My first mistake (which I knew was a mistake but I did it anyway) was wearing inappropriate footwear.
Sneakers aren’t ideal for a 3-hour trek but hey, I’ve been doing it ever since. But yeah, it’s inadvisable.
What I would tell you though (and what I wish I would have known going in) is that Masungi Georeserve is NOT. FOR. THE. FAINT-HEARTED!!!
I honestly only did research through photos on Instagram (lol it was a sudden trip, okay?) which lead me to think that it was a small place with a few hanging bridges and that spider web – like attraction and then that’s it.
I was hell wrong! It’s a 3-4 hour trek complete with obstacle courses, a tree house, side of the mountain rope courses, beautiful candle-lit cave, and LOTS of hanging bridges.
There are nine attractions that will make you very attentive to staying alive so, yeah, this pretty much solidified that i do not have fear of heights.
Don’t worry though, if you don’t think you can handle something (hey, there’s no shame admitting it, it IS pretty darn terrifying), there are alternate routes -let the assigned park ranger know.
What I love about this place is how organized the hike was. Kuya Marshall, the parkranger assigned to our group, took his time educating us about wildlife conservation and everything interesting about Masungi.
Given that the place does not accommodate travel agencies or any hike that was organized for commercial purposes, the climb was intimate and it did not feel overcrowded which is how some hikes can be sometimes.
At arrival, you’ll be given a pep talk explaining the history of Masungi and letting you know that by coming here, you have contributed a seed to be planted on one of their new projects and they’ll award you a certificate saying so (+1 good karma). Your group will then be invited in 5 to 10 years time to visit the said trees to see how much they have grown. You only need to show the certificate – so don’t lose it!
What you must know:
- Make sure to fill up your water bottles and use the comfort rooms before starting the course as there are no refilling stations and the next restroom would be once the course ends at Silungan – a cozy dining area. You also get a free light snack afterwards but it’s best to bring something to munch throughout the trek. I don’t know if it changes but we had fresh tuna sandwiches, bananas, and calamansi juice.
- There are no shower areas as water is hard to come by this site so they’re also trying to conserve it. But there are cold towels given to you after your done with the course.
- No garbage cans so please, take all your trash with you. And of course, you’re not allowed to smoke.
- Everyone is given a helmet and you may borrow small backpacks since your bags will be left at the locker area.
- They also have insect repellent and sunblock available at the restrooms. Nice.
- The place observes silence so please hold that scream in when crossing the hanging bridges. This is as to not scare animals living in the area away – don’t be selfish!
- All the parkrangers were accommodating and just seemed so happy being there, they deserve all the praise. But they do not accept tips so don’t offer.
Overall, even though I feared for my life and felt like I did an extreme workout, Masungi is fun and extraordinary. It’s a must-visit, hands down.
While you’re there you may want to check out Calinawan Cave nearby. We did this in the morning prior to going to Masungi and it’s a fun add-on.
All the deets that may help you are below:
• Masungi Georeserve’s website where all this info is available and more : www.masungigeoreserve.com. This is also where you can schedule your visit or find their contact details. They’ve only just opened the night trail which I imagine is a whole different experience.
• Your group should have a minimum of 7 members and a maximum of 14.
• How much you’ll need to pay : They’ll only ask for a conservation fee which is P1,800/guest on weekends and P1,500/guest on weekdays. Again, reserve a slot prior to visiting. You can’t simply walk-in.
• Open footwear is not allowed.
• Masungi Georeserve is located at: Kilometer 47, Marcos Highway, Baras, Rizal
This post is pretty straight-up ‘cause life is good at the moment. Trying to balance everything out so that this rare calm and contentedness can last a while. 🙂
Will definitely try to write more before the year ends (yet again!)