Quickie Climb at Mt. Manabu

The climb happened last 2015.

I woke up three in the morning; outside the window of my bedroom, the wind is blowing  enough to make me chill if I go out without a jacket. I looked into my phone to see if any of my climbing buddies this weekend were already awake. We set to climb Mt. Manabu but everyone were hesitant since the weather is conducive for further sleeping. Ericka had already told us that she cannot join since she was alone and is worrying of flood getting inside their home. Ivy and Iris put the responsibility in my hand to decide if we should continue or not. The thought of hot lomi in a bowl during a fine cold weather excites me, another thing is the weather forecast said that it would only rain in the afternoon. and since Mt. Manabu would only take 3 hour to complete we decided to pursue the quickie climb.

The three of us met in Jam Liner Buendia to catch the bus going to Lipa, we got off at SM Lipa and hired a tricycle to drop us at Brgy. Sto. Tomas, the jump off point of the climb.

Ivy enjoying the Lomi

Before heading to the jump off point, we asked the driver to make a stopover at the most delicious lomi house nearby. We stopped at Rehn's and Rojahn's Food Haus to try their lomi, the hot thick soup, pork liver and meat with egg warms our chilling stomach. The taste is satisfactory good, but not that you'll eager to have some. Technically this is not the place Ericka referred us to, but the warm soup and chilling whether made it a perfect combination.

After getting stuffed with lomi we ride the tricycle once again and got off at the barangay hall to register. They have  a new ordinance that climbers must bring sprout that we should plant on the trails of Manabu to preserve the vegetation in the mountain.

Stream at the early part of the climb
We hopped once more on the tricycle and brought us to where the trek will start. The feeble rain during the night made the trail a bit muddy but still bearable. We pass by one station at a time, taking rest at each one. We made a short break in a hut where a family is selling fruits and veggies. I was hooked with the colorful fruits, specially the guyabano. I told them to reserve one for me as I will buy them on our way back from the summit.

The guyabano I became fascinated with

One of the highlights of Manabu climb is Tatay Tino's place, a pit stop before the summit where he is offering free Alamid coffee. These are coffee made from beans that were ingested by civet cats. The deliciously roasted coffee is another perfect partner of the cold weather. We even bought a few grams of the Civet coffee so we could enjoy it back home.

Tatay Tino's place where free civet coffee is being served.

We pressed on, not more than an hour we reached the campsite where few climbers are already having breakfast. Three minutes from camp, the summit of Mt. Manabu can be easily identified with its white cross. We found a few climbers that day already enjoying the view from the summit. We chatted a little bit on topics such as where we were from, camera, and where to buy camping gears.

We descend on a different path to continue all the stations of Mt. Manabu. During our way down, we decided to plant the young tree we brought from the baranagay on these trails.

The famed cross at Manabu's peak.
The trail from the summit to the last station is longer than the first few, but in the end a hut, a mini waterfall and water source are waiting. We refilled our bottles and continue. We also saw a few mountaineers camping in this  area.

We reached another pit stop where we brought fresh coconut flavored ice candy sold by an elder. We had a small conversation with her. She shared the story of their small business. Some people from the city bought and asked to raise the cows for them. In return they will share the offspring of these cows, from their share of little calves they will sell it once again to other people. With her very interesting stories we didn't notice that our rest was overdue. We decided to continue our hike so we can reach base camp before lunch time.

We returned to the stall where I wanted to buy the guyabano. The fruits they were selling was almost sold out, thankfully they reserved the last guyabano for me.

The plant we brought from base camp.
We reached the base camp before our target time. We saw a small group eating their lunch here, the lady who tends the base camp offered us lunch: rice and a variant good for four people for P600, nut we declined. We decided that we'll just visit the nearby SM Lipa to have our lunch there.

The whole climb only took around two hours, the cold weather made the hike pleasing and the stories we had on each station made the climb more interesting. There are a lot of stories that happened during this quickie climb, and even during the writing, I need to go back a few paragraphs up to enter stories I have skipped.


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