Miyerkules, Hulyo 9, 2014

By: Ramon Q. Gayas Jr. (Ser Montaineer)

MOUNTAIN ADVISORY: CLOSED to hiking activities, as of November 08, 2016.


“The summit with views of island, mountains and the sea; within the province bounded by mountain and sea”

A potential hiking destination which offers magnificent views of island, mountains and sea is the hidden landscape that connects Batangas City and Lobo Batangas known as Mt. Tibig Range. This mountain is technically under the jurisdiction of Sitio Tibig Brgy. Talahib Batangas City and at the same time a portion range of Mt. Banoi Lobo Batangas which is the reason why Prof. Anacleto Caringal of Batangas State University named it “Tibig Range”. The name Sitio Tibig was adapted from the moraceous tree “tibig” (ficus nota) which is abundant in that place before. Tibig means “tubig” (water) since this tree species helps restore, conserve and recharge spring water along mountain slopes and also serves as an indicator of high water reserve. According to Prof. Caringal their group’s climbing expeditions up the Tibig Range started in the year 2009. On December 11 of the same year, his team from the Society for the Conservation of Coastal and Mountain Ecosystems (SCCME) celebrated the Annual International Mountain Day at Tibig Range. Thereafter, they also frequented the grassland and forest of the said mountain to study the Population Density of “Bayuko” (Rysotta).

In the present time, the community of Hulong Banalo Lobo Batangas served as the jump-off point in climbing Mt. Tibig. This is accessible from Lobo Poblacion within 20 to 30 minutes travel via local tricycle ride. The trip going to the jump-off area will passing the coastal areas of Lobo where you can see some marker of attractive beach resorts as if reminding you of another possible activity after the hike. A short rough road travel after, the community of Hulong Banalo will be revealed. At this point, one would feel a totally different atmosphere and community. The people’s simple way of living is pretty noticeable; local residence raising livestocks, poultries, and piggeries are very imminent. Locals show their spirit of warmth by allowing visitors refill their water supplies or even to use their places as temporary resting place. Thus, hospitality and the simple way of living of the barrio folks are among the best attractions that this place offers.  

Continuing on to the trail to Mt. Tibig, one will be treated to some different fruit bearing trees; fruits are presence along the way like mango, citrus and Lobo’s famous fruits; the sugar apple and tamarind. Picking up some for consumption is not prohibited by the locals, an added treat that hikers can enjoy during the trek especially when the fruits are in season. Climbing up Mt. Tibig is pretty laid back; this is only 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the trek up to the summit. Most importantly, the spectacular views waiting at the pasture summit of Mt. Tibig offers a priceless feeling of exhilaration to the mountaineers.  


The trek usually starts at the last basketball court of Hulong Banalo, the first part of the trail is a cemented pathway which connects to a short rough road, which then leads to a small intermittent river stream. The river can get deep after a rainstorm, hence, depending on the season; hikers might have to prepare to cross waters during the trip. Crossing this marks the start of the Dilawan Trail and its trail head can be found inside the left woodland. This trail offers a challenging steep terrain however, the trail is well established, one need not feel unsafe throughout the 45 minutes to 1 hour ascend. Locals called it “Dilawan” because of the strong presence of Turmeric or “Luyang Dilaw” (Curcuma Longa) in the area during the early 1980’s, however; it is now rarely seen along the open trail and forest interior.  While passing through this trail take time to observe on several open areas to have a glimpse to the blue ocean span of Lobo. After an hour of trekking through the woodland of Dilawan trekkers will reach a place where there is only one house standing and this will indicate that Sitio Tibig, Batangas City has been reached. From there, the grassy slope of Mt. Tibig can be seen; a confirmation that the summit is not that far behind. 

Once the top of the grassy slopes has been reached, hikers will have a chance to have a 360 degree view of the entire span. Interestingly enough, it has been observed that as one goes higher, the view becomes more exciting to look at. While approaching the grassy part of the ridge, you will be able to see little by little the back side of Mt. Banoi displaying its lush green forest. At the slope prior to the summit, the Lobo San Juan Mountain Range (LSJM) presents an enchanting sight to behold. The Lobo river delta is also noticeable while the vista of the magnificent coastline formation of Lobo Beach is spectacular. And once you reached the summit, directly in front of you, is the breathtaking view combination of island, mountains and sea; the Verde Island over the sea passage including the scenic range of nearby mountain peaks of Batangas City --- Mt. Pulot Itaas and Mt. Pinamucan. Taking the descending trail facing the Verde Island will give you a closer view of it and on the trek back, some interesting cliffs beside the summit will be seen. 


