Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mt. Manabu of Sto. Tomas, Batangas

On a very hot day last February 2013, I explored Mt. Manabu (abbreviation of "Mataas na Bundok"), a mountain situated in Sto. Tomas Batangas. There were two possible routes in getting to the jump-off point in Sulok, Brgy. Santa Cruz. The first one is riding a tricycle from San Pedro, Sto. Tomas Batangas to Sulok. This is a convenient route for those who are familiar with the national highway from Sto. Tomas to Alaminos, Laguna, since Brgy. San Pedro is along the highway. The other one, which we used, was from Lipa City. There were tricycle available in Fiesta Mall and the fare is P100.00 per travel.

Upon getting to the jump-off point, we paid a 10-peso registration fee. There were available guides for a fee. Lucky for us, there were other groups hiking that day. So we just followed them. We started trekking around 10 AM. In the middle of the hike, we overtook the other group and trusted our mountaineer's instinct for the directions. Good thing there were available stores of buko juice and local delicacies, we were able to ask if we need to. Locals were very friendly and what's good is that they provide mountaineers with additional information about the mountain.

Local delicacies available for sale.

Favorite refreshment of a mountaineer, "Buko Juice"

Around 11:30 AM, we reached the campsite. Few uphill steps from the campsite was the peak with a white cross landmark.

Summit of Mt. Manabu.

Also at the peak, Mt. Maculot (west) and Mt. Makiling (east) can be viewed opposite Mt. Manabu.

Overseen: Mt. Maculot of Cuenca.

Overseen: Mt. Makiling.

We had our lunch at the peak, rested for a while, and used the opposite trail going back to the jump-off point. There was a part of the trail where it was filled with cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica), a good sorce of substrate for my thesis (hahaha). We reached the groto using this trail, where we stopped for a while and had conversation with other group of mountaineers who were having their lunch that time.

It's cogon everywhere!

Around 2 PM, we were already at the jump-off point. We walked going to the municipal highway and waited for a public jeepney bound to Lipa City.

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