A Thrilling Treetop Adventure in Masungi Georeserve
by Ara Vergara
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Just an hour away from the city you’ll discover this sanctuary hidden in Rizal – perfect for adventures seekers looking for a weekend getaway! The refreshing scenery Masungi Georeserve’s natural landscape offers is a breath of fresh air from Manila. You wouldn’t want to miss this one of a kind adventure! Upon arriving, we were immediately welcomed by the peaceful and quiet atmosphere of Masungi.
Locals who preserve the conservation area organize the tours. Reuben, one of the guides, even had a section named after him! The tour starts in “Silungan” area where you will be served a snack and be given a brief orientation of Masungi Georeserve. According to our guide, “Masungi” comes from “masungki” which means “spiked” since the trail is full of jagged limestone formations. It is a well-protected conservation area with 350 species of flora and fauna, even limestones aged up to 60 million years old! The trail is not a walk in the park – it was quite some exercise! You’ll be hiking and climbing through concrete stairs, rocks, hanging bridges, and steep hammocks!
There are 3 batches per day – one in the early morning, one during brunch, and the last during the afternoon. We took the brunch slot (10 AM). The hike lasts about 3-4 hours depending on your group’s pace. Each trip requires a park ranger to guide you and the group through the trek while they teach you about the park. I really liked the local guides since they are very knowledgeable about the place and are passionate in protecting it. One thing I also liked was that they make sure to let the ropes stay clean by letting us wash and brush our shoes first before climbing. The first challenge of the trail was the Lambat rope course which is connected to a rock wall which then leads you higher into the other areas.
Sapot: Spider Web
Out first stop was Sapot. Sapot is a spiderweb hanging over the karst formations. We really enjoyed taking pictures here. It can actually accommodate up to 30 people! Tip: Ask your guide to take a group photo of you and your friends lying down to show the karst formations below! From Sapot you can see both Sierra Madre mountains, the Philippines’ longest mountain range, and Laguna de Bay, the Philippines’ largest lake.
From Sapot we climbed down to the hanging bridge with a spectacular view, on our way to Yungib ni Reuben (named after one of the guides!) to cool off from the heat. We were so way up there we didn’t even notice we were already walking on treetops! Even if you have a fear of heights you won’t really feel it since you’re surrounded by so much lush greenery!
Yungib ni Reuben
I remember inside Yungib ni Reuben there was a distinct nice smell when you entered it, followed by beautiful rock formations inside the very narrow path. When you get out, you’ll hike your way to Tatay, Patak, and Duyan.
Patak, Duyan (Hammock), and Tatay
Patak, looking like a cable car hanging over the treetops where you can rest and catch some fresh air and wind for awhile. Tatay, the first and taller peak, in the background. Inside Patak, there are swing chairs where you can sit down and freshen up for a bit.
Taking a break on my favorite section – Duyan, a long hammock over the treetops. It’s a steep descent down, but it’s the best place to lounge! It’s also one of the best places to take a group picture in. We all laid down like sardines to get the longest group shot! The only watch out here is to make sure your gadgets don’t slip out of your hands or else they fall down into the forest!
The view of Tatay from a distance. That’s Duyan on the lower left! Clearer zoomed in picture is on the right.
On to the next peak: Nanay
At Nanay, we started to feel the tiredness so we rested on the hammocks. The limestone rock peaks are all interconnected by bridges. After Nanay, you’ll head down to Liwasan, the end of the hike.
We actually had a sneak peek of a new area they’re planning to open soon called “Buwaya” which is like Duyan but in the shape of a lizard. We also saw “Dahon” village at the end of the trail. We were able to play and hang out in different kinds of hammocks which are inspired by leaves and fruits. At the end of your trip, you will be served a meal and some refreshments. We had a salad, banana, sandwich, and calamansi juice!
If you’re looking for a weekend to just disconnect and be one with nature, I totally recommend you to give this place a visit!
Book a Visit!
Garden Cottages, Kilometer 47 Marcos Highway,
Baras, Rizal, Philippines, 1970
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Note: It’s actually pretty difficult to make a reservation. Our group had to wait for MONTHS just to finally get booked! It’s a well-liked attraction which is why all the slots always get full fast. The management also prefers to limit the number of guests to ensure a quality experience and minimal disruption in the park.
What to Wear and Bring
I wore sports attire: rubber shoes, leggings, and a loose t-shirt. Make sure to wear clothing where you can move freely and comfortably. Make sure your shoes are closed and can also grip tight so you won’t slip! I bought with me a water-resistant bag, my bottle of water and a towel.
Tuesdays to Sundays, 7:30 am or 1:30 pm.
Masungi Georeserve only accepts private group bookings to regulate and maintain the quality of the trail.
- Weekdays (Mondays to Fridays): Php 1,500 per person
- Weekends (Saturdays and Sundays): Php 1,800 per person
The fees include a park ranger, guest kit, and complimentary snacks & refreshments. There’s a minimum of 7 people to a maximum of 13 people per group. To reserve slots, visit their reservation page.