Masungi Cover photo

Masungi Georeserve: Ultimate Guide for First-timers 2017

 

 

After months of planning to go to Masungi Georeserve, we are finally here! It was hard to book during weekends, so we end up reserving on the next best day – Friday.

 

What is Masungi Georeserve?

 

It is a conservation area and a rustic rock garden nestled in the rainforests of Rizal – probably one of the mountains that our government included for reforestation drive. We were told by our guide that it was closed for quite some time as they try to clean up remnants of illegal logging and also to plant trees. Its name comes from the word “masungki,” which means “spiked” – a fitting name for a wide expanse of karst landscape and breathtaking sceneries.

 

Outdoor enthusiasts will have their socks knocked off when they experience Sapot, Yungib ni Ruben, Tatay, Nanay, Ditse, Patak, Duyan, and more. The Discovery Trail lasts around 3-4 hours depending on your group’s pace.

 

 

How to Get there?

 

Masungi rock formation is accessible through Marcos Highway. According to their website, avoid Manila-East road if you are coming from Manila and stick to Marcos Highway because the former is a much longer and less reliable route.

 

We were already out before daybreak to avoid traffic because it’s a weekday, especially that we have to pass through Marcos Highway, which can get really tight during the rush hour. Our travel time took us roughly 1 to 1 hour and 30 minutes without traffic from Quezon City.

 

Tip:  The best way to get here is by car and the best time to go here is early in the morning, so it will not get too hot while traversing the trail.

 

Before the trek, a park ranger briefed us about Masungi Georeserve – what to expect, what not to do and how long it would take to finish the trail. Eating is strictly prohibited but bringing of light snack is allowed. 

 

Tip: Bring at least 1 liter of water to avoid dehydration especially if it’s too hot outside. Refilling stations are only available in Silungan, the starting point of the trail and Liwasan, ending point.

 

Since Masungi is a sanctuary, your best behavior is expected. Guests are expected to make as little noise as possible so as not to disrupt the area’s wildlife and other guests who are there to commune with nature. Its location, rich flora and fauna, make it an ideal place for a quiet escape, reflection and to a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

 

So, let’s begin!

 

Lambat

 

Lambat

First rope course we tried was Lambat, a rope net that you need to climb to see the rest of the geopark. The climb was manageable, giving us all a taste and insight of what lies ahead for the rest of the trail. It was fun!

 

Sapot

 

Next, the Sapot, which translates as web. It is a web-style viewing platform that gives you a bird’s eye view of Laguna de Bay, the biggest lake in the Philippines and Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the country.

 

 

 

Also known as “Sapot ni Ric,” Ric being the mastermind of the impressive rope trails, from designs to incorporating those to surrounding beautiful rock formations, to finally making to rope trails reality – all by his own hands! We even met Kuya Ric himself busy tying calculated knots after knots on the ropes for his latest trail project.

 

Picture this:

 

You are standing in the middle of Sapot with a bird’s eye view of Sierra Madre– the longest mountain range in the Philippines, right in front of you.

 

Definitely the sweetest spot for us!

 

 

Down we go the trail again while our guide gave us a brief background about the conservation of the park from issues that marred the rich biodiversity such as illegal logging down to its rich wildlife.

 

What remains of illegal loggers were visible along the trails, a reminder for all of us to make amends to our nature and make it better again.

 

We followed the trail through a tiny hole called “Suutan.” It was tight, but everyone managed to squeeze through.

 

Tip: Listen attentively to your guide and follow instructions to avoid accidents. Walk on pathways only to avoid stepping on sinkholes. We were also advised to do our hike on a buddy set up, which allows us to look after one another throughout the whole tour.

 

Owl’s Nest and Tuluyan

 

This attraction resembles an owl’s nest hence the name. Beside the hanging nest is a stone mosaic of an owl guarding its nest. Of course, we tried the nest and gave it a couple of spins. 

 

Next is Tuluyan, a resting place that houses hanging chairs made from sturdy ropes. Perhaps one of Kuya Ric’s beautiful handiworks.

 

Unggoy

It is a cave that has a stone mosaic of a monkey on the floor. It is cold inside, which will leave you feeling refreshed before going to Patak, Duyan, and Ditse.

 

Unggoy

Patak

It is a suspended air-house in the middle of a hanging bridge. It’s a bit wobbly, but it’s very sturdy and safe to cross. Take your time to appreciate a breathtaking view of the conservation and don’t forget to take photos, like this one:

 

Ditse

After walking along the hanging bridge, you need to climb Ditse. It is a short climb with rewarding view on top.

