COMPLETE GUIDE TO MASUNGI GEORESERVE
Masungi Georeserve is located in Tanay (via Baras), Rizal roughly 50km from Manila. Masungi(as the locals call it) came from the word masungki which means “spiked”.
The place is a spine of limestone formations with a 10-kilometer of discovery trail that makes it one of the eco-tourist spots in the Philippines.
What was known before as bald forest, it was declared as a conservation area back in the early 2000’s.The main goal being, to save the geological wonder of Masungi and ensure its continuous recovery.
Masungi Discovery trail is limited to persons 13 years of age and above for security purposes.
The trail is ideal for beginner and seasoned hikers, people who love outdoor activities that want to experience mountaineering and nature tripping (you can see various local plants and animals that may catch your attention).
It is the place you can bond together with your loved ones away from the city and de-stressing after a rough week of work.
But why should you visit MasungiGeoreserve? What makes the place special?
At first, Masungi caught my eye from an advertisement on social media. I was intrigued by the unique beauty of the place and wanted to know more. As curiosity got the better of me, I happened to visit Masungi last June 16, 2016.
Masungi is not just a typical place where you can hike and just reach the peak of the mountain. It is a place where you can bask in the majesty of God’s creation. Their discovery trail has challenging elements that would test one’s agility, balance, and fear of heights. To be more-visitor friendly, the trails have been paved with stone and concrete.
The trail is approximately 3-4 hours of trekking time. They also give you guest kit (helmet, masungi bag,and bottled water) to be returned after the hike. Binoculars are also provided to better view the scenery.
On to exploring Masungi!
Rope Bridge (lambat): First rope course where you will climb to get to the other side of the conservation area
Sapot (web): A metallic platform with wooden blocks where you can easily walk. The spider web design of the platform was made to provide a good view of the rock formations without the risk to personal safety.
The platform offers a 360-degree view which you can overlook up there Sierra Madre on one side and the the country’s largest lake, Laguna de Bay on the other.
Hanging Bridge Connected to the Sapot- A passage made of woodaccess to the other side of Masungi. There is no alternative to get to the other side because of the cliff face.
Tagpuan (meeting place): It is a small shack where you can rest for a bit and have water breaks.
This is what they call “Hari” (a king with a crown) where Masungi Georeserve’s logo was derived from.
A Mini Circle Duyan – A modified hammock where you can swing and rest. Has a 3-person limit.
Tagusan (passage): Another rest area along the way to the other side. Crafted seats are available.
Patak (drop) – It is connected by a rope bridge to ditse peak. Its name originates from its shape, a rain drop or patak in Tagalog. They also call it “air house” because it is a suspended structure. There are also 3 hanging seats where visitors can rest.
They have 3 notable limestone formations namely: Ditse(second eldest sister), Nanay (mother) and Tatay (father)
Ditse: Located near Patak (overviewing)
Nanay: A natural limestone formation of 5 peaks interconnected by bridges. Sighting Nanay from afar, it may look unstable, but it is secure and well-founded.
Tatay: The tallest peak in Masungi overlooking the entire reserve. You will enjoy taking photographs at this point. But it doesn’t hurt to proceed with caution as this is after all, a cliff
Before you can reach the Duyan, there is a Rope bridge you can traverse. You can find the Philippine Flag planted on Ditse in in the middle of the way.
Duyan – A giant rope hammock that is a common photograph and rest spot in the reserve. It is a bit challenging to come across because it tends to sway when you walk but there are hanging ropes where you can hold to balance.
Yungib ni Ruben (Ruben’s Cave): They named it after Ruben as he was the one who discovered the place and acts as it’s caretaker.
The cave contains a man made fountain, the usual stalactites, stalagmites as well as nesting bats. The place is illuminated by oil lamps and some sunlight that manages to get through the crevasses.
A hanging bridge is also present that overlooks both Nanay (left) and Tatay (right). Be warned, you can only step in the middle of the bridge to avoid being destabilized when crossing.
Liwasan (plaza) or what they call the Grand Birdbath, is where the local birds come to cool down. The water source flows from the mountain springs.
This is the last stop before you can have superb food and refreshing calamansi juice.
On the visitor eating sheds they will offer you a ”frozen towel” where you can rejuvenate your body after a long hike.
Still not convinced? Why not go to the place yourself and see the wonders of Masungi Georeserve.
For more information, go to www.masungigeoreserve.com for tripreservations.