HIKE TO MT. BALAGBAG
Mt. Balagbag is considered one of the recommended mountains for beginners. It is located in the province of Rizal and is part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. On the other hand, the trail to Maranat Falls is probably not recommended for beginners unless you have an experienced companion or you’re willing to push yourself to the limits (This is based on our experience XD).
From Cubao, we rode a bus going to Tungko. Travel time is around 1 hour and 30 minutes. We almost miss the drop-off point (BDO Tungko). Luckily, my friend is awake. The conductor didn’t realize that there were still passengers on board. We walked to the market near Jollibee. We rode a jeepney going to Licao-Licao. From Licao-Licao, there are tricycles going to Sitio Balagbag. We were too early for their trip. We decided to walk while it was still dark and think of it as our warm-up. It took us 30 minutes before we reached Sitio Balagbag.
We registered at the barangay hall and fetched our guide, Jeric. The trail going to the summit was well established. It was steep and wide as a concrete road (Maybe that’s why guides were not required).
Halfway to the summit, we reached the second registration area and a crossroad. To the left is the way to the summit and to the right is a ridge wherein a beautiful sight can be seen. We proceeded first to the ridge before going to the summit. The view there was magnificent. We were still not at the summit but it already showed a great view. The rest of the Sierra Madre range can be seen from the east side and the cities of Rizal and Bulacan on the west. We spent a lot of time here than at the summit.
The summit serves as a camping site for those who will stay overnight. We took a rest at a hut before we proceeded to Maranat Falls.
We descended to the other side of Mt. Balagbag. The trail was steep and slippery. Plus, the heat of the sun was starting to exhaust us. Another problem was that our water supply was starting to get low. We were craving to quench our thirst and to get wet.
Thirst was starting to bug me. My mouth and throat were dry. My feet and legs were in auto mode. The only focus I had in mind was to reach the falls.
Finally, after an hour and a half under the sun, we arrived at the pool created by the falls. I got water from the spring which I’m hesitant to drink at first. I took a sip and kept some for the trail.
The falls can be reached by climbing the huge boulders beside the pool. We didn’t know how high and far it was but just by looking at those boulders, we knew it would be a challenge to reach it. An obstacle course, wherein our physical strength will be tested.
Reaching the falls was worth it. The area was like a garden where everyone can relax. The water was clear and cold. I took my time lying in front of the falls and appreciating the flowing water from above.
So far this has got to be one of my hardest climbs. Not because of the elevation but because of the heat of the sun. We left the falls around noon and the sun was high above us. We were exhausted from our boulder climb, plus the trail back to Sitio Balagbag was very steep. There were limited trees to cover us. It was a nightmare; it was a test of our limits.
We reached a spring and rested there for a while. According to our guide, it is safe to drink the water flowing through it. At first, we were hesitant to follow his advice, but out of desperation, we drank the water (Fortunately, we are still doing fine!).
We were very tired, but we had to continue. Our main goal was to reach a carinderia in between the barangay hall and from where we were. We were very hungry and all we could think of were food, water, and shade.
Finally, we were able to reach the carinderia. It was like a Michelin-starred restaurant for us. Everything tasted very good, even the water. It helped us recharge before proceeding to our final trek going to the Barangay Hall.
This climb at Mt. Balagbag was supposed to be easy but it turned out to be a difficult one. We were exhausted and dehydrated, but thankfully, we finished the climb. We experienced another hardship but despite that, we gained strength and wisdom for more challenges to come. Another mountain conquered; another mountain off of the list. What Mountain Next? 😀
(Shout out to Rammil for completing his 1st climb! 😀 Madali lang d’ba? hahaha!)
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR MORE MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB, CHECK OUT MY CLIMB GUIDES TO MT. BATOLUSONG, MT. BINICAYAN, MT. MAYNUBA, MT. DARAITAN AND ATBURAN ROCKIES.
CLIMB GUIDE & TIPS
- Jump-off:1: Sitio Karahume, Brgy. Macabud, Rodriguez, Rizal2: Sitio Balagbag, Brgy. San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal
- Elevation: 777+ Meters
- Difficulty: Minor Climb (3/9)
HOW TO GET THERE:
a. By Public Transportation:
- Take a bus from Cubao going to Tungko (Travel time = 1 and a Half Hours, Fare = ₱55)
- Ride a jeep at the terminal (behind the market) going to Licao-licao (Travel Time = 30 Minutes, Fare = ₱27)
- Trek or ride a trike going to Sitio Balagbag (Travel time = 30 Minutes or less, Fare = ₱30)
- Registration Fee at Barangay Hall: ₱10.00
- Registration Fee at 2nd Point: ₱20.00
- Guide Fee: ₱500.00
- Wash-up Fee: ₱10.00
- Trekking shoes/slippers
- Trekking Pole
- Trail Food
- 2-3 Liters of Water
- First Aid Kit
- Insect Repellant
- Packed Lunch
CHECK OUT THESE DISCOUNTED/PROMO RATES IN KLOOK:
Bong de Luna (Officer-in-charge, Guide)
0977 273 3539
0975 593 4059
0948 526 8072
- The jeepney terminal going to Licao-Licao is located at the back of BDO. The first trip is around 4:00 A.M.
- Bring enough water and wear proper clothing when going to Maranat Falls. There are not many trees to cover you from the heat of the sun. You might end up being dehydrated.
- The local government allows tree-planting activities.
- There are campsites at the summit.
- Guides are not required but if you need one, feel free to contact the persons above.