Celebrate your Birthday in Mountain

Summit of Mt. Manabu

You probably heard and have seen so much information about Mt. Manabu online, just like its name which is abbreviated from “Mataas Na Bundok” and the popular free “alamid” coffee, a coffee made out of Asian Palm Civet’s waste. Well, the free coffee is still true today as we have experienced it ourselves, but is it really that high or “mataas?” in Filipino, it is not. In fact, this is the easiest mountain we’ve ever climbed, easier than Mt. Batulao or Mt. Maculot. I’ve narrowed down all the useful information below for you to get started, but before that I’ll tell you how we end up and managed to get to this mountain without even planning it and of course the broke way since we’re really that broke that day.

Last April 3-4, 2016, I was lucky enough to be able to experience this right before and the day of my birthday itself. I have considered so many mountains before this, but due to circumstances and well, not planning everything beforehand as what I have mentioned, the only option I had was to find an easy mountain to climb. I quickly asked my friends about mountains near manila and good thing, they all suggested the perfect mountain! Mt. Manabu it is! Mt. Manabu is located in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, 30 mins. away from SM Lipa.

Apart from being broke, I really made this event even worse because I went to a music festival before the day of the hike and the original plan to have a day-hike was ruined because I went home late and woke up late. Moving forward, I immediately suggested to push it through, but do it overnight this time. It was a quick decision but still we both agreed to it. Right after lunch, we met at the Ayala MRT station. It was 2pm when we finally get to Buendia Bus Terminal where you can find the bus terminal to Lipa, Batangas.

Here’s our itinerary (Overnight):

14:25 ETD SM Lipa bound at Buendia via DLTB Bus
15:55 ETA SM Lipa
16:00 ETD Brgy. “Sulok” bound via Tricycle
16:30 ETA Brgy. “Sulok” Sta. Cruz, Batangas
16:35 Start Trek
17:45 ETA last station (Free “alamid” coffee from Tatay Tino)
18:00 Summit
18:30 Camp – Set up of Tent
06:00 Sun rise
08:15 Start descent
08:30 Another free “alamid” coffee from Tatay Tino
09:40 Back at jump-off (clean up)
09:50 ETD SM Lipa bound via Tricyle
10:15 ETA SM Lipa Bus terminal
10:25 ETD Ayala bound via JAM liner
12:00 ETA Ayala MRT Station

Here are some useful information.

Transportation Bus Terminals:
Buendia or Cubao going to Lipa, Batangas
Travel time: approximately 2 hours
Fare: Buendia DLTB – 124php
Going back to Manila
Bus Terminal: SM Lipa to Alabang, Ayala, Cubao, Buendia
Travel time: approximately 2 hours
Jam Liner to Ayala – 119php
ALPS to Alabang – 98php
Going to Jump off via Tricycle
There are available tricycles right inside the bus terminal at SM Lipa, they usually stay at the back of the food stalls. Just tell the tricycle driver that you’re going to Mt. Manabu (they know what to do).
Travel time: 30 mins.
Fare: 150php per tricycle
Registration / Environmental fee The tricycle driver will drop by at Brgy. hall for you to register and pay 20php each.
Guides 500php – day hike
If you’re going for an overnight hike, I suggest you get your guide’s contact number and just tell them to pick you up in the morning. You need to pay additional 500php for that on top of the first 500php.
Contact Number:
Rhuel Sebolino – 09097733852
Kuya Rhuel is also a tricycle driver so you don’t need to look and worry for a tricycle once you get to the jump off.
Cellular Signal/Data Smart – Yes
Globe – Yes
Camp Site Available (can accommodate around 20 tents)
Stores / Bathroom There are available (sari-sari) mini stores and Toilet/Bathroom at Jump off.

There are also available halo-halo, buko juice and coffee on most of the stations on the way

You can also buy ready mix coffee from Tatay Tino, they have packed of coffees available at Station 5.

Water sources There is a mineral water source available at the last station, you can ask kuya Rhuel to get you a gallon of water. They have available gallons that you can borrow, just make sure to give it back after using.
Difficulty Suggested for beginners / first timers

Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours of trekking

What to bring / remember Drinking water
Phone / Camera
Sun protection
Rain protection for you and for your gadgets (in case it rains)
Garbage bag (always remember, leave nothing but foot prints)
Tent for overnight hikers
Sleeping bag
Headlight / Flash light
Liquors are allowed so you can bring yours, it gets really cold at night
Food (*don’t leave your food outside the tent while you’re sleeping, Tatay Tino’s dogs can easily get to the camp site to get your food)
Don’t forget the Birthday cake and candle
SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY (always protect mother earth)
Estimated budget Day hike – around 500php per person
Overnight – around 900php per person
*inclusive of food.
*the more, the less it costs
Our budget per person for (2 person)
124php – Bus to Batangas
119php – Bus to Ayala
150php – Tricycle (back and forth 300php/2 person)
250php – Tour Guide (500/2 person); We opt to get a tour guide on our way back to the Jump off
643php – Total

Morning view at the summit
This is Kuya Rhuel (Guide and Tricycle driver)
Kuya Rhuel our Guide and Tricycle Driver (the chief)
This is the person behind the free coffee (Thank you, Tatay Tino). Btw, he also sells Buko Juice.
Tatay Tino selling us Buko Juice
The free coffee.
Free coffee and damn it's very good
This is the camp where we set-up our tent.
Almost broken tent
One thing we always love about climbing mountains, the Nature.
nature trip
nature trip 2

We always get that amazing feeling whenever we reach the summit, right?

The feels on top of the summit

This is one unforgettable experience, surely made my birthday extra special and I’m pretty sure yours too. So, put this on your birthday wish list and celebrate your birthday with mother nature.

Birthday selfie


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