Girl, when is the last time you hit the gym or even just exercise? I haven’t been to the gym since February (Survived my first mountain then) and my last attempt at exercise was the two jogging sessions before my Japan trip last April. For the last 6 months, I’m a certified couch potato (more of a bed potato perhaps?). So I really don’t know why I made this Masungi Georeserve trip in the first place. This weak unfit girl just planned her death.
I didn’t die,
just almost, in fact, I survived this adventure and wanted to share this guide to you, my fellow lazy girl!
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS MASUNGI GEORESERVE..??
According to their website, “The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area and a rustic rock garden tucked in the rainforests of Rizal. Masungi’s name is derived from the word “masungki” which translates to “spiked” – an apt description for the sprawling limestone landscape found within. In this sanctuary, guests will be able to commune with nature and reenergize themselves while doing so. Wander through our pathways for an encounter with wildlife and plant species.”
PAY ATTENTION TO THE ORIENTATION (TIP#2) AT SILUNGAN
Before you can proceed on the discovery trail, orientation is a must from their park ranger. She’ll ask you about your reasons for going and expectations from Masungi. (Clue: Closer to Nature. Closer to God) She’ll also explain the rules and the do’s and dont’s on how to survive the trail so listen carefully. The most important thing you need to remember is never wander away from your group and park ranger.
TIP#3: Go do your restroom business before the trail. There will be no restrooms around so go empty that bladder. Bonus points, they have a pretty comfort room.
Masungi Georeserve is actually unfit friendly. You don’t have to walk in the soil/mud, slip and climb while holding a branch for your dear life because the trail is already cemented. There are also arranged flat rocks you can step in and even have stairs for climbing. You just need to bring a lot of cardio, as in lots of it.
The first obstacle is to climb a lambat maybe around 15 feet. Since you still have 100% of your energy saved up, this will be an easy breezy thing even you’ve never exercised in your entire life. Just be extra careful in the top part because you really need to carry your whole weight to be able to stand on the edge. The view is nice up there though.
CRAWLING MY WAY TO SAPOT
At the top of the first mountain is the sapot, designed like a spider web overlooking Laguna de Bay. This is one of the famous areas of Masungi Georeserve. Below it are limestones you can explore too if you want.
There’s a narrow (good for 1 person only) lane you need to cross to be able to go in the middle. The sapot is made of thick metal wires but it swings a little!!! I can’t cross it standing up because I tend to lose my balance. My balance skill is below the minimum. So I END UP CRAWLING.
You will be given 15 to 20 minutes to enjoy sapot then it’s time to climb down. You have to cross the suspended bridge above. It is freaking high so if you’re afraid of heights, I advise you not to look down. When you’re extra lucky, you’ll see birds flying around.
CHILLIN’ AT PATAK
The patak is the next area after sapot. You can actually rest here because it has chairs inside. You can also try using the binoculars too for bird watching. I failed to see a single interesting thing though.
TIP#10: Regain your strength here because the trail will start to be harder.
This, for me, is the hardest one in the trail. From patak, you have to climb up the net to ditse (means the second daughter in Chinese). Ditse is just a small mountain so it gets overcrowded on top. It is very much open so one wrong move can bring you flying to heaven. So imagine the nine of us staying close together in the middle of the summit. The scary part is the climb down to duyan. Imagine yourself sitting on the edge of ditse and one wrong step can, I don’t know, I don’t even want to know what will happen if you fell. Channel your brave soul here!
Duyan (hammock) is suspended between Ditse and Tatay. It is high enough that you can see birds flying below if you look down. It is not scary at all, even Paul who is afraid of heights enjoyed it. Maybe because the view will drive out all the fear. It is so green and beautiful, a manifestation the there really is a Creator. So far this is my favorite area and I think you will too. TIP#12: Say a simple Thank you to God for the beauty you’ve seen.
YUNGIB NI REUBEN
After duyan, you’ll explore the cave discovered by one of the park rangers of Masungi Georeserve and you guess it right, the ranger’s name is Reuben. It is dark inside so bring out your phones for some light source. In the middle of the cave is a water fountain that catches the rain. The temperature inside is cool and you can go wash your face with the cold water in the fountain. It’s so fresh!
ON THE TOP OF TATAY
Tatay (Father) is the tallest among all the peaks in Masungi Georeserve. It is a long way up to the top and this is where my whole legs are close to giving up. Fatigue will start to make its way to you. We have to stop most of the time for some sugar rush and boiled egg. I don’t even have photos anymore because I’m so tired to even click my camera. (#OALang) TIP#13: Bring chocolates or energy bar or anything that will give you energy. You badly needed it in your trek to the peak.
But the view from above is priceless! It is an endless green and mountain. There’s something fulfilling seeing your body overcome something you never thought you could.
SA PILING NI NANAY
On our way to Nanay (Mother), I’m quite sure I’m just dragging my legs to move forward, one after another. Unlike Tatay, Nanay offers so many rocks where you can sit and even hammocks! True to her name, this peak will offer you rest before you end the trail. Even in nature, mothers are nurturing and loving.
Nanay is the last stop for the trail. And it’s time to climb down to liwasan for your complimentary food – which is sandwiches and juice.
My last tip will be to Believe in your body and in your self! I’ve done and survived it. So, girl, no doubt you will too! If you are up for the #SaveMasungi challenge, here’s a travel guide on how.
MASUNGI GEORESERVE TRAVEL GUIDE
How to Experience Masungi Georeserve
- Form a group of 7 to 14 people, no more no less. Please stop asking if pwedeng 6.
- Book for your chosen date and time here. If you wanted to go on a weekend, reserve at least 5 months before. I’m not kidding!
- Wait for Masungi Georeserve’s confirmation e-mail within 7 days of booking. If you chose a bank deposit as your mode of payment, the bank details are included in the e-mail.
- You have 7 days to deposit the 50% down payment to secure your reservation. If not paid within 7 days, the dates will be available for booking again. E-mailed them with the deposit slip. Keep the hard copy of the deposit slip!! Discovery trail is P1,400 but I heard they’re increasing their prices by January 2017. Read Masungi Georeserve Releases New Conservation Fee for 2017.
- All remaining balance needs to be paid 4 days before your visit. You may add additional people as long as your group is not exceeding 14 persons. Send the deposit slip too via e-mail.
- On the day of your visit, arrive one hour earlier your time slot.
How to Go to Masungi Georeserve
via driving: You can Waze, Masungi Georeserve or Kilometer 47. Just follow/stay on the Marcos Hi-way Road/ Marikina-Infanta Road. You have to pass by Masinag, Cogeo then Tanay.
via commute: Commuting is not really advisable. There are no jeepneys passing by.
What’s included in the Conservation Fee
- Local Park Ranger Guide
- Light Complimentary Meal after the trail
- Helmets and light bags that needed to be returned after
- Raincoat when raining
Things you Need to Know
- Bring your own water tumbler and trail foods. You’ll need this.
- Wear comfortable hiking attire and closed shoes.
- Review and respect the policies of Masungi Georeserve.
- There are no food places around Masungi so better eat your breakfast/lunch in Antipolo.
- Pack light. Bring the things you just need in the trail.
- There’s a no-tipping policy but we tipped our ranger anyway.
- Be a responsible
travelerperson. Don’t pick flowers. Don’t throw your candy wrappers around.
- If you are coming from somewhere far like the Laguna and Bulacan, I advise you to book a resort in Tanay already. Don’t worry they’re affordable!