April 2015: Mt. Manabu

In case my blog and Instagram posts haven’t made it clear enough, I will set it straight here: I am a beach person.

I looooove lounging around on a nice beach; the sound of the waves and wind soothe my soul and I feel like everything is just fine and dandy when I’m laid out on the sand with a book in one hand and a cold beer in another.

So, I was surprised when I said “yeah, sure” when one of my friends asked if I wanted to go hiking up with them to Mt. Manabu.

My feelings about it were mixed. I was excited because the last time I hiked was about three years ago in Mt. Pinatubo that is really small potatoes in terms of mountain hiking. I was nervous because the last time I hiked was about three years ago in Mt. Pinatubo that is really small potatoes in terms of mountain hiking.

Mt. Manabu stands 760 meters above sea level and is classified a minor climb (by mountaineers – I have a different personal classification for it). It took us around 3 hours to get to the campsite because we were all beginners and were really careful.

To be honest, I was actually internally bitching sometimes. I thought:

  1. How long until we get there already? Feels like forever.
  2. I am sooooo unfit.
  3. Why did I sign up for this again?
  4. It is so fucking hot
  5. Why am I doing this to myself?
  6. I’m working way too hard on a vacation
  7. Why am I climbing a mountain just to go down it again the following day?

Okay. It wasn’t as bad as my thoughts are making it seem to be. It was actually fun. It’s just that sometimes when the next step requires you to pull yourself up a rocky shelf as high as your shoulder, a “what the fuck is this?” comes out with that deep breath you took to steady yourself.

But, you know what? It was all worth it. Beach person and lazy vacation day advocate that I am, I’d do it again (but only on a different mountain. With a way lighter bag).

The mandatory silhoutte-y artsy shot
The skies getting ready for a color burst
Pink skies
The sky over Mt. Manabu on a May summer day.
Sinister movie poster
Wanted to catch the sunrise so I set my alarm for 5am. Snuck out and saw this. It’s like Silent Hill and The Blairwitch Project rolled in one. And yeah, no sunrise view.
One of the weirdest photo I took
I am both fascinated and creeped out by this photo. More creeped out actually. It looks like I’m taking a photo of two pod people. Add the fog and cross and you get major thriller movie (the cross is part of the Stations of the Cross of Mt. Manabu – nothing sinister)
Good morning!
Clearing up
View from the peak
Our campsite when viewed from the peak. But who’d waste time looking at the campsite with a view like this?
View from the peak still
View of the other side
And still another one
Another one
The peak marker
This large cross stands at the peak of Mt. Manabu
Conga line
On our way down. Yep, there are around 18 of us, I think.
Tree tunnel
Leaving the mountaintop and heading into the thick canopy of the trees.
The one with the huge dick.
Station 5. Where the Civet coffee is fresh, free, and unlimited, and a large wooden dick casually stands along the trail.
The Mt. Manabu boy band
Some of the men we’re trekking with.
Boulder games
Loved how it looked but this part of the trek was heel on my feet.


How we got there:

I don’t really know because I just hopped on the van and slept. Woke up when we were already in Batangas and near the jump off point. But, upon a bit of research:

1. Mt. Manabu is located in Brgy. San Pedro, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. Drop by the Barangay Hall for registration first before heading off to the jump off point.

2. We got to the jump off point at around 11am. The whole trek took around 3-4 hours; we ate lunch at the jump off point so we wouldn’t get hungry along the way.

 

What we did there:

Slept. Yes, we slept in tents with the cold mountain air…after more than a couple drinks.

 

Highlight:

Apart from the view and waking up to the cold mountain air? The people running the rest stations. One gives unlimited Civet coffee for free. If you liked it, you can buy the powdered version for way cheaper than it’s sold anywhere else. I’m not a coffee drinker but I liked it. Another one sells coconut juice straight from the coconut. Then gives tuba shots and tabaco for free. He’d probably earn a lot more if he sold those, too.

 

Some reminders:

  1. It’s a mountain. If you have any physical injuries, don’t force it. Or get cleared by your doctor.
  2. Play nice with the people you meet. And I mean everyone – people who live there and other trekkers. Never forget that you are on a mountain where amenities like plumbing aren’t available so let alone clinics or hospitals. Help each other out.
  3. Speaking of plumbing. Yeah, no toilets at all. Deal with it.
  4. Bring down what you brought up. Don’t leave any trash up there. This actually applies to all places you go to.
  5. As always,  do not litter, look after your belongings, respect people, culture, and environment, and leave it as you found it.

I’m so looking forward to the next one.

 

Keep going,

Sign off

 

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