There’s a saying that Not all those who wander are lost. But not in our case because we do really got lost as we descend from Mt. Manabu. Nevertheless, it was still fun and memorable. Getting lost like reroutes are just part of the adventures in life anyway. It reminds you of the thrill that you just got into since you wouldn’t know its next agenda. The kind of thrill that requires you to be brave and to trust.
Our Mt. Manabu climb last December 14 was a dayhike organized by one of my colleagues at work and also a member of MMS, Melody or Mhei as I call her, for her Birthday Climb. As for me, I consider it as my Christmas Climb and my last climb for the year. It is located at Sto.Tomas, Batangas and has long been popular to mountaineers for its accessibility, short trails, and nice ambiance. Very advisable and recommended for beginners. It stands at 760MASL and has a difficulty of just 2/9.
Mhei prepared all the logistics for this climb, the itinerary, things to bring, the contact persons, etc. Her being a fifth timer of this mountain, I am confident that we will survive even without a guide. Together with her highschool friend Melai, college friend Pauie, and one of our frequent guests in MMS, Sir Philip, we went ahead with our Mt. Manabu adventure.
We were supposed to meet up at 0600 in JAM Buendia but we made it at 0800 for some reason which I took full ownership was my fault. I sincerely and deeply apologized. Haha It’s not gonna happen again I swear. 😀
It was a fast land travel that we were able to reach the Lipa proper at 0900 where we waited for Melai who came all the way from Cabuyao, Laguna. We stopped at Chowking to eat breakfast and to buy our packed lunch. We then took a 20-min tricycle ride which brought us to the jump off point.
Upon reaching the jumpoff point, we then prepared for the trek. There’s a registration fee required and every climber is required to sign in their logbook. They also provided contact persons if ever something happens. There is a paid restroom as well so take the chance to use it before commencing with the trek. We started with a prayer and some stretching still although we’ve already planned that this climb will absolutely be just fun and no pressure.
The trail was gradual, easy, and very shady which I really really love. It’s perfect for newbies, the downside however was that it’s very maputik! I remember my pair of shoes end even almost half of my lower legs getting soaked in the mud. I almost slipped for a lot of times since I didn’t bring my trek pole with me, which added to the thrill and challenge. The trail is also rich in floras and my eyes wandered with the different plants in there. A biology student would definitely enjoy this trail, my thoughts.
There are 8 stations that you have to complete in order to reach the summit and complete the climb. Every station has a signage with a quote related to mountaineering. Station 3 quote was a premonition of our adventure. True enough, Mt. Manabu got different trails which will lead you to the summit. We were not able to follow our desired trail, which is the trail that Mhei is used to, but nevertheless, we still reached the summit.
Since we followed a different trail, we were not sure if we’re already nearing the summit. We were surprised when we already saw the famous white cross of Mt. Manabu which we reached at exactly 1300. The summit provided a spectacular view of the nearby mountains, we saw Mt. Batulao and Mt. Maculot from afar.
Mt. Manabu is just perfect for my Christmas climb since it got a cross which will remind you of Jesus Christ, the real reason for this season. We took the chance to take lots of photos in here.
After our photoshoot, we trek down to the campsite to eat our lunch and to rest as well. I took a quick nap but woke up when I felt the cold weather. It drizzled for a while and we went back to rest. This was when our conversations about love started. Read here for the whole article about the love lessons I learned during this climb. 🙂 These girls got lots of things to say about love and relationship. And we were just laughing the whole time every time something comes out related to it, be it the ambon, the trail, the teka-teka plants, about falling, and getting dirty because of the mud. Haha! We got really funny and meaty conversations which were thrown randomly.
We resumed trekking at almost 1600 already since we really took our time to rest in the campsite. We reached the famous nipa hut of Mang Pirying wherein he serves Alamid coffee for free. He was so nice that we even got into small chats with him. There were other groups of mountaineers already resting in there, most of them already climbed Mt. Manabu and have already known Mang Pirying. They were also selling fresh buko which costs Php10 per piece.
We continued with our descend, the trail gets muddier this time. Probably because there were more climbers coming in which made the trail a lot more loose. It was getting dark so we have to put our headlamps on. Unfortunately, I forgot to change the battery of my headlamp so its light was already dim. Sir Philip got one with him and a flashlight. Our night trek started in there and we didn’t mind the muddy trail anymore. We were also not sure if we’re still in the correct trail. I remember that we would always go back a few meters after realizing that it’s not the right path. True enough, we were already lost which was confirmed by a guy, already at his 40’s probably, whom we just bumped across the trail and asked us if we’re on our way up or down. Whew! We almost climbed the same mountain twice pala! Haha 😀 He’s a blessing in disguise! He was with his dog and volunteered to guide us on our way down. We reached the final jumpoff point at almost 1900 already. We washed up and went to the Lipa Bus terminals where we had our dinner.
Since it’s Mhei’s birthday in a few days and it was indeed her birthday climb, we surprised her with a cake and celebrated it in one of the restaurants there that serves lomi. They got huge servings which tasted really good. Happy Birthday Mhei! I pray for all the good things in every aspect of your life for you deserve them. Thank you for the birthday treat, I’ve anticipated it by the way! Haha! 😀
It was indeed a fun climb for the five of us and I’m happy that I was able to get to know these people. This is the climb wherein I realized the importance of being composed and staying positive despite knowing that you’re already lost. Everyone was at peace and we were even still laughing despite the circumstance. You also wouldn’t mind getting lost as long as you have good company whom you trust and you know are also in the pursuit to go back and find the right path. These are the kind of people whom you should be joining with during climbs!
Thank you Mhei, Pauie, Melai, and Sir Philip! You guys are all awesome! Till our next climb! Wiii! 😀