MT. MANABU (Hiking Guide, Itinerary, Things you need to know)

Mt. Manabu
Derived from the phrase "mataas na bundok," Mt. Manabu hides something that is breathtaking in its forest areas. Gorgeous flora and distinct fauna can be found on the terrain that is composed of tall hardwood and fruit-bearing trees, coconuts, shrubs and grasses. This type of terrain serves as a paradise for the civet cats that produce expensive coffee. In addition, its summit has a wide view of the mountain ranges from afar and the nearby villages and has a cool and refreshing sea breeze.

THE TRAILS: The first part is walking on trail by the village where the terrain is covered with grass, fruit bearing trees, bananas, coconuts and animals like horses, cows and goats. Though, the trail is considered as simple to moderate type but the soil is dusty during dry but sticky and slippery during the wet season. Like the other mountains of Laguna and Batangas, the hikers are being serenaded by the lullabies of the birds. To descent, you can choose either back trail or the circuit passing by the different stations. Circuit is longer than the back trail and the terrain is covered with thick grass, shrubs and trees. The trail has uphill and downhill parts.

INTRODUCING, THE COFFEE ALAMID OR THE CIVET CAT COFFEE: Every time I hike Mt. Manabu, I always make sure that I have time to take a rest at the house of Tatay Pirying to drink a few cups of civet coffee. Civet coffee is said to be one of the most expensive coffee in the world – well Batangas has that! What happens is, coffee beans are eaten by civet cat, digested and poopz. The digestion helps making the coffee beans refined.  Tatay Pirying is always hospitable to all the hikers passing by his house.

THE SUMMIT AND THE CAMPSITE: It has a wide and open camp site. If you prefer a spot that’s hidden, you can explore the forested different sides. The camp site is covered with grass and it is like a park or a playground. From afar, the Malipunyo ranges, Susong Dalaga and other mountains nearby are visible. The air is cool, fresh and relaxing. On the summit, there is a cross erected. NEEDS TO CONSIDER: Leave No Trace. The area is surrounded by shrubs, insect repellent is highly recommended.

HOW TO GET TO MT. MANABU: In EDSA-Cubao, we rode in a Batangas bound bus and alighted in Lipa and chartered a tricycle to Brgy. Sulok. At the jump off, registration fees are to be collected; toilet and bath are available.

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