Marcos Highway, Baras, Rizal
- 12 Reviews
- 118 Recommend
- 12 Reviewers
- Great Outdoors
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starting the year off with a good workout!
Masungi Georeserve is truly a wonderful experience! I came here along with my family and some family friends.
Not was I was expecting at all. I thought that the CR and the place itself would be not good at all. But to my surprise... they have pretty good amenities! They had soap, tissue, insect repelant, sunblock etc available for use at their comfort rooms. Their comfort rooms were clean and well decorated. Wow.
They waiting area was also good. It had some shade and some sitting area good for about 20 people.
The helmets they provided were cleaned and rinsed every single use so you dont have to worry about nasty bacteria.
They climb was tiring but the place had some nice and cool breeze to it so it wasn't that bad. I love the obstacle courses. I am not afraid of heights so these were fun to do!
The rangers were informative and nice to talk to. They really know what they are doing!
Snacks and drinks are included but do bring a bottle of water with you when you go on the hike because the snacks come at the later part of the hike.
Just wow. And yes I would do it again!
Bravo to the whole team! I got to take wonderful pictures along the way! Definitely a memorable experience!
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Masungi Georeserve became an instant hit as a travel destination to those who are into nature and climbing activities. After photos getting viral in social media, this conservation area became an attraction to many. And because of its popularity, it reached the international audience creating viral videos featuring the giant hammock and some of them are already flocking their way to experience the wonders of this trail.
It is located at Kilometer 45, Marcos Highway, Baras, Rizal, Philippines, 1970. From EDSA Shaw, it takes 1 – 2 hours at most. It is advisable that you bring your own car as public transport is difficult. You can park your vehicles in its open lot. But the entry to the conservation area starts from 7am. While waiting, just enjoy the cold breeze. 🙂
Going to silungan takes 5 – 10 minutes of walk. Silungan is the main entrance where a small introduction and brief will occur before the adventure starts.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
– Wear a casual, lightweight & comfortable clothing, paired with non-slip closed shoes, is the required attire.
– Bring your important stuff: Water, towel, sun protection, camera, and change of clothes.
– Loud noises are not allowed. Wildlife can’t be disturbed and feel harmed, right?
– Strictly no alcohol and smoking. Self-explanatory I guess? 🙂
– Always wear the helmet provided to avoid injuries.
– The trail can take 3 – 4 hours including the time spent for picture-taking and resting.
– Enjoy and have fun! Remember to give respect to one another because we all want instagrammable shots, right?
Mondays to Fridays: Php 1,500 per person
Saturdays and Sundays: Php 1,800 per person
more of my review at www.wizardandi.com/masungi-georeserve/
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A lot of times, when a place is so hyped up you end up being underwhelmed when you actually go there. However, for Masungi Georeserve it's the exact opppsite. No matter how many blogs or reviews you read, you must experience visiting the place to really understand how impressive this is.
I'm sure a lot of people have already written so many things about Masungi so I just want to share my highlights while I was here yesterday.
1. The Landscape and Cleanliness
The whole trail had a pathyway so it's a relatively easier trek. But I also noticed while they built a pathway, there was a concious effort not to alter it as well. This paved the way to have both easy and challenging areas.
We also went there on a rainy day and we really appreciate the preparedness to provide ponchos before we started. Also, a rainy day hike proved how clean and well-maintained the place is. There were shoe cleaning stations (water and shoe brushes) where we had to clean our shoes before we climed the lambat so that it won't be as slippery and dirty.
The restrooms and snack area ( for after the hike) are soooo pretty! It's like the set-up an outdoor landscape but with all the necessities there. This is perfect for those who don't want the ruggedness of hiking but would like to try the wonders of ecotourism.
2. Challenging Attractions
Visiting Masungi also had us try thing we never thought we could do. If you're looking for a place to conquer your fear of heights, this is the place to be. We had to climb up and down lambats several times , even by a cliff and without a harness, and pass through hanging (and swaying) bridges but it also felt safe at the same time because the amenities were built well.
Maybe the most nerve-wracking part for me was the spider web because you don't have anything to hold on to while you go to the center. Plus it was just one pathway going there and you're literally going to fall off limestones beneath you if you lose your balance.
