Lessons From Climbing the Tallest Mountain in the Philippines


Entry by my son, Elijah Mendoza.

My dad had been planning a rite of passage for me for a long time. He said we would have it when I turned 13, and through that I would transition from a boy into a young man. Since it meant becoming a young man, this experience had to capture the manly traits my Dad wanted me to embrace. So, he decided we would climb a mountain. But, not just any mountain, the tallest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Apo!

I was so excited, because I wanted to bond with my Dad, be able to experience camping for the first time, and be able to say, “I climbed the tallest mountain in the Philippines!”


Guess what? I can now say it! I climbed the tallest mountain in the Philippines. Praise God! But more importantly, I am now a young man. According to my Dad (and Mom), part of completing this right of passage was to journal my learnings from the experience.

I’d like to share with you two of the most important things I learned from climbing Mt. Apo. The first is the value of perseverance to achieve a goal. Mt. Apo is around 3000 meters high. It took us 4 days to climb the mountain, 2 up, and 2 down. And though we had a porter to carry some shared equipment for our group of 5, I had to carry my own pack with most of my stuff. I had to carry this as we went through farms, forests, marshes, flatlands, brush lands, and even boulders. I carried it through scorching heat and thick rain, while balancing on tree trunks, and even up an 87 degree cliff. In fact, there were moments where I would trip and fall, and I would get so annoyed with this load, and the added pain it was causing on my shoulders. But Dad would encourage me to push myself. And by God’s grace, I never thought of quitting. I kept pushing myself to endure all this because I was focused on the goal of finishing the climb, and remained excited about reaching the peak, then eventually going home.

Thanks, Conquer gear!

Thanks, Conquer gear!





When we finally made it to the top, it was spectacular! We got to experience the sunrise above the clouds, and we worshipped God together. All the effort it took to achieve our goal taught me how gratifying it is to work hard versus taking it easy or giving up. I love how the Bible teaches us to persevere in Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

DSC03475The second thing I learned was to be thankful. Life on the mountain was rough and hard. Even food and leftovers I would normally stay away from at home I would swallow down quickly, because I was so hungry. I even had to help kill a chicken just so we could have a meal! This chicken was gummy and hard to chew because it was a native chicken, but I ate everything! I also had to learn to take a poop in the wild, even without toilet paper. I was so desperate, I had to use leaves!



Furthermore, since I was used to sleeping in a small tent on a hard floor, it was a treat when we got down from the mountain and a villager welcomed us into their house. Their life there was very simple, but compared to sleeping in tents in freezing cold, we got to stay in a clean house with a roof! Anything with a roof felt like a five-star hotel.

I learned that you don’t need a lot to survive and everything we have is a bonus and blessing from the Lord. A warm meal is a blessing. Having a bed to lay on and a roof over our heads is a blessing. Even having toilet paper is a blessing! So when the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”, I learned to literally thank God for everything.




Climbing Mt. Apo was a life-changing experience for me. God used my Dad’s intentional training to help me better understand what it means to be a man. There were many things I learned from this experience, but these two are, for me, the highlights. Being a man is about being perseverant to accomplish the tasks God asks us to do. It also means taking responsibility for what has been entrusted to me and being thankful and grateful for it. Please pray for me in this new phase in my life. Please pray I apply these learnings, and more importantly, as I continue to grow through the years, I will become more and more like Jesus, the ultimate manly role model. God bless you!



  1. Wow! good job elijah for climbing Philippines’ tallest mountain . love your article and it’s my first time to hear about rite of passage. I learned a lot of your experience.

  2. Joselle Guimbarda says:

    Wow! What a victory you had there elijah! I was blessed by your experience. When i was younger i also want to climb mountains but when my dad passed away and being the eldest i havent got the chance to do that. My heart is filled with joy as i read your story and i am reminded once again how God is truly, wonderfully good to his children providing us all that we need to live a godly life. I usually experience also that kind of feeling of gratitude after days of fasting when even the smell of a simple meal gets me so excited. I pray that you will not forget this experience so that in any circumstances you will always be thankful to our sovereign God. Im a mom and my daughter is only 5 years old. Someday i pray that she will also experience that victory of conquering hardship and focusing on the goal of finishing well and embracing Gods amazing grace. Thanks for sharing ! Godbless you!!!

  3. I love this post! It made me smile. To God be the glory on this achievement. I could really feel being blessed and thankful to have shelter, food, a bed to sleep in and even more than the very basics. Even toilet paper! God is so good.

  4. Hi Elijah,
    This is already a great achievement for a very young man like you. You must be very proud of yourself.
    It is only when you have gone through this kind of experience, that you are able to relate and understand the truth from the bible. This ilife lesson will long be remembered and will make a big impact in your life. You are very blessed to have such a nice parents who would allow you to go through this kind of experience inorder for you to learn about life.

  5. It’s awesome in support of me to have a web site, which is useful for my knowledge.
    thanks admin

  6. Wonderful insights from such a young man! And a brilliant way to welcome a child into manhood. Your family is very inspiring! God bless you, Elijah!

  7. To put it just, Empower Network is a blogging
    system with a built-in sales funnel. That may make
    sense to a few of you reading this, however if you’re not acquainted with these terms, I’ll explain even more.

    And can customized develop your own if you can’t find a banner that satisfies your needs.
    You can personalize your banner and identify yourself from hundreds of banners seen daily.
    You can then send your spec to a banner production business; they will certainly
    produce it for you.

    Most of the times, the advertisement sales representative
    will be nervous to tell you the specials they have readily available.
    If they do not provide, ask. You might feel uncomfortable, however it’s OK to request for a discount rate.

    That’s how ad firms get excellent rates for their customers.

    So similar to any market there are some serious growing pains within the
    field of tattoos as the conventional tattoo artists and those
    newer to the field battle with concerns of marketing vs.
    art. Lots of feel that this new growth is remarkable and it is all causing brand-new business and more respect for the field.
    However the standard tattoo artists feel that their real art and life design is now being exploited and advertised.

    The author of the article went on to highlight a
    “Want a complimentary roof?” advertising sign posted by a roof business.
    Odds are, as soon as the roofer has the unwary house
    owner in his clutches that “complimentary” roof is going to end up costing
    a very cent. Driving lesson second, to take another tired
    maxim, “There is no complimentary lunch”.

    or roof as the case might be.
    Why to select a market instead of product? The reason being rather internet marketing clear
    that you just want to put more items in your pipeline. Itis necessary to select
    a market which fits you. You need to get hold of in-depth details about it.

    The difference between basic keywords and buyer keywords: This is golden and a
    vital to produce income from good keyword research.

    Purchaser keywords are words that when people type them into the search engines they are actively on the prowl to purchase something; they could actually have a credit card in their
    hand searching for exactly what they desire.

    So in establishing a website or blog, and you desire to make
    money from Advertisement Sense, it is smart to look over the
    keywords in your topic, the competitors in your specific niche, and if
    the amount of visitors you outlook is achievable.
    Because these are the factors that will certainly work out much you might earn from
    Ad Sense, the explanation why you have to take note of these is.
    So, it is truly a mixture of wise writing and internet marketing.

    1% Marketing & Web Design Champaign
    1702 Hedge Rd.
    Champaign, Illinois 61821
    (217) 383-0900

  8. I really admire your adventure, what an inspiring one. Seeing all your photos gives me a feeling like I am watching an adventurous and thrilling movie. Especially the last photo, it seems like you were able to win a battle. I wish I can climb there together with my love ones and able to experience extreme mountaineering activity.

Speak Your Mind

Like this article?
Good thing we have a button for that
Lessons From Climbing the Tallest Mountain in the Philippines