June 13, 2015
This climb was already scheduled way back in May. My officemate and fellow hiker, Rosalie, decided to invite other officemates of ours to an easy climb. This also served as a farewell get-together for one of us who was leaving the company. Sadly, she wasn’t able to make it to the climb, but we pushed through anyway. So here’s my account of Mt. Manabu a.k.a Free Coffee Mountain!
First things first, Mt. Manabu is an easy climb according to pinoymountaineer. With a 2/9 rating and scenic views along the trail and at the summit, it is perfect for first-time hikers.
The day started with me and Rosalie arriving at Cubao and looking for Lipa-bound buses. We settled for Alps liner and from there, we waited for our companions to arrive.
When we were complete, it was a quick bus ride to Tambo Exit, in Lipa. After a quick pee-stop in Jollibee, we rented a tricycle to take us to Sulok, the jumpoff. We didn’t hire a guide because I read that the trail was very visible.
The Manabu trek is divided into 8 stations arranged in a rosary-like format, with the 6th station being the summit. From station 1 to 4, the climb was very gradual, with the trail snaking through a creek and some semi-agricultured lands. Despite being first-timers, our officemates were climbing pretty fast.
There were a few more hikers along with us and when we reached station 5, there were even more taking a breather because this was the station with the free Barako coffee! There was mang Pirying entertaining the hikers with his coffee stories and also serving us hot mugs of his brew. We stayed for a bit and I bought some of the coffee.
From there, it was a steady ascent to station 6, or the summit. Once we saw the white cross, we slowed down to take a breather and rest right under the final ascent. There were campers as well and we greeted each other kindly.
After a little rest, we ascended and reached the summit. We were in awe at the view and thus we took lots of pictures. Fortunately, there weren’t a lot of people at the summit so we also had lunch there, in front of the cross. After eating and some more pictures, we started the descent.
We were actually pretty fast on descending and because my friend used her bluetooth speaker, we had a fun time climbing down to the beats of EDM classics. We also took some videos along the way.
Once we reached station 8 aka the Grotto, we took a quick rest. We were the only ones there and my officemates enjoyed the water source in front of the grotto. We refilled our water containers and trekked back to station 4.
We enjoyed eating fresh buko at the remaining stations and bought their fresh buko juice as well. I don’t know why, but buko juice is so delicious when you’re tired.
On the way back to station 1, we got lost a little. Good thing there was a kind local who taught us the right way. Upon reaching the 1st station, we got a trike to take us to SM Lipa, where the buses to Cubao were waiting.
On the trike ride back, my wet clothes dried so I didn’t need change anymore. My officemates tidied up and finally we were on a bus bound for Cubao. Hurray!
Here are our Itinerary and expenses for the climb:
- 06:45 ETD Cubao, Bus to Lipa Tambo Exit
- P124 per head
- 07:55 ETA Lipa, trike to Sulok
- P300, good for 4 people
- 08:34 ETA Sulok, Registration
- P20 per head Reg fee
- P50 per group Tree planting feee
- 08:38 Start trek
- 09:45 ETA Station 5, FREE COFFEE!
- P100 Small bag of coffee
- P500 Big bag of coffee + 1 Free small bag
- 11:30 ETA Summit, Picture taking and lunch
- 11:45 ETD Summit
- 12:49 ETA Station 8 aka Grotto, Refill water at water source
- 13:58 ETA Station 1
- 14:00 Trike to SM Lipa
- P200, good for 4 people
- 14:25 ETA SM Lipa, Fix up and buy food
- 15:05 ETD SM Lipa, Bus to Cubao
- P124 per head
- 17:08 ETA Cubao
Total Cost: P443
Safe Budget: P700
The Manabu climb was very fun for me because it wasn’t so difficult and the view plus the breeze at the summit was a pleasant break from the office. Thanks to Rosalie, Joan, and Roxanne for the trip and to God for giving us a beautiful day to climb up this mountain.
Mountain #6 conquered!