The view from Tatay's peak was sooooo rewarding. We were lucky the rain stopped when it's our time to go there so we were able to enjoy the view. Nanay's peak had hammocks there where you can relax and enjoy the cool breeze before heading back.
Oh and one more thing, we met Kuya Ruben early on our hike!! Our park ranger, Kuya Junjun told us that Kuya Ruben is kind of hard to find in the area so we felt extra motivated that day. He was shy but very welcoming.
3. Their Advocacy
Kuya Junjun told us that before preserving the area illegal logging took place there. We saw remnants of old trees that fell victims to that activity. However, 20 years later, you can really sense the involvement of the people working there in order to promote Masungi. They are very proud of the place and very eager to share with it to their visitors.
I'm so glad that ecotourism is becoming more popular in the Philippines and I'm hoping that tourists will be more responsible in making sure that we leave no trace expect foot prints and take nothing except pictures. 💯
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THIS ADVENTURE WAS THE BEST!
At first, we're worried because of the coming typhoon. It was then windy and thank God it didn't rain that day. Foggy and cold but eventually it subsided. Not too hot, not to cold. Great weather!
One of my highlight this year. A great experience/memories with my favorite people. Their staffs are courteous and very accommodating. We really enjoyed our trail and our food.
You filled my heart with joy, Masungi. Thank you.
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Masungi Georeserve has gained so much popularity, so fast, because of the crazy beautiful photos of their conservation area.
What Masungi Georeserve Foundation and Blue Star Construction & Development Corporation did to the place was amazing. The trail can be considered for beginners because you really just walk on solid rock/cement and not on soil. At the "highlights" or "pit stops" though, you'll either step on wood, metal, or just ropes. But that's it.
I won't go into detail so as not to spoil your experience but here are some very important reminders:
🔹No littering. This is pretty much self-explanatory but still is the most important.
🔹No smoking. As soon as you enter the park area, you'll be reminded to leave your cigarettes. Even the parking area is a non-smoking area so make sure you don't light one. Not even a vape. Else, you'll be fined PhP3,000.00.
🔹Do not make any boisterous noise. Sure, you can talk and laugh at a little over 60 decibels but any loud noise can affect the area's wildlife.
🔹Do not take anything as a souvenir. Not flowers, not leaves, not rocks, not shells. Nada.
🔹Should you encounter wildlife, do not feed the animals
Also, here are some gentle reminders:
🔹Stay hydrated. You'll definitely be taking more than 10,000 steps in 4-5 hours so make sure you don't get dehydrated in the middle of the trek. You can bring your own water bottles but they also provide bottled water there.
🔹Make sure you're in good health. Also, do proper conditioning, especially of your legs, if you're a beginner.
🔹Arrive on time. On time means 1 hour to 30 minutes before your registered slot so you'll have enough time for the briefing. This is one of the reminders they send you in their e-mail but I think some people don't take it seriously. During our visit, we were scheduled to start at 7am and we were there a little past 6am. But despite that, we were only able to start at around 8am because the groups ahead of us weren't able to begin on time. Just having one group start late will have a domino effect. So imagine if the last group at 1:30pm starts at 2:30 and ends when the sun's already down.
🔹Go to the toilet and do whatever rituals you need to do.before you begin. There will be no toilet break in the middle of the trek. Our assigned park ranger, Kuya Junjun, was particularly proud of their CR. According to him, there was one review that gave Masungi a low rating because apparently, that reviewer used the toilet that's not meant for visitors. After the briefing, park rangers will be giving you a few minutes to go to the CR, apply sunblock, take "before" photos, etc.
🔹Do not take so much time taking photos to avoid causing delay. Please be considerate of the other groups after you. The park rangers can take your photos, so you can just have one "designated" camera. Take out your phone/camera at your own risk.
🔹Wear your helmet. This is provided but I suggest you bring your own or at least bring a towel or cap to use with their helmet for hygienic purposes. If I didn't wear one, I think I would've had a lot of head injuries.
🔹Light snack (sandwich, banana, calamansi juice) will be provided after the trek. Honestly, every time I was getting tired of walking/climbing, I think about that calamansi juice as a reward! Ay, it was sooooo good!
