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Thursday, January 4, 2024

TRAVEL: Masungi Georeserve Legacy Trail

Masungi Georeserve is a protected rain-forested area with beautiful rock formations in Baras, Rizal. It is also part of the Sierra Mountain range. 

Going to Baras, Rizal is not really that far coming from Manila as long as you leave early in the morning to avoid the traffic going to Antipolo, before reaching Marilaque Highway. And the roads are really well-paved for fast travel. 

We left at exactly 430AM and was at Masungi Georeserve by 545AM. This was just before the sunrise and it was really, really cold! This trip was early December, btw so the temperature was cooler than usual and we're up in the mountains. 

The view was lovely and we even got to see this heavy mist or was it clouds? We still haven't met our guide so I wasn't able to ask. 

And we were rewarded with a breathtaking sunrise by 6:18AM. It feels so nice to pause and commune with nature once in a while. 

There are two popular trails at Masungi Georeserve: Discovery Trail and Legacy Trail. For our trip, we went via Legacy the Legacy Trail which was at the opposite part of the famous Discovery Trail, which has the rock formations and the famous- 'spider web.' 

The Legacy Trail is part of the Masungi Georeserve where there's an on-going reforestation project. Guests here are encouraged to plant or help clear the area with the young trees. Prior to going up the Legacy Trail, our group gathered at the 'bunker' station to listen to the rangers instructions and Masungi Legacy Trail updates.  

After the briefing session, the groups went up by batch and has an assigned guide/ ranger. Our toughest climb up would be the part with the 400 steps. But then, glad that there's a space to rest after about 120 steps and the view was really, really lovely. 

That's Talim Island (photo below) as seen from the summit of 400 steps station. 

This is the reforestation area. Decades ago, this part of the mountain was already denuded because of illegal logging. Thanks to Masungi Georeserve and DENR, and other companies who are keen to protect this area, although still a long way to go, this part of the mountain is on its way to becoming healed. 

After the 'clearing' activity (it was explained to us that planting season is over so we just helped in pulling weeds and aerating the soil around the young trees), there's another 30mins or so climb up till we reached the summit of the Legacy Trail where there's an area to rest and eat. 

Lunch was Masungi Georeserve's famous 'Minalot.' 

This is the 'rest' area at the summit. Guests are encouraged to take a nap in this web-like creation. Sorry, I forgot what they call it. 

An hour's rest was all we need before heading down the Legacy Trail. If going up was hard, the trek down was harder since the steps was slippery and you can accidentally roll into the ravine. But thanking our guides who kept us safe. 

We passed by a 'waterfall' on our way down (see photo below). It is sad that it was so dried up and it's not even summer! 

That's me after reaching the top of the 400 steep steps, and I think I deserve a photo. Haha, I should've taken a photo after the trek down also. 

Things you need to know before going to Masungi Georeserve:

1. Make reservation or join a group because there's a minimum of of 7 person, or you pay for 7 pax. 
Fee is P1500 / weekday and P1800/ weekends. 
2. Do some prior training or exercise at least a month before the climb so that you won't feel body pains afterwards. 
3. Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate shoes, hat and sunblock. 
4. You can bring water but bringing food and chips and discouraged because some climbers tend to leave their trash in the mountain. 
5. Smoking even if its e-carettes is definitely a no-no.
6. DO NOT LIGHT MATCHES or LIGHTERS (better not bring) to avoid forest fires. 
7. Wake up early and begin trek around 6AM to avoid hot sun by mid-morning. 


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