It’s just two hours to climb, and the peak area is like a beautiful garden. The highest point is marked with a white cross. Grass, as if trimmed by a lawnmower, covers the summit area, and there are flowering plants and shrubs – with blossoms of yellow, red, and pink. During summer months, wild berries called ‘sampinit’ grow on the trails near the peak. They are edible and sweet, like mini-strawberries. This image of an elegant park is exactly the image of Manabu Peak, probably the easiest, most accessible mountain from Manila. Add the beautiful views of the Malipunyo mountain range, as well as Mt. Maculot and Mt. Makiling.
The name Manabu is said to be abbreviated from ‘Mataas na Bundok’. It is one of the three major peaks of the Malipunyo range (the other two are the Malipunyo summit and Susong Dalaga peak). Probably because of its geography, it’s usually cloudy in Manabu, lending an almost nostalgic air. Although Sto. Tomas is a peripheral town of Batangas, the dialect used among the locals in Manabu is distinctly Batangueno. It adds a local flavor to the Manabu experience, much like the homemade kapeng barako which Mang Pirying, owner of the hut midway through the trail, would offer the hikers.
Because of its easy access, short trail, and very beautiful environs, Manabu Peak is a great introduction to hiking for beginners. Even then, veteran hikers rank this mountain as one their favorite ‘fun climb’ destinations.