🔹Lastly, do not let the photos you see online intimidate you. Most photos I've seen made me question my decision to go but when I got there, it was just slightly scary. Unless you have acrophobia, and I mean this clinically, then, I guess you'll just really have to skip this.
Other reminders are indicated in the confirmation e-mail so please take that seriously and read carefully.
Oh and one more thing. They only entertain private group bookings. So you have to make a reservation as they do not accommodate walk-ins. Your group should have at least 7 pax and the maximum is 14.
Every inch of my body hurt so bad the day after but that didn't really matter because it was such a fun, exhilarating experience.
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Worth it. Not for the faint of heart (read: acrophobia) or those with poor cardio though. A good 4-plus hour hike if you stop and take a lot of photos. Just be sure to book early, everyone is lining up to go here.
So many sights to see, but don't let other people's photos spoil your own adventure.
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I've been wanting to visit Masungi Georeserve for the longest time already. But since it gained popularity so fast, I kept reading and hearing from people that they're fully booked for months. One more problem for me is it's hard to form a group of at least 7 people. My closest friends and I make 4 and it's hard to get a day wherein we're all free.
Date of visit was September 3, 2016 – Saturday. I got a slot on August 30, 2016 – Tuesday. Call me lucky!!! Haha! A friend from my previous work who I visited Taiwan with last May had already booked their slot for 10 people months before. They had 3 people back out last minute so they were looking for people who can fill those slots. Luckily, we were able to find 3 people!
We didn't have enough cars to take 10 people up to Tanay, Rizal so we booked a van. I would recommend either book a van or take your own cars up there because it's really tough to go there by public transport – almost impossible.
Our reserved slot was at 1PM. It was mentioned on their website to arrive earlier than the time slot for the tours to start on time and allow time to walk towards the georeserve proper. It's not a super long walk, but it does take a few minutes to get to the briefing area – Silungan.
‼️ WATCH OUT FOR PEOPLE WAITING BY THE PARKING/ENTRANCE TO JOIN YOUR GROUP!!! We were 10 in the group so we can't really have them join us. But it's best not to let people who haven't reserved a slot join in. It's just not fair...
When we got there, we went to the toilet to get ready for the long hike. Their restrooms were quite clean and well integrated into the whole nature concept.
It took us quite a while before we were briefed. Our slot was at 1PM, we were briefed at around 2PM. All their guides are called park rangers. The park ranger who greeted us apologized for the delay. The delay was caused by a delay of those already in the georeserve. Their tours got extended because a certain celebrity was also visiting the place. So while this celebrity was still at one stop, no one was allowed to pass. So basically, there was a traffic jam.
They have a total of 12 park rangers that give tours but there's only half of them per day. Due to the jam, the park rangers were all still inside and no one could take us inside yet. Our tour started at around 2:30PM.
It was a bit of a hassle that it was delayed when we were there 30 minutes before our schedule. But it was good that their personnel were really sincere in apologizing and you can see that they really did not expect it to happen.
FACTS ABOUT MASUNGI GEORESERVE
Size: 1,600 hectares
Developed land: 300 hectares
It has been under conservation for 20 years
Opened to the public on December 2015 (so it's still within an adjustment period)
Masungi used to be all rocks, but with the help of the wildlife, the area is now full of trees and a wide variety of fauna
Duration of hike: 3-4 hours
Masungi came from two words: masungkit (sungkit sungkit) because of the rocks / masungit because of the weather
First geotourism in the Philippines
The area was underwater millions of years ago which is why they have limestones, sinkholes and caves as well
Jade vine grows here, known to be one of the 10 most beautiful flowers in the world. It blooms around February - April
RULES AND REGULATIONS
❗️Leave no trace
❗️No smoking! Fine: Php 3,000 [One cigarette butt can kill 10 snails and the fire can cause forest fires.]
❗️No boisterous noise since wildlife can be disturbed and other groups come for meditation walks as well.
❗️No picking of flowers, taking of rocks, etc. Leave everything as is.
❗️Always listen to the park ranger, they tend to give the visitors info about the area and point out different hard to see views as well.
❗️Stick to pathways and steps. There are some paths that split left and right, so make sure to stay with your group or you can get lost!
