Mt. Manabo

Mt. Manabu
Jump-off point: Sulok, Brgy. Sta Cruz, Sto. Tomas
LLA: 13.9777°, 121.2413°, 760 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 1-2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2

It's just two hours to climb, and the peak area is like a beautiful garden. The highest point is marked with a white cross. Grass, as if trimmed by a lawnmower, covers the summit area, and there are flowering plants and shrubs - with blossoms of yellow, red, and pink. During summer months, wild berries called 'sampinit' grow on the trails near the peak. They are edible and sweet, like mini-strawberries. This image of an elegant park is exactly the image of Manabu Peak, probably the easiest, most accessible mountain from Manila. Add the beautiful views of the Malipunyo mountain range, as well as Mts. Maculot and Makiling, and it's picture perfect!

The name Manabu is said to be abbreviated from 'Mataas na Bundok'. It is one of the three major peaks of the Malipunyo range (the other two are the Malipunyo summit and Susong Dalaga peak). Probably because of its geography, it's usually cloudy in Manabu, lending an almost nostalgic air. Although Sto. Tomas is a peripheral town of Batangas, the dialect used among the locals in Manabu is distinctly Batangueno. It adds a local flavor to the Manabu experience, much like the homemade kapeng barako which Mang Pirying, owner of the hut midway through the trail, would offer the hikers.

Because of its easy access, short trail, and very beautiful environs, Manabu Peak is a great introduction to hiking for beginners. Even then, veteran hikers rank this mountain as one their favorite 'fun climb' destinations.

Mt. Manabo

Although Manabo is in Sto. Tomas Batangas, the place is accessible by public transport via Lipa Batangas. From Manila, ride a Bus going to Batangas City or Lemery. Alight at Lipa City on the road going to Fiesta Mall. From Fiesta Mall you can get a tricycle ride or hire a jeep going to Barangay Sta. Cruz. There are also regular trips from the Public market of Lipa. The local transportation may find it easier if you will tell your destination as "Sulok" rather than Sta. Cruz. The road going to Sta. Cruz passes by the Malarayat golf club then instead of turning right for Barangay Talisay (Malipuno trek), you will turn left to Sta. Cruz. If you have your own car or transportation, it’s easier to go there via Sto. Tomas Batangas. From Barangay San Pedro, turn left straight to Sta. Cruz. There are no public transport from there that is why you cannot commute from that approach although you can hire a tricycle at very high cost.

Pass by the Barangay Captain for courtesy call. Then you can ask the locals for the trail. You will be assing three creeks or small rivers which serves as your only water source but water is not potable. You will then stumble on a fence blocking the trail wherein you have to crawl inside to pass the other side. From then on, there are lots of trails being used by the locals but you don't need to worry since the area has a hut where you can ask for directions. There is a hut at midpoint the trail to the summit. Mang Arman lives there and is very accommodating to climbers. This is where you can load your water supply.


After the locals have discovered the potentials of the place for tourism, they have started developing it not only by registration facilities but also the trail itself. One of the care taker, Mang Lucas have created a shorter easier trail to the peak. He started placing markers indicated by the name "Calbaryo." Follow this marker to the summit.


0600 ETD Lucena or Lipa bound bus at LRT-Buendia
0730 ETA Brgy. San Pedro, Sto. Tomas. Take trike to 'Sulok'
0830 ETA 'Sulok', Brgy. Sta. Cruz
0900 Start trek
1000 Reach Mang Pirying's place
1100 ETA summit.
1130 start descent
1300 Back at jump-off. Proceed back to Sto. Tomas.
1330 Lunch at Rose and Grace restaurant, Sto. Tomas (famous for Bulalo)
1500 Cross the highway and wait for bus back to Manila
1700 ETA Manila

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