Ditse

 

Duyan

It seems like an eternity to go down Duyan before you reach the sweet spot. But the descent was easier and quicker than what we thought. It is a giant hammock lying above a wide expanse of trees, which is very popular among guests. Aside from it’s the perfect spot to take a group photo, it’s also the best spot to pause and enjoy nature.

Duyan left side

 

Tip: Take care of your phones, cameras and other belongings. Secure them while enjoying these attractions to avoid dropping them. There were previous cases according to our guide and dropped items were not recovered.

 

Duyan group shot

Yungib ni Ruben

This cave was discovered by none other than, yes, you got it right – Kuya Ruben.  The cave serves as the nesting ground of bats, and it also houses stalactites and stalagmites, and as well as pillars – when stalactites and stalagmites meet or connect. They made the place even more special by the candle lamps placed around the cave, giving us an opportunity to appreciate every corner of the cave.

Yungib ni Ruben

Tatay

Tatay is the first and the tallest peaks inside the georeseve. Tatay is a natural rock formation, which boasts a spectacular view and a gust of fresh air. You can see Duyan – a rope bridge from Tatay’s summit. The summit has its viewing deck which provided all of us the beautiful and an uninterrupted 360 view of whole GeoReserve.

Tatay

Nanay

Nanay is the second tallest rock formation and features five beautiful limestone rock peaks interconnected by bridges. We were a bit winded when we reached Nanay, and luckily there were hammocks and shaded areas where we rested for a while.

 

Bayawak

One of the newest attractions is Bayawak. It is the new route going to Liwasan. It looks steep from the top as if it speaks to you directly asking you to muster all the courage you have to get down. As it turns out, it wasn’t that hard than what it looks like.

 

Bayawak

 

Liwasan

After roughly 5 hours of hiking, we’re almost finished exploring every nook and cranny of the park. It was time to refill our gas tank with the complimentary snacks. Sad to say, we were not able to take photos because we were too tired and hungry.

 

The snacks provided exceeded our expectations. They served us a fresh loaf of wheat bread, generous leaves of lettuce, a bunch of bananas, chicken spread and a pitcher of refreshing lemonade.

 

Sawa

Sawa is another new addition in the park. It resembles a snake hence the name. It is a long stretch of hanging bridge overlooking the rich flora and fauna and connecting us back to the starting point of the Discovery Trail.

Sawa wide shot

Sawa close up

Barangay Dahon

Barangay Dahon is another addition to the Discovery Trail. It is a collection of hammocks and swings mimicking the shape of leaves. This sure is another sweet spot where you can relax after going down Bayawak. You can swing by again after eating your snacks in Liwasan before exiting the Georeserve through a hanging bridge called Sawa.

Barangay Dahon

 

Masungi Georeserve is a hidden gem worth exploring. It is perfect for everyone, be it a first-timer to hiking or an experienced one. It also imparts an important lesson that everyone can bring home with them, to take care of our environment and get in tune with ourselves.  Lastly, it is conducive to commune with nature but with a twist.

 

Now it’s your turn to go out there and experience Masungi Georeserve’s Discovery Trail!

 

Here’s a quick roundup of tips to enjoy Masungi Georeserve plus bonus tips:

 

  1. The best way to get here is by car and the best time to go here is early in the morning, so it will not get too hot while traversing the trail.
  2. Bring at least 1 liter of water to avoid dehydration especially if it’s too hot outside. Refilling station is only available in Silungan, the starting point of the trail and Liwasan, ending point.
  3. Listen attentively to your guide and follow instructions to avoid accidents. Walk on pathways only to avoid stepping on sinkholes.
  4. Take care of your phones, cameras and other belongings. Secure them while enjoying these attractions to avoid dropping them. There were previous cases according to our guide and dropped items were not recovered.
  5. Strictly no walk-ins.
  6. You can check available schedules by visiting Masungi Georeserve’s reservation page.
  7. They only accept minimum of 7 persons and maximum of 14 persons in a group
  8. Masungi georeserve entrance fee: 1,500 PHP/pax on weekdays and 1,800 php/pax on weekends.
  9. It’s easier to make a reservation on weekdays.
  10. Bring an extra shirt, towel, sunblock.
  11. Bring snacks (nuts, energy bar, and the likes)

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2 Comments

  • Jonine August 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    ugh, I’ve been wanting to visit georeserve masungi, thanks for sharing. I like this post! a very detailed guide 🙂 this excites me more to visit the place.

    Reply
    • The Open Route September 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you! You should visit soon. You’ll definitely enjoy the entire trail, especially the giant hammock. 🙂

      Reply

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