Sitio Malabnig, Lobo, Batangas
On this day, Chinese New Year was celebrated. Apparently it is now the Year of the Snake but here I was running like a horse in a trail towards to Mt. Banoi. Three hikers joined me on this hike namely, Noli, Dennis (Finally, my two hiking buddies met in a mountain with me) and sir Richard.
|The towers of Mt. Banoi|
The ideal itinerary was a four in the morning meet up in Buendia but for some reasons I made it 5 am. Like the past week, I came late due to a Fun Run. Coincidentally, I was also wearing red so I was teased by my colleagues as one of the runners. We left Pasay right before six o'clock and boarded a bus en route to Lipa. Yes you read it right to Lipa, we boarded the wrong bus as we were hurriedly saw and just entered it without reading the sign. And so we boarded another bus in Tambo exit that is headed to Grand Terminal in Batangas City. The we rode a jeepney headed to Balagtas after which we took a trike to the Lobo jeepney terminal near in SM Batangas City. After an hour of travel, we reached the town of Lobo.
|We registered at the Lobo Police station|
We went straight towards the police station of the town in order to register in their visitor's logbook. Afterwards, we took a tricycle that brought us to Sitio Malabnig, which serves as the jump-off station for the hikers.
|Let's commence the trek|
The first path towards the mountain is a waterless stream. It was a long gradual walk before reaching the water source. Then the real battle begins as we were greeted by uphill trek to the village. Along the trail, we came across with the villagers going down to the town.
|Even if it was rocky, we were fortunate it was waterless.|
Even though it was exhausting, the trail was relatively easy for everybody. After awhile, we already heard music halfway of the trail. It was a sign that we are near to the village. By 11 in the morning, we reached the village.
|Taking a break at the village|
We rested for awhile at the Malabnig Village before resuming our trek to the peak. There are a lot of confusing fork trails but the trick is just use the right upward path. It was almost noon so the sun was at its highest stretch but luckily for some time we were covered by trees that served as shade from the heat of the sun.
|The trees shaded us from the scorching heat|
When the trees were gone, the sun was happy to greet us back with his scorching heat. However, the towers was closely visible. Another sign that we are closer was the electric posts were on our path now. When we reached the campsite, another group was having their lunch there. We decided to proceed to the peak so we continued our trek. This time the trail was narrow and covered by grasses as well as branches of trees. There was also a part whereas one would crawl to cross the covered trail. Afterwards, two wooden fences blocked the way and so one should crossed over it.
|No problem for Noli|
At last, after almost three hours of trekking, we reached the peak wherein two towers stood there. Though the view is not great like in the campsite, it was still pleasurable as I can view Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal as well as Mt. Daguldol. The sea is also in plain sight so it was fine with me. We had our lunch there and had siesta as well.
|Two towers conquered|
Like the past climbs, downhill is the best part of mine as I can ran the trail as much as I wanted. All of us were on a Usain Bolt pace so we basically ran most of the trail. Ironically, while I was ascending the mountain I thought when will I have my first slide for this year. And it was answered right away as I slid down while running downwards.
|Usain Bolt pose pointing Isla Verde|
After almost of two hours of trekking down back to the jump-off, we were caught surprised that the tricycle was already waiting for us. He was also shocked that we were fast unlike the other mountaineers who previously went there. We alight just in front of the town church and tidy up at the public comfort room. We were ahead of the 5 pm last trip because we made it an hour earlier.
|The chapel where we were picked up by our trike|
Before proceeding to the Grand Terminal, our stomachs decided to eat in a bulalo diner. For 140.00 it was a worthwhile dinner for us. After dinner, we went separate ways on our way home. Thank you Noli, Dennis and sir Richard for being my companion on this 40th climb of mine. Thank you Dennis for the photos.
|Reward for an exhausting climb: a hearty bulalo|
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