December 27, 2015
* This is an account of our post-Christmas hike last December 27, 2015 * As of October 2016, Mt. Tibig has been declared closed to hiking activities.
About Mt. Tibig
Elevation:563+ MASL (sub-mountain of Mt. Banoi)
Difficulty: 2/9, Minor climb
Trail class 1-3
Location: Lobo, Batangas
Province code: 041000000
Region IV-A (CALABARZON)
Our newly formed group then, Hikayat Mountaineers, decided to celebrate our first holidays together up in the mountain. We’ve got plenty of choices, but we chose the off-beaten one found in Lobo, Batangas named Mt. Tibig. It was a four-hour trip getting to Lobo. As mandated, everyone who would like to climb mountains within the area coverage of Lobo should register first and get a hiking permit in their Police Station before heading to their destination. After acquiring our permit, we rode a rented jeepney bound to Sitio Hulong Banalo where the jump-off point is located. Upon arriving at the Sitio, we were welcomed by our guide, Kuya Gabino, to the registration site at their barangay to log in our names.
And off we go! The first twenty (20) minutes of this hike were purely uphill. Since then, we regarded every trail similar to this as “Na-Tibig”, referring to its sudden upward slope. After the first twenty-minute assault, the trail gradually became more friendly to us. We continued and after a few more minutes, we finally reached our first stop which was a cabin owned by one of the locals. We were allowed to take some rest there before we proceeded with our hike. The trail was gradually inclined as well, making it an easy hike for us. We encountered horses along the trail as well, some of which were tied and some were roaming freely. From the woodlands, we moved into the cogon-grass area (talahiban) all the way up to its summit.
Looming in its background is Mt. Banoi, one of the major mountains of Lobo standing at 960+ MASL. Facing east of its summit is the Verde Island passage and the island of Mindoro, wherein on a clear day, one could see the peaks of its famous Mt. Halcon.
After passing the campsite summit, we proceeded with the rock formation similar but smaller to Gungal Rock of Mt. Ulap. From there, a scenic view of the coastlines and the Verde Island could be seen similar to the way Tarak peak faced Manila Bay. This mountain, though very few were posted about it, is truly a gem hidden off from the mainstream peaks many were going after for. Too bad that it was closed to any hiking activities since October 2016.
We, of course, captured the good times through our camera lens before heading back to the cabin where we planned to eat our hearty lunch and exchange gifts. Tanoshii desu! We played White Elephant to add thrill on our exchange gift giving and laugh our heart out. At two in the afternoon, we decided to go back to our jump-off. It was a short day hike, but we had Mt. Tibig all for ourselves that day.