Hello! I was scheduled to organize a gathering between my friends and I for this month. And because I wanted to delve away from our usual activities, I decided to take them outdoors to, you guessed it right, climb a mountain.
And because it will be their first climb, I chose a relatively easy mountain that is perfect for beginners (or so I thought), Mt. Manabu.
Height: 760+ MASL
Location: Sto. Tomas, Batangas
Trek to Summit: 3 hours 15 minutes*
This was supposed to be an easy climb but some things made the trek a bit difficult than how it is should be. Nonetheless, it was a great day overall. Allow me to share my experience in climbing my 10th mountain last November 30, 2015.
To better prepare for this hike, here is the summary I made on how to get there and the breakdown of our expenses.
My friends and I met at McDonald’s Gil Puyat along Taft around 6:30AM and boarded the bus to SM Lipa. Because we did not encounter any traffic, we arrived at SM Lipa relatively early and looked for a tricycle that took us to Barangay Sta. Cruz where we registered at Php20 each before heading to the jump-off.
As soon as we got to the jump-off, we were immediately greeted by a muddy trail. It was not raining but it was cloudy that day and the lush forestry prevented the sunlight from entering the trail making the ground moist.
It was a good thing that our guide was kind enough to give all of us wooden sticks to aid us with our trek for lesser chances of falling and slipping. Because I was really looking forward to tasting the famous coffee in Mt. Manabu, for our route going to the summit, we chose the one where we had to pass by Mang Pirying’s Kapihan in Station 5.
Because the kapeng barako tasted really good, I bought a small pack to take home. Also in station 5 is a very peculiar phallic symbol that attracts a lot of attention. My friend took a photo with it before we left for the summit.
During the final assault, one of my worst fears happened – there was no clearing! The view was covered with so much fog that we were not able to see the views that Mt. Manabu has to offer.
I knew that we were approaching the summit when I saw a big, white cross. There were several other groups that were already there but they were quick to descend as soon as the skies grew dark.We decided to stay for a bit to take group and individual photos with the cross. One of the most memorable things that happened in the summit was during our supposed jump shot. Because I was not paying attention, I did not realize that I was directly below the cross so when I jumped, I hit my head (hard) and the sound of the impact echoed all over the mountain which alerted my friends. I was stunned for a few seconds but did not feel any pain at all (thanks guardian angel!). Because of this, we decided to just descend and not take a jump shot. Lol sorry friends.
We chose a different route during our descent. Unfortunately, it was muddier and more slippery than the ascent route. Somewhere along the trail, we encountered members of a tree-planting/reforestation organization. According to them, they go to Mt. Manabu thrice a month to plant trees so it is very important not to go off-trail to avoid stepping on the trees they planted.
We passed by a small grotto on our way down and with a resting area across it. We took the chance to take a break and eat some snacks while waiting for the rain to pass. After resting and eating, we continued with our descent all the way to the jump-off where we rode the tricycle back to the barangay where we fixed up before heading back to SM Lipa.
8:30AM – ETA Brgy. Sta. Cruz. Register (Php20 each)
8:45AM – Start trek
9:10AM – ETA Station 2
9:49AM – ETA Station 3
9:55AM – ETA Station 4
10:32AM – ETA Station 5 (Kapihan)
12:00PM – Summit
12:45PM – Start descent
3:15PM – Station 8
4:45PM – Back in jump-off. Fix up
5:30PM – Tricycle back to SM Lipa
6:05PM – Bus to Manila (Php99)
7:30PM – Back in Manila
Thank you to our accommodating guide for that day, kuya Egay Mendoza. You may reach him at 0998-484-3208.
Even though there were unfortunate circumstances on the day we went to Mt. Manabu, I am still thankful that we were able to hike it. I am thinking of going back there one day to hopefully see the view with my own eyes.
Thank you to my friends, Janine, Sassy and Miko, who agreed to join me here and for trusting me with our activity for the day.