#ISSAGOesplaces: Mt. Manabu, Batangas

It's a Monday morning, I'm at my favorite Starbucks branch, and I've ICT homework, tons of writing projects due this week, and a burning shoulder. But I choose to blog. Nice one, Issa.

A friend (Hi JM!) and I wanted to climb Mt. Manabu, and after friends either backing out or not being able to go (no hate I still love you all), we decided to still push through. I skipped the gym last Friday for climbing eh, I needed the workout!

We met up in JAM bus terminal at around 6AM and left at 6:30ish, since we had to wait for passengers to fill up the seats. We got to SM Lipa at around 8 and took a tricycle going to the registration area, then to the jump-off point. Got a guide, and the climb began!

Let me just say this: Whoever said the difficulty was 2/9 is either not good with numbers or a real fit person. Either that or I was just hungry. The climb was almost all uphill! To be fair, it IS easy since there aren't any rocks, nor would you need ultimate balance and coordination skills, but I suggest you start increasing your stamina by jogging/brisk walking on high inclines (which I obviously didn't huhu)

There are 8 stations, and the 5th station was the best because of the free coffee! The one living there offers free civet coffee for those climbing, and it's very good (if you don't mind the fact it's made of feces, jk). They also sell packs of it but I didn't get to ask how much.

It's a pretty quick climb, taking us about 2 hours going up the peak, more or less. We didn't take a lot of breaks (which can be a perk of going with a few people), but it definitely was tiring. The 6th station was the peak of the mountain, and that's where we had lunch. Really nice view and perfect weather, as it wasn't so sunny, nor was it raining. Windy, quiet, and made me feel sooooo good. That, and I took pictures for my ICT homework (so I DID go there for a good reason!).

Going down was easier, stopping only once for the grotto (Found at the 8th station). I did slip and land on my butt (which is, surprisingly, the only pain I feel at the moment [besides my heart char]) It took us 2 hours again, and we rested in the jump-off point for a few minutes after.

We went back to SM Lipa, and that's when it started to rain hard. Thank gosh we left when we did, or I'm pretty sure my mom would've killed me if I climbed while it was raining (traumatized by Batulao lol). Had lunch in SM and took the bus back home!

All in all, SUPER fun. Expect to fall on your bed (after taking a bath hihi) once you get home. Also, expect to be a bit sore if you're like me and only workout once every few months.

I spent almost 800 PHP since we were only 2, but I'm sure that if you're a group of 4-5, you can cut expenses. Here's the breakdown of our expenses:
  • Bus (Buendia terminal) going to SM Lipa - 124 PHP
  • Tricycle going to Sulok - 150 PHP (75 PHP for 2 [50 PHP for 4, since it would be 200 PHP])
  • Registration fee - 20 PHP
  • Guide - 500 PHP (250 PHP for 2 [125 PHP for 4])
  • Tricycle going to SM Lipa - 150 PHP (75 PHP for 2 [50 PHP for 4, since it would be 200 PHP])
  • Lunch - 100 PHP
  • Bus going to Manila - 124 PHP

If you're a group of 4, I'm pretty sure you'll be spending about 500 PHP for transportation, reg and guide fee. You can still cut down if you're a bigger group! Just pack your lunch instead to save up. If not, you can buy at the jump off point. BTW, you can also camp, but I'm not sure how much the guide fee would be (1,000-1,500 PHP?)

Anyway, that's pretty much it! It's a great day climb for beginners (DAW HUHU jk it really is!), and I'll hopefully be back for Mt. Maculot! But before that, I aim to go to Mt. Pico de Loro next before it closes.

'Til the next blog post! Expect either food or mountains :P


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