Manabo Peak is one of the numerous peaks of Mt. Malipuņo. Actually, Mt. Malipuņo itself is one confusing mountain. Some calls the whole mountain rage as Mt. Malarayat but locals calls them Malipuņo. Mountaineers calls Malipuņo the main peak or the highest point, the summit. They have christened two of the other peaks as Manabo and Bagwis (Susong Dalaga). There are lots of local trails along the mountain so chances are there are more than three peaks that you can discover in Malipuņo but right now, only three peaks are climbed, Malipuņo, Manabo and Bagwis. There are however, recorded traverses from Laguna to the Quezon side of the mountain passing by the three peaks. Malipuņo and Bagwis is accessible from Barangay Talisay in Lipa Batangas while Manabo is in Barangay Sta Cruz, Sto. Tomas Batangas.
Manabo is one easy hiking destination. The place though is not public or a national park. You can actually climb the peak in just two hours. There are grazing cattle and horses even up to the peak itself. The campsite has 360 panoramic view of Makiling, Banahaw, Cristobal, Maculot, Taal, Mindoro, San Pablo City and Lipa City. The peak area is bare with carabao grass making the place beautiful but hot when the sun is up just like Maculot's shoulder.
The word Manabo came from the local words MAtaas NA BUndok, literally translated as "high mountain" Although its not really that high, the locals may only have this mountain as reference point to christen it "high mountain." It is also popularly called as "Paligawan" which literally means as place for courtship. It was so described since it is where they bring their cattle and horses for mating.
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, its 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 passing 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 accomoding to climbers. This is where you can load your water supply.
There is an informal registration requirements near the jump-off point. You can also take your shower there after the climb. If you want guide services, look for Mang Lucas. He is more than willing to assisst climber. Some locals though are not fond of climber after the incident where the group who spent their night at the peak used the cross at the peak as firewood. It is the duty now of us, responsible mountaineers to win back thier trust. There is also an open garbage pit at the campsite area. PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS. The locla sare not aware of its impact.
|"The Complete Wilderness Traveler is always prepared with adequate clothing, heat conserving survival techniques, and food reserves that require no cooking."
-- Mountaineering - The Freedom of the Hills