Mt Manabu of Sto Tomas, Batangas

I started the year 2013 by conquering Mt Timbak and almost reaching the peak of Mt Tabayoc, so I guess the best way to end my 2013 is also by exploring another mountain. I was blessed because I have been invited by my girlfriend's colleagues as they planned to conquer Mt Manabu.

Mt Manabu is located in the town of Batangas. It stands at 720 MASL and considered to be a good climb for newbies (in hiking) because of its relatively light trail. Mt Manabu derived its name from MAtaas NA BUndok which means "alp" or "high mountain". There are 8 stations in order to land on top of Mt Manabu and trekkers have 2 options to reach its peak. One of which is the normal trail wherein you'll be following the stations numerically. While the other one is you'll be taking stations 1 to 4 then take the trail straight to the grotto which is in Station 8. Please see the map below:

Mt Manabu is located at Brgy. Sta Cruz, Sto Tomas, Batangas
How to get there?
Take a Lipa or Lucena bound bus at LRT Buendia then inform the bus conductor to drop you off at Brgy. San Pedro, Sto Tomas. From Sto Tomas, ride a trike to "Sulok". Make sure to visit the Barangay Hall for registration before starting your trek. Registration fee is 20 pesos per pax. You can also ask for a guide here. Guide is around 300-500 pesos (depends on how good you are on bartering).

We reached the jump off point of Mt Manabu around 9PM. Yup, night trek is possible on Mt Manabu. Right after we registered at the barangay, we waste no time and started to trek. The first 4 stations were easy and light. However, the climb becomes more complex from Station 5 and up to the peak due to continuity of upward hike. The trail becomes steeper and challenging. Plus, the trail was muddy during our visit which we didn't expect because it was sunny that whole week. Some part of the trail have "lubid" installed. These ropes are located on sharp angled and steep trails. Trekkers swing to these ropes in order to help them continue on trekking. It was also fun because it added flavor or twist to Mt Manabu.

Shot as we descend at Mt Manabu
After almost 2 1/2 hours, we finally reached the campsite. Located between Station 5 and 6, Mt Manabu's campsite is quite big. It can accommodate large numbers of campers and the signal is pretty strong. We were 14 people in the group and we were able to pitch 7 tents along with other campers and still it is spacious.

Right after we pitched our tents, we started to prepare our late dinner. It was really cold up there so I recommend to pack up jackets and other thick clothes when planning to stay overnight at Mt Manabu. After some chit chat and socials we then took a rest.

Getting ready to descend
After packing our things, its time for some photo op
Konting pakilig lang... =]
The next day, we woke up early and took a light breakfast. Then we packed up our things as we will continue to explore Mt Manabu (particularly Station 7 & 8). In between station 6 & 7 lies a cross and marks that you already reached the peak of Mt Manabu. On the other hand, Station 8 hold a grotto. And because of these landmarks, Mt Manabu becomes a popular destination for Visita Iglesia.

Big cross found in between Station 6 and 7
Grotto at Station 8
Since we descend Mt Manabu on the morning, I appreciate the environment even more. The shades of the trail are very evident. Shades that come from its rich forest. The trail is surrounded by trees and plants. Nature is really being take care off at Mt Manabu. Kudos!

And because of those shades, it lessens the tiredness and perspiration we experienced on exploring this mountain. We were able to reach the jump off point again in 2 hours or less.

Shades. One of a few reason why I love Mt Manabu
Rich nature. Happy people.
Passing through Station 4
It was nice meeting new people. My experience with Mt Manabu was definitely a fun climb. I just hope fellow trekkers and people around the area maintain the cleanliness of this mountain for future generations.

Additional information: Comfort rooms are available in the jump off point. You may directly go here after your hike for a quick bath or to wash your shoes. You may also display there your wrecked shoes just in case you experience one during your climb. Lols.

We survived Mt Manabu! Wew!


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