Pending on my bucket list before the pandemic was the Masungi Georeserve. With my innate love for nature and the adventurous spirit in me, I was challenged to take myself to the next level. So, when it reopened recently, I was one of the happiest people on earth. Excitedly, I asked friends whom I think would be interested to join as we needed to complete a minimum number of 5 people in a group. With a strong will power and supportive friends, we were able to immediately get a slot.
Catching our 9:30 am schedule, our group travelled very early in the morning to the upland area of Baras, Rizal where Masungi Georeserve is located. We got to the place as early as 7:30 am giving us more time to catch up with friends through never ending exchange of fun stories.
Let the fun begin
Preparing for the trail, we were waiting at the Silungan, the receiving and briefing area for park guests, until the Park Ranger started with the orientation. We are all excited to start the trek.
There are 2 trails at Masungi: The Discovery Trail and the Legacy Trail. Our group chose the Discovery Trail where guests are brought through the conservation area and allowed to come up close with the karst terrain. For us, we opted for the Discovery Trail basically because of the Sapot, the giant web rope which is very popular in Masungi.
Guided by our Park Ranger, we began the trail. First thing that got my attention was the limestone landscape, it was such a refreshing sight. I know how physically challenging it is to go on a trek but when I saw that the trail is lined with rocks and concrete block to cover the train, it gave me a comforting feeling that it seems to be a not-so-hard hike. As we went through the trail, I was enjoying every step with nature complemented with the fun of passing through the hanging bridges and going down the mountain using hanging ropes which some are about 60 feet high.
Early on the trail, we got to a major spot – the Sapot, a giant web-like rope that we were so eager to see. From this web-style viewing platform, you get to see a spectacular view of Laguna de Bay, the biggest lake in the Philippines and the vast area of trees preserved by Masungi. It was also in this spot where we got some of our best photos.
As we continue with the trek, our energy started to deplete but everyone was having fun. Truly when you are with friends, talks and laughter never stop. Funny stories and on-the-spot happenings will just cover up fatigue with enjoyment (sometimes, laugh)
On our way to the karst terrain, we stopped by the Yungib ni Ruben, a cave formation that is part of the karst landscape.
A complimentary light refreshment is provided at the end of the trekking activities, but because it is physically exhausting, you will surely get hungry easily, so better to bring some light snacks to grab from time to time. Guests should also bring water jugs (1 liter recommended) because the refill stations are available only at the Silungan.
Peak of happiness
The trail is beginning to be physically challenging, but it’s all worth it when you get to see the two peaks. The Park Ranger introduced us to “Tatay”- the first and taller peak, a natural sculpture. The formation of rocks that are seemingly piled on top of one another is just a breath-taking site.
Then we also saw “Nanay”, the second peak that features five limestone rock peaks interconnected by bridges.
So close to nature
Moments later we reached a green haven, an area of cactus garden. There in the Duyan, a giant hammock , we took a short rest from a tiring trek.
Going down is both fun and exhausting. As we struggled ourselves through the hanging bridge and ropes, we continue to appreciate the beauty of nature in that place called Bayawak which is resting at the side of a tall rock edifice.
By this time, all of us in the group were so tired. Good thing, there was an area to take a rest again – the Liwasan. The area is designed for guests’ relaxation prior to the final steps back to visitor sheds. This valley-like area has a bird bath and a rest area they called Barangay Dahon.
Just before the trek came to an end, we were treated to another impressive view from the Liwasan area. As we went back to the starting point it was another thrilling experience passing through the “Sawa” (Snake), referring to a pass through portion which gives hikers stunning view of the Liwasan area.
It took us 5 hours to finish. We ended that trek tired and hungry with muscles pains and body aches. But all of us cannot deny the fact that we enjoyed the whole trail. That unexplainable feeling when you are on top of the mountain gives your heart and mind a refreshing break from the concerns of life.
Few days after, while looking at the photos, I cannot describe the amount of happiness in my heart as I once more see the beauty of nature in Masungi Georeserve and how grateful I am to be there- up close with nature. Yes, bucket list Masungi Georeserve –checked!