It was back in April 9, 2015 when I reached the summit of my first, legit mountain – Mt. Batulao. And for a typical, sentimental woman like me, having an anniversary climb is a must. So without hesitations, I organized a twin hike to Mt. Tibig and Mt. Banoi which we were able to successfully finish last April 9, 2016.
This climb was my fourth twin day hike and my 16th and 17th mountains to date. Read on below to know more about my anniversary climb.
Here are the details on how to get there and the cost breakdown:
Via Private Transportation – Head out to SLEX and then go straight to Star Tollway and exit to San Jose – Ibaan. Take Taysan Road to Lobo Road until Brgy. Banalo. It is advisable to already have a guide beforehand to ask for directions from Banalo Elementary School to the jump off.
We used WAZE as our navigator and entered “Banalo Elementary School” as our destination. Total travel time is three hours and thirty minutes.
TOTAL PER PERSON (4pax)
Toll Fees (from Manila to Batangas)
Toll Fees (from Batangas to Manila)
Guide Fee (Mt. Tibig)
Guide Fee (Mt. Banoi)
Tricycle from Mt. Banoi jump off to Mt. Tibig jump off
SAFE BUDGET: Php1,000
It was really early when we left Manila. Surprisingly, there weren’t that many cars passing through SLEX and Star Tollway considering it was a holiday. It was a long, straight drive throughout the expressway but was followed by a series of zigzagged roads a couple of minutes along Taysan Road. We also passed by a checkpoint where we had to pay an environmental fee of Php20 each before we can proceed. I am really impressed with WAZE because even though it led us to dark, narrow and oftentimes sketchy roads, we were still able to arrive at the right destination.
When we got to Banalo Elementary School, we waited for our guide, kuya Gabino, to pick us up. While waiting, I went to the nearby sea to watch the sunrise and get some fresh air.
Upon arrival at the jump-off, we registered our names and paid Php20 for the barangay fee. We were offered wooden trekking poles to use for the hike (free of charge) but I decided to hike without one as I am training for a major climb soon. After a short prayer and final preparations, we proceeded with the hike.
Mountain 1 of 2: Mt. Tibig
The trail immediately starts with continuous assaults made even more difficult by the loose land. We were already puffing 15min into the trek (And this is what happens when you do not hike for almost two months). The group took little breaks every now and then until we reached a hut where two of my group mates slept for 20 minutes. While they were sleeping, I made friends with two of the dogs around the area. Heh.
As soon as we got out of the forest part of the trail, we marvelled at the sight of the rolling hills surrounding the grassland. And even though the trail was open, we barely felt the heat of the sun due to the strong but refreshing winds that were present. This got us excited that we all ran in different directions leaving kuya Gabino behind. Lol. There were three groups that hiked that time but we were the first group to start trekking that was why we had the area all to ourselves for several minutes.
It was not long after when we reached the summit of Mt. Tibig. It boasts a great view of the sea and the surrounding mountains. We were quick to take photos before going to the famous landmark of Mt. Tibig, the hanging rock or “mini Gungal” as what I call it because the Tibig hanging rock is like Gungal rock from Mt. Ulap, only smaller.
Each of us took turns taking photos at the “mini Gungal” and after we were satisfied, we decided to munch on our trail food first before resuming our trek to the second mountain for the day.
Mountain 2 of 2: Mt. Banoi
Along the trail, we encountered a solo hiker, Clyde, who expressed his interest in joining our group in Mt. Banoi. And because we were all open to meeting new friends, we welcomed him to the group. The more the merrier!
Kuya Gabino warned us that the traverse route to Mt. Banoi is full of tall grasses so we had to be extra careful and patient in trekking it. True enough, we all had to maneuver through the series of tall grasses that blocked our path. It took us an hour and a half to reach the foot of Mt. Banoi from the summit of Mt. Tibig. We decided to eat our lunch here too before proceeding because we needed to have enough energy to trek this mountain which is said to be more difficult than the first.
We were all expecting the trail to start with assaults but little did we know that it was a really steep assault of about 45 degrees. It seemed like I was about to kiss the land with every step I made. Lol. And because it was already noon, the heat made the trek even more taxing. We were only supposed to do a back trail to Mt. Tibig after we reached the summit of Mt. Banoi but we decided to just go for a complete traverse and exit at Mt. Banoi’s jump off point.
The trail passes through a forest followed by an open grassland. Mostly, the land is slippery and oftentimes, there are no available plants to hold onto so one should be extra careful especially when descending.
Before reaching the first peak, we were already able to see a great view of the nearby mountains such as Mt. Daguldol and Mt. Naguiling. What stunned me more; however, was the sight of the majestic Mt. Halcon! It stood out from the horizon so it was impossible for us to miss it.
It was not long after when we reached the first peak marked by an electrical tower. We were just quick to take photos because the heat was excruciating and we wanted to reach the second peak fast. It took us fifteen minutes to get to the second peak which is also marked by an electrical tower. Some of us just stayed in the shaded area to rest and eat while the others, including myself, took photos.
We started with our descent around 3:00PM. And because we took the complete traverse route, the trail was longer but less steep compared to the route we took going up. Some time along the trail, my left knee acted up and it made descending really difficult especially since the road was full of rocks. Bad knee. Boo.
We got to Mt. Banoi’s jump off after two hours of trekking. From there, we hired a tricycle to take us back to Mt. Tibig’s jump off where our car was parked.
Special thanks to my hikemates: My big brother, Marc, for driving us to and from Lobo, Batangas. Proud of you for conquering your fourth mountain and your first twin day hike! To Jose for entertaining us throughout the hike; Joel for helping me document the climb and to our new friend, Clyde, for the company.
Congratulations on finishing your first twin hike, boys!
Shout out to our very helpful and accommodating guide, kuya Gabino. He is the main guide for Mt. Tibig and Mt. Banoi traverse. You may contact him at 0926-491-6824. (And should you find his contact number through this blog post, kindly do me a favor and tell him that you got it from Camae’s blog. Thank you!)
There are houses along the mountain and the locals are very friendly
Watch out for horse poop present all throughout the trail
The refreshing winds are gone around noon so it gets really hot and the hike can be exhausting.
There are water sources in both mountains
Here is a short video of our twin day hike:
3:00AM – ETA Manila
6:15AM – Hulong Banalo (Mt. Tibig jump off). Registration and final preparations.
It has been a while since I last organized a hike so I am really happy that this pushed through with minimal complications. I am also grateful to the Lord for giving us a good weather and the strength that we needed to finish the complete traverse.
And finally, my almost two-month hike hiatus is over. It feels good to be back!