❗️Sticking to the path also means less mud and dirt gets to your shoes. At some points of the park, they require you to clean the soles of your shoes before proceeding since you'll be stepping on white ropes (like at the Duyan).
The main objective of Masungi Georeserve is to let people appreciate nature more. Respect it and be closer and be one with nature.
Also, their park rangers are all very nice. They are not tour guides and they don't accept tips. It's one of their rules and they follow it. 🏼
I won't go into detail of each and every location within the georeserve since I think it's already available in previous reviews and it's better to experience it first hand. But I will give you tips on what to bring and what NOT to bring.
✔️ Shades and sunblock - The park is open and when you get to the spider web, shades is needed since the sun is right above you.
✔️ Water bottle - The park now encourages their guests to bring their own water bottle to cut down on plastic bottle waste. They have a water dispenser at the briefing area for you to refill with water.
✔️ Wear bottoms with pockets that can be secured so you can easily tuck away your phone. There's a lot of climbing and it's really advisable to keep all valuables in check. Once it falls, it's gone forever!
✔️ They provide you with a sling backpack but if you have a small enough backpack that's more comfortable than a sling backpack, it's allowed to be brought inside.
❌ For cameras, I would advise against bringing an SLR or even the smaller mirrorless cameras unless you can pack them in your camera safe backpack. It's a struggle to take out the camera and shoot at areas where you have to balance and use two hands to hold onto the safety structures.
✔️ Action cameras (GoPro, XiaoMi) with a secure monopod with wrist straps are great as your camera of choice here. 🏼
At the end of your hike, you'll get bread with some homemade spreads and yummy yummy calamansi juice!! I loved the calamansi juice, it wasn't too sweet. 🏼 They also have restrooms at this pitstop.
After having a snack, you'll be hiking up tons of stairs back to the briefing area to return the helmets and backpacks. We had to use our phones as flashlights on our hike back since it was already past 6:30PM. The hike really takes 4 hours with long photo sessions and some rest at some points.
Overall, it was a fun adventure and it really took a toll on my stamina. It wasn't a hard hike since they had steps made for easier trekking.
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Our group absolutely LOVED Masungi!!! Some people might find their PHP 1,400 fee a bit steep for a short trek but it was SULIT because...
- You really don't have to bring anything except your gadgets. We each had our own big backpack but when our guide met us at the parking area, she told us to leave it all inside the car and to just bring the essentials. We just brought our GoPros, cellphones, sunblocks and face towels. When we got to the orientation area, we were told we'd each get 1L of bottled water inside our Masungi drawstring backpack.
- They have REALLY nice and clean restrooms with bottles of sunblock and insect repellents.
- Guides are knowledgeable and they also don't accept tips. TIPPING IS NOT ALLOWED.
- Because they only allow a maximum of 4 groups (if I remember correctly) per day, the park doesn't get crowded and is well-maintained. You won't get to see other groups having their pictorial sessions lol. The only time we saw another group was at the sandwich and calamansi juice area. Yes, you also get sandwich and cold calamansi juice before you end your adventure at Masungi.
It's also because of this limit that makes reservations a bit tricky. I suggest you make your reservation at least 1-2 weeks before your preferred schedule. Our guide told us the best time to go would be at 5:30 AM. We would've taken an earlier slot but 9:30 was the only available slot left for our planned day of visit. By 11 AM (the whole thing takes about 3-4 hours), we were all extra exhausted 'cause of the heat.
I won't really go through the sights anymore 'cause ALL of the other reviews and blogs about this place already have that. I would just like to say that this place may not be for those who have a fear of heights... Especially because there are no harnesses to make you feel extra safe. I'm not really afraid of heights but my arms and legs were shaking on the way down to the duyan. There were no stairs on the way down to the duyan (check 3rd photo), just very strong ropes which you'll have to hold on to if you want to experience the duyan.
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Last year, photos of a ‘giant duyan’ located in the Philippines was circling around social media. My college friends and I rushed to find out how and when we could visit that awesome place. After googling a bit, we found out that an area called Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area situated at the rainforests of Rizal.
By January of this year, we were able to confirm a reservation with Masungi Georeserve through their website at the rate of P1400/per guest. The number of minimum guests they accommodate for the trek is a group of 7 while the maximum is 13.
