I was being immature and wanted to do a solo climb, but got to my senses the night before my planned hike and decided to go against it.
I still needed to get away from Manila though. Luckily I found two climbers who were planning to hike Mt Manabu too.
Since both of the other climbers were Batangas-based, we agreed to just meet there. It was the earliest I woke up for a climb because I was afraid I might get lost during the commute then end up being so late.
From Fiesta Mall, we rode a tryk to the jump off place and started to hike around 6 30 am. We passed by locals who offered to be our guide as according to them the trail is confusing. My hike-mates refused politely since they have been there before. It was almost 8am and the trail we were treading still wasn't familiar to them.
"Naku wrong way po, papunta pong Mt. Malipunyo yan" said a local we asked along the way.
And that is the start of our trek to the real jump off for Manabu. Turns out the tryk driver confused Manabu with Malipunyo. After around 30 minutes we found the way to Manabu.
It was an easy trail covered with trees. There were white crosses per station. There was also Mang Pirying's hut wherein you can try homemade barako coffee for free. Then there's a campsite very near the summit for those who want to stay for the night. The summit area which can be identified via the huge white cross is very small, can comfortably accommodate maybe up to around 10 people at a time only.
|Summit of Mt Manabu|
|Mt Susong Dalaga, as was seen from Mt Manabu|
Since the area was small, and there were too many flies and tourists, and no clearing because of the morning fog, we just started with our descent. We did a loop hike via grotto and back to station 4. We arrived at the Manabu jump off a little after lunch.
On the way back, we saw locals selling an iguana they found in the forest for P200 - it was kept in a coke bottle. I wanted to engage the locals with a discussion on environmental conservation, but felt it wasn't a good avenue to do so, and I wouldn't be able to sustain the act. I just retreated with a heavy heart.
What was I to do? What was the right thing to do?
1. Lipa-bound bus from LRT Buendia/Taft Station - Drop off at Tambo or Fiesta Mall (if within bus route)
2. Jeep to Fiesta Mall (8 php)
3. Tryk to Sulok, Brgy. Sta Cruz from Fiesta Mall