Hiking Mt. Manabu

Our adventure today takes us to Sto. Tomas in the province of Batangas to hike one of the major peaks of the Mt. Malinpuyo range - Mt. Manabu

Hiking Mt. Manabu
Mt. Manabu

Mt. Manabu Details:

The name Manabu came from the abbreviated word, "MAtaas NA BUndok" which means tall mountain. However, according to our guide, the mountain once had no official name and was referred to by locals as "Paligawan" or a place where grazing cows get lost. The name Manabu was coined by hikers who first "discovered" the mountain as a new mountaineering destination and since then the name stuck. 

The "Rosary Trail" of Mt. Manabu

Mt. Manabu is famous for what I dub the "rosary trail" (you can check out the photo above to find out why) or the loop trail. This trail is relatively straightforward and is mostly covered by a tree canopy. There are eight stations along the way. These stations serve as trail markers and some as rest areas. Here's what you'd see in each station:

Station 1 - Water Tank near the jump-off point (It's about 50 meters from the parking area)

Station 2 - Dampa (store)

Station 3 - Creek

Station 4 - Jackfruit tree beside another store

Station 5 - Tatay Tino's Civet Coffee (That's Tatay Tinio on the left)

Mt. Manabu peak
Station 6 - Malaking Krus at the peak of the mountain

Station 7 - Forest

Station 8 - Grotto

As shown, you'd see that the peak of Mt. Manabu is Station 6. However, unlike some of the mountains that I wrote about in my previous articles, you won't be able to see any signboards telling you that you have reached the mountain's peak. Instead, there is a large white cross and a small shrine at the summit. From the peak, you'd get a panoramic view of the plains of Lipa City and Santo Tomas. You would also see the other major peaks of Malipunyo Range namely Mt. Malipunyo and Mt. Susong Dalaga.

Gotta love the multiple species of flowering plants found by the side of the trail

The forest canopy also provides cover from the heat of the sun

The free civet coffee is something you'd come back to.

From the peak, hikers can continue with the loop trail passing through Station 7 before arriving at the grotto in Station 8. From there, the trail reconnects to Station 4. Others prefer to back trail so that they can spend more time at Station 5 to enjoy Tatay Tinio's free cup of Civet Coffee. For those who don't know, civet coffee is one of the most expensive kinds of coffee in the market. 

The sampinit

You should try this edible berry

Whichever you choose, you'd surely love what the trail has to offer you. Speaking of that, when hiking Mt. Manabu during the summer months, keep an eye out for the edible wild berries called sampinit. These berries grow near the peak and taste a bit like strawberries. You can check out how it looks like from the pictures above. 

The view from the peak of Mt. Manabu

Summit reached!

Time to go home!

Mt. Manabu as seen from the jump-off point

Additional Notes:

Mt. Manabu's jumpoff point is at Sulok, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Santo Tomas, Batangas. For those looking for more adventure, Mt. Manabu can be partnered with a hike to the nearby Mt. Malapunyo. 

Mt. Manabu Itinerary (Slow Hike):

4AM - Ride a Lipa bound bus from one of the terminals near LRT Gil Puyat Station (P130 -P150)
6AM - ETA Brgy San Pedro, Sto Tomas (Tell the conductor to drop you off at Fiesta Mall junction. From there ride a tricycle to "Sulok" (P100)

Register here at the BPSO Head Quarters

7AM - ETA "Sulok"; Stretching, registration at BPSO Head Quarters, and final preps

You can park near Station 1 for only P50 for day hikers and P100 for those who want to stay overnight.

730AM - Start Hike; Station 1
8AM - Pass-through/rest at the Dampa  of Station 2
830AM - Pass-through the creek (Station 3)
9AM - Pass-through/rest at the dampa of Station 4
930AM - Stopover for free coffee at Tatay Tinio's Civet Coffee Shop (Station 5)
10AM - ETA Peak (Station 6); Photo ops
1130AM - Pass-through Station 7
12NN - Lunch near the grotto (Station 8)
2PM - ETA jumpoff point, shower (P20)
4PM - ETA Sto. Tomas / Bus back to Manila
6PM - ETA Manila

Why hike Mt. Manabu?