Fast forward to April 16, the date of our reservation, my friends and I were a bit skeptical to pursue the discovery trail. One, because of the recent news of soldiers getting in conflict with the park rangers and two, it was soooo hot!! The management offered us a refund if in case we weren’t comfortable with the current situation. We still decided to go since we’ve waited for months just to visit this place.
Our schedule was 1:30PM and we arrived at around 2PM. The park rangers were still very accommodating and led us straight to the briefing area. There, they provided us with a guest kit consisting of a helmet and bag that had a 500ml mineral water bottle, binoculars, and a whistle in it. First, we asked about the army situation and they informed us that the place where the conflict happened was far away from where our trail is so we didn’t have nothing much to worry about. Aside from that, they briefed us with their policies before we coursed through the forest with our guide, Miko.
In the first few minutes of the trek, we started panting due to the hot weather and the inclined path, but after a few more steps, the trail became easier.
Highlights of the trek:
Sapot – A man made web-like composition hanging atop the beautiful rock formations. Not to mention the remarkable view you’ll perceive! The stretch of the Sierra Mountain range plus Laguna de Bay!
Duyan – The most featured photo on social media. Made from large braided ropes, this giant hammock will surely impress you. This is where you can just relax (and of course take pictures!! ) for a few minutes after enduring the long trail. Careful not to drop your camera/phone though. If it falls, consider it gone.
Tatay and Nanay – The top two highest peaks of limestone rock pillars within the Georeserve.
Yungib ni Ruben – A cave lit with oil lamps. We were fortunate enough to meet Ruben, the park ranger who takes care of this cave.
Patak – An ‘air house’ connected by bridges. The original plan was to build a tree house so that visitors can see the collection of cactus without having to go back around the old trails, but since the trees were too small for a tree house, they decided to build ‘Patak’.
By the end of the trail, there was a table with tuna, wheat bread and organic lettuce waiting for us. The other park rangers prepared the small snack for us and also served us with fresh calamansi juice. Best recovery food!
According to Miko, it took them 5 years to create what we experienced during the discovery trail. Everything was carried by them such as the panels of ‘yero’ and the cement blocks for us to step on. It’s very inspiring to experience first-hand what the people of Masungi Georeserve has done for mother nature!
I highly recommend visiting this place! Although, this is not for the faint hearted. The heights on these trails are really high and they don’t have harnesses. Once you're there, it would be the perfect time to be CLINGY. :p
If you would like to get a glimpse of our discovery trail, watch my travel vlog here! (Watch in HD to appreciate) https://youtu.be/ilN7J7W5Vvg
I'm also putting it on my bio for easy access until I post a new travel vlog so stay tuned!
PS: They’re planning to have another experience wherein visitors can go to the big duyan at night and stargaze. Isn’t that amazing?!?! Not sure yet when it will materialize, but I’m already excited for that!!
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I’ve saw a few photos in Instagram last year that intrigued me a lot about this place. It sparked a huge interest to me and did research about it. The place is called Masungi Georeserve located in Rizal, it was opened to the public last December. And they offered 2 trips inside their facilities daily.
The name Masungi is derived from the term masungki or “spiked”. This refers to the limestone rocks that protrude from the ground.
Last month, I’ve finally had a chance to visit this place with my friends.
Things to remember:
✔️Reservation is required, you can reserve through their website or just email them. You should wait for their reply of course hehe. They usually call you once they received the reservation. I had NO difficulty in our reservation and they are easy to talk to.
✔️You need to deposit half of the total amount once schedule is confirmed.
✔️One group MUST be consist of minimum of 7 to 10 person, maximum. If you are lesser than the required number of person, you need to shoulder the expenses to fill it. If you are bigger group, they will need to make 2 groups.
✔️For the month of February to March, the tour costs Php1000.00 per person, and Php1400.00 from April onwards.
✔️Previously, they offer 2 trips per day but since more people are interested in this place, they’re now arranging 8 to 9 trips per day.
✔️One tour can take around 3 to 4 hours, depends on your group phasing and of course, your photo sessions!
✔️There are no restaurant inside Masungi. Nearest restaurants are 30 minutes ride.
On the day of tour:
🔸Wear something light and comfortable clothes. Wear hiking clothes!
