Masungi Georeserve: A Different Kind Of High

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: A Different Kind Of High

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.

 




 

Silungan

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.

Masungi Georeserve Silungan

Orientation by the park rangers are conducted at the Silungan.

Masungi Georeserve Hiking Pack

Hiking packs contain water, binoculars and a whistle.

Masungi Georeserve Helmets

Plenty of helmets to choose from.

Masungi Georeserve Last Pee Stop

The first stop is also the last pee stop. Make sure you go before you go.

Lambat

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.

Masungi Georeserve SInkhole

The sinkhole goes meters down… the floor not in sight.

Masungi Georeserve Lambat

Lambat Tip: Climb near the sides where it is more stable.

Sapot

Emerging from Lambat, Sapot is not far.

Masungi Georeserve Sapot

From Sapot, the Sierra Madre.

Masungi Georeserve Sapot and the Gang

Preparing for the Sapot pose.

Masungi Georeserve Sapot pose

Sapot pose. Thank you, GoPro. Thank you, rangers.




Masungi Georeserve Hanging Bridge 1

Masungi is peppered with lots of hanging bridges that test one’s balance.

Masungi Georeserve Physical Fitness Test

Be prepared to crouch and go under boulders to reach your next destination.

Masungi Georeserve Photo Stop

Rest a while. ๐Ÿ™‚

Masungi Georeserve Steps

This has Japan feels. ๐Ÿ˜€

Masungi Georeserve Log Bridge

Hanging bridges, log bridges โ€“ balance, balance, balance.

Masungi Georeserve Discovery Trail

Maintain your focus or to the ravine you will go.

Patak

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.

Masungi Georeserve Patak

Patak, a great resting spot in the middle of a long hanging bridge.

Masungi Georeserve Patak Bridge

While crossing the bridge, turn around and look up. ๐Ÿ™‚

Masungi Georeserve Rock Formation

Ditse rock formation: a Rorschach Test for nature lovers.

Duyan

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.

Masungi Georeserve It's the Climb

This climb is steeper. And even steeper on the other side!

Stop and appreciate nature at the Masungi Georeserve

Stop and appreciate nature first.

Masungi Georeserve Duyan Long Way Down

Yes, it’s a looong way down before you reach that sweet Duyan spot.




Masungi Georeserve Duyan and Everyone

Everyone at the Duyan.

End of Duyan Masungi Georserve

End of the gigantic hammock.

Masungi Georeserve Snacks

Like at the end of the rainbow, there is gold. But really, snacks would be preferable. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

Yungib ni Ruben Masungi Georeserve

Like a hand reaching up to the light.

Tatay

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.

Looking at Tatay at the Masungi Georeserve

Tatay: The tallest peak at Masungi.

Masungi Georeserve view from Tatay

“Masungi” from “masungki” or “crooked” like your teeth when they are fighting for space in your jaw.

Tatay as seen from Nanay Masungi Georeserve

Tatay as seen from Nanay

Nanay

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.

Nanay from Tatay Masungi Georeserve

Nanay as seen from Tatay.

Up close and personal with Nanay Masungi Georeserve

Up close and personal with Nanay.

The Bridges of Nanay Masungi Georeserve

Plenty of bridges connect the limestones at the peak.

Bridges of Masungi Georeserve

A welcome break from the hanging bridges.

Climb up Nanay Masungi Georeserve

I wanted to climb up and look over from the top…

Wanted to Climb up Nanay Masungi Georeserve

But I chickened out in the end because I thought my legs were too short to make a successful descent back sans tumbling to my death.

Last hanging bridge Masungi Georeserve

Last hanging bridge of Masungi Georeserve.

Reservation

With the aim of controlling traffic in the trail that could disrupt natural balance and the overall zen of the georeserve,ย 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.

Masungi Georeserve
Garden Cottages, Kilometer 45 Marcos Highway, Rizal, Philippines
E-mail Address: trail@masungigeoreserve.com
Website Contact Form: http://masungigeoreserve.com/contact-us/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/masungigeoreserve/

Tips and Policies:

  1. No littering. Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.
  2. Absolutely NO SMOKING.
  3. Avoid making boisterous noise that would disrupt wildlife and the overall experience of other people.
  4. Do not pick flowers, rocks or other specimens. Refer to #1.
  5. Should you be lucky enough to meet one, do not feed or touch any animal.
  6. No tipping of guides.
  7. Wear sunblock.
  8. Wear light comfortable clothing. Cover up or super dress down depending on your take on tan lines.
  9. Phone signal is very weak in this area. Switch to flight mode if possible to conserve battery. Post your photos online after your hike. ๐Ÿ™‚
  10. 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.
  11. Bring a change of clothes.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Do not take any shortcuts. You can always rest later. ๐Ÿ˜‰

April 3, 2016

***Photos were taken using iPhone 6 and GoPro Hero 4

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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on โ€œOpenness to Experienceโ€ on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.

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