Overall, I highly suggest Mt. Manabu for first-time hikers. They will surely appreciate the short well-shaded trail and also the numerous stations which offer not only a place to rest but also a place to buy refreshments. Don't forget to try out Tatay Tinio's civet coffee it's free.

Getting to Mt. Manabu:

From LRT Gil Puyat Station, ride a Lipa bound bus and tell the conductor to drop you off at Fiesta Mall junction. From there, walk a bit to the tricycle terminal and ride a trike to "sulok" in Brgy. Sta Cruz. 

By Car:
Drive to Lipa via SLEX and continue on to STAR Tollway. Exit at Lipa exit and turn right after the exit. This leads you to Lipa City proper. Drive past Robinson's Mall until you see the junction near Fiesta Mall. Turn right and follow Alaminos road until you reach Brgy Sta. Cruz. Register at the registration area (P20) before continuing your drive to the jumpoff point via the narrow road. Make sure to avail of the services of a guide (P500). 

Overall rating


  1. Wow this looks amazing! I've never been there before!

    1. You should come visit Mt. Manabu then. =) You'd enjoy the easy hike.

  2. you guys always go to the best places! this looks so amazing!

  3. This seems like a cool and interesting experience. I hope to be able to visit someday!

    1. Please do! Mt. Manabu is a great place to spend your weekend.

  4. Wow! I love the view from the peak! Great pictures and looks like you had an epic adventure! Thanks for this!

    1. Thanks Serena. It's more beautiful when you see it in person. =)

  5. The view from the peak is so pretty! I love that on the way you can find berries that you can eat. The story of the name of the mountain is pretty cool as well, a lot of cows must have gotten lost there before they decided on an official name.

    1. Hahaha. That's what I have in mind as well. =) Poor cows.

  6. I love all of the photos! I admit I’m not much of a hiker but it definitely seems like a great way to explore while traveling

    1. You should climb at least on mountain in your life. =) I highly suggest this one.

  7. Mt Manabu is on the bucket list and I heard so much about it - particularly the 'loop' hike (since there are only few here in Luzon).I've been thinking about venturing here next year. Do we need a 'guide' to explore it? Oh, free coffee? I'll take it. Hahah!

    ps: Ang pogi mo sa selfie *wink*

    1. Hi Polly, yup, they require the guide but the coffee is free, it's perfect for an early morning hike.
      Please do bring your friends along. =) You'd love this place.

      PS. Aieeee! Thank you!

  8. What a great description of your trek to Mt. Manabu. I myself am not into this activity, but if I every decide to give it a try, I will be sure to use your knowledge and experience. Thank you for sharing!
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    1. Thank you Simon! I do hope you would get a chance to visit Mt. Manabu in the future. Thanks for visiting.

  9. Seems like a wonderful hike! I would love try some Civet Coffee, it looks delicious!

  10. Looks like you had such a great adventure here! Looks like it was kid friendly as well!

    1. Yes we did. Well actually, you could bring your kid here. They'd surely enjoy it if they're the outdoorsy type. =)

  11. I am saving this for later, it is on my list!

  12. Mt Manabu seems like an amazing place to get in touch with nature. I would love to visit someday!

    1. Please do. It really is a place to go to if you want to be one with nature.

  13. This seems like a real fun and adventurous trip & worth checking out. I'm glad everyone had a good time.

    1. It is! We really did have an awesome time in Mt. Manabu. You should hike it with your friends as well.

  14. Hey,
    That sounds awesome. It really looks nice and the information mentioned in the post is really good.

    Aashirvad Kumar

  15. Replies
    1. It is really a great hike Shelby! You should try it out. =)


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