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My Mt. Manabu Day Hike Experience

Ain't no mountain high enough selfie :)

Last February 7, I climbed up my first summit. It was the very first item I crossed out of My Bucket List, the very first time that I've committed to something extreme and that I've been so close to nature. I'm talking about my Mt. Manabu Day Hike Experience. 

I found the idea of hiking with so many of my Facebook friends sharing their experience. I saw joy in their posts and the breathtaking view when you reached the top. I then messaged my high school classmate Jevy, one of those who post about their hiking experience on Facebook,  if I could possibly join her next hike. After a week or two I received a group invitation already and it was set to be Mt. Manabu.

My Hiking Buddies. We are done with the registration at Brgy. Hall

I felt a sudden rush of excitement as well as thrill whether I can really do it. A week before February 7 arrived I still haven't prepared my things and myself for the hike. Until Saturday came and it struck me that it's really happening. I am hiking! I am going on top of the mountain. 

For the details, instructions how to go, itinerary and expenses breakdown please go to my personal finance blog SavingsPinay. Post title is Easy and Cheap Day Hike For Beginners at Mt. Manabu.

Our meet up time was 6am at Mcdo Buendia. I had my breakfast first while waiting for others to arrive. We were 8 in total and I was the only first-timer. I got a bit anxious but their stories about the feeling of hiking inspired me a lot. Our bus of choice was DLTB and it's nice because a movie is playing along our long commute. It's Miracle in Cell No. 7. 
The Mt. Manabu Train Guide

Upon arrival we have to ride a tricycle going to the barangay hall. This is where registration occurs. We also paid entrance fee and we were told that each one of us needs to plant a tree. So we paid additional fee for the Lanzones plant. Did I mention that the weather that day was not cooperating? It was raining hard and I was getting afraid that the hike won't push through because of the weather.
Photo at the house turned pahingahan base

Our base camp is actually a house turned "pahingahan" There's a sari-sari store, a kubo and rest rooms to take a bath after the hike. We spent around 30 minutes here so we could have a mini-briefing on what to to do and regain our energy. The trail is expected to be harder since it is still raining. Since we didn't avail a guide two of us lead the group while another person is tasked to become the sweeper.

 At around 9:45am we started the trek. I felt happy during the start of the hike. The weather is also getting better as we approach the first station. Mt. Manabu is counted as 2/9 when it comes to difficulty. This means we'll not have that much problem going up and down the mountain. There are 8 Stations until you reach the summit and the distance each is around 15-20 minutes I believe. 

This is my haggard looking face. Ito na yung moment na pasuko na ako. 
As we reach Station 3 I felt the tiredness already. I was sweating so much. My hair is wet even though the rain already stopped. I told the group I can't do it anymore. I was zoning out... I feel like I'll faint anytime. Fortunately I was blessed to be with a hiking group that cared for me. Sir Gerry offered to handle my bag (My bag is heavy by the way since I have zero idea that I need to light pack...first timer eh). 

Sir Vhon never fails to make everyone laugh with his comments. He will tease me along the way but still push me to get going. 
Sorry for the blurred photo. As you can see muddy at madulas na yung trail dahil sa ulan.

What I found nice during this first hike experience is how nice everyone is with each other. May mga makakasalubong kami na pababa na ng Mt. Manabu and they never fail to greet us good morning or wish us safety on our ascend. Of course we do the same greeting too. It was one of the best moment for me during the Mt. Manabu Hike.

With Tatay Tino

The Civet Coffee. Super sarap!!!

We reached Station 6 Tatay Tino's Kapihan. Tatay Tino gives away free Civet coffee to anyone. The Civet Coffee is the world's most expensive coffee. It came from the poop of Musang. It was such a delicious coffee experience I'll never forget. 

After that we continued our trail to the summit. I didn't feel that tired anymore thanks to Tatay Tino's coffee. We hiked  another 20-30 minutes I believe before we finally reached the summit. Mt. Manabu's summit is signified with the giant white cross. We were taking all our selfies already at the top.

At the Summit!!!! Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!
The trail going down Mt. Manabu was way harder than I thought. Sobrang dulas nung daan and I was screaming more. My rubber shoes were already filled with mud too making it harder for me to make a move. Again, I am fortunate to be in a hiking group who pampered me with their support. Everyone is helping me to go down.

This post will be updated with more pictures soon.
At the pahingahan. Yung nasa likod ko mga rubber shoes na hindi na nakasurvive sa Mt. Manabu Hike.
Akala ko matutulad na yung rubber shoes ko. Glad I survived!

In the base camp we took a bath, had our shoes cleaned by Manang (All with accompanied expense) and prepared ourselves on our commute home. We dropped by at SM Lipa to have our lunch. Its also the Terminal for buses going Alabang, Cubao or LRT Buendia Pasay. 

Lessons from My Mt. Manabu Experience

  1. As much as possible pack light. 
  2. Prepare for the hike. Exercise or run.
  3. Always hydrate your body. Drink plenty of water. 
  4. It's okay to admit you are tired. No need to force yourself. The group will always understand you. 
  5. There's always a first time for everything. Enjoy the moment and learn from the experience. 

I was surrounded by muddy field, different plants and beautiful tall trees that day. I was breathing clean and good air too. I embraced every moment of the hike to Mt. Manabu. It's such an amazing experience of a lifetime. Till next hike!

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