Mt. Apo Natural Park - Where the Philippine Eagle soars to new heights
The majestic Mt. Apo towers over the whole Philippine archipelago, being the country's highest mountain that rises to 3,143.6 meters above sea level. Its base is known to be larger than the island of Singapore. In 1982, Mt. Apo was included in the list of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves of the United Nations while the 1984 ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks and Reserves named it as an ASEAN Heritage Park.
Mt. Apo is a dormant volcano, which last erupted in 1640. This is why its upper south-eastern slopes, when viewed from the Provincial Capitol of Davao del Sur, sometimes appear to be covered with snow, but on closer look is really sulphur, which is yellow. On its upper slopes are hundreds of sulphur vents. It was proclaimed a National Park on 9 May 1936 and initially covered an area of 76,900 hectares. By virtue of RA 7586, which provides the legal framework for the establishment and management of protected areas in the Philippines, Mt. Apo became an initial component of the National Integrated Protected Areas System. Mt. Apo was finally proclaimed a Natural Park in 2003 by Congress through RA 9237, covering an area of 54,974 hectares with a buffer zone of 9,078 hectares (Molinyawe, 2007).
Details on Mt. Apo Natural Park are available in the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity’s (ACB) "The ASEAN Heritage Parks", A Journey to the Natural Wonders of Southeast Asia, October 2010. Please contact ACB for access of this book.