On the other hand, another interesting spectacle from the summit of Mt. Tibig (to the right) and distant from the Peak of Pinamucan is the Maricaband Island, Mabini / Anilao-Mt. Gulugod Baboy and Batangas Bay completing the beautiful panorama. Moreover, viewing at the summit will be more priceless if one is lucky enough to have a glimpse of Mindoro’s Mt. Malasimbo, Mt. Halcon’s silhouette and Mindoro Island itself on a clear day. Indeed, the Calapan Mindoro is partially visible coupled with Islets known as; Horca Piloto, Pulong Munti, Pulong Gitna and Baco Chico Island.


Surveying Mt. Tibig through the trail heading to Sitio Banoi is definitely an added venture. In fact, one will also pass by interesting surroundings as this area offers beautiful views of Lobo Beach, Isla Verde, Mt. Pulot Itaas, Mt. Pinamucan and Mt. Tibig at different vantage points. The notable centennial “Duhat Tree” with several big rocks beside is also a nice and shady place to stop by to rest and to take a closer look at Mt. Banoi. Rest stop underneath the said tree might be helpful before passing the challenging (60-70 degree) descending terrain ahead. The small loosed rocks on the ground here may hinder speed but trek is still manageable and can be finished within less than an hour. After this, Layon River will be reached (Layon means “waterway” or water itself) and the clear and pristine water as well as several small ponds is a treat to behold. The natural sound from the water’s current sounds like music to the ears while passing or crossing the river bank. Additionally, hikers could encounter seasonal waterfalls in the area - the so called “Payat Falls” -. The term “Payat” was originally used by the blogger due to “Slim” flow of water that comes from a vertical cliff. This waterfall is predominantly seen during rainy seasons as the water stream grows wider depending on the volume of the rain.

Since Mt. Tibig is in between two towns which is Batangas City and Lobo, a traverse is always an option. The trail from the summit facing the isla verde may lead hikers to one place in Batangas City, while the trail in Sitio Banoi is definitely another gateway to reach the Mt. Banoi.

Overall, Mt. Tibig is a worthwhile hiking spot, with friendly trails and highly recommendable for beginners. Most of all, the exploratory spots and scenery makes it a pleasurable adventurous destination. (See Itineraries, Special concerns, Sample Budget Computation and Trivia below)

3rd VISIT June 29, 2014
2nd VISIT May 01, 2014
1st VISIT November 02, 2013

Mountain’s Profile
Jump-off: Sitio Hulo, Brgy. Banalo, Lobo, Batangas
Entry Point / Exit Point: Hulong Banalo - Sitio Tibig - Sitio Banoy - Hulong Banalo
Elevation: 560+ masl
Days required: 1 to 2 days
Hours to summit: 1.5 to 2 hours
Specs: Minor Climb
Difficulty: 2/9
Trail classes: woodland trail, grassy trail, river bank trail
Features: Community, Exploratory, Scenic views, Coastal view, Fauna and Flora, River, Seasonal Waterfalls

Transportation: Fare as of June 29, 2014 and travel time:

BUS - Manila to Batangas City (P157, 1.5 to 2 hours travel)
JEEP - Batangas City to Lobo Jeep Terminal (2 rides, P10 each, 30 min travel)
JEEP - Lobo Jeep Terminal to Lobo Poblacion (P56, 1 hour travel) 
TRICYCLE - Lobo Poblacion to Hulong Banalo (last basketball court) (P120 special ride, 20 min travel)

Note that last trip in Poblacion Jeep Terminal going to Batangas City is 1700 while in Batangas City Bus terminal going to Manila is 2030.

On the other hand, for jeep rental you may contact kuya Mario Cortez at 09183801147 (P400 One way service from Batangas Grand Terminal to Lobo Jeep Terminal) and Kuya Alex Borbon at 09994233169 (P1200 One way service from Lobo Terminal to Hulong Banalo). Kuya Alex is also willing to stop off at Poblacion for you to register at PNP and buy supplies at Lobo Public Market.

Registration: Register at PNP Lobo, there is no registration fees required as of June 28, 2014. Some police Officials in Lobo are not familiar with Mt.Tibig; it will be helpful to tell them that your group will climb the mountain via Hulong Banalo so they can note your entry.

Guideship: As of June 28, 2014, there are no existing rules requiring guideship. Guides are available at the jump-off area and getting one maybe advisable for small group. Guide is normally paid P500 (recommended for dayhike). One of the well-known ones is Kuya Gabino Boonggaling (local guide) and he may be contacted at 09264916824 / 09194403941 if you need his assistance.

Safety Concerns: Layon River may not be accessible during extreme weather conditions. Heavy rains normally trigger flashfloods in the area. Hikers are also advised to bring necessary things to be protected from over exposure to sunlight especially during summer season.

