Masungi Georeserve, May 2016

Masungi-May-2016-41

Masungi Georeserve is only 30 minutes away from Marikina. It is a 1600-hectare property where the PH’s only exposed Paleocene (50-60 million years old!!!) rock formations can be found. Since 1996, it has been painstakingly restored, protected, and prepared to help people appreciate our country’s biodiversity and to inspire them to protect our environment as well. There are issues concerning its ownership at the moment but am inclined to side with the development company currently in charge of it now as their model aims to mix conservation and empowerment of the immediate community. 
Masungi-May-2016-68Masungi-May-2016-89Masungi-May-2016-94Masungi-May-2016-106Masungi-May-2016-109
Masungi-May-2016-79Masungi-May-2016-97Masungi-May-2016-113It is more than just a four-hour adventure course of scary ropes and bridges and picturesque rocks and silence among bright green things. It is a stable means of livelihood for Rizal residents, an educational destination, and a great example of how tourism and respect for the environment can coexist meaningfully. The staff and trailbreakers took great pains to create a trail that is natural-looking and easy. Attractions and lookouts are built so that guests can appreciate but not destroy. There are caring touches like helmets, snacks, and iced towels. There are strict guidelines against littering and pollution.

Masungi-May-2016-48How to get there
-A reservation and down payment via their website is required (1400/head right now w/ complimentary snacks)
– Just drive along Marcos Hi-Way until you see the Garden Cottages entrance on your right side (it’s about 20 minutes from Boso-Boso Resort and Convention Center)
– A private ride is required as public transportation is rare on that stretch of the highway (although there are probably jeeps / trikes you can hop on in succession)

Masungi-May-2016-127What to expect
– A well-designed, easy trail cutting across miles of natural and man-maintained flora (it’s like your dream garden x1000!)
– “Adventure” spots such as the famed wire sapot (web), suspension bridges, giant rope hammocks, and viewing decks on some monoliths. There will be lots of uphill steps and several climbing situations. All very exciting; might be too scary if you have fear of heights. But the rangers are trained and you’ll feel safe. Go for it!
– Exposed Paleocene era rocks – the only place in the PH where you can find ’em
– Caves
– Fauna like monkeys and birds and the endemic cloud rat (if you’re lucky, you’ll see them, but you’ll definitely hear them)
– Breathtaking views of the deep green forests and mighty rocks and a bit of Sierra Madre range. Will make you amazed with what the Creator can make

What makes it different from a typical mountain hike
– The manicured trail
– Ranger guides who are locals (they used to be miners and loggers, now they’re working to help conserve the park)
– Caves and trails named after the passionate trailbreakers who created them (you’ll still get to meet them in the premises)
– At the end of your hike and adventure, you get snacks and iced towels. There are well-appointed bathrooms w/ luxury touches

Why visit?
– To #SaveMasungi – the area is under threat from land grabbers and illegal loggers. Tourists will sustain the developer’s and rangers’ right to continue their efforts
– It’s only about one hour from Ortigas or Makati
– If rugged hiking isn’t your thing, this is ideal
– It’s your chance to get up close and personal with nature, to feel thankful, to be inspired to protect the environment

Also worth noting that you probably shouldn’t hike less than 48 hours after your first electric studio ride experience. You’ll probably end up crippled i.e. me.

Want more visuals? Check out more photos on my public Facebook album:

 

Have you been here / want to visit soon? Tell me all about it!

All photos taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and processed in Lightroom

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5 Replies to “Masungi Georeserve, May 2016”

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