🔸Once arrived at their facilities, you will be brief in the visitor sheds.
🔸They will provide a drawstring bag (not a souvenir haha) which includes the helmet, binoculars, whistle and water.
🔸The first aid kit is carried by the tour guide.
🔸The washroom is available before the tour starts. There are no comfort rooms within the trail. By the way, there are some sunblock in their washroom, free to use!
🔸They provide a 500ml water for free but if you are like me who likes to hydrate most of the time, you can bring your extra bottle, just in case.
🔸You cannot bring food like picnic foods (rice and ulam, etc), but they allow you to bring some trail foods (chocolates or candies, but you need to make sure that you don’t litter within the trail). Actually they are not allowing guests to bring chips or other foods because they’re making sure that no one will leave some wrappers or garbage behind. They are kind of strict about this.
🔸In the middle of the tour they will prepare some sliced bread with spread plus some refreshments and banana.
🔸You should be prepared to climb using ropes, and rappel with those ropes. You must conquer your fear of heights!
What to see:
🔺Sapot – this is web-style viewing platform that offers a spectacular view of Sierra Madre Mountain and Laguna de bay. This is the first sight you will experience in Masungi.
🔺Patak – an air house in shape of raindrop. You will reach this through a hanging bridge.
🔺Duyan – this is the famous hammock that’s so famous in IG or FB. Before you can reach this Duyan, you should rappel over canopies of trees. This is where your fear of heights will be put to test. Strong arms is also needed!
🔺Tatay and Nanay peak – these are the biggest rock formation in Masungi. You can have a full 360 view of the surrounding. Perfect for photoshoot! Both have their own viewing decks.
🔺Yungib ni Ruben – one of many explored mini caves in Masungi. This is a perfect place to cool down.
🔺Liwasan – valley like area with reflection pond designed for relaxation. Not for human swimming, just for meditating. This is for birds.
🔺Henry – the huge snake that was captured by the locals.
I had enjoyed this commune with nature activity. Once in a while it’s good to see and experience green, away from the workloads and stressed office environment. I feel so refreshed! I love Mother Nature! ⛰🏔
I know that there are few room for improvements, like in rappelling down to Duyan, there should be harness for more safety. Also a restaurant outside the conservation facility will be a good option. Some souvenir shop to brag to your friends is a great idea too! Haha
If your heart is shouting for an adventure, then invite your friends to visit this place! Of course, don’t forget to share your experience!
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The Great Escape!
That's what i wanna call it.if you wanna try something new or your just an outdoorsy person,travel along marcos highway and experience the fun and the culture of tanay here in masungi georeserve. The place was well kept with the clean and green motto. Had the experience to know the people behind this place. You sure will conquer your fears with this one!i was lucky enough to be part of them!
Try this and reserve soon: masungigeoreserve.com
Did i mention that we're already approved by the National Geographic?
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It was a few weeks back when this certain blog post about a tourist spot in Marcos Highway, Rizal flooded social media sites, from Facebook to Twitter, to Instagram and more. Seeing Discover MNL's photos and descriptions of the Masungi Georeserve made a lot of people so crazy excited to check it out and that include us - me, Abbey, and the rest of the crew!
It was such an advantage that Abbey lives in Tanay, Rizal and is really familiar with the place. Actually, we already visited an area near the georeserve a few months back and we haven't heard about Masungi yet, so when we familiarized ourselves with the blog post, we were so near the tourist spot way back!
So, when we saw that the georeserve is all ready to accept reservations, we tried our luck and shot them an email inquiry. 4 days already passed and we haven't received a reply from them, oh well, better luck next time. But wait, on the 5th day, Abbey told me that someone texted her from Masungi Georeserve, informing her that a spot freed up for December 20 and we were the lucky group of 10 to be chosen to get the spot! No thinking twice, we pushed through! Yay!
A fee of P1000/head will be asked from each guest to be able to get inside the georeserve. A 50% deposit was required from us to guarantee the spot. Afterwards, we were asked via text message to choose from the snacks that they'll provide -- Traditional Egg Salad, Chicken with Pickles or Tuna with Celery. OK, all set! Time to experience this new paradise blooming in Rizal!
