expensive civet coffee.

DSC_0630DSC_0632DSC_0642Kapatagan is another starting trail of mountaineers who wish to visit the inactive Mt. Apo aside from Kidapawan City in North Cotabato.  It became famous because of its majestic beauty, nature friendly environment, and cool climate. The fogs covered the road as we were traveling down back to our normal route.


Al Gara Cave Visit


As what the local Saudi explained, Al-Ahsa is a province and the city within is Hofuf City. So this explanation cleared out my confusion to the place we’re heading to.

Al-Gara cave or widely known to expatriates as Judas Cave is situated in the mountain of Qara, a prominent village of less than 30 minutes away from Hofuf.


Our journey started from Jubail on which the GPS map calculated to be 3 hours drive passing Dammam. The wide desert and mountains knocked our fingers to click our cameras. Along the way, there are few tents built and camels were wandering around seeking for green desert vegetation.

As we were entering Al-Ahsa, I noticed that the place was a green vast land planted with date palms. No wonder, this place is the producer of the well known fruit “date”. Oases is abundant in this place so they have plenty of plants. Besides one company, NADA Food Company, was also built here.


We directly headed to Qara village to see the cave. The village is on the foot of the mountain. Al-Gara cave is the famous landmark of the province and said to be cool in the summer and warm during winter. It also aspired to be one of the seven wonders of nature. The place was magnificent and anyone can enter for free.

After caving, we decided to climb up hills to see what the view on the top can offer. Mohammed, a local villager, guided me in hopping those dangerous cliffs until we reached a place where I can see the date plantation as a whole. I wished to see the whole province by climbing up more but stepping on slopes was more dangerous.


Anyway, Mohammed and his group came here for breakfast. They brought a picnic mat. We disturbed them for he volunteered himself to guide us.

Al-Gara Cave and mountain is a worth place to visit especially when living in the Eastern region.