Manabu Peak is located in Sto Tomas, Batangas. It is an easy climb and recommended for those who are seeking weekend refuge or short adventure near Manila. You do not have to worry for obstacles and challenges, except during the rainy season as the trails get seriously muddy. You can find your way up to the peak even if there are no guides. The trails are established and equipped with signs. Mountaineers and other people frequent the mountain on weekends. Its status as a favourite hiking destination is equated with the immense popularity of Mang Pirying and his free barako coffee.
I left Los Baños at 0530H, took a jeepney to the bus stop (8pesos), rode the bus to Calamba Crossing (12pesos), got off at a 24/7 convenience store for my trail food and water and went to the Calamba Central Terminal, which is juxtaposed to the Calamba Medical Center.
We took a jeepney to Lipa (via Calabarzon) for 45pesos. We got off at the highway facing the Lipa Floral Garden (cemetery) and walked towards the Fiesta Mall. At the corner of the street leading to the mall, there is a tricycle terminal that can take you to Sulok, which is the jump-off point and located at Sta Cruz, Sto Tomas, Batangas. I do not know if you can take trikes from Sto Tomas Poblacion to Sulok.
Take the left-trails to the top. The first hut is under the management of Mang Pirying’s brother. There is a second hut at the site where the grotto is.
We took our lunch at the portion just a short distance down from the summit. We had a great time talking to some youngsters from San Pedro, Laguna.
After lunch, the rain started to bring its soft wrath. So we walked as fast as we could to reach the hut of Mang Pirying. I was so excited to meet him. When we reached his hut, there were a lot of mountaineers sitting and chatting, maybe waiting for the rain to stop. The barako coffee was great. We were also introduced to his brother, Faustino.
We left Mang Pirying’s hut with happiness in our hearts. Finally, I met Mang Pirying! It does not matter if he will remember me after the climb or not. As long as he keeps his good heart towards mountaineers and to other people, I am glad just to see him. And you can have this reward after the climb.