Via a private van, we came from Tanay and went through the road leading to Sampaloc. We passed by a lot more spots to visit within Rizal including Daranak Falls, Tanay Resort Camp, Ten Cents To Heaven, Pranjetto, Palo Alto, etc. Oh my! Rizal's definitely blooming and as early as now you should visit these spots already. OK, enough of my fangirl-ing feels. Anyway, when we reached Garden Cottages, we went through the entrance area and where asked where we're heading to. We listed down all our names and they got the plate numbers and we started driving through the starting point of the trail.
Upon entering Garden Cottages, it's like we were transformed into paradise -- the overlooking view of Rizal, with the trees, mountains, skies and rock formations; the driveway leading to the area dressed really well with flowers, plants, and trees; the overall sight of Mother Nature's pure beauty in all its sense. We were all so amazed with the picturesque view and my, oh my, this is just the start!
When we got to the entry point to the georeserve, we met the Project Coordinator of the place, Ann, and our guide for the trip, Kuya Mario. They welcomed us briefly and gave each of us our helmet and Masungi kit backpacks with the ff. items inside: waterproof pouch, whistle, binoculars, flashlight, and a bottled water. Afterwards, we started walking to the trail leading to the Briefing Area.
The entrance trail was so beautiful in every part of it. The cemented trails were in between natural, sharp, pristine rock formations that were bordered with man made plants that gave color and life to their pure gray color.
Upon arriving at the Briefing Area, we were first asked to sign waivers, then were briefed with the dos and donts in the place. Before allowing public reservations for the place just this December, only certain research groups and associations from the Philippines and abroad like Malaysia were allowed to get in as they're gathering info about the place's environmental sources. We were actually told that they really want to preserve the privacy and intimacy of the whole place, that the georeserve is not actually open for the public per sé as they still want to limit the groups of people who'll enter and experience its beauty that's why they only accept 2 batches per day, 1 for the AM (7:30) and the other for the PM (1:30) session. We were fortunate enough as our group was part of the first 20 public groups to get in just this month, yay! So better savor the moment!
We started at around 2:30PM as we were a bit late. The weather was a bit gloomy and there were drizzles from the starting point so we had our helmets on. It's also better if you have your own raincoat or poncho especially during the rainy season. We started walking through the cemented trails and we were extra careful as there were moss all around, making the way really slippery so it's better to wear shoes that have good grip. Continuously, we walked and passed through sinkholes, there were actually a lot along the way so it's best to be really careful along the way because when you fall inside one, it'll take the whole scheduled trip to rescue you, as what Ann said. Haha!
After passing through the slippery trails, squeezing in some rocks, and holding vines to be able to balance, we got through the first rope course that required us to climb going up. Beside the course was a rock designed cloud rat, one of Rizal's most famous animal.
From there, we kept walking through trails that actually led us to the specific highlights of the georeserve. First of was the SAPOT!
The Sapot was literally a man made one using white hardcore ropes and metals that made it look really steady and firm. From the metal mini short bridge that led to it, you'll actually feel your legs shaking because you'll see from below the rock formations and trees where you might fall, not, most especially when the winds are strong! You can actually crawl like a spider going to the center to lessen the fear especially to those who are afraid of heights. Once you reached the center, oh my, it's super beautiful as you can see the whole sight of Laguna de Bay, meeting with the lands and the skies! It was so so so perfect in all its sense and it was actually unbelievable at first that we were already there, experiencing it for real. Aaaah! Thank you heavens! It was actually that spot wherein you need to forget your fear to really experience the place's beauty to its utmost perfection.
From there, we went down and was led to a path pf rock trails that were actually neat and clean looking. We saw different species of plants including rare looking cactuses. Ann also told us that the scientists who visited the georeserve already found 200++ species of plants in the area but they're certain that they'll find new ones as they come back. Along the way, there was this round basket looking swing that reminded us of photo shoot areas especially for pre-nups. 6 people tried to sit on it and it seemed like it will break but still, we got to try it. From inside the forest looking site, we were led to a resting area, what looked like a little cave. We sat there for some candies, biscuits and water before entering DITSE.
