Tribal leaders want Mt. Apo climbers to first undergo tribal ritual

Datu Simeon Serrano, chieftain of Sitio Sayaban of Barangay Ilomavis here, said Mount Apo is considered sacred by their ancestors and home to various spirits that govern nature.


Serrano believe that Ian Caasi, a mountaineer from Davao City who drowned in the mountain’s Lake Venado on Maundy Thursday, was taken by their god “Apo Sandawa” as sacrifice.


This, according to Serrano, will serve as reminder that there are supernaturals being disturbed due to the influx of climbers wanting to conquer the mountain, especially on special occasions like the Holy Week.

There are many spirits living here in the mountain. Maybe they were disturbed, that’s why they had to sacrifice someone to remind people that they do exit,” he said in the vernacular.


Serrano explained that the “pamaas” is needed before trekking Mount Apo to ask permission from the spirits, who are present in various parts of the mountain.


He also suggested to the local government unit of Kidapawan and other LGUs that have access going to Lake Venado and the peak to observe the ritual.

Maybe all climbers must first undergo the ritual by our tribal elders in order to avoid similar incidents in the mountain,” Serrano said.

Meanwhile, Caasi’s mother Melly has accepted the fate of her 23-year-old son. She told DXND Radio for Peace that she does not blame anybody, including officials of the Mindanao Alliance Mountaineering Club (Malmoc), on the tragic death of her son.


Our family, although shocked of the incident, we already accept the death of my son. Maybe it’s God’s will,” she said.