Cathy C’s college friends had planned a trip to Masungi Georeserve for a couple of months now and this past Saturday was the time to head out! Cathy and I decided to take one car and got to the parking lot of the georeserve 1.5 hours early! We were scared of the possible traffic but hey, the roads going there are surprisingly smooth because they’ve all been repaved. If you plug in “Masungi Georeserve” on Waze, it should direct you right to the parking lot entrance. BTW, it took us about 1.5 hours from Greenhills, San Juan all the way to the park.
We had an orientation and introduction of the park right before we set off and of course, signed waivers. The word “masungi” is a variation of the word “masungki” which means sharp or jagged describing the rocks in the area. The whole area used to be under sea level and this is evidenced by the sea shells found in the locale. The oldest rock dated here is also around 60M y.o.! Masungi Georeserve opened to the public back in 1996 but the new rope trails were just put up in 2014. They definitely make for great photo ops!
The first rope course was Lambat (fishnet) and we all clambered up safely. One half of the course had more interwoven rope which made it easier for baby steps! That wasn’t too bad to start the hike!
Ultimate squad goals were proven on the next spot, Sapot (spider web)! Made out of sturdy wire, sapot was able to hold all of us at the same time with no problem. This was probably my favorite spot cause it looks so cool even though I really really dislike spiders. Yay for friends who are GoPro experts!
A quick rest stop by the swing at Kuwago (owl) made for some Miley Cyrus/Wrecking Ball moments.
Next up was Patak (water droplet) which looked like a cable car going through the georeserve. It doesn’t move but it sure is cool walk through it being high above the trees!
After Patak we made our way to what is probably the most photographed stop at the park, Duyan (hammock)! But first, we had to climb down the rock face (with a rope net!) before settling onto the giant hammock.
There are ropes to hold on to as we made our way across but we also took the time sit on above the trees. Don’t drop your phones and cameras! It can be a long way down…
A change of scenery as we entered Yungib ni Ruben (Ruben’s Cave) and all was dark and water was dripping from the rock openings as it had rained recently. The cave was one of the reasons we had to wear helmets as there are areas with low clearing.
Onto the highest peak inside the park, Tatay (father) was quite a trek up even with stairs! It was so windy and there was a bit of a drizzle that we felt like we could be blown away! Rica Y below was trying to snap some photos while not getting blown away. The views were quite majestic though and it was really something to behold.
If there’s Tatay then it’s no surprise that there’s Nanay (mother). It wasn’t as steep but it was still really really windy. I was sad that we weren’t allowed to go up the actual rock because there were no safety measures that could protect us. Liabilities and stuff…
Our friends who are very very proficient in yoga did their thang!
As the second tallest peak, we got a direct view of Tatay which was nearby.
And so it was time to head out and get our after trail snacks. Still cutting through some rocks, it was sad to have to head out but the snacks were also very welcome as we were all quite hungry from the hike. We started around 1315H and ended around 1700H just before the sun set. All in all I’d like to say that all 14 of us had a lot of fun!
I had tracked almost the whole hike using my Fitbit and I’m glad I did because that looks super cool! Don’t mind the pace, we stopped a lot to take photos!
Masungi Georeserve has been threatened by illegal logging and land grabbers and IMO, I don’t think it’ll stop anytime soon because humans are naturally greedy. Poop. More awareness yeah yeah!
Well, now you know my city girl ass doesn’t always just stay in the city! It was great to get out of Manila and have an adventure with friends! I am naturally a worrywart but I wanna say that I felt safe while we were hiking. It really helped that there were two park rangers with our group the whole time and they were very kind in guiding us through the rope courses and patiently waiting for us to take all the photos (including taking our photos!)
Some final thoughts: It might be a little daunting for someone who is afraid of heights because most of the bridges, Sapot, Patak, and Duyan are way above the trees and sometimes you really have to look down. Wear comfy clothes and sturdy shoes that are breathable and easy to move around in. The park provides water (from water dispensers) before the hike and I brought a CamelBak which I prefer to a bottle when hiking. Anything you bring in must be brought out to help conservation. Reservations are required (can be done through the website) because it’s very hip to go visit right now. Lastly, there’s is no reception inside the park so go and be one with nature!
“I’m one with the Force, the Force is with me.”
Thank you girls for organizing and inviting me! This hike was definitely one for the books!
Quotable: “You know what’s comforting? The smell of kulob on my helmet!” -Hannah T, who we found out is afraid of heights!