From DITSE, we were all extra excited as we're almost half the trail, almost there at the snack area! We walked through a steady bridge and finally we reached the tree house looking spot where we had our snack break. Two other guys came by to drop of our merienda set --- including 2 packs of Gardenia tasty bread, a tupperware of chicken mixed with onions, pickles, and mayo, a plateful of lettuce, salt and pepper plus their homemade Calamansi Juice with Basil. It was so fulfilling and refreshing all at the same time --- eating healthy snacks on top of a tree (peg) while overlooking such a beautiful sight with awesome people who YOLO so well! The tree house was a bit small in the inside, made of bamboo, with fixed mini swings inside, reminded me of how the kiddos were from Little Rascals. More than that, the sightseeing experience was so so breathtaking!
From DITSE's tree house, we walked towards another connecting bridge that will lead us to the most famous DUYAN! We climbed some ropes going up and we reached a mountain peak/summit looking area that can actually blew us going down as the winds were so strong that time! It was extra fun in all its sense as the challenge and adrenaline rush were there but don't ever forget to listen to the guides and take extra care, always.
From the summit looking area, we were asked to go down an almost 15-20 ft rope course that actually led straight to the Duyan! Oh my! My heart was so excited to go down and experience the Duyan while emoting and just breathing in the beauty of nature while doing some bird watching. When it was my turn, I enjoyed going down the ropes. It was just a bit hard to transfer to the next level rope course as there were metal connectors so make sure to be extra cautious. As you reached the bottom part, the rope connection continues as it was already the whole formation of the Duyan. It was a bit scary as you're now walking on a rope shaped like Duyan, holding onto ropes to get your balance and actually seeing what's down under, loads of trees where you might fall if you got the wrong step. You can actuall crawl, it's just a bit painful for your knees, or just sit and push your butt to move forward, that's a bit painful to your butt. However it is, find where your comfort is. When we reached the exact Duyan spot, oh my, we just savored the view, the chance to rest and get to experience the largest Duyan that we'll take sight of in Rizal. It was a bit hard to see birds though as it was already 4:30PM and the skies were gloomy. Nevertheless, sitting at the Duyan, actually almost lying on it, was so fulfilling and it felt like we were invincible! We didn't want to leave but we had no choice, we're running out of time.
From there, we reached YUNGIB NI RUBEN, the georeserve's actual cave. It was already dark outside when we got in so there wasn't much to see. Our flashlights were extra helpful as we search the way. It was cold inside and it felt really comforting to pass through the yungib's spots.
As it was already starting to get dark at around 5PM, Ann informed us if we still want to see the peak of NANAY as we may find it hard to trek at dark. Of course we're already there so we should make the most out of it!!! We pushed through and decided to lessen the time spent taking photos. We left Yungib ni Ruben and walked through the trails leading to the peak of TATAY.
Tatay gave us the whole view of the georeserve. We saw the bridges, the spots, the trails that we passed through, feeling so accomplished with what we were able to achieve. From there, we went down to the man made stairs and walked our way to the other peak, NANAY.
It took us around 30 minutes or so to reach the peak of Nanay. We passed through mossy trails, rock formations, that led to this twin looking rock formation with such a nice peak. Too bad it was already dark when we reached it so we weren't able to take really good photos of it.
From Nanay, it's time to go back to the starting point. As it was already dark, we had a buddy system and positioned individuals with flashlights one after the other. We made sure that all our backs were covered. It was quite a first time for us to trek in the dark so it was exciting in many ways too!
Again, we passed through the cemented trails, rocky paths, mossy and slippery areas, a hanging bridge that was wildly shaking along the way because of the wind and some more pathways until we reached one of the georeserve's taken cared of animal, a Python, inside its cage. I wasn't able to see it clearly. I just saw the chicken waiting to be eaten there. Masungi Georeserve values animals just like all other living things highly so better not harm them in any way possible. From the snake's cage, we walked for around 8-10 minutes until we reached the end point of the trail.
After 5 hours of pure fun, excitement, fear, surprise, disbelief and beauty, we made it all in one piece, amazed and feeling so blessed to have experienced this beauty.
Masungi Georeserve is one of those spots that is really worth experiencing by people who love the outdoors and to those who actually want to love the outdoors. With its virgin and pristine beauty, every visit that we make shall only leave footprints and memories that we shall treasure with our awesome crew for always!
Cheers to another beauty discovered and experienced!
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