I’ve always wanted to visit the 15,000+ hectare conservation area ever since I first read about it online. When my friend Shek posted online about arranging a tour of the park, I jumped at the opportunity. We reserved online for a group of 14 and we were put on a two month waiting list. At that point, there was nothing else to do until the date of the hike came. I was going on a nature trip with a group of people I didn’t know (well, save for my friend Shek) and I did not know what to expect.
Road to Masungi
Our hike was scheduled at 11 am so we left Marikina a little past 9 a.m. The drive to Masungi was a scenic one and there was no traffic (at least at this time). One too many times we wanted to stop and take photos of the view.
We got to Masungi on time but our hike started late because some of our friends got lost on the way. Pro tip: make sure to download a map before going on the trip because there is absolutely no signal in the park or on the way there.
The Masungi Georeserve website reads:
The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area and a rustic rock garden tucked in the rainforests of Rizal. Masungi’s name is derived from the word “masungki” which translates to “spiked” – an apt description for the sprawling limestone landscape found within.
In this sanctuary, guests will be able to commune with nature, and reenergise themselves while doing so. Wander through our pathways for an encounter with wildlife and plant species. Enjoy a sandwich with a loved one at one of our rock peaks. Learn more about the history of the place introducing you to a community rich with heritage and life.
The hike started with a quick orientation regarding the park rules. The most important ones were: no littering, no loud noises as they disturb wildlife, and stay on the path. We were given helmets (trust me they’re very useful for this trip!), hiking bags, and water. This is part of the package you pay for.
Different helmets to choose from!
The trail in Masungi consists of paved steps, rock trails, bridge crossings, and rope bridge crossings. It’s a 3-4 hour trek to see the park attractions but this could be cut short depending on the hikers.
Masungi is ideal for the first time hiker! There are steps all the way.
This was the first rope climb. There are a lot of these on the trail but there are stair options for those who are feeling not so adventurous.
This suspended bridge and the climb after was one of the highlights for me.
The views at the peak are to die for!
Home to massive limestone formations, and hundreds of plant and animal species, The Masungi Georeserve is dedicated to the conservation and appreciation of the area’s landscape. The tranquil rainforest, winding trails, and fresh air make for a unique trail discovery experience.
Source: Masungi Georeserve Facebook Page
Sapot is one of Masungi’s biggest attractions. It can be a little scary at first but rest assured that the wires are safe and stable. The view is to die for!
In 2006, when the present management of the park came into the picture, Masungi had lost a lot of trees due to logging. They have since then replanted trees and although it takes years and years to grow a forest back, it’s a comfort to know that the process is ongoing.
I also learned that the best way to create new friendships is to conquer the wilderness together! (Photo from Shekinah Bangsil)
Four (ish) hours later, we finally completed the whole hike! We were then given cold towels (OMG cold towel on your face after a hike is the best feeling ever!) and merienda.
All in all, the trip was great. The guides were friendly, accommodating, and informative. More than anything else, what makes Masungi stand out is their dedication to preserving and conserving nature. Through this nature trek, Masungi hopes to foster a love and appreciation for nature.