Camping Notes: Overnight camping is allowed and there are a lot of potential campsites at the entire ridge. The summit campsite can accommodate 5 to 7 tents only. However, water source is only available at the jump-off area; bringing 3-4 liters of water for overnight staying is advisable. Cell phone signal is sporadic starting from the jump-off and throughout the trail.

Side Trip: Climbers in Lobo usually take Lobo Beach as their post-climb side trip. You may also try to make a courtesy call to Prof. Anacleto Caringal to arrange entry to the beach of Lobo via BSU Masaguitsit.  While you are on the beach, don’t miss out on the chance to visit the Lobo River Delta. This place is highly recommended to nature photography enthusiasts and it will only take 20 minutes coastal trekking from the campus. Prof. Caringal is also happy to assist folks in visiting mountains and other spots in Lobo; he can be reached at 0936-936-5887 if you want to experience the Eco-Tour around Lobo.

SAMPLE ESTIMATED BUDGET COMPUTATION (For Manila-base Hikers / Commuters)

NOTE: Adjust the budget computation base on the actual number of participants and  days of staying.

Number of participants

4 Persons


1 Day / Day Hike

Transportation (commute)

BUS - Manila to Batangas City (back and forth) = P314
JEEP - Batangas City to Lobo Jeep Terminal (back and forth) = P40
JEEP – Lobo Terminal to Lobo Poblacion (back and forth) = P112
TRICYCLE - Poblacion to Hulong Banalo (back and forth) = P60

Guide fee

P125 per person

Contingency fund

P149 per person




NOTE: Kindly secured your coordination to Prof. Anacleto Caringal before proceeding to Batangas State University Masaguitsit campus.


0400 From Manila, take bus to Batangas City
0530 Drop off at Balagtas. Take jeep to Lobo Jeepney Terminal (2 rides in the morning)
0600 From Lobo Jeepney Terminal, take jeep to Lobo
0700 ETA Lobo Town Hall / Register at Police Station
0730 Take tricycle to Jump-off
0800 ETA Hulong Banalo (Last Basketball court / Jump-off) / Get Guide
0830 Start trek (Steep Assault) via Dilawan Trail
0930 ETA Sitio Tibig (Single House) (Batangas City)
1030 ETA Tibig Range Summit / Visit Tibig Cliff / Take Picture
1130 ETA Start Descend (Circuit)
1145 ETA Centennial Duhat Tree / Rest stop and Lunch
1300 Resume descend to Sitio Banoi trail
1400 ETA Layon River (River banking)
1430 ETA Jump-off / Proceed to BSU Masaguitsit
1500 ETA BSU / Courtesy Call to Prof. Caringal / Coastal Trek to Lobo River Delta (Optional)
1520 ETA River Delta / Take Picture / Swim at Lobo Beach / Wash and Rest
1630 Headback to Poblacion
1700 ETA Poblacion Jeep Terminal / (1700) Last trip Lobo to Batangas City
1800 ETA Batangas City / Dinner / Head back to Manila
2100 ETA Manila



0900 From Manila, take bus to Batangas City
1100 Drop off at Balagtas / Early Lunch / Take jeep to Lobo Jeepney Terminal (expect 2 rides)
1200 From Lobo Jeepney Terminal, take jeep to Lobo Poblacion
1300 ETA Lobo Town Hall / Register at Police Station
1330 Take tricycle to Jump-off
1400 ETA Hulong Banalo ( Last Basketball court / Jump-off) / Get Guide
1500 Start trek (Steep Assault) via Dilawan Trail
1600 ETA Sitio Tibig (Single House) (Batangas City)
1700 ETA Tibig Range Summit / Summit Camp
1730 Sun set viewing
1800 Prepare dinner / Dinner / Social
2200 Lights Out


0500 Wake-up call / Breakfast
0600 Sunrise viewing / Visit Tibig Cliff
0700 Break camp
0800 Start Descend (Circuit)
0815 ETA Centennial Duhat Tree / Rest Stop / Picture Taking
0830 Resume descend to Sitio Banoi trail
0915 ETA Layon River (River banking)
1000 ETA Jump-off / Proceed to BSU Masaguitsit
1100 ETA BSU / Courtesy Call to Prof. Caringal / Coastal Trek to Lobo River Delta (Optional) / Lunch / Swim at Lobo Beach / Wash and Rest
1630 Headback to Poblacion
1645 ETA Poblacion Jeep Terminal / (1700) Last trip Lobo to Batangas City
1800 ETA Batangas City / Dinner / Head back to Manila
2100 ETA Manila


Special Thanks to Rolven Ciriaco, Ayra Robellon, Jelson Nicolas Tolentino, Monna Policarpio and Joane Mejia for the photos and to all participants who joined me in 1st and 3rd visit at  Mt. Tibig Range