The rainy season has begun, but for those who let their feet lead the way to wander, there will always be a way to squeeze an adventure despite busy schedules. Since my friends in college have finished taking the NMAT exam, and summer break in medschool has started, we decided to book a visit to the famous conservation area known for its large-sized nets and limestone rocks similar to the rocks that can be found in Borawan or in Palawan, the Masungi Georeserve.
We decided to meet-up at Shaw Blvd. at 10:00 in the morning. After 45 minutes, we left, and rode an FX bound to Tanay, Rizal. Travel time is around 1 hour and 3o minutes to 2 hours before reaching the last stop of the FX. Upon arrival, there were tricycle drivers around that offer trips going to Mt. Daraitan, Daranak Falls or Masungi Georeserve. Since we’re bound to Masungi, we asked the driver to drop us off at Garden Cottages, our meet-up point, and also where the designated ranger or guide was waiting.
We went to the Visitor Shed first for the orientation. One of the caretaker of Masungi Georeserve briefly explained the policies around the area. After that, they handed us our trail kit, which includes a bag, binoculars, bottled water, helmet, and a whistle.
It’s a misconception that Masungi Georeserve is located in Tanay. It is actually located in Baras, Rizal. Long ago, the land is located underwater, but emerged due to plate tectonics. This explains why the rocks are different from rocks you often see in other mountains. The sanctuary has been protected for 15 years, and finally, the discovery trail was made open to public on December 2015.
The discovery trail started with climbing a net contraption. The trail is fairly easy to hike, usually lasting about 4 t0 5 hours depending on your pace, as steps are readily available.
The locals made a spider-like web, called Sapot, located high above the limestone rocks to get a full view of the Sierra Madre Range and Laguna de Bay, the biggest lake in the Philippines.
Patak is a small house resembling a raindrop, hence its name, is another attraction you can see in the trail. Rather than the usual treehouse, Patak is suspended in the air, and supported by bridges.
Most of the attractions in Masungi Georeserve were made craftily by the locals. Another prime example is the Duyan. The large hammock spreads few meters long, and is one of the iconic feature in the discovery trail. It’s a perfect place to just lay comfortably and enjoy Mother Nature.
Along the way, you can spot quirky artworks on the floor, resembling animals. There’s a place in the trail that features an owl as locals often see these creatures nearby. A model of the owls nest was placed.
The two peaks in the discovery trail are Tatay and Nanay. The Tatay peak is higher compared to Nanay peak, but both of offer an astounding landscape of Rizal. The naturally sculpted structure of Tatay is composed of limestone rocks piled on top of one another. The Nanay, on the other hand, features five limestone rocks interconnected by bridges.
By the time we arrived at Yungib ni Ruben, it was already getting dark. The small cave, discovered by a local named Ruben, contains stalactites that glitter when exposed to light.
It was past 6:00 pm when we finished the discovery trail. The ranger prepared a light snack, and we started resting at one of the visitor shed when the rain started to pour. After two hours of resting and waiting, the rain still kept on pouring hard. Luckily, our guide was able to provide us raincoats, so we can get our stuff on where we left it, and finally go home.
A hike to Masungi Georeserve is a must. The spectacular view is beyond amazing! All attractions, both man-made, and natural, equally catch the heart of every wanderer. This just proves that the hardwork of the locals on conserving the land was fruitful. It’s something that we can look up to– when we take care of our environment, it will not disappoint us.
- Masungi Georeserve is located at Kilometer 45, Marcos Highway, Rizal, Philippines. Famous landmark around the area is the Garden Cottages. The conservation is kinda easy to miss as there’s no signage near the entrance.
- No walk-ins available. Reservation is required prior to visit. Book at least 7 days before desired travel date.
- No restaurant or food stalls are available inside the Georeserve.
- Comfort Rooms are located at the beginning and end of the trail.
- Always respect the Georeserve’s policies in the area, such as no smoking and no littering.
- a 50% downpayment is required when scheduling a visit.
- For more information, you can visit Masungi Georeserve’s official website.
Thanks to Ruth and CJ for the photos!