PH, Rizal: Masungi Georeserve (Take 2)

Didn’t expect I would be back in Masungi Georeserve after a year. This time, I went with friends from work and while it was a holiday, the fees we paid were priced with their weekday rate (Php 1,500.00).

The scenery I saw during this trip though was the opposite of what I experienced during the previous year.

AUGUST 21, 2017

Didn’t expect I would be back in Masungi Georeserve after a year. 😊 This time, I went with friends from work and while it was a holiday, the fees we paid were priced with their weekday rate (Php 1,500.00).

The sceneries I saw during this trip though was the opposite of what I experienced during the previous year. We had good weather in 2016 so pictures were also better: https://itskeanne.com/2017/04/09/masungi-georeserve/. But for this trip, it was raining and foggy. The only positive thing perhaps is that it wasn’t scorching hot and humid.

After our briefing and a short walk, we encountered the first rope course, which is LAMBAT (“fisherman’s net”). The side chosen by my friends in the photo above is the easier one as the other side has wide square holes which your foot can easily slip into.

Next rope course is still SAPOT, which mimics a spider’s web. Quite a bummer because all we could see around us was just fog.

Quite a long walk after to reach the next rope course. We crossed a short hanging bridge right after Sapot…

…We also had to go down here in SUUTAN, where we had to be careful of slippery rocks because of the heavy rain.

And finally, we reached this area. The new additions here were the swing-like seats made of ropes. There were plenty enough of these so we got to sit anywhere we wanted to. The rain poured heavier during this time so we took a long break here and ate our trail food a.k.a. chocolate and energy bars. Hehe.

 

 

We resumed our trek when the rain subsided and we arrived in PATAK (“drop”), which is an air house suspended above the trees.

After a quick break, we encountered another rope course which will lead us to the next major spot. Note that you will not wear any harness but good news now is that there are two course options to choose from: 1) what we did in 2016 which is just open space around; 2) cage-like barrier that will probably make you feel safer from falling (psychosomatic, I think).

We arrived in DUYAN (“hammock”) shortly after, which is one of the most popular spots in Masungi Georeserve. The guide will assure you of its safety as they used ropes and steel with strong quality that can withstand weight and pressure.

YUNGIB NI RUBEN was our next stop – quite dark and cold but still a lovely place to take a quick rest. The lamps inside made us feel like cave explorers out for an adventure.

TATAY (father) and NANAY (mother) were our last stops in 2016 but this time around, these were not because of the new attractions added. Both Tatay and Nanay are rock-formed peaks which give you a breathtaking 360 view of the surrounding nature and landscape.

We were fortunate enough that the rain and fog were gone by the time we arrived here so we finally got to see a good view.

Before we reach the official rest stop for the trek, we had to go down this looong rope course called BAYAWAK (“iguana”). The rope course is called as such because it mimics the general shape of the animal. For the faint-hearted, fret not as the guide will show the long flight of stairs where you can go down instead of doing this.

 

 

From Bayawak, LIWASAN (“park” or “plaza”) is just a short walk, which has pools of water that serve as birdbath. They have a resting area here where you get to eat the free sandwiches and drinks provided by MG team. We chose the tuna sandwich option when we booked but we also got free bananas as part of our snacks.

 

 

Another new addition in Masungi Georserve are the rope swings in different shapes and sizes just right outside Liwasan.

The exit I knew back in 2016 was a long walk uphill to get back to the entrance. This time around, they now have an easier access to the exit. We went through SAWA (a type of snake), which consists of a long bridge that directly connects to the garden with the briefing area.

Took us about 5 hours to complete the tour in Masungi, mostly because of long stops due to the rain. Still had fun even if we didn’t get to see the best views offered here because of the fog and rain.

Masungi Georeserve

Masungi Georeserve started to become popular around late 2015/early 2016 to the point that all weekends until mid-2016 were already booked. I had my hopes down that I would not be able to visit this anytime soon but eventually, one day back in May, my sister chanced upon a free slot on June 25 (which was a Saturday).

JUNE 25, 2016

On a writing spree again — now documenting this difficult-to-book but very memorable trip about 8 months ago. Brace yourself for the long hike. From our experience, it took us more than 4 hours but that was because we spent some time taking pictures in every highlight of Masungi Georeserve.

Masungi Georeserve started to become popular around late 2015/early 2016 to the point that all weekends until mid-2016 were already booked. I had my hopes down that I would not be able to visit this anytime soon but eventually, one day back in May, my sister chanced upon a free slot on June 25 (which was a Saturday). She immediately booked this even if she was not sure if she could complete the requirement of having minimum of 7 in a group — it was a problem that she postponed to thinking of later.

After successfully booking the schedule, my sister invited a few of her friends plus extended the invite to me and a few more friends. We became a group of 8 so we were good to go! We paid Php 1,400 per person for the conservation fee.

On the day itself, our schedule was at 6:30AM but we got there 2 hours later because we got lost in Baras. We blamed Waze because the road it suggested was a muddy, un-cemented path that led to a dead end. Good thing the MG team was very understanding of what happened. (Highly recommend to have your own private car going to Masungi Georeserve. While there are jeeps passing by, they are quite rare and are usually full already.)

Our park ranger / guide that day was Kuya Elmer, who has a good sense of humor and is an eager photographer. He would volunteer getting my friends’ cameras to take pictures of us. And of course, we were too happy to comply. 🙂

We had a briefing first done in SILUNGAN and it was here where we were given our kits — bag, helmet, whistle, and a bottle of water.

After a few minutes of walking, the first rope course we encountered was the LAMBAT, which was easy to accomplish since it was just very short.

Some minutes of walking again and we reached SAPOT, which boasted majestic views of the surrounding areas / provinces. This web-like rope course is made up of cables that are strong enough to withstand the weight of people, but we were told to avoid jumping around. We spent some time in this course since we had too much fun taking pictures, and Kuya Elmer also showed us that we can have our pictures taken under the Sapot.

We returned back to hiking afterwards, and we had to cross this hanging bridge. No need to fret because it was not swinging too much despite having a number of people walking on it.

We passed by a few caves, and eventually passed by this swing-like structure, where we had fun taking turns sitting there.

Eventually, we reached PATAK, which is a beautiful air house. It is shaped like a raindrop hence its name. It is suspended high above the trees and there are two bridges connected to it. We spent a few minutes here to rest and enjoyed the swings inside.

A long rope course was in store for us after heading out Patak, which would eventually lead to DUYAN. By far, this seemed to be the most photographed part of Masungi Georeserve, and one could see why. This huge hammock is made of ropes, and it is definitely not for the faint-hearted or people who have fear of heights.

After climbing down the last rope course in the area, Kuya Elmer led us to YUNGIB NI RUBEN. This particular cave was named after the person who takes care of this cave i.e., Ruben. He also mentioned that this cave is part of a karst landscape, and a good place to get away from the heat of the sun.

Next stop was TATAY, which is the taller rock-formed peak. Another place to soak in the majestic view around the area.

Not far from Tatay is NANAY, another rock-formed peak interconnected by small bridges. This area has a better view of the landscape around.

Our last stop that day was at LIWASAN. The pools of water are not for swimming, and serve as birdbath instead. This was our final pit stop before heading back to Silungan. We ate the free sandwiches from MG Team, and enjoyed the cold tea-like drink they provided. After getting re-energized, we finally made our way back to the starting point.

Kuya Elmer mentioned that MG Team is planning to add a few more “attraction” points, which is something to look forward to in the near future. This gives us another reason to go back to Masungi Georeserve. Highly recommend this to everyone — while being physically fit is an advantage, the whole trail is fairly easy even if you do not workout. 😉