Journey to Mt.Tibig

Journey to Mt.Tibig

Journey to Mt.Tibig

By:Lester Distrajo

Mt. Tibig (GMT Batch 12 – Second Training Climb)

As we approach the home stretch of our application, the Team chose Mt. Tibig for our second to the last training climb. Mt. Tibig stands only 563 MASL and resides in the outskirts of Lobo, Batangas. This mountain is categorized as a minor hike with 2/9 level of difficulty. The climb may sound easy, but as the saying goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover”

Day 1: Bring it on!

Our assembly time was 6:00 in the morning at McDonalds, Taft-Rotonda branch and we left an hour later to go to our destination. Thank God the weather was good to us that day because it was raining for the past few days prior to our climb.

We traveled for four hours and reached the JOP of Mt. Tibig at 11:00 am. When we arrived to our destination, we settled our things and proceed with our warm up exercises. Lead by Mr. Ceejay Custodio, the GMT founder, we stretched our muscles and heated up our bodies to the fullest in preparation for our climb. Ceejay also assigned the lead team of this training climb and they were Lester Distrajo (as the Team Lead), Kim Bryant Lambert (as the scribe), Kelvin De La Torre (as the Mid Man) and Marife Bacate (as the sweep). We were so excited and ready to conquer Mt. Tibig especially with the support of some GMT officers who took some time to join us in this climb.

Jump-Off Point before Climb (photo by: Julius Estabillo Riogelon)

The first thirty minutes of the climb were really a surprise to everyone due to its assault. Most of the areas were shaded but there were some open areas that exposed us to the scorching heat of the sun. The humid weather made our adventure even more difficult and challenging. Despite of our individual struggles during the climb, the team gave their full support and cooperation. There were also several muscle cramps cases, but all was eager to push through the training climb. It took us a total of 4 hours to reach the campsite inclusive of 3 compression stops.

On our way to Mt. Tibig (photo by: Julius Estabillo Riogelon)

The campsite is an open grassland overlooking the coastlines of Southern Batangas. At the summit, you will see the famous Verde Island and a glimpse of Mt. Halcon and even some neighboring mountains like Mt. Lobo and Mt. Pinamucan. The team enjoyed the spectacular view for a while before proceeding with the scheduled activity.

Our view from the campsite (photo by: Julius Estabillo Riogelon)

After enjoying all the glory of the mountain, the applicants was gathered. We were divided earlier into two groups for the distribution of the meal plans and the same group for the games we played at the campsite. The games depict review of our needed skills as a mountaineer namely: Bandaging, Ropemanship, and Tent pitching. The activity was really fun and entertaining. Each team unleashed their competitiveness and showed strong camaraderie.

As part of our training, our batch was also assigned to handle the meal plan for this climb. As mentioned, we were divided into two groups prior the event, we thought of what food to serve for the dinner and breakfast. The cooking session was a great bonding moment for the members.

Dinner is served (photo by: Julius Estabillo Riogelon)


Preparing for breakfast (photo by: Julius Estabillo Riogelon)

The menus are:

The Group 1:

Dinner: Pork Steak and Buttered Potato and beans with rice

Breakfast: Pancake

The Group 2:

Dinner: Adobo with rice

Breakfast: Scrambled egg, tuyo, hotdog with rice

The event was not just for the applicant’s training ground, but also to celebrate Sir Dan’s birthday, one of the GMT officers. It was supposed to be a surprise (hahaha) but there were some giveaway clues. One, is the red ribbon bag and two, the sound of popping balloons while preparing for the big surprise. Our day 1 ended with the socials, where most of the participants enjoyed the GSM Mojito and Absolute Vanilla while listening to the hilarious Banayad Whiskey series. The weather was all good, all throughout the socials that lasted until 1AM.

Happy Birthday Sir Dan! (photo by: Julius Estabillo Riogelon)


Bonding Time (photo by: Julius Estabillo Riogelon)

Day 2: Hello and Goodbye Mt. Tibig!

Summit of Mt. Tibig (photo by: Julius Estabillo Riogelon)

Our second day was a bit gloomy morning, but the rain did not pursue. The first thing at hand was to prepare the breakfast. The group assignment was as follows: Group 1 – pancakes, Group 2 – hotdog, tuyo, itlog, rice. Everyone ate their meals and started to pack up. Being with GMT, there will always be unforeseen activities. The rest of the morning at the campsite was filled with exercise drills and laughter, especially with Sir Joko’s sit-ups and had to mention tons of pushups LOL.

We started to descend at 9:20 am. During our way down, everyone was chilling. No runs on Mt. Tibig especially with the muscle sore we have to take home after exciting drills. We arrived at the JOP after 2 hours. Some took their well-deserved rests while some were enjoying the cold soft drinks they bought from a nearby store.

Overall the long drive to Lobo, Batangas was a good weekend. The people at the JOP was very accommodating and concerned to their hikers. The warm up drills up to the last squatras made by the team was full of laughs and sweat. The amazing clearing given to us by Mother Nature was breathtaking. The exciting socials where the members got drunk and laughed their hearts out. Lastly, the bond between the applicants and GMT officers grew stronger and beyond the differences.


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