May 8, 2016 – Mother’s Day
I believe it’s the best day to spend it with – no other than – Mother Nature. 🙂
Our day started late at 7 am, I suggest anyone who will take this climb to start early because it’s really a long trek up to the mountains.
Our meeting place is at Cubao, from there you will ride a bus going to Tungko. What’s amazing is that we took an ordinary bus going there and I haven’t been to ordinary bus for years. hahaha
The morning cold breeze put me sleep while on the way and I woke up with the signage “Welcome to San Jose Del Monte Bulacan” I wondered why am I in Bulacan? I should be in Rizal! hahaha I thought we lost our drop off point so I asked the lady sitting beside me if we already passed by Tungko, luckily we haven’t hahaha. So yes, don’t get shocked when you saw that signage when you went there!
Jollibee Tungko is the drop off point when you arrive there. Then on your left you’ll find a jeepney terminal, look for Licao-Licao – Tungko jeep. [Hint: It’s better to ask than be lost! ]
An hour jeepney ride from tungko to licao-licao and from there you can opt to ride a trike to barangay or you can start your trek there. However since the sun is already up because we left the metro late, we chose to take the trike.
[BEWARE: it’s a bumpy ride!!!] That was the most extreme tricycle ride I’ve ever been into because there were large stones and we’re going against them (IMAGINE THAT!!!) It’s like we’re going against the waves in the sea. INSANE! hahahaha
At the barangay, you need to pay for the environmental fee and also get the tour guide who will be with you for the whole trip. Meet ate Anafel, our tour guide.
There are stores along the way so I suggest you to grab food from there to enjoy some picnic at the summit. [We bought pansit at the first store, unfortunately we left it because of the halo halo which is so good. hahahah]
One thing I love when I trek is that I meet a lot of people along the way. This time, we hike along with the bikers from Bulacan- additional fun to our trip. Thanks mga kuya! [Hint: Always greet the people you’re meeting along the way!]
Actually it’s my first mountain to climb! I only trek to reach waterfalls but not to reach mountain summit, so hooray for my first mountain!
This climb however is not what I expected tho. It’s kinda hard for me because the land is so dry making it slippery and it’s also very steep so you really need to lean forward and take bigger steps.
After an hour of braving the dry land and scorching heat, we arrived at the helipad! YAY! (It’s a stop over where you can buy food and drinks)
Look at this majestic view, it’s worth it!
After an hour of rest we proceed to reach the summit. It’s already 11 am and the sun is giving it’s hottest rays on us! Rocky terrain welcomed us and the sun is really hyped to dehydrate us! [Hint: ALWAYS BE HYDRATED, don’t wait ’til you feel thirsty before you drink water.]
The summit was extraordinary. The bird’s eye view of the city and the whole province of Rizal as well as Bulacan is such an inspiring view. The mountains in the nearby and the blue sky is so beautiful!
After resting, we headed to Maranat falls. If you think that going up is challenging, I’m telling you that going down is more challenging! Steeper terrains welcomed us – I didn’t even know how we survived! Bigger boulders were also popping along the way as we get closer to the falls.
Due to excessive heat, we chose to stop every once in a while making our pace slower.
And after hours of following the tracks, we finally arrived at Ilog Ipo! The moment I saw the water, I really wanted to jump immediately because of soreness I’m feeling. All I want is to submerge myself in the water!
The water is sooooo cold and refreshing! We also got the chance to drink at the bukal there (it’s clean!)
Here’s the amazing part: CLIFF JUMP!!!!
Well, for me it’s a big deal since it’s in my bucket list and yeeeey finally!!! (Thanks Reg! hahahaha) The cliff is really not that high but for a first timer it gave me that chill and brain cracking fear hahahah INTENSE! Mind you, the cliff is like 3x my height high and the water is 4x my height deep! Yes, it’s deep and scary #TiwalaLangSaBouyantForce
Going to Maranat Falls is actually an hour trek away from Ilog Ipo and since it’s already 3 pm we decided not to push through it anymore because the last trip of the jeep back to tungko is 6 pm. We’re all so tired and hungry narin! ahahahha So we decided to head back to barangay.
Along the way, we met another group of hikers (solid, mga veterans na sila!) Every once in a while it’s really good to have some deep talk with older people, they can impart a lot of life lessons! Thanks po mga tito! See you around!
The last food stop is the Mini Stop! HAHAHAHA I highly recomment the biko and spaghetti there, it’s very delicious!!!
TAKE IN FROM THIS TRIP:
1. Bring food! (I mean, kahit ano kahit candies!)
2. Be mindful of the time, it runs fast when you’re having fun!
3. Protect yourself from the sun (I got some intense burn over my neck and face huhuh)
4. Make the hike memorable with the people you’re with!
5. Enjoy, have fun and be thankful for the view.
Mt. Balagbag is really a must climb mountain – with fun locals along the way, breathe-taking view and budget friendly climb. The only problem is your endurance! HAHAHA
Maranat Falls, I’ll definitely come back for you!
35 – bus from cubao to tungko (ordinary)
27 – jeep tungko to licao-licao
30 – trike licao-licao to barangay
10 – environmental fee
20 – 2nd station environmental fee
90 – food along the way (optional)
200 (500 fixed rate) – tour guide
30 – trike barangay to terminal
27 – jeep licao -licao to tungko
55 – bus tungko to cubao (airconditioned)
ITINERARY (real time):
7:00-8:00 Bus cubao to tungko
8:00-8:50 Jeep tungko to Licao-Licao
8:50 – 9:10 trike to barangay
9:10-10:15 Hike from barangay to 2nd station
10:15-11:15 Rest at 2nd station
11:15 – 12:30 Hike from2nd station to summit
12:30-2:00 Descend down from summit to Ilog Ipo
2:00-3:00 Dip at Ilog Ipo
3:00-5:00 Descend down from Ilog Ipo to Mini stop
5:00- 5:20 Rest at Mini Stop
5:20-6:00 Trek from Mini Stop to Barangay
6:00-6:30 Trike to terminal
6:30-7:25 Jeep from Licao-Licao to Tungko
7:25-9:00 Bus Tungko to Cubao