Twin Day Hike Series: Mt. Tibig and Mt. Banoi

It was back in April 9, 2015 when I reached the summit of my first, legit mountain – Mt. Batulao. And for a typical, sentimental woman like me, having an anniversary climb is a must. So without hesitations, I organized a twin hike to Mt. Tibig and Mt. Banoi which we were able to successfully finish last April 9, 2016.

Mountain Stats:

Mt. Tibig

Elevation: 563+ MASL

Location: Hulong Banalo, Lobo, Batangas

Difficulty: 2/9

Trek to Summit: 2 hours

 

Mt. Banoi

Elevation: 960+ MASL

Location: Sitio Hasaan, Brgy. Balatbat, Lobo, Batangas

Difficulty: 3/9

Trek to Summit: 2 hours 45 minutes

 

This climb was my fourth twin day hike and my 16th and 17th mountains to date. Read on below to know more about my anniversary climb.

Here are the details on how to get there and the cost breakdown:

Via Private Transportation – Head out to SLEX and then go straight to Star Tollway and exit to San Jose – Ibaan. Take Taysan Road to Lobo Road until Brgy. Banalo. It is advisable to already have a guide beforehand to ask for directions from Banalo Elementary School to the jump off.

We used WAZE as our navigator and entered “Banalo Elementary School” as our destination. Total travel time is three hours and thirty minutes.

Cost breakdown:

DESCRIPTION AMOUNT TOTAL PER PERSON (4pax)
Toll Fees (from Manila to Batangas) Php174 Php43.50
Toll Fees (from Batangas to Manila) Php460 Php115
Gas Php1,000 Php250
Environmental Fee Php20 Php20
Barangay Fee Php20 Php20
Guide Fee (Mt. Tibig) Php500 Php125
Guide Fee (Mt. Banoi) Php1000 Php250
Tricycle from Mt. Banoi jump off to Mt. Tibig jump off Php320 Php80
TOTAL   Php 903.50

SAFE BUDGET: Php1,000


It was really early when we left Manila. Surprisingly, there weren’t that many cars passing through SLEX and Star Tollway considering it was a holiday. It was a long, straight drive throughout the expressway but was followed by a series of zigzagged roads a couple of minutes along Taysan Road. We also passed by a checkpoint where we had to pay an environmental fee of Php20 each before we can proceed. I am really impressed with WAZE because even though it led us to dark, narrow and oftentimes sketchy roads, we were still able to arrive at the right destination.

When we got to Banalo Elementary School, we waited for our guide, kuya Gabino, to pick us up. While waiting, I went to the nearby sea to watch the sunrise and get some fresh air.

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Sunrise by Lobo beach

Upon arrival at the jump-off, we registered our names and paid Php20 for the barangay fee. We were offered wooden trekking poles to use for the hike (free of charge) but I decided to hike without one as I am training for a major climb soon. After a short prayer and final preparations, we proceeded with the hike.

Mountain 1 of 2: Mt. Tibig

The trail immediately starts with continuous assaults made even more difficult by the loose land. We were already puffing 15min into the trek (And this is what happens when you do not hike for almost two months). The group took little breaks every now and then until we reached a hut where two of my group mates slept for 20 minutes. While they were sleeping, I made friends with two of the dogs around the area. Heh.

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Assaults along the trail and the hut where my group mates took a nap (Photos from Joel)

As soon as we got out of the forest part of the trail, we marvelled at the sight of the rolling hills surrounding the grassland. And even though the trail was open, we barely felt the heat of the sun due to the strong but refreshing winds that were present. This got us excited that we all ran in different directions leaving kuya Gabino behind. Lol. There were three groups that hiked that time but we were the first group to start trekking that was why we had the area all to ourselves for several minutes.

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The beautiful grassland!

It was not long after when we reached the summit of Mt. Tibig. It boasts a great view of the sea and the surrounding mountains. We were quick to take photos before going to the famous landmark of Mt. Tibig, the hanging rock or “mini Gungal” as what I call it because the Tibig hanging rock is like Gungal rock from Mt. Ulap, only smaller.

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View from Mt. Tibig’s summit

 

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The little girl’s 16th mountain (ft. Jose’s hands lol)

Each of us took turns taking photos at the “mini Gungal” and after we were satisfied, we decided to munch on our trail food first before resuming our trek to the second mountain for the day.

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The hanging rock is like a smaller version of Gungal rock from Mt. Ulap. It offers a great view of the nearby mountains and the ocean.

 

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Me on Gungal Rock of Mt. Ulap (left) versus me on mini Gungal of Mt. Tibig (right)

 

Mountain 2 of 2: Mt. Banoi

Along the trail, we encountered a solo hiker, Clyde, who expressed his interest in joining our group in Mt. Banoi. And because we were all open to meeting new friends, we welcomed him to the group. The more the merrier!

Kuya Gabino warned us that the traverse route to Mt. Banoi is full of tall grasses so we had to be extra careful and patient in trekking it. True enough, we all had to maneuver through the series of tall grasses that blocked our path. It took us an hour and a half to reach the foot of Mt. Banoi from the summit of Mt. Tibig. We decided to eat our lunch here too before proceeding because we needed to have enough energy to trek this mountain which is said to be more difficult than the first.

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Traverse route to Mt. Banoi full of tall grasses (Photo from Clyde)

We were all expecting the trail to start with assaults but little did we know that it was a really steep assault of about 45 degrees. It seemed like I was about to kiss the land with every step I made. Lol. And because it was already noon, the heat made the trek even more taxing. We were only supposed to do a back trail to Mt. Tibig after we reached the summit of Mt. Banoi but we decided to just go for a complete traverse and exit at Mt. Banoi’s jump off point.

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Okay, so this is my understanding of what we did. Supposedly, we were going to climb Mt. Tibig and take the traverse route to Mt. Banoi and take the back-route to Mt. Tibig. Instead, we did the complete traverse from Hulong Banalo to Sitio Hasaan. (Inaccurate illustration by yours truly. Lol.)

The trail passes through a forest followed by an open grassland. Mostly, the land is slippery and oftentimes, there are no available plants to hold onto so one should be extra careful especially when descending.

Before reaching the first peak, we were already able to see a great view of the nearby mountains such as Mt. Daguldol and Mt. Naguiling. What stunned me more; however, was the sight of the majestic Mt. Halcon! It stood out from the horizon so it was impossible for us to miss it.

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Nearby mountains on the left (Mt. Daguldol) and the majestic Mt. Halcon on the right

It was not long after when we reached the first peak marked by an electrical tower. We were just quick to take photos because the heat was excruciating and we wanted to reach the second peak fast. It took us fifteen minutes to get to the second peak which is also marked by an electrical tower. Some of us just stayed in the shaded area to rest and eat while the others, including myself, took photos.

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Hello from Mt. Banoi’s peak! I couldn’t think of any poses thus explaining the pistol squat lol.
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My 17th mountain! Please notice the twigs. Lol.

We started with our descent around 3:00PM. And because we took the complete traverse route, the trail was longer but less steep compared to the route we took going up. Some time along the trail, my left knee acted up and it made descending really difficult especially since the road was full of rocks. Bad knee. Boo.

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Took this photo of my escorts for the day. Hi boys!

We got to Mt. Banoi’s jump off after two hours of trekking. From there, we hired a tricycle to take us back to Mt. Tibig’s jump off where our car was parked.


Special thanks to my hikemates: My big brother, Marc, for driving us to and from Lobo, Batangas. Proud of you for conquering your fourth mountain and your first twin day hike! To Jose for entertaining us throughout the hike; Joel for helping me document the climb and to our new friend, Clyde, for the company.

Congratulations on finishing your first twin hike, boys!

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Post-hike photo. From L-R – Jose, Joel, Marc, Camae, Clyde

Shout out to our very helpful and accommodating guide, kuya Gabino. He is the main guide for Mt. Tibig and Mt. Banoi traverse. You may contact him at 0926-491-6824. (And should you find his contact number through this blog post, kindly do me a favor and tell him that you got it from Camae’s blog. Thank you!)

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Kuya Gabino and I (also a bit of Clyde on the right photo lol)

Observations:

  1. There are houses along the mountain and the locals are very friendly
  2. Watch out for horse poop present all throughout the trail
  3. The refreshing winds are gone around noon so it gets really hot and the hike can be exhausting.
  4. There are water sources in both mountains

Here is a short video of our twin day hike:


Itinerary

3:00AM – ETA Manila

6:15AM – Hulong Banalo (Mt. Tibig jump off). Registration and final preparations.

6:30AM – Start trek to Mt. Tibig

8:40AM – ETA Summit of Mt. Tibig. Take photos.

9:30AM – ETD Mt. Tibig summit

11:00AM – ETA foot of Mt. Banoi. Eat lunch.

11:30AM – Resume trek to Mt. Banoi

2:00PM – ETA Peak 1 of Mt. Banoi. Take photos.

2:15PM – ETA Peak 2 of Mt. Banoi. Take photos.

3:00PM – ETD Peak 2 of Mt. Banoi

5:00PM – ETA Sitio Hasaan, Brgy. Balatbat (Mt. Banoi jump off)

5:15PM – Take tricycle to Hulong Banalo

5:45PM – ETA Hulong Banalo. Fix up.

6:20PM – ETD Hulong Banalo

10:30PM – ETA Manila


12992993_10153653600501359_1381780030_nIt has been a while since I last organized a hike so I am really happy that this pushed through with minimal complications. I am also grateful to the Lord for giving us a good weather and the strength that we needed to finish the complete traverse.

And finally, my almost two-month hike hiatus is over. It feels good to be back!

Hike with me. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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6 thoughts on “Twin Day Hike Series: Mt. Tibig and Mt. Banoi

  1. Aloha beautiful,

    I just wanted to say: YOU GO GIRL!!! This was such an inspiring and great to read post. It looks super challenging but I guess that is the beauty about it. I love ‘working out’ in nature.

    I just recently started my blog where I will write about my 60lbs weight loss journey (I like to call it my journey to healthy, strong and confident ;-)), beauty, fitness, different places around the world and different types of cuisines. I hope you can find some motivation and inspiration as well on my blog:-)

    I just published an article on my favorite protein bar containing only 3 healthy ingredients.

    Check it out and follow me if you are interested:-)

    https://claudiamariefit.com/2016/04/12/healthyalternatives-protein-bars-with-only-3-ingredients/

    I would love to hear from you on my blog and for you to be part of my journey:-)

    Have a lovely day!

    Aloha from Hawaii

    Like

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