About an hour’s drive away from Pasig City lies a 1600 hectare of conservation area called the Masungi Georeserve. Seeking to protect not only the limestone formation that provides the backbone of this karst terrain, the Masungi Georeserve also aims to provide sanctuary to both the fauna and flora that are continuously being threatened by human consumption and greed. A victim of illegal logging, mining and quarrying, it has flourished under the concerted conservation efforts of the Masungi Georeserve foundation body, Blue Star Construction & Development Corporation (BSCDC) and the surrounding communities.
Masungi Georeserve’s Discovery Trail
Last December, Masungi Georeserve opened its doors to the public and beguiled adventure seekers with its Discovery Trail. Past sink holes, up and down stone steps and rope ladders, through caves and swaying bridges, this meandering path would not just challenge one’s physical abilities but also instill a greater appreciation of nature.
The 3 to 4 hour hike (took us 5!) started at the Silungan where water was handed out together with the drawstring bag that contains a pair of binoculars and a whistle. Helmets were also distributed and I was glad there was one that fit my head snugly.
A few yards from the Silungan, the park ranger would highlight a sink hole. A few minutes away from that is the first obstacle: the Lambat.
Emerging from Lambat, Sapot is not far.
At the end of these stone steps is a very airy cavern where you could stop and catch your breath. From there, another hanging bridge awaits. In the middle of it, Patak, a cable car-looking tree house that blends well with the surrounding greenery.
At the end of the hanging bridge is another Lambat-like climb up… then down… all the way down to the famous Duyan. There, only a real badass would dare take out his/her phone to take photos. It’s definitely the shakiest and most nerve-racking part of the Discovery Trail.
Yungib ni Ruben
After that filling snack, Yungib ni Ruben is the next attraction to examine. It is a cave with a fountain at its center, surrounded by interesting rock faces.
The tallest peak at the Masungi Georeserve is called the Tatay, made up of limestones naturally piled on top of each other. Its view deck gives an amazing 360 view of the georeserve.
The second tallest peak in the georeserve is called the Nanay. Going there is relatively easier after being through Tatay. From there, a last hanging bridge. And a short walk back to Silungan, the end of a half-day hike.
With the aim of controlling traffic in the trail that could disrupt natural balance and the overall zen of the georeserve, walk-ins are absolutely not allowed. Reservations must be made prior to one’s visit. Reservations are only granted to groups of at least 7 and maximum of 13. Also, children below 13 years of age are not allowed in the trail.
The trail fee is 1400 PHP and a 50% down payment will be required. This can be made via bank deposit or PayPal.
Garden Cottages, Kilometer 45 Marcos Highway, Rizal, Philippines
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website Contact Form: http://masungigeoreserve.com/contact-us/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/masungigeoreserve/
Tips and Policies:
- No littering. Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.
- Absolutely NO SMOKING.
- Avoid making boisterous noise that would disrupt wildlife and the overall experience of other people.
- Do not pick flowers, rocks or other specimens. Refer to #1.
- Should you be lucky enough to meet one, do not feed or touch any animal.
- No tipping of guides.
- Wear sunblock.
- Wear light comfortable clothing. Cover up or super dress down depending on your take on tan lines.
- Phone signal is very weak in this area. Switch to flight mode if possible to conserve battery. Post your photos online after your hike. 🙂
- Be prepared to climb, duck and stretch your legs in order to reach places. So, better do some cardio days before your visit and some stretching exercises before starting your hike.
- Bring a change of clothes.
- Driving to Masungi is best as your car can double as a locker for your stuff. You wouldn’t want to lug around any baggage for 3 to 5 hours.
- Bring some energy bar. You are so gonna get hungry half-way through! Just be sure not to leave any wrapper behind. Refer to #1.
- Do not take any shortcuts. You can always rest later. 😉
April 3, 2016
***Photos were taken using iPhone 6 